Expert Says Small Churches Should Resolve In 2017 Not to Mimic Megachurches

One of the few megachurch traits that small churches should try to emulate is in being clearly aware of their strengths and weaknesses, one expert said. (Photo/Wikimedia Commons)
One of the few megachurch traits that small churches should try to emulate is in being clearly aware of their strengths and weaknesses, one expert said. (Photo/Wikimedia Commons)

One of the best resolutions small churches can make in 2017 is to stop comparing themselves to megachurches.

But they might be tempted to make those comparisons after a study discovered that large congregations enjoy a steady influx of unchurched seekers and a strong — 55 percent — volunteer rate among members.

“The number of very large churches continues to increase,” the Leadership Network reported in an article titled “9 Fascinating Facts About People Who Attend Megachurches.”

“And within that group,” the article continued, “the biggest churches continue to get bigger.”

Author Warren Bird said he and fellow researcher Scott Thumma surveyed 25,000 “really big churches” and learned there was no slowdown in the growth of American megachurches.

They also found that close to two-thirds of attendees of very large churches have been at these congregations less than five years.

The researchers also learned that while many come from other churches, almost a quarter haven’t been to church in a long time before first visiting their megachurch.

Most of them were attracted by worship style, the lead pastor and the church’s reputation, Bird writes.

Those three factors, plus the arts, social and community outreach plus adult-oriented offerings contributed to long-term attendance, Bird and Thumma found.

Attendees also reported their spiritual needs were being met as they increased their involvement at church.

Those surveyed also praised their large churches for enabling them to “craft unique, customized spiritual experiences through the multitude of ministry choices and diverse avenues for involvement,” Bird reported.

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SOURCE: Baptist News Global
Jeff Brumley