Why I like going to a church that’s not “Mega”

Authors Note: This is Part two of my look at the mega church phenomenon. If you missed part one you really should go back and read it just so we’re on the same page.

Mega churches aren’t exactly exclusive to the 20thcentury. In fact what may be considered the first “mega-church” was Metropolitan Tabernacle in London, the church was founded in 1650. Charles Spurgeon, the “prince of preachers” was one of Metropolitan Tabernacles most famous of pastors preaching there from 1854-1892, during which time the church averaged 5,000 in attendance. But in that day and time the mega-church was much more of a rarity than it is today. In fact, it wasn’t until the 1950’s that mega-churches as we know them today even started developing. I can’t remember the stat exactly and while I could make it up and no one would know the difference (87% of all people know that) I think, if I remember what I read correctly, the number of mega-churches from 1950-1970 was less than 100, and today that number stands at 1,412. Some are large because they happen to be in a large city, looking over the list you won’t see any mega-churches in cities like Scenic, South Dakota. But you do see them in Houston, Chicago, Dallas…oh sure some of them have names like Grapevine, but that’s essentially Dallas…the same way people in Aurora say they’re from “outside Chicago”, so simply by population of the church location you have large numbers. But are they a “good” church? As I said in my last blog entry, there are a few that I know of that are a good church.

Mars Hill, Seattle

In the city that gave us Nirvana, Soundgarden and Starbucks sits Mars Hill Fellowship, a non-denominational, multi-site church led by Mark Driscoll, with an average attendance of close to 7,400 in satellite locations spread out all over the Puget Sound area, Mars Hill is an enigma on not only the mega-church map but on the city of Seattle itself. Seattle while being well-known for being politically very liberal, also boasts the highest rate of the un-churched and those claiming to be atheists of any major metropolitan complex in the United States. Mark Driscoll does not preach a warm, fuzzy feel-good message offered by so many typical mega-church pastors, but instead preaches the hard messages of the extremely high cost of discipleship, the gospel in all of its facets, and can occasionally be very blunt and even somewhat crass while preaching.

I asked my friend Kate, who lives in the Seattle area, and has attended Mars Hill on occasion what she thought of the church, how the church functions, and who shepherds the flock on an individual basis and this was her response:

The Mars Hill church is set up so that each plant has an official campus pastor who Shepard’s that flock on a daily more personal basis, but Sunday services are broadcast and preached by Mark Driscoll who is the founder and main pastor of the church. There are also many, many small groups set up at each campus to help break down the large congregation into smaller groups for more support.

While Mark Driscoll does not want to be the “celebrity” of the church and tries to set it up in some way so that is avoided, he has still become a big focus of the very large congregation. I think on the playing field of “mega-churches” Mars Hill does it well. Mark Driscoll often disagrees with and warns against a lot of those churches and pastor’s who preach a weak or false gospel to the masses. And the fact that he preaches a strong and true gospel with no apologies and without sugar coating it in any way is what makes the size of the church almost work in it’s favor. He really reaches people and presents them with the truth and reality of their state and people respond to it.”

I have listened to Mark Driscoll preach many times and I’m almost always impressed with his boldness and frankness in communicating the truth of the gospel and he’s not alone on this list, looking down it I see churches like the Village Church in Dallas with Matt Chandler as pastor, Grace Community Church in California with John MacArthur as pastor, and Coral Ridge
Presbyterian Church in Florida with Tullian Tchividjian (yup, I can’t pronounce it either) as pastor. I have listened to sermons by all these men, and I know that when they preach they are not preaching a watered-down, feel good, self-help type of sermon, but that they are presenting the gospel in all of its glory. These pastors and their church staff are working hard to make sure their church is functioning in a Biblical manner. And as I said in a previous post, while I do not blankly approve of, and agree with,  every single thing these men say and do and say, I CAN say without a doubt that they are brothers in Christ and they are for the gospel and not preaching the opposite of the gospel just to draw a crowd as so many mega-church pastors are prone to do.

Rock-Star Pastor

Kate briefly touches on another issue that mega-church pastors have, and that is the “celebrity” they create. Most of the Mega-church pastors are also best-selling authors. Some are regularly on TV. Even the pastors that are “good” have created a psudeo-celebrity like aura around them, at speaking engagements and conferences. But is this a good thing? Like I said in my previous post it partially depends on what they have to say, (are they preaching the true gospel, etc.) but it also falls back on us as well. When I went through my “Rob Bell phase” the thing that got me was: that to me, at that time, nothing was as authoritative as what he said, nothing my pastor said, nothing my small group leaders said, nothing my dad said, nothing the Bible said (which was a part of the Rob Bells whole deal “can we really know the truth?” “Did God really say…”) But we can run into the same thing here if we focus too much on the person instead of the message. We must be careful when we say that any mans word is more or equally as authoritative as God’s Word, because that when we’ve done that we’ve just made an idol of that man.

