Wanjiru Gitau - "Megachurch Christianity Reconsidered"
12:50AM Jul 7, 2020
Jonathan J. Armstrong
Today we are delighted to be speaking with Doctors Maggie Wanjiru Gitau, calling from Southern California and also Dr. Warren Bird. Dr. Gitau is the author of the text that we'll be discussing today, Megachurch Christianity Reconsidered, available from IVP press. Welcome. Thank you so much for joining us today.
It's a pleasure to be here today. Thank you for the opportunity to talk about this important research.
Dr. Warren Byrd. congratulations are in order to you we understand that you recently took a position as Vice President of Research at the angelical Council for financial accountability. Thank you so much for joining us.
I delight to be here and ECF a as the shorthand is, is all about helping churches and Christ centered organizations do financial and other intake Pretty well, and I get to be their research director and I can't wait for all the tools to put into people's hands.
Dr. Byrd you join us after writing many books on megachurch Christianity, what's the exact count? Is it about 25? Now, just turn number 31 into the publisher,
but who's counting? Congratulations.
Wow, I have a long ways to go.
Well, I'm a little older than you. So that's okay.
I will do my best to tell new stories and to catch up.
That's how to catch up by telling stories.
Chopped by writing books as good as the one that I just had the privilege of reading.
Why thank you on that, that you would say that because they really have a great respect for your writings, your work. You're a great inspiration to me, and especially in how you have coached mentored a lot of test leaders over the years. And we in Africa have definitely benefited from your wife and from any of your associates over the years. So this is a special joy to be part of this call with you. I'm very, very honored after you come the best. And now to hear us talk very warmly about my own research.
Well, let me talk warmly about this book because this interview is about you and the book and you have done an incredible piece of work. I just wrote a gushing interview on an Amazon. I emailed a couple of people and said, you really need to read this book. I it is it is highly readable. It is accessible. It's very thoughtful. You blended a whole bunch of streams together. I learned a lot. I know every reader will. So thank you for a amazing contribution. My first question to you to you though is where did this title come from? megachurch Christianity reconsidered.
Um, thank you. This is a first of all, as such books go. The title itself eventually was settled on by by publisher University Press working with john Boyd there who was particularly very helpful in helping to come up with this. But it is it captures very well what I wanted to say. Initially I called the book, I take the book home for the homeless generation, because I was after I did my research and worked on this and figured it out that what truly mega churches are about creating a home for a generation that is in transition. And then when they look at existing literature and writing about militaries. They tend many of them there. Of course, some amazing exceptions, but many, especially from the academic perspective, tend to look not very positively mega churches and I thought to myself, I don't understand what is going on. It's a writing mega church Christianity considered a seeing a need to look at this reality once again and to understand why they come up in the first place. And they are so exciting and so interesting to a particular demographic, the aspirational demographic that is coming up, rolling up making sense of his place in the world, and such that it becomes a home for them. And that is how they end up becoming as large as they become. And so I wanted to have read as reconsider the whole story of how mega churches come up. And they come up as they make sense in the world.
In your comment right there, you just use the phrase that you use throughout the war, the book, making sense of the world. And you said, I'll give you a quote from your own book, mega churches in the global south emerge and thrive because they help people make sense of the world by addressing their social, psychological and spiritual crossroads. Yes, pack, if you would, that idea of making sense of the world.
And when what I wanted to say there is, if you look at the story of Arab Chapo, in my view, no judge, but I also realized the story of how most meditators historically have come on, they emerge at the cusp of a generation that is in transition out of a traditional Or a world with a different or differentiated kind of worldview. And then because of the growth of cities, because of technology, because of education, because of the economic arrangement of say, capitalism or particular mode of economic, economic production, and because of political arrangements, people are in transition through multiple levels. And the people that are usually mostly affected by these transitions are those who have up through the education system, that is who is trained to make sense of how to find the place in the world. And that is, that's a sense in which I'm trying to capture when people talk about mega churches that look at the spiritual reality only don't want to look at watch if you want to look at as simply pitting and power The message is framed on Sunday, specifically on Sunday. I'm saying it's not just the spiritual factors that you see it is all these other factors around in the life of an individual and how that individual belongs into that particular family internet community in a city in a country. And that is not the world ends up making the compensate hole of the US and that's how a train to find that they really belong into this space. And that's why I say
the leaders who come up in
an uproar who framed the reality around which is congregations image, they themselves are caught in this world that is transitioning through multiple realities. They are the ones that that try to internalize these changes mentally. Realize the rest of the people who make them, you know, it mates are also going through the same transitions and they're trying to make sense of how to belong in this world. And that's why it becomes important to have a message that's not just spiritual, but it is more expanded edge creates broader sense of what it means to a human being in that world.
