Major Study on Megachurches

Interesting study. Here's the executive summary.

Changes in American Megachurches
By Scott Thumma and Warren Bird

Megachurches – Protestant congregations that draw 2,000 or more adults and children in a typical weekend (attendance not membership) – show considerable consistency over the past eight years. They continue to:

  • Grow in size,
  • Lead the way as America’s most multi-ethnic class of church,
  • Show a strong bias toward contemporary worship, and
  • Remain minimally involved in politics.

However, they are also institutions in transition. They are now:

  • Offering more worship services and expanding to multiple-locations,
  • Shifting to playing a greater role in community service,
  • Decreasing their use of radio and television, and
  • Putting greater emphasis on the role of small groups.

These are some of the most salient findings of a national study of America’s roughly 1,200 megachurches with approximately one third returning a usable response to an eight-page, 150-question survey that was fielded between February and August, 2008, with comparison given to similar (but non-longitudinal) national studies in 2000 and 2005.