The other thing about pastoral celebrity is the push-back that can be given or implied from the pastor. Pastor Perry Nobel in Anderson SC said the following to his Mega-church congregation one Sunday morning: “If you want a church where you can know the pastor you need to leave. I don’t have time. I love my wife, I love my kids and I WILL NOT sacrifice my family on the ministry altar to eat food I don’t like and hang out with people that make me uncomfortable” How this man is still a mega church pastor is beyond my understanding except that maybe by abusing his congregation they think he’s helping them. Perry goes on to make himself out to be a pious saint and anyone who would bother him is a fool, and then he continues on to set up a straw man argument to “prove” his point.  You can watch the whole thing here, I’ll just warn you it’s pretty ugly. A church member should never, NEVER be made to feel as if he is bothering the pastor, beyond the rules of common courtesy it shouldn’t even have to cross a church members mind if he is bothering the pastor, and even then depending on the situation it shouldn’t matter. Perry here is pretty much saying he’s too important for that, and that he can’t be bothered, and that essentially it’s all about him.  Perry is not a pastor, he is a mega-church-star wannabe.

My Church

The church I attend isn’t a mega-church, it’s not anywhere close to a mega-church. Like the majority of the churches in the United States my church is small. On a good week the attendance at my church is right around 200 to 225. But I like my church and I love my church family. I’m on a first name basis with my pastor, I know the church staff very well and pray for them by name often. Even though our church doesn’t offer every program under the sun for every single possible people group like a mega-church can and even though sometimes if I want to  make sure something gets done I may have to do it myself, it’s a good church to be a part of, and let me give you just a brief example of why…

A few weeks ago my oldest daughter was attending the local summer art camp, put on by the local center for the arts. She came home one day asking about another girl who was attending who was wearing a long skirt and a long sleeve shirt as well as a “bandana-type” hat on her head. My daughter was confused by this as it was quite hot and asked her why she was wearing these clothes. The girl answered that it was biblical and she was trying to be a good christian. She even gave a Bible verse to prove her point, 1 Corinthians 11…something. My daughter asked me about the situation on our way to church on Sunday morning and not knowing the Bible verse off the top of my head I told her I’d have to look it up and study the context and get back with her in order to give her the best answer, but that if she didn’t want to wait till later maybe she could ask our pastor. Later that morning before the morning service she did ask our pastor when she saw him out in the foyer of our church. And our pastor stopped what he was doing and gave a very thorough answer to little girls question about the Bible on a busy Sunday morning. I know my pastor and my pastor knows me and my family and he cares for them as a pastor should. I know almost everyone in my church, some I know better than others, but some I know very well. Most importantly my church feels like a family, as it should, we are a church family. I think that’s one thing the mega church and even a very large church loses, and if you ask me it can’t compete with.  The level of care and knowledge and Biblical counsel given by a pastor to his small church family is a hundred times better that the level of care a “campus pastor” or even small group leader can supply. The level of care and accountability I have to my church family is totally lost in larger churches. I know I am not alone in this sentiment, my friend Kate that I mentioned earlier doesn’t attend Mars Hill regularly, she goes to a typical sized Presbyterian church in the Seattle area, for the same reasons I have mentioned above. She knows her pastor and her church family and she cares for them and they care for her and her family, but these are just some of the reasons why I like attending a church that isn’t “mega” and I pray I never do.

Further Discussion

I have tried in these last two entries to address the issue of the mega-church. I hope that you have gained some insight into the issue but if you would like to discuss it further or you just generally agree with (or even disagree with) what I’ve said here please do so in the “comments” section below.  And you can always subscribe to this blog and get a e-mail every time it’s updated by clicking the button on the right.

