The article said "The success of the campaign was due to the sacrificial financial contributions of both leaders and members and to divine intervention, BCC Senior Pastor William Lee noted.
The leadership decided to rebuild the premises so as to ‘maximise’ use of the space the church has occupied since the 1970s as ‘good stewards’ of what God has given them.
They started to raise funds in August 2006, but many members did not see the need for the expansion then.
The Senior Pastor called his leaders together and urged them to set an example of giving. By the end of the meeting, the more than 30 pastors and leaders had pledged $1.7 million toward the rebuilding.
When The Rev Lee again approached his congregation in September that year, they pledged $5.5 million, bringing the total amount to more than $7 million. Time passed and the fund increased to $14.8 million, just $1.5 million short of the full amount."
While there is absolutely nothing wrong and it is commendable that the church leadership set an example of sacrificial giving which the members followed, it is interesting to note the difference in approach from NCC to the raising of funds for a church building project.
A number of NCC's church leaders and members may well have given sacrificially too, however what I want to highlight in my article is not the actual giving but rather the way we are taught to give.
If I remember correctly, NCC members were never asked to give sacrificially to the building project. In fact, in his sermon "Arise And Build — Practical Lessons From The Story Of Nehemiah", Pastor Prince showed us how God will provide the abundance for us to sow into the building project. We were specifically told that we do not have to give up this or that to give to the building project; we will give out of our abundance. This is what I call believing in a mega-God.
BCC Senior Pastor William Lee was reported in the article to have said: "Without God, we can do nothing. We can have all the intelligent people, all the consultants that you have, all the experts of church growth that you have – all you have is a mega-church perhaps. All you may have is a church that does church, but the presence of the living God would have left it.
Bartley Church is not looking to be a mega-church… Bartley Church is going to be a church that believes in a mega-God." (emphasis in bold mine)
What Rev Lee said seems to imply that a mega-church does not believe in a mega-God and does not have the presence of the living God. However, when you compare the two different approaches of BCC and NCC, which is the church that truly believes in a mega-God? The church which asks you to give more of your limited resources ie. sacrificially or the church which teaches that God is going to bless you with more resources so that you can give out of your abundance?
2 Corinthians 9:9-11 (NLT)
9 As the Scriptures say,
“They share freely and give generously to the poor.
Their good deeds will be remembered forever.”
10 For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity" in you.
11 Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God.
When a church truly believes in a mega-God, it does not have to be "looking to be a mega-church"; it can't help but become one.