by Moody Adams “Attendance numbers at America's megachurches continue to grow, and at very fast rates, according to the latest research on the country's largest churches,” reports "Changes in American Megachurches: Tracing Eight Years of Growth and Innovation in the Nation's largest-Attendance Congregations," which was released Friday.
The report shows: • Churches of at least 2,000 people grew at a rate of 10 percent a year. • 20 percent of megachurches experienced an increase of 100 percent over 5 years. • They are not building larger auditoriums, but turning to multiple services and satellite campuses. Average attendance was 4,142, while average auditorium sat 1,794. • Church planting has grown from 68 percent in 2000, to 70 percent in 2005, to 77 percent in 2008. • All the things that were typically done by a denominational form are being done at a local church level. • Since 2008 those choosing the label of “evangelical” increased from 48 to 65 percent. • The number choosing the “Pentecostal” label dropped from 11 to 4 percent. • Interestingly, the study also found that megachurches are not overtly political even during this year's election.
The study is based on a national study of America's 1,200 megachurches over 8 years. It does not tell us of the impact made on member's lives.