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The problem with the Mega-Church (part 1)

Authors Note: Having been asked to write a blog about the mega church phenomenon I feel obliged to do so and to give it my best effort, (as I always do, unless you count this sleepy Saturday morning post.)  However…I feel as though I must start with a disclaimer of sorts. I have never been to or attended a church that would be considered “mega” in fact, in my lifetime I have only set foot in one church that is near the top of the list of Mega-churches, that would be Willow Creek Community Church outside Chicago (whenever I hear someone say that they are from outside of Chicago I always think “So you’re not from Chicago…me either.”) I attended Willow for the annual “Leadership Summit” as a staff member of my church along with the rest of the church staff. However, I have not been to an actual weekly service at a Mega church…so I am afraid my point of reference is going to be very narrow so please bear with me as I will referencing Willow Creek more often than Luke Skywalker gets referenced at ComicCon.

With an average attendance of over 23,000 Willow Creek is the fourth largest “Mega” church in America. Walking in to the building at Willow Creek is somewhat like walking into a typical suburban mall, there’s a coffee shop, a book store, all kinds of helpful and informative kiosks, an escalator, elevators and so on, but one thing that is conspicuously absent is the cross, and that’s only the tip of the iceberg of the larger problem in this mega church.

The Big Question

I’m going to answer the big question right up front: Are Mega-Churches all bad? The short answer is “No, not all mega-churches are bad” the longer answer is: of the 1,100 plus churches in the US that are considered a “Mega” church (meaning they have at least 2,000 in attendance regularly) only a handful of them that I know of could be considered a “good” church. And of the churches that are in the top ten on the list I count eight, EIGHT, that regularly twist and mangle the Bible to preach a watered down, feel-good, self-help message that has a sprinkling of Bible verses ripped out of context so that everyone can get they’re warm fuzzy for the week and go home and try harder to be a good person (the other two pastors on the top ten I’ve never heard preach) Why focus on the pastor? you may ask, there are many other factors involved in whether a church is “good” or “bad.” While that is true, much of the church, how it operates, what it teaches and so on…flow from the pastor. Whether the pastor is the innovative, vision casting CEO pastor who regularly fleeces the flock, and doesn’t care whether you come or go as long as you pay your tithe or whether he is the caring shepherd who does his best to take care flock as scripture commands.

What is a good church?

There many indicators of what makes for a good church and many other people who have done a much better job of defining this than I have. (For instance, 9 Marks has some great information on their website and to what the indicators of a true church are) Here are my main indicators of a good or true church if you don’t want to click over to another site:

The gospel in it’s entirety is preached. That we are born sinners, that no one of their own free will would choose God, but that while we were still sinners Christ loved us and died for us and rose again on the third day so that we might be called the children of God. Much of how a church operates and functions flow from how it understands the gospel.

Sound doctrine is taught and proclaimed by all church staff, in worship, in Sunday School, in Small Groups…in all levels of church ministry so that everyone who leaves that church has been taught according to the scripture. So that no one church member would go wandering off into silly and irreverent myths without another church member there to pull them out.

Discipline and Discipleship are practiced by all Staff, Elders and Deacons. Discipline is everything the church does to help the church member pursue a right relationship with God.  Just like when one of my kids needs disciplined I do it, whether it be by grounding or spanking. I don’t discipline because I’m a sadist who enjoys torturing my kids I do it to correct misbehavior in their life and to keep them on the correct course. And Discipleship is an extension of that discipline; True discipleship shows us how to live as Christians in a fallen world.

I believe that a church, no matter the size, as long as it is practicing these things is a good church and one that you will be safe and grow as a Christian in. However, therein lies the crux of the problem with a mega church. These three key areas are totally neglected, not only are they totally neglected in some of these Mega Churches you risk being called selfish, fat, and lazy by the pastor himself (and worse, I promise you) if you want to go deeper into God’s Word. (see Pastor Perry Nobel, Pastor Steven Furtick)

As I said earlier much of “face” of the church can be summed up in the pastor and in the past three years I have listened to many sermons from Saddleback, Willow Creek, Granger, NewSpring, Elevation, Fellowship Church, LCBC, South Hills, Fellowship of the Woodlands, Mosaic, The Orchard, and National Community and I can tell you without a doubt that the members of these churches are NOT being preached sound biblical doctrine, the gospel hardly EVER makes an appearance in the sermons (although Jesus name is mentioned a lot, this is only done to sound church-y), and church discipline and discipleship are foreign concepts, in fact in most of these church you will be flat-out told if you want to go deeper into God’s Word go to church somewhere else, they do church for the un-churched.

