Podcast Episode #185
We discuss some new research from Leadership Network on the state of megachurches in North America. This research summary, Recent Shifts in America’s Largest Protestant Churches: Megachurches 2015 Report, is available to download at the Leadership Network website.
Some highlights from today’s episode include:
- Just like churches of any size, there are good megachurches and there are bad megachurches.
- I do not recommend a church counts online service viewers in its worship attendance total.
- If a church is not emphasizing small groups, it is a weak church.
- The healthiest churches (regardless of size) have pastors who are being mentored or coached.
- Sanctuary sizes are getting smaller as churches have more services instead of building larger buildings.
- A church will likely see a higher growth rate with multisite than with one site.
The 12 findings about American megachurches we cover today are:
- 79% of megachurches say yes, 41% of comparison churches say yes to the question: Do you strongly agree that your congregation has a clear mission and purpose?
- 62% of megachurches are multisite, up from 46% five years previously.
- The average number of locations for multisite megachurches is 3.5 up from 2.5 five years previously.
- Megachurches average five services per weekend.
- 45% of megachurches have worship services that considerably vary in style between services.
- 81% of megachurches say that global missions are a major emphasis or specialty of the church.
- 30% of megachurches host an online campus.
- 79% of megachurches say small groups are central to their strategy of Christian nurture and spiritual formation.
- 74% of megachurches have an internship or mentoring program.
- 57% of megachurches serve communion always or often as a part of worship, up from 51% five years ago.
- The median seating capacity of a megachurch main sanctuary is 1,200, down from 1,500 five years ago.
- Growth rate over the past five years of younger megachurches (91%) is much higher than that of older megachurches (39%).
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