So let me respond to what you just said. But then I want to come back to your own story. But what you said just a minute ago could have been true we could have gone around the world take Korea for example. This the first wave of megachurches occurred there. It was a time of huge social dislocation. It was the most urbanized area at the time were that the most intensely packed city at the time. Education was on the rise in the past. War. And there grew the largest attendance church in the Assemblies of God in the Baptists in the United Methodists, and five different denominations and Nanda, an amazing context. But yet that is repeated around the world. We could tell that same story today for Nigeria, and all social turmoil and dislocation that's going badly. But come back to your own story. Because in your introduction, you say, I meaning you was deeply affected by the disruptions of your word in comprehensible social change. Now exactly tour outside of Kenya, you know, may know the broad history of the colonization ended and economic reform kicked in. But how did all of this affect you personally,
you just summarized what how the mega churches emerged in, in Korea, and also It's the same way that they they emerged in, in Nigeria, and I argue even here in America, but though you the framework may be slightly different in each of these cases, including in Kenya, as I described at the beginning, and I described in the first chapter, this as this is the way in which
this, the one they use through
in chapter one in introductory chapter, but also in chapter six is modernization. modernity is a reality that has come into the world over the last 250 years. It looks like the West has been ahead and in fact has been ahead and they argue at the beginning that mortality in the West was The West was much better prepared for it. And Africa because of the historical circumstances in which we found ourselves that made it possible to have a an ad such as structural institutions, the end of technology in the end of industry that has emerged out in the western chips, the CTS and then shipped to the economy and shipped the politics and everything that happened here, though, is that now you go back to to Africa, a lot of that has been compressed, and we have had to come up to make sense of so much. I talk about myself. I grew up in very rural peasant Africa, in a in the 1980s and 1990s. When I was going to primary school and then when I went to high school in the 1990s when they talk about Oscar Maru Leading a charge in the Illuminati kid. I in high school, we were going through a country where insecurity was rife. Poverty was real, and it was so bad and it affected us badly and very accidentally broken families, you know, put in the immediate families that isn't not just my immediate family, but friends and people and it has to do with a lot of the things I also describe in the book. When you come through The Karate Kid, we have a very excited country that we have received independence in the 1960s. And then they enter becomes a very good case of economic development for about 10 years and then things fall apart in the 1970s. And then in the 1980s. tank so badly, we put through this crisis of the But now I'm, I have come to understand over time has to do with the economic changes that happened here in the US and happened in the West and they reverberated across the across in Africa and across the global south. And we have this wave of suffering and pain and hardship going on throughout the whole. Now you have to impress my parents in must my mother in law, my grandmother in that I was raised by my grandmother, and then it must my uncles who are living in the cities, who experienced the loss of income and the loss of social connectivity and their own families became a challenge many of these issues. At the same time countries around us in Africa in East Africa were falling apart, you know, a lot of political crisis and Kenya became the recipient of all these refugee nations that are coming around. And that is the world in which you have to imagine and education system that was inefficient in the first place. It was first designed. And now you're trying to release a new generation of people to take on the mission and to build the economic system or build educational political system and it's not really working. And you have this forces then coming from the globe of technology, you have the internet began beginning to emerge, you have reduced the power of the radio expanding exponentially, you have the power of the TV, broadcast expanding exponentially. And for me, as an African being educated through primary school, high school, you know, as a young bright kid, and coming into the city coming into the university and experiencing that. I'm trying to make sense of all of this all at once and it is very intense. And this is my particular case is this Story of every young adult in in Africa, who is what the Generation X you'd call the Generation X here but also the millennial generation who have to come through this various transitions and try to make sense of relief through through it or you get a lot of cultural and cognitive and personal dissonance. You go through all these holes in the different worlds that you know, it anything
that you get out your book, just Chronicles what you just described, a myth only and it it makes me wish, you know, where are the other luxury towels from other countries because I've, I've, I've had this goofy dream of visiting the largest attendance church in countries as I can, and I've been privileged to do that. from China to the Netherlands to most recently Ecuador and Bolivia, and I always ask the people who is studying the emerging Yeah, the large shirts there and, and they all shake their heads. So I'm just so thankful for someone like you being able to avoid here, in particular blur for Nairobi. But I wonder if your story is unique to Nairobi, for example, you say in the book, indeed, it's common in Africa and elsewhere to hear the depth story axiom. The church has failed. But then later you comment about Christianity being lost in translation? Yes, on the world that Christianity not have transforming relevance to social political and cultural issues and out of that church, yeah. To those issues, go for it. You know what I'm going to