Church for the Un-churched

Taken at face value most people would think when a pastor says this, it means they do evangelism. And it sounds great too doesn’t it, to say: “we do evangelism here, that’s our focus…church for the un-churched.” It’s not hard to see that people need Jesus, just look at the newspaper and you’ll see daily people living in a lost and dying world. So to claim that your focus as a church is to “Do church for the un-churched” sounds like you really want to reach out and spread the good news of Christ. But if we zoom out from that a little bit there’s a problem. Church isn’t for the lost. Church is for Christians. I know your thinking, “What…” But it’s true, the main purpose of the church is the edification of the saints…not “soul-winning” or “evangelism” Ephesians 4 says it this way:

And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,  from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

I can never say it better than the Bible. If evangelism is the main focus of the church than the pastor is not only NOT doing the job he is called by scripture to do, he is putting his church at risk of never maturing in Christ, something that we as Christians are both urged to pursue and it is assumed of us in scriptures (Assumed: 1 Cor. 6:9-11; Eph. 2:19-21; Col. 2:19; 2 Thess. 1:3, Urged to pursue: 2 Cor. 7:1; Heb. 12:14; 2; Pet. 3:18.) Furthermore the pastor is endangering his members of being “tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes”  In short the pastor isn’t doing his job.  I’d like to say this is merely an oversight on the pastors part and in some cases it may be, but I’m afraid in far too many mega-churches that it is not the case, it is more intentionally done in most mega-churches than is merely an oversight.

If the churches focus is the edification of the saints then healthy growth is taking place, then the unsaved who are in attendance will hear the full gospel and the believers who are growing are not neglected. This is why I say church is for Christians. Maybe you’re asking then how evangelism happens…it happens by the Christian, who knows the gospel sharing it with someone who needs to hear it. Lest we forget the great commission: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”  In these verses the word “Go” would be better translated from the original Greek as saying “As you are going” meaning: as you go about your day as you normally would…make disciples…and notice that it doesn’t say converts…it says disciples, teaching them ALL I have commanded you.

The Further danger of making “Converts”

If you have spent any time in church you have a pretty good idea that the Pharisees are like the bad guys. If there was a street fight ala Anchorman, Jesus and the disciples, except maybe Judas, would be meeting the Pharisees for a throwdown.  Towards the end of the book of Matthew, Jesus is in the middle of calling down “woes” upon the Pharisees and he says this: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte (convert), and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.”  You have to understand that the Pharisees, while being “good, God-fearing church people” on the outside had abandoned God’s Word in order to have the praises of man. (Matthew 16:11–12; 15:1–9; Mark 7:6–13) Does that sound familiar to you given the context here of the “mega church” pastor? So when this Pharisee made a convert, he had made them twice the child of hell as they were, twice as bad as the Pharisee were.  The message that is so often preached in these “seeker-sensitive” mega churches is so void of the gospel that a Mormon or even a Muslim could live it out…because there is no grace, and there is no cross…there is no Jesus. In short many of these mega churches are about converting people, or enslaving them, to a life of try harder to be a good person, think good thoughts of yourself and it will come to pass. (Not kidding I just quoted that from Joel Osteen.) In short making the convert twice the sons of hell as the pharisee pastor.

But that, I think, is the appeal of the mega church. They are telling people what they want to hear. The Bible put it this way: “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” 2 Tim 4:3. This verse sums up perfectly many, many of the churches, big or small, mega or not, in America today. As I said earlier it doesn’t matter the size of the church, size is not the issue, what’s being taught from the pulpit is the issue. Everything the church does, practices and believes flows from the pulpit. And because a church is drawing in large numbers, some pastors of smaller churches who want to see their church grow assume that the mega church must be doing something right, so they copy the mega church model ad infinitum never stopping to think if what the pastor is doing is biblical or not. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and that is the biggest danger in the mega church phenomenon, pastors who copy the unbiblical mega church methodology to their small church in order for the small church to grow. This pastor forgets the words of 1 Corinthians 3:7 “So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.”  Most mega churches aren’t experiencing God-given growth,  they are drawing a crowd, any fool can draw a crowd. The growth that God gives the true church may not be visible, numeric growth…it may be spiritual growth…and that is the best benefit of attending a true church. A church that is growing spiritually is a church you want to be in, for there you will hear the gospel, your will be taught sound doctrine, and discipline and discipleship will be taking place.

Remember when you were watching a show and it said: To Be Continued at the bottom…today is one of those days. Next post: Some, but not all…or Why I like going to a church that isn’t “mega”

What Hath Rob Bell Wrought?

