10 Responses to “Complete List of Mega-Churches in America”

  1. Most of these churches don’t have “members” in the way most churches think of them. These numbers are more of an average weekend attendance (which usually includes 5+ identical services, some by video at satellite campuses.)

  2. Not to mention some of those churches automatically enroll anyone who responds to an alter call as a member whether the person returns or not.

  3. Michael & John,

    Points well made. The ‘Members’ should have been labeled ‘Average Attendance’. The attendance data was compiled from a list published by the ‘Hartford Institute for Religion Research’.

  4. Two points:
    1) The link to the “Complete List” appears to be broken.
    2) There is a trend away from counting average attendance and towards counting everyone who considers a given local church their “church home.” IOW, those who show up once or twice a month. This usually results in a significantly larger number. For example, weekly attendance may be 6000, but maybe 25% are not in attendance on a given week. Therefore the “church home” crowd may be 7500.

  5. WenatcheeTheHatchet November 22, 2010 at 11:27 pm

    Per megachurches, in a case like Mars Hill in Seattle, where I went for a while, the gap between recorded attendance and formal membership probably applies but for some time the ratio at Mars was I think 50% membership. That actually seems like it would be a pretty good ratio in a growing church. In large congregations the low ratio of membership compared to full attendance doesn’t necessarily hurt the church’s ability to make budget and keep ministry going. It would be interesting to have a breakdown of the statistics on listed church attendance and formal members where possible.

  6. My former church, Sagemont Church, on their website and in various other places, claims 16,000 to 18,000 actual members.

    The above PDF puts them at 4,556.

    So yeah, this list is probably going by average weekly attendance rather then the church rosters. The weekly bulletins put out by Sagemont has the previous weeks attendance, and that smaller number seems about right.

  7. Interesting list. Thanks for posting. Was disappointed to see how dated some of the information was with respect to just a few of the churches that I have worshiped at in TX. The listed pastor, for examlple, on two of them was out of date not by weeks or months, but YEARS. And I could not find another church in TX, at which I was an elder, listed at all. Even if it has suffered a huge loss of membership/weekly attendance after I was relocated a dozen or so years ago, it would still have left it comfortably in the “big middle” of the list. Maybe I just overlooked it. Nevertheless, it makes one wonder to what degree the other data that Hartford compliled is less than completely accurate.

  8. CMP

    I went through all 6 articles on dispensationalism and was puzzled at the first article about mega churches as it pertains to dispensationalism… perhaps someone could enlighten me.

    Also, CMP I would love to see more articles and insights into the issue of dispensationalism. Not the drivel of the “7 dispensations” or “Pre-tribulationalism”…I am referring to the ecclesiological and soteriological aspects derived from a literal hermeneutic of the scriptures.

    I figure that if epistomology has 60 articles and U2 has 5, that the least that a man of your theolgocial stature can do is make a few more additions to the “dispensational” category.

    Jeff Ayers

  9. Looks like 2-3 years outdated for average weekly attendance. Especially considering some churches are now choosing not to report average weekly attendance (which is not a bad idea actually)

  10. Do the mega-churches in America have electronic attendance registers that get updated when a member swipes his/her Church membership card? Does anyone know of any such churches?

Leave a Reply