comment on that and say, I am careful to say Especially as somebody who's come not just through these transitions, but has been influenced by the various types of Christianity's My grandmother was from an African indigenous church, one of the so called bases and that was one of the earliest stretches that I attended as a child. And I still remember many of the hands of the songs we signed, and the drum kit and the building we were in and it had a life of its own and an energy of it all. It shaped me as a child and shaped a lot of older people that I knew back then, and have a tremendous respect for that kind of crystal and they go on to a year towards the end. It may not have the sublime, the sublime evangelical factors that we want to see of, you know, it may not take every book, but it was what was needed at the point and it gave my own grandmother and pad in the region. That is to stand because you can Extra same factors right after colonialism imagine people coming straight out of the village, complete a solution. And then you have this white people and white forces coming in and introducing completely different ideas than anything they have ever known and thankful to. I keep using the word make sense of that. And it is the church that and in fact that it is the church a go on to argue in the 1970s when the economists fail, it is Pentecostalism that comes into the top and tries to rebuild people's broken and business contrast with the people that rejected the church and how their personal lives and family stand out. And the people who in for the artistic kind of faith. And so even if it was not adequate, it and it served the purpose that it needed to do. And next thing we did was to pass on to the next generation. And one of the things critics they have about mega churches is that it don't have for a fully developed boss for you know, it's so called Christianity right. And of the argument I'm making in this book is to say, Do not a discredit that because it is at the forefront of making sense of the realities of the world we live in. Nobody else is trying to make sense of technology, for instance, how you live in a world of image consciousness, and of comfort and your finances. It turned into here a lot of pitching a detected, they say the prosperity pitching and I'd say if you don't know what people are going through, don't try and understand why that is the message that is attracting so many people into the touch community and then what it does for them from Monday to Friday or to Saturday when they are At
info and the dose dose on Saturday. So,
Dr. guitar, these are powerful insights. You've talked about the next generation, the younger generation, can you put your finger on the needs of spiritual needs of African millennials in particular because you subtitle the book, millennials and social change in African perspective,
effective pick up
some of that interpret to this ongoing need to make sense of the so called modernization. There is a sense in which I also am also trying to say, we haven't really tried to understand what modernization is all about. It's there is the, the the the intellectualized version of it which you find in academia and this is a practical side of it, which has to do with Really, the construction of life or reorganizing of life away from a village and from peasant production, to a wage and and salaried kind of economy dependent on a check, a month, a year. And then that means in terms of your own education, it means in terms of the education of your children, it was what that also means in terms of rebuilding life away from the social networks of your family and of your children, of people that immediately know you, and rebuilding life around strangers. And in this sense, the spiritual needs have less to do with this internalized sense of piety, and more to do with how you connect these different aspects. So that's why I point out To that we not only need to see the touch transitions that people have come from the traditional world, and the urban world, and then the globalized world and how those imitated education economy, but now also technology and the cultural products by cultural products, I mean, the music, TV, the impact of the TV and Wii, U, and everything that come through with and so how to make to integrate all of this together. And then I give a couple of graphs, each of the two of what is coming in Africa. We have a major change coming on in the continent. And it has been famously referred to as Africa rising, and that is a transition from those out of those traditional odds more than a bunnies world into the A globalized network is in which you end up with a middle class a demographic or demographic dividend dividends, where you have a successful generation, or you end up with a demographic time bomb. And looking at political situations and circumstances around the world, including here in America, including what is happening right now in France, in Europe with Brexit in Hungary, in Italy, there is no guarantee that Africa will escape same problems. And so, men's churches are going to continue, Titans like Marvel mega churches are going to continue to be extremely relevant to help people construct, build their lives, and orient them with a sense of purpose that rebuilds their spiritual sensitivity and gives them a reason for being in this world, but also help them to order lives in a way for instance, there you can see how my marathon most people through the stages of comparison in difference, and you bring them into trust and help them work their way into ask a series of steps of growth, to the point where they really feel they're connected, they belong, they are compelled, and they want to live their lives uniquely in this world, but also in a way that helped build a continent in that country. The spiritual needs are not merely believe in God in your life is all right. And all of it an important part of it has to do with and like getting the sense of how it goes from embraces a match
reality. These are very insightful answers. I think that the the name on books Dr. Juan Giroux, get tau. This is just the first of many can you tell A little bit about what you're working on now, and what might be next.