Mention the name Rob Bell these days among the evangelical crowd and you’re sure to get a reaction, be it good or bad…there is no longer an indifferent. I experienced this the other day as a co-worker asked me if I liked Rob Bell and if I had read his most recent book Love Wins. My immediate reaction upon mention of his name was to cringe, though in hindsight I hope it wasn’t visible. Much of my own reaction stems from my own experience with Rob Bell. At one time I was a devoted fan, I watched all the Nooma videos I could get my hands on, I read his books, I even listened to podcasts of his sermons. In retrospect I feel like smacking myself on the back of the head for such blind allegiance, which is probably where my initial cringe stemmed from when the afore mentioned co-worker asked about him. Bells book, Love Wins, has certainly generated much discussion both inside and outside the church walls. And while some are shocked at how far Bell has “fallen” outside the lines of orthodoxy I am not at all surprised. It’s not that Bell has “fallen” outside the lines of orthodoxy in the church, he’s always been there, it’s just that this is the first time it can more clearly be seen. Even in his first book Velvet Elvis he asked questions about the origins of the Christian faith such as: If we take out one of the pillars or “springs” of Christianity, (i.e. the virgin birth) would the whole thing fall apart? While in the book his answer is: no, that he believes the Christian faith is “the best way to live.” In reality the answer is: “yes.” If we take away the virgin birth the whole thing does fall apart. If Christ had had an earthly father he would not be the second Adam, that is to say, with an earthly father he would have been born under the curse of Adam, therefore he would not have been a perfect sacrifice without blemish and he would have no ability to take away the sins of the world. Not to mention the fact that he would not be fully God and man, as the Bible says, he would just be a man. So Bell is certainly no stranger to doing theological somersaults and jumping through hoops to force the Bible to conform to his theology, a theology that is deceptive at best and damning at worst.

BUT

Has Rob Bell been bad for the church as a whole? Don’t misunderstand me, I believe that he is weekly misleading thousands of people away from the firm foundations of the Bible and into his own twisted version of what Christianity is in the 21st century, and I pray that God would allow the Holy Spirit to open their eyes to the truth of Scripture. I wish instead of selling his books and videos Lifeway stores would have never put them on the shelf or added them to the catalog. (I will bemoan this point further in future blog posts) I wish that instead of allowing Bell to speak regularly at Willow Creek (Which I know he did as recently as last August, I was at Willow for the Leadership conference, not by my choice, and saw the flyers promoting Bell and the CD’s and DVD’s of his teachings at Willow for sale in the bookstore) I wish Bill Hybels would have advocated his teaching dangerous and declared him accursed as instructed in Galatians. (but that might hurt Hybles popularity plus it would require a proper understanding of sound Biblical Hermeneutics so obviously that wouldn’t happen, I just wonder if those materials are still in the bookstore at Willow Creek) But has Love Wins been bad for the church as a whole.  Love Wins has drawn a line in the sand, either you still follow Rob Bell and his teachings or you see how far he is from orthodoxy and you want to warn everyone.

As per my experience though I don’t think Bell has been entirely bad for the church as a whole. My own spiritual wandering into the myths and legends promoted by Bell has brought me a greater love for true orthodoxy and sound doctrine. Our church, though at one time it would be classified as “seeker-friendly”, now does expository sermons every week and is even going through a series on Wednesday nights during our mid-week service on Doctrine, using Mark Driscoll’s book of the same title and Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology and primarily the Bible. Just as my eyes were opened to the theological circus of Rob Bell, thanks to the Holy Spirit and ministries like Pirate Christian Radio, so have the eyes of our pastor and elders at our church, thanks to God’s grace and Love Wins. And I know my story is not unique, I have had conversations with others who have survived Bells bad teaching and now love sound doctrine. Bell’s dance of deceptive and misleading questions has even opened the eyes of my afore mentioned co-worker, who I was able to talk to, present the Gospel to (for a true Christian should never tire of hearing it.) and recommend some other, more solid, books to. Her next book to read is Erasing Hell by Francis Chan because she wants answers, she wants to know that she knows something that’s solid and rooted in the firm foundation of Scripture. And I pray that like her, the Holy Spirit would open everyone’s eyes to what the nature of true saving faith is. That it is in Christ alone, through faith alone, that the Bible…every word of it…is true and relevant for today and forever.

I don’t believe this whole Love Wins thing has been all bad, just as usually happens what Satan has intended for evil, God has used for good, because in the end…God always Wins.

(Update July 16, 2011: This blog post was read on Fighting for the Faith on July 12, 2011. Here is the link if you want to listen.)

