The BCS of church rankings.
No doubt many of my readers know nothing of the Bowl Championship Series, or as it is affectionately called, the BCS. When the college football season is over there will be 4 or 5 of the top bowl games like the Orange, Rose, Fiesta that are part of the BCS. The #1 and #2 teams will play each other for the BCS National Championship. The other top bowls will feature other top teams. It is not how it used to be but it is now and while nobody I ever heard of likes it, it is what it is. Most really knowledgeable football people think it is time for a playoff to determine who is #1.
These top teams are chosen by a complicated system of computer rankings combined and filtered together to make one enormous data base that put together forms the BCS rankings, which are supposed to give us the best possible scenario of who are the two best college football teams in America.
So, why not do a similar thing for ranking churches! Wow, what an idea. That way all of us who think our church is the best there is anywhere could see how we stack up against other churches in the country.
Hold the phone, someone has done it (see the results here) and the #1 church in the country is, gasp, from Oklahoma, Edmond, Oklahoma!!! Yes indeed according to churchrelevance.com, LifeChurch.tv (yes that is their name) is the #1 church in the whole country.
This complex computer program merges 10 separate lists into one gigantic list, swishes it all around inside their super computer and out pops a church from Oklahoma. Bet that ticked off a bunch of churches in Texas. After all Texas has Lakewood Church in Houston, pastored by that good looking guy Joel Osteen (the Tom Brady of church), that meets in an arena that seats 15000 people and they fill it a bunch of times every weekend. Shouldn’t they be #1? Maybe if Joel keeps running up the score every weekend, he can crack the top 10.
But Dallas has Fellowship Church with a bazillion people and they are way higher than Lakewood, coming in at #2. 5 of the top 12 are in Texas. Two of the biggest, #12 and #2 are quarterbacked, sorry, pastored, by father and son and the son is kicking his father’s backside. Must be fun at Thanksgiving. If you look at their websites it is clear why the son is ranked higher than the father. Check it out, it’s obvious.
I guess everyone in Dallas and Houston must go to church.
But what about, say Seattle, the least church-ed city in America? Did any one in the Emerald City make the top 10? Any chance for a big bowl game for Washington since the Huskies are barking up the wrong tree? You bet. Mars Hill Church pastored by the effusive Mark Driscoll comes in at #6. Wow! If Mark can do that in Seattle think what he could do in Houston. They would have to meet in the Cotton Bowl, wait, that’s in Dallas, I think.
I was really disappointed that the another massive Mars Hill Church in Michigan ranked only #14. No way that can be right, I know they are better than Fellowship of the Woodlands in Woodlands, you guessed it-Texas. Mars Hill’s quarterback, I mean pastor, Rob Bell I have heard of but who ever heard of Kerry Shook?
Long time mega churches Saddleback led by redshirt, sorry, I meant Hawiian shirt, 40 days senior Rick Warren and Willow Creek’s Bill Hybels are both in the top five where they have been for years longer than everybodys favorite Notre Dame, which I didn’t find anywhere in the top 22. I guess their chapel isn’t working any better than their football team.
How is it that a church in Edmond, Oklahoma could be #1. No way that is possible, especially when their name is LifeChurch.tv (really, that’s their name). That’s like the Evergreen College Geoducks being #1 in the BCS (really, that’s their name).
Most really knowledgeable church growth people are ticked that Lakewood can be #11 and the Geoducks, I mean the LifeChurch.tv is #1. No way.
It is time for a playoff.