July Book Recommendations

During the month of June I read five books that I recommend.  All were published either last year or this year: (5) There's a Woman in the Pulpit: Christian Clergywomen Share Their Hard Days, Holy Moments, and the Healing Power of Humor edited by Martha Spong (SkyLight Paths, 2015) (4.5) Teams that Thrive: Five Disciplines of Collaborative Church Leadership by Ryan T. Hartwig and Warren Bird (IVP Books, 2015) (4.5) From Tablet to Table: Where Community is Found and Identity is Formed by Read More …

Megachuches in America

When I first saw the image at right I immediately realized I have spent my entire life living in two of three states atop the list of states with the most megachurches in America.  While I have visited several such churches, my professional experience has been in smaller congregations (though dominantly in those significantly larger than most American congregations). Mega-Interesting  The term megachurch was first used in print in 1983 in the Miami Herald, Protestant megachurches are Read More …

Large Church Salaries

Perhaps you had to read the title of this post more than once.  Typically, salaries paid to church workers (both lay and ordained staff) are not large.  In this post, I consider the latest information on how large churches compensate those they employ based on the Leadership Network / Vanderbloemen 2014 Large Church Salary Report, which was written by Warren Bird. Large churches continue to be far more likely to be growing than smaller churches.  This data finds that roughly 3 in 4 large Read More …

September Book Recommendations

Here are my book recommendations for the month when many families start a new school year, and most churches begin a new program year: (5) postChristian: What's Left? Can We Fix It? Do We Care? by Christian Piatt (2014) (5) Next: Pastoral Succession That Works by Warren Bird and William Vanderbloemen (2014) (4.5) Rough Country: How Texas Became America's Most Powerful Bible-Belt State by Robert Wuhtnow (2014) (4) Simplify: Ten Practices to Unclutter Your Soul by Bill Hybels Read More …

Megachurch Attendees

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

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 E-Giving

Earlier this month, Leadership Network published Warren Bird's latest research: "The Economic Outlook of Very Large Churches."  This 18-page report considers the overall economic outlook alongside how the surveyed congregations collect, allocate and spend funds. Electronic giving (e-giving) is an increasingly important means by which churches receive donations.  100% of the churches with average weekly attendance of at least 2,000 receive some of their income via e-giving.  The breakout of Read More …

Mega-Interest in Megachurches

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 …

Unchurched Americans

Warren Bird, Research Director for Leadership Network and co-author of 24 books on various aspects of church health and innovation, recently explored just how many Americans are actually unchurched.  He concludes that more than 1 in 3 adults are unchurched (have not attended church in the last year), which is a number of people that would be the size of the tenth largest country in the world. So What? Bird communicates several data points visually using an infograhic, including: The Read More …

Mega Megachurches

Warren Bird, Research Director for Leadership Network and co-author of 24 books on various aspects of church health and innovation, recently blogged about the global growth in and diversity of megachurches (congregations with an average weekend worship attendance of at least 2,000).  Americans know about megachurches since they have grown rapidly in number over the last several decades.  According to Scott Thumma and Dave Travis, (Beyond Megachurch Myths: What We Can Learn from America's Largest Read More …