Megachurch Attendees

W Bird

Much is written about megachurches, including here on this blog (US Megachurches, Megachurches Shaping American Protestantism, Mega Megachurches, Megachurch Bubble, Megachurches Offer a  Religious High, Church Size and Growth Potential, and even Mega-Interest in Megachurches).  One man, however, is behind as much or more research on megachurches than any other: Warren Bird. Bird, research director at Leadership Network, is the co-author of a report entitled "Not Who You Think You Are," which Read More …

US Megachurches

Bird-Warren

Warren Bird, research director at Leadership Network, recently shared some incredible statistics about megachurches (those congregations with an average weekly worship attendance of at least 2,000) in the United States. 5 million - the number of people who worship at a megachurch during a typical week. 1,650 - the current number of megachurches in the United States. 0.5% - While almost 10% of Protestant churchgoers attend a megachurch, these churches represent only about half of one Read More …

Church Size & Growth Potential

4x

The Fall 2013 edition of Facts and Trends contains a graphic (p.4) from Leadership Network showing that Protestant megachurches are four times more likely to be growing than are all Protestant churches (79% compared to 20%). So What? This statistic is one of many that highlight the reality that America's largest Protestant churches are among the healthiest of all churches when it comes to growth. Since most congregations are smaller in size, the 20% number must be something that Read More …

Friendly Churches

Bud Brown

In small congregations it is easy for long timers to recognize newcomers.  In very large congregations, including megachurches, no one knows everyone.  While these contrasts may suggest that smaller size is correlated to more friendly congregations, research has shown that how first time guests perceive their experiences is based on far more than just size.  Faith Perceptions work finds that, overall, the most effective congregation sizes for positive first time guest experiences Read More …

Mega-Interest in Megachurches

Warren-Bird

Warren Bird, research director at Leadership Network, recently shared the ten most popular blog posts on Leadership Network's blog during 2012.  Interestingly, 40% of the posts on the list include the word megachurch in their titles: Youngest Megachurch Pastor World's First Megachurch How Many Megachurches? Biggest Megachurch Sanctuaries So What? Megachurches, congregations with worship attendance of at least 2,000 per weekend, have been growing in number and significance in Read More …

Megachurches Offer a “Religious High”

megachurch

According to a new University of Washington study, there may be a scientific reason why people return again and again to megachurches: a religious high.  Put differently, the hi-tech high energy megachurch worship service experience is thought to "trigger feelings of transcendence and changes in brain chemistry – a spiritual “high” that keeps congregants coming back for more." So What? While megachurches comprise a very small percentage of churches in America, they are home to "an estimated Read More …

The Megachurch Bubble

Crystal-Cathedral

Bob Smietana's recent article "Some fear megachurch bubble may soon burst" considers the possibility that the best days for megachurches may soon end.  Since the 1970s the number of churches with 2,000 or more in weekly worship attendance in the United States has grown from fewer than a dozen to thousands. Several factors suggest the bubble may burst: Aging pastors/clergy and likelihood of significant decline during ministerial transition Unsustainable economics, including large Read More …

Megachurches Shaping American Protestantism

Leadership Network just released their bi-annual Large Church Salary and Benefits Report, which  explores the results of  their latest survey of many of the largest Protestant churches in America and Canada.  For the purpose of the research "large churches" are those with 1000+ in average weekly worship attendance while "megachurch" status is reserved for those with 2000+ in weekly worship attendance.  For those interested in more details, the full 31 page report is available as a free download Read More …