A Deeper Look at Megachurches
With the rising popularity of televangelists like Joel Osteen, the spotlight is shining even brighter on the popularity of megachurches. This begs the question, what is the appeal of these megachurches? Do these worship facilities have a common thread? Who attends these churches and why? In 2011, the Hartford Institute for Religion Research conducted a survey on 336 megachurches to answer these questions.
A megachurch is a church that consistently draws 2,000 or more attendees every weekend. The United States alone has more than 1,600 megachurches. But large churches are not exclusive to the United States alone in fact megachurches can be found across the globe. Despite the diverse population of attendees in a variety of locations, commonalities exist among these megachurches including multi-site campuses, younger attendees, and charismatic leaders.
Who are Megachurch Attendees?
Attendees of megachurches come from all walks of life. Almost two-thirds have been at a megachurch for five years or less. They come from other churches, locations, or are new to the faith. However, almost three-quarters of attendees have been committed to Christ for seven or more years. Many attendees find themselves involved in one or more groups and invited by coworkers, family members, or friends. The statistical trend shows personal connections occurring at megachurches. Many attendees feel that their church encourages them to get involved, find their gifts, and train leaders. With attendance rates continuing to grow at these megachurches, it is no surprise that they are constantly being put in the spotlight.
Megachurches, Mega Reach
Our team at ChurchPlaza found all of these facts and figures intriguing and we wanted to share them with you. As it is our job to know what’s happening in church trends, we thought it would be ideal to visually represent some of this information. And so, we’ve created the “Megachurches, Mega Reach” infographic. Understanding the attendees is not only valuable from a research perspective, but a human interest on as well. Each church, pastor, and attendee has their own story, something we’ve chosen to highlight through our top 10 list. Explore away!
(Click for Full Size and Zoom)
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