Thursday, June 25, 2009

People who Attend Megachurches in USA

Linda Stanley serves as Director of Life Stage Leadership Communities and provides leadership for the Next Generation Pastors Leadership Community groups. She writes in the Learnings @Leadership Network the following report about a study on megachurches.

A Little Megachurch Myth Bustin’

If you are a Leadership Network follower - #leadnet for all you twitter devotees – you’ve heard about the newly released mega church research study and report - Not Who You Think They Are: The Real Story of People Who Attend America's Megachurches, If you haven’t read the report, here are a few quick facts:

Prominent Findings of Megachurch Study

  • Young, single adults are more likely to be in megachurches than in smaller churches.
  • Nearly two-thirds of attenders have been at these churches 5 years or less.
  • Nearly a quarter of attenders hadn't been in any church for a long time before coming to a megachurch.
  • Newcomers almost always attend a megachurch because family, friends or co-workers invited them.
  • New attenders were first attracted by the worship style, the senior pastor and the church's reputation.
  • These same factors influenced long-term attendance, as did the music/arts, social and community outreach and adult-oriented programs.

And here’s a graphic illustration of some of the points included in the report:

Not just a Boomer Phenomenon –
Megachurches Draw Twice as Many Under 45
6_23 graph

On June 23, 2009 the topic of Leadership Network’s THE SHOW focused on the findings from this report. Scott Thumma, one of the primary researchers, was our guest. If you missed it, here’s a link:

6_23 DJ and Scott
June 23, 2009 - Megachurch Attender Research Findings
with Dr. Scott Thumma

Here’s a link to the June 23, 2009 issue of Leadership Network’s Advance, with cover story entitled Major Study: Younger Crowds Flocking to U.S. Megachurches.

And if you still haven’t had enough, here’s a link to our beloved Warren Bird’s previous Leadership Network Learnings blog post on the report – Not True: "Megachurch attenders volunteer less than other churches" - June 12, 2009.

Now that's some food for thought.

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