Um, I have a series of projects going on, when it has become apparent and important is
to write a follow up book
on this one that locates me in a greater way, I realized in belonging in America and again, it's the same crisis of any African is, for instance, America tends to be bifurcated or divided between a sharpie liberal sharply right word. And there's very little understanding of what is happening in the middle. What if, in a sense, the same way of seeing your work. I am catching up with America. A lot of us Africans are catching up at night. Video, a crass way of putting it. But you find yourself coming through these transitions through the education pipeline and through the Valley area pipeline, and then you're almost forced to choose between one or the other. This is not metaverse is a reality that truly mix you your own sense of your own identity. And not necessarily now given that located, you know, in a spectrum across the same the culture wars that you have had here in America, but in a spectrum that embraces the three worlds that I have come to know, and helped me define how I reconstruct me called into the future. So I'm working on what is possibly going to be a bio, or maybe not out of bio, I'm not sure that that that that is going to be a note of bio that one way, Thomas working on some projects that have to do with them making sense of a pluralistic pluralism and and the multiple realities one has been find themselves immersed in in this and also have a project on or making sense of evangelicalism in Africa. Just a few. One of the other areas, my doctorate is in, in world Christianity, I was trained at Africa International University and I find that there is need to help make sense again, use this, this world of where the conversation on world Christianity has come from and where it is going. A lot of conversations that filtered through the academies in America or in the West, assume that everything that needs seeing has been said, but a want to end with this book to say Not everything that needs saying has not been said, there's so much more we need to unpack about this. For instance, I want to challenge a graduate student out there to take the whole idea of prosperity theology
Tell me or help
help the next generation of, of congregations. But I saw of young people understand what it means to be successful in the modern world, and to be a Christian, but also to avoid the problems of materialism, too much materialism. In other words, don't look down on being wealthy, but help me make sense or help the next generation make sense of that of that. Another one is leadership. A lot of it again, there's a strong assumption that that we really enjoy What leadership in leadership mean? Looking, for instance, the story of morality and an Oscar Maru in transitional times. And Oscar Maru, as you can see is one kind of leader in the 1990s, where everyone gel has to be a different kind of leader in the 2020 10, which is the cusp of the rise of mobile, no church, and the talents that America has, for instance, with the leadership and the rise of say, populism and radicalism and that kind of thing has to do with the fact that we assume one thing or few items about leadership, there are bigger issues that we need to work through to integrate both biography and history into how we conceptualize leadership that is, a second possible suggestion has to do with many of the critical If I didn't exist in the existing literature on charges have to do with I don't think they've angelical world itself is where the kind of mega churches and I write about here has figured out the external ecclesiology the institutional aspects in terms of, of the growth of the megachurch movement as an institution, that is the growth of the structures for status in terms of, of the material structures, you need buildings, but also finances, how you organize the finances around that. And then the aging of generations through the movement. You know, for instance, that the the touches in Korea that came up in the 1970s in the 1880s, very large, mega churches have have the institutionalized And grown old to decide that they're not having the new influence. And the same thing can be said of military this here that I just have them here. I may not name any no critical challenges that have been fixed in recent times in American mega churches have to do it challenge of institutionalization. But what was once movement what was once an exciting message is no longer exciting and congregation and the message has plateaued, the method has plateaued. It is no longer appealing to a new generation and how do you rethink that? And how do you continue to inspire
transformation and growth through various generations? Or how does the movement reinvent itself? It's a question of, and I argue in the book in chapter six, that event The military movement itself is aware of many of these challenges. For instance, a read Global Leadership Summit, and the exponential conferences. And your Warren, in leadership Leadership Network is an attempt to solve many of his problems that come with the institutionalization of the movement, this need for a systematic study to help frame what has been, what were the intentions at the beginning as this movement started? And then how has this transformed and what does that mean for the older generations of Christians, but also for the new generations, so that we don't have what is called a constant driven realisation of American Christianity? It's actually anger is perpetually speak preaching a Christianity late at maturity, maturing sense of the evangelical movement mean and also what does that mean? For its relationship to the larger structures of our politics and economy in the country, those are questions that have to be done with a more intensive and intentional, comprehensive, comprehensive study then needs to take into account of church history, not just the New Testament Church, I take into account of Christian history, how the Catholic Church through the 1500 years that how the denominational churches since reformation have formed and dealt with that, because but if the mega church and also untenable percentage is to continue having a renewing impact into modernization, it has to figure out these different levels of structure and growth and trans transformation for the next generation. I hope that is helpful.
