First published on Christian Converser
Just a short update on this, the issues of church governance and accountability are super relevant at present in the wake of current scandals involving a prominent South Pacific megachurch. Most churches of this type have relatively limited accountability because of their leadership structures, which often place one person at the top as an apostolic or senior leader, who may or may not have accountability to an affiliated denomination – some churches have none. New Zealand has several megachurches of its own and they display all of the potential for future issues of the type that have played out nearby in the past few years, and which have been seen to occur over and over in the past, especially in the USA, which is where much of the inspiration for development of this type of setup is most often found.
The modern Pentecostal church movement, as we know it today, largely evolved from the United States and it is probably fair toe say that the leadership system also came from there, not the least because Pentecostalism is very focused on five fold ministries including apostles and prophets. Hence, what has been traditional for most Pentecostal churches over the last century has been a single senior leader who was the apostolic founder of a particular church and there have been in most cases no element of sharing in leadership responsibilities. This brings its own challenges and this is one of the issues that will be explored in depth in the upcoming series of articles in this series. It would be fair to dig in more depth into the question of whether megachurches have their own particular theological flavour and what sort of questions are raised by those things.