Top Ten signs you might be a Calvinist

10. If you have a special place in your heart for your Lutheran brothers…you might be a Calvinist.

9. If you have changed the default setting of your Biblegateway browser to be ESV…you might be a Calvinist.

8. If your children have more Bibles than you own TV’s…you might be a Calvinist.

7. If you now think John Piper is too liberal because he invited Rick Warren to ‘Desiring God’ …you might be a Calvinist.

6. If you dislike the term Calvinist, preferring Christian…you might be a Calvinist.

5. If you have ever deliberately changed the words of a hymn to make it more conforming to scripture…you might be a Calvinist.

4. If you have ever read The Bondage of the Will to your children…you might be a Calvinist.

3. If you can remember all the speakers at last year’s “Together for the Gospel” conference…you might be a Calvinist.

2. If you get into a heated debate with another Calvinist over paedobaptism vs. believers baptism…you might be a Calvinist.

1. If you have a sudden affinity for the rap stylings of Lecrae and Shialinne but you have never liked rap before…you might be a Calvinist.

BONUS:: If you gave your mother a bouquet of tulips for Mother’s Day…you might be a Calvinist.

10 Best Songs to Listen to in the Car

Okay, I admit it, I one of the things I love about summertime is having all the windows down and sunroof open while my favorite song blares out on the radio and I sing along at the top of my lungs. This only gets slightly embarrassing when I come to a stoplight and the people in the car next to me have their windows down too; when this happens I normally proceed to sing quietly, in muttered tones while reducing the volume slightly. I believe this looks more sane to the other drivers for some reason than my previous state of frivolity which I believe looks insane. In reality they both must look like I’m crazy, but I choose to believe the second scenario looks less so. I usually only do this when I’m in my car…usually by myself…it’s just not the same in the family minivan…even if the windows are down.

Some songs are good for this particular activity, and some are not. Some songs I wouldn’t be embarrassed to continue belting out at a stop light because they are classics and if everyone doesn’t know them already they should.

Here are the songs I am most likely to blare and sing loudly along with this summer (provided my family isn’t in the car with me, and in some cases that still might not stop me)

Good for the Windows Down/Blaring Radio treatment:

1. Thunder Road by Bruce Springsteen

I cannot help but to belt this one out. First of all a car features prominently in the song and secondly it’s Bruce…how could you not.  The way it builds is in a word…amazing.

2. Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen

Okay, I know, two Springsteen songs at the top of the list…I guess that’s why he’s the Boss. Plus there’s the awesome sax solo in this one.

3. Best of You by Foo Fighters

I prefer the live acoustic version to the album version but either one will do. Who would have thought when David Grohl was just the drummer for Nirvana that he’d still be rocking out all these years later, plus the dude can wail.

4. Runnin’ Down a Dream by Tom Petty

This was actually the first song I ever gave the windows down, blaring radio (WD/BR) treatment to. I had just gotten my license…it was legen-DARY.

5. Old Man by Neil Young  

I prefer the version off the “Live from Massey Hall” album…Neil’s vocals really come through well.

6. The Unforgiven/Master of Puppets by Metallica
(tie)

Maybe it’s because I’m a guy and I’m pretty sure I’d have to turn in my man card if I didn’t put a Metallica song on the list or maybe it’s that I can’t decide which one I like better…or maybe it’s the fact that I’m a lot more likely to hear The Unforgiven than I am Master.  Either way the volume defiantly goes up to ten on these…even though I sound nothing like James Hetfield I still like to think I do when these are on.

7. Flannigan’s Ball by the Dropkick Murphys

Though I’m not likely to hear this on the radio there is nothing quite giving Celtic-punk rock the WD/BR treatment, also given the nature of punk rock you really don’t care what people think when you blare it.

8. Sabotage by the Beastie Boys

This is the only one on the list that comes close to rap, and again I’m not likely to hear it on the radio but it’s worth it.

9. Broken Inside by Sanctus Real

This is the only Christian song on the list, which isn’t a slam on Christian music, it’s just that I’m more likely to blare out other songs than what they typically play on KLOVE. But this one is worth the WD/BR treatment every time.

10. Oh, Happiness by DC*B

Okay, I was wrong there are two Christian songs on the list. I like to think of it as witnessing when I give this song the WD/BR treatment.

11. Sweet Child O’ Mine by Guns ‘n Roses

Almost forgot about this one…the guitar solo alone is awesome.

What about you? What songs do you like to give the WD/BR treatment to? What songs do you belt out every time they are on the radio? I’m always looking for new songs so I’d love to get your feedback.