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Megachurches: The current reality and new directions.

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Presentation on theme: "Megachurches: The current reality and new directions."— Presentation transcript:

1 Megachurches: The current reality and new directions.

2 Numbers Continue to Increase There are 1,210 Protestant churches in the United States with weekly attendance over 2,000

3 Size Continues to Increase In 2005, megachurches reported average regular weekly attendance of 3,585 persons. An average increase in attendance of 57% in 5 years These same churches 5 years earlier had an average attendance of 2,279

4 All the megachurches in the US together have income of 7 billion dollars a year. Large Attendance but not Always Large Buildings Twenty years ago the largest church was 12,000 Now the largest is around 35,000 – Still small by Korea’s standards.

5 This growth is not experienced by all megachurches. A number actually declined in attendance.

6 Megachurch pastors always dominate lists of most influential religious leaders in the country. One pastor’s book has over 26 million sales and is the best-selling hardcover non-fiction book in U.S. history. The Attention Megachurches Get is Increasing Press Figures: Before 1990 megachurch 5 1990-1995 megachurch 180 1996-2000 megachurch 469 2001-2006 megachurch 1297

7 They Are Evident throughout the United States The four states with the greatest concentrations of megachurches are California (14%), Texas (13%), Florida (7%) and Georgia (6%)

8 Growth in Northeast and mid central states – outside of Sunbelt and Bible belt Increasing in the newest suburbs by newly established churches and by those moving from older suburbs, Not by megachurches moving from the downtown and older established inner city areas. They are on the move

9 More are becoming Nondenominational Between 35- 40% of megachurches claim to be nondenominational 20% of megachurches, and 9% in the last 5 years, changed their name, often dropping the denominational label. Megachurches founded since 1991 are more likely to be nondenominational and less likely to describe their congregation as traditional, moderate, Pentecostal or charismatic.

10 Denominations with the largest numbers of megachurches included: nondenom- inational, Southern Baptist, United Methodist, and Assemblies of God.

11 The Newest Megachurches Are Growing Faster Newer Megachurches have: Younger members - More families More multiracial - More new converts More electric guitars - More excitement Clearer mission - More evangelistic fervor More member recruitment

12 The larger the church, the more its resources Church Size Average Income FT Ministerial & Admin Staff Volunteers 5hr+ 5yr Growth Rate 1,800 – 1,999 3.17 million2112638% 2,000 – 4,999 5.20 million3623644% 5,000 – 9,999 9.14 million6453356% 10,000 or more 24.80 million13190474%

13 Worship Continues to Change The megachurches exhibit great adaptation to cultural changes They show even greater willingness to change worship style and format than 5 years ago 20002005 No Change22%15% Changed a little37%26% Changed some21%36% Changed a lot21%23%

14 The megachurches with the highest rate of growth are the most likely to consistently use contemporary forms of worship. They are having more services, at different days and times, and are using more contemporary worship forms Percent Saying Always Or Often

15 They Are Becoming More Multi-Racial On average 19% of persons in the congregations were of the non-majority racial group. Thirty-six percent of churches reported having a 20% or more minority presence. Ten percent of congregations claimed to have no majority racial group.

16 The Megachurches Seem To Be Employing More Leadership Staff Total full-time 2000 Average = 13 2005 Average = 20 Total part-time 2000 Average = 3 2005 Average = 9 And Using Less Support Staff and Volunteers Total full-time 2000 Average = 25 2005 Average = 22 Total part-time 2000 Average = 14 2005 Average = 22 Number of Volunteers who work over 5 hrs a week? 2000 Average = 297 2005 Average = 284

17 When asked whether the congregation experienced disagreements or conflicts in the past two years 40% of respondents reported some minor conflict and 8% reported major conflict. It is interesting, however, that those churches with the highest rates of growth, also have the lowest levels of conflict

18 In 2005, the average income per megachurch was approximately 6 million dollars. This is a significant increase compared to the 1999-2000 study results, even adjusting for inflation. The average expenses for these congregations increased to 5.6 million dollars. This is almost the exact ratio between income and expenses as reported in 2000. So megachurches are both making more and spending more!

19 SOCIAL OUTREACH – increase in efforts Partner with others Web distribution – streaming media, etc. Highly active social ministry – local, national, global National & Global networking

20 Partnering with others 40 days of Partnership – Rick Warren Recent Easter Celebrations 54% of megachurches partnered with other churches on local community service projects in the last five years. Spiritual Mapping – Oversight for a city & nation Peter Wagner

21 Web distribution – streaming media, audio, web sites 95 percent of megachurches have web sites In a study of these sites, the intended audiences for the sites were reported to be 23% mostly for visitors, 20% primarily for members, and 57% aimed both at visitors and members. Fifty percent of the sites have password-protected sections for church members. The vast majority of sites (83%) have audio files, and 31% have video files. New companies assist in this, such as….

22 Highly active social ministry – local, national, global National Responses to Hurricane Katrina The Dream Center Philosophy City-wide rallies AIDS – Rick Warren Social Ministry Among Megachurches food assistance (a food pantry or soup kitchen) 99% programs for youth and teens 99% counseling services or support groups 95% prison ministries 91% substance abuse & 12 step programs 85% senior citizen programs 84% hospitals & nursing homes 80% temporary or permanent housing/shelter 78%

23 National & Global networking Roughly 25 percent of megachurches have a network of churches they are responsible for. 46 percent of megachurches partnered with other churches to engage in international mission projects.

24 The Future Is Sure To Include Large Scale Worship Are you a part of it?

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