May God help you to see these things are ticking You lay them and voice them in the story based research rich approach this did in megachurch Christianity reconsidered,
and suddenly that is my hope. By the way, I should say that I was trained in church history by my professor matcha, who has also introduced the book, I have a project. So with him working on the kingdom of God in Africa, and basically it is revisiting the question of church history in Africa marriage in relation to the wider church history that we know. And so I'm looking at this from the lens of a much broader historical perspective and think there is room to do that. And I really do believe there is room to renew many conversations in theological education. I talked about this in in the closing chapter, and I talk I don't talk about it. But, and missionaries came out of the colonies, you know, India and Africa in Asia in the 1950s and 1960s. A product ideas back at home and that one of them is growth theory, for instance. And what happened is that that idea helped to revitalize not just the churches here, but it also revitalized theological education through the department's of Intercultural Studies, institutions like Cola, and in ala in in Gordon Conwell in Trinity evangelical Divinity School, because they tried to walk through those ideas and refine them, so that the missionaries would not have to repeat the same mistakes in the mission field. And that has shaped a whole generation of theological education. I you know what that is If scholars are looking at them carefully knows best, are the fastest. And maybe I will insist, let's not continue to vilify a set of mega churches that are doing the best. They know how to the in energies. If you look at the story of Murphy and also the story of Oscar Murray, that's why I take the time to do that detail here. A, first of all, they're amateurs. Nobody trained them how to be leaders, is what they have to learn on the go, that helps prepare them to be the leaders that they end up becoming. And so they're amateurs. And so they make a lot of mistakes at the same time. But that's not of course, excuse them from the mistakes that they make. And they tried their best to learn through them through this conference. And all this reading and trainings, decisions and everything. Be honest, is with us in the theological, space theological institution. Take this composition to the next level. The same way that the logical institutions in 1960s 1970s and 80s have defined what missions and missionary work should look like, through all the scholarship and all the writing that has come out. That is why I say mega churches and not just in terms of size, but in terms of the practices, as told in the story, have potential to renew a lot of conversations in theological education and not in an ad hoc way. We need curriculums redesigned and thought through carefully that will help shape the next generation of church planters. And a chance some of them will grow into like mega churches, and some of them will remain small, but they will continue to have the renewing impact on society. And I'm very passionate about this because we cannot see other churches that are very committed to the renewal of society. You With the evangelical movement and the mega churches, the amount of them are committed. And if we don't have a generation of churches to renew society, the next Christianity to be lost to the next generation, and I hope that doesn't happen.
Doctor, get out your voice is a very important future. I was just interviewing last week with someone from India who is overseeing a movement of 75,000 house churches and I had all these articulated questions. And after a little while, he very graciously said, in essence, you know, your questions all have a Western bias and a Western lens. May I tell you how I the questions I would want to answer because I'd like to frame the issue differently. And that's what you're able to do. You're able to find these pastors and you yourself. telling their story. You're helping to frame the issues differently and helping us all to move forward and see what God is up to for what's next.
Amen. Thank you. Appreciate that.
Dr. Warren bird doctor one zero guitar. It's been an enormous privilege to have you with us today. And in this exchange, can I ask you to both very brief questions. I'll ask you, Dr. Guitar to answer first if you would, and that is the first question what's next for mega church Christianity in the in the context that you've been researching? And will streaming technology, the advent of broadband technology virtual reality? How will that play into the future of megachurch Christianity? Thank you.
