Measurably successful nondenominational megachurches, e.g., Willow Creek Community Church in So. Barrington, IL, Saddleback in Lake Forest CA., and Northpoint Church in Alpharetta, GA, to name a few, don’t have dues structures and yet are able to raise literally millions of dollars to fund their communities’ visions and missions. And that’s the key here: It’s not about programming; it is about a God and community honoring heart thumping, passion producing, picture of a preferred future – a clear, crisp, concise, and compelling vision statement that is a part of the DNA of their churches’ communities. This is what they have that most Jewish congregations are sorely lacking. The concept of stewardship that megachurches follow dates as far back as our own Tanach; to at least 2,500 to 3,000 years ago. It’s just being ignored.
That many Christians believe in and take the teachings of our Hebrew Bible more seriously than the vast majority of non-Orthodox Jews makes a huge difference in the culture and DNA of their communities.
They believe that they are commanded, and thus obligated. There is no such belief for most non-Orthodox Jews. For “evolved” non-Orthodox Judaism, the idea of a “theological understanding” is irrelevant or meaningless, thus the idea of commandments has been supplanted by the idea of suggestions and the concept of obligationâ€¦well, that’s typically met by a form of the question, “Who are you to tell me what to do?” It’s also true that Chabad has no dues structures and yet they too are able to raise large sums of money. One of the similarities of Chabad and measurably successful megachurches is that they both take Jewish teaching seriously.