1. Is it in the Bible?
No. (and yet!)
2. What do we believe it means?
In our day and age, God wants us to build large church buildings and have large worship services. This is the big work that the Lord is doing in our time.
3. What does it really mean?
What is wrong with a "mega-church?
A very large church meeting is not wrong, If it were an occasional happening. there is nothing Biblically wrong with Christians assembling together in large groups. However, when these meeting follow the old covenant rules for operating (weekly "Sabbath" meetings, praise and worship and teaching) they create very strong definitions and parameters for what "ministry" is. They give tremendous authority to one person, and within the "congregational agreement" that most churches function under, this takes ministry away from the functioning of the common believer. If you are part of a "mega-chruch" to some degree you are not serving God. Oh yes, the leader of the mega church may preach to you every week that you ought to serve God--but--to some degree he has been given a larger authority than you, and therefore he has much more say in the way the church will operate.
Biblically (in the new covenant!) the churches most frequent form of meeting ought to be in small groups. there rule for meeting as stated in 1Corinthians 12-14 preclude meeting in a small group.
A mega church might look outwardly to be a big move of God, but it is in fact a very large sheep-pen, that by it's nature encourages functionlessness and anonymity among many. It creates a faceless Christianity--a routine function--which may be thrilling at first, but will eventually not fulfill what God has called Christians to accomplish. One of the tenets of the mega church concept is that Christians must aquire land and money in order to spread the Gospel. This is a fallacy. The new covenant Bible says it takes people to spread the Gospel--not money.
How can I say these things? What right do I have to "attack" this type of church?
Study history. The greatest mega church ever, existed 1,000 years ago. In that time, the "church" (the one universal church) owned half of Europe, controlled all the people and kings of all the known nations, and built gigantic cathedrals--"mega-churches"--which were outposts of rulership for a hierarchal government. The greatest artists and craftsmen worked for the church (take a look at the ceiling of your mega-church--did Michelangelo paint it?) in fact everyone, except for the Jews in Europe, were members of this one mega-church.
It was rotten! The common people were held under the authority of this church to an incredible degree, being kept in strict classes, in part by the church concept of hierarchy. And most important--did this mega-church accomplish all the Gospel? Did Jesus return for this "glorious bride"?
The big point I would like to make, is that all Christians everywhere are already part of the greatest "mega-church" there could possibly be!
The church is people, not a building.
All Christians everywhere are "the church"
If we could just recognize this, we would discern the "mega-church" that
God operates, and that Christ is the Head of (the only Potentate!). But He
is only the Head, if and when we are obedient to be the Body. When we as
believers, as human beings, take authority in our lives or over one another,
then He is NOT the Head, and we are no longer the true "mega-church".