Pastor Andy Stanley, the senior leader of one the largest church congregations in the U.S., feels like he stuck both feet into his mouth after the very harsh criticism he lobbied against smaller churches in America.
According to the Christian Post, Stanley of North Point Community Church in Georgia defended the size of his megachurch to his congregation last Sunday, saying, "We want churches to be large enough so that there are enough middle schoolers and high schoolers, that we don't have one youth group with middle school and high school together. We want there to be so many adults that there will be so many middle school and high school kids that we can have two separate environments."
He then attacked size of most congregations in America, saying, "When I hear adults say 'well I don't like a big church. I like about 200, I want to be able to know everybody' I say you are so stinking selfish," argued Stanley. "You care nothing about the next generation. All you care about is you and your five friends. You don't care about your kids, anybody else's kids."
His comments were hit with a backlash of criticism.
Among them was a Pulpit & Pen contributor who fired back, "Nevermind if the church is doctrinally sound, nevermind if your kids hear the Gospel preached from the pulpit. They need to go to a large church so 'they can make friends,' and 'go off to college and make friends.' From his tirade against people who prefer smaller, more intimate congregations, it appears that he believes the primary function of the church is friend-making."
Stanley headed to Twitter to issue his profound apology, saying the backlash he's received is "entirely justified."
"Heck, even I was offended by what I said! I apolgize," he tweeted.