What's next? Enough pika. There are lots of mega churches that does not did. So that's an opportunity for somebody that wants to study more and more and extend the story. They will continue to grow. I do not Believe that mega churches will decline that is the there's a sociological narrative of that nature. The sociological narrative has been running for quite a few decades now and have continued to grow. Though it does evolve differently. And especially they'll continue to evolve along the spectrum of the franchising congregations for instance, what narrow tap would do instead of growing into one mega church of 20,000 people relocating to in 3000 members nights averaging 15 to 20,000. I haven't kept track of the numbers as they multiplied into five congregations in in 2005. In these five congregations have continued to grow. And each of these congregation is doing it is continuing to multiply. So instead of growing one large congregation in one particular is they have this setlist set by churches and especially as have become the official tunity to raise nearly as to localize the message in very specific ways. I talked about how I've noticed that each of the compass takes a specific issue in its neighborhood and starts to address it. And even outside of the story, there are some amazing stories going on of what is going on that so expansion franchises and in ways that localize and particularized the message, but the leadership practices to the method, concerns are about reaching the next generation. I think that needs to continue being the emphasis is very important. Technology. I can see the challenge here in America that more and more people do not come to touch because they because they can stream in. I don't believe that. This is going to be the way of Africa and on so much of the global south because people continues to be very communal and very community Connected worship and worship practices, liturgical practices, a very important part of how people conceptualize themselves and the festivity around that. And I think it's good to continue holding the congregations together. I don't think back to reality is streaming, even though we have exponential growth in technology, that the numbers will decline. Because of that, we'll continue to see lead congregations emerging out of reality iOS, also has to do with will continue to see the cities growing exponentially as well. Yeah, but that may be a different story here in America, because increasingly, a lot more people are opting not to attend church. But what happens in America and that sense doesn't have to happen in Africa, and I don't think will be the same way. Thank you very much. And worship is particularly important in Africa. And I think there's a whole In your around your ship.
I think in the United States, the trigger has been people initiating in that they are looking online for spirituality. They are googling spiritual growth type issues. And as long as that happens and wherever that happens probably disproportionately in North America right now, as long as that happens, churches will find creative, resourceful ways to create those internet campuses to build as much community as possible to help people spiritually as much as possible, and that these internet campuses and even staff and volunteers to support them will continue to grow, especially now that the technology is so available that churches of any size can make internet outreach and connection possible. Yeah,
Actor guitar and Dr. Byrd. If I could ask one final question, and that is this, what does it mean for the church to be united? As we've looked at the way that megachurch, Christianity is growing in East Africa, it's quite different than than the way Christianity may look in other parts of the world. What is it that makes Christianity united world throw out? Thank you.
I'll say that, importantly, is the basic thing that connects us. And that is scripture. Taking scripture as handed down to us seriously, that story, not just select parts of it. And test theory, one of the things that has made Christianity in Africa, very strong and also in Asian and in parts of Latin America, especially the cost of variety is that it takes the entire biblical story very seriously and not necessarily in a way that is extremely stuck in the past or you know, in a fundamentalist we know that takes its narrative at its own value, and also how those narratives Connect onto one another and then how that hands on to us, hi Christology, I have come to appreciate that most Orthodox churches are of all high Christology that looks at the the birth, life and death and resurrection of Christ and its implication for our salvation, and then implication for our sense of calling to pass on the gospel to the next generation. And it's the factor that holds us together. So we may not achieve structural unity, but we need to preserve that connection and connectivity. to Scripture, and to the story of Scripture, and then to high Christology and to the universal Body of Christ, that they worship differently, but truly believes in the story that has been passed on down to us. And, and I want to emphasize that what I think is increasingly important is we need to stop looking at minor differences, and learn more from one another, and the best from one another and Linda particularly particularities of each other's stories and of our particular positions. Because how we see the Bible story how we interpreted is, depends on area position and how we have experience life, and we can learn the best from it and who enrich each other is the body of Christ. And we will hand over to the next generation, a story that is more holistic and very strong, rather than one that is fragmented. divisions based on differences and not therefore at all. If we can learn from each other which we can do in this technology driven age, we are going to be able to pass on something strong to the next generation.
Yes, two verses, Revelation seven nine speaks to heaven being populated by all tongues and tribes and nations and peoples. And if that is the future that God is growing, we need to be involved in with each other and helping each other to populate heaven in that way. Second is Matthew 633 that where Jesus said to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and, and the implication being, that if the church one implication being that if the church focuses on growing by church will be much less in keeping with what God calls instead of us, seeking The kingdom and wherever God wants to work, how can we help each other to populate heaven?
It's been our huge privilege today to be speaking with Dr. William hero qatal, author of the text that we've been discussing today mega church Christianity reconsidered, and also Dr. Warren bird has joined us, the Vice President of Research at the Evan jellicle. Council for financial accountability. Dr. Byrd, Dr. Gates, thank you so much for joining us today.
I enjoy. Thank you so much for having me. This has been a tremendous opportunity, grateful. And thank you for the opportunity to have the conversation with Warren Buffett Dr. Warren Buffett
a pleasure and a joy as well from a fan of megachurch Christianity reconsidered.
Oh thank you. I am delighted story can have your