Richard Flory, CRCC director of research, was quoted in an OC Weekly article on Dave Gibbons, the head of the Newsong church based in Irvine. Gibbons believes that small churches are the new megachurch, and has focused Newsong on the “fringes, not the masses.”
Flory told OC Weekly Gibbons is smart in adapting to the changing landscape and explained that people increasingly want a worship space that is participative and intimate, a place where “one can actually experience the community rather than being entertained.”
And that’s why the Crystal Cathedral in Orange County is bankrupt. “Their product is rooted in the ’60s, when it was a different model of church,” Flory told OC Weekly. “They haven’t been able to adapt that model over time. If you’re gonna be that big, you have to adapt to the times, or people are not going to show up to keep paying your bills.”
Flory has previously been consulted and interviewed on the topic of megachurches by many media outlets, including the Associated Press and the Los Angeles Times. He examined megachurches and their role in contemporary culture with CRCC Executive Director Donald Miller in their book Finding Faith: The Spiritual Quest of the Post-Boomer Generation.
Flory has also written about megachurches and the Crystal Cathedral on Trans-missions, the USC Knight Chair in Media and Religion blog.