Saddleback Critiques

So I visited Saddleback Church this past Sunday. It was part of an assignment for which we have to visit a church and ask two questions based simply on our observance of one service, what does this community understand the word “church” to mean, and what does it understand the word “gospel” to mean?

There are no shortage of critiques of the “seeker sensitive mega-church” model. They are generally along the lines of wattering down the gospel, being too individualistic, not being critical enough of the corporate jargon it is swalling, and on the whole being a fairly singular model. (i.e. white, suburban, middleclass)

I think many of these are valid, but I’m starting to tire of all the complaining I hear. (some other time we will have to talk about the difference between a “critique” and a “complaint” if there is one)

If my favorite model (this month), the house church, was sweeping the nation, no doubt there would be no shortage of critiques of that, probably along the lines of also being too individualistic, possibly cultic, power abuses, no accountability, etc...

So in response to the critiques of the mega church model I’m starting to ask questions like:

Would a missional community with high church sympathies look a lot like saddleback?


How would a church in Orange County that is "true to it’s zip code" be different than Saddleback?

Got some thoughts? Go ahead and leave a comment.

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