2/4/06

Mega Churches keep strong and growing

Despite the insistance by some of my professors that MegaChurches are just a fad and they are already on their way out, being eclipsed by smaller and more intimate (emergent?) churches, a new article says that Mega Churches are growing both in the number of congregations AND in the average congregation size.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060204/ap_on_re_us/mega_churches

I think some of my professors are just grumpy because these extraordinarily successful mega churches do not reflect their own theological orientation or sense of worship style, but I probably presume too much here. Most mega Churches according to this study are socially and theologically conservative and place a great emphasis on personal evangelism (thus the phenominal growth). Many, though by no means all, use contemporary praise and worship services of one kind or another (I live 100 yards from a mega church that uses a very traditional Protestant worship service as its "main" service).

One thing that did surprise me was the most mega churches are NOT independent or free churches, but fully 2/3 (66%) belong to established denominations.

I personally am partial to both large and small churches. I love the family atmosphere of small churches but I also love the excellent programing and worship planning associated with large churches. Rare it seems is the church that can achieve both (and First Methodist of Baton Rouge does so: www.firstmethodist.org, especially if you start with the smaller Wednesday services).

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think one of the key aspects of growth for megachurches (obviously behind personal evangelism!) is their mantra: to get bigger you must get smaller. Saddleback has more than a hundred small groups meeting throughout the week. My church in New York, while not a true megachurch in any standard beides NYC standards, has more than 70 meeting throughout the week. It's easy to feel lost in the crowd in a megachurch, but by being part of a small group people have accountability and a family feel. I think that, more than the contemporary worship or advanced technology, is what helps these churches keep growing. --Bethany

2:33 PM, February 05, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think one of the key aspects of growth for megachurches (obviously behind personal evangelism!) is their mantra: to get bigger you must get smaller. Saddleback has more than a hundred small groups meeting throughout the week. My church in New York, while not a true megachurch in any standard beides NYC standards, has more than 70 meeting throughout the week. It's easy to feel lost in the crowd in a megachurch, but by being part of a small group people have accountability and a family feel. I think that, more than the contemporary worship or advanced technology, is what helps these churches keep growing. --Bethany

2:33 PM, February 05, 2006  
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8:33 PM, February 05, 2006  

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