You are here100 Largest Churches in America for 2007

100 Largest Churches in America for 2007

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By Virgil - Posted on 30 October 2007

Outreach magazine recently published their 5th annual special issue, which highlights America’s 100 largest and 100 fastest-growing churches. For the past few years, Outreach magazine has used research by John Vaughan of Church Growth Today for their lists. This year they have partnered with Ed Stetzer of LifeWay Research to compile 2007’s lists.These lists are useful in guiding you to which churches are likely worth studying, but keep in mind that no list is perfect. In fact, I was surprised to see that 6 churches with 10,000+ attendance from 2006’s list were not included in 2007’s list. They still exist and have high attendance, but they just weren’t included. Instead of being a list of the 100 largest churches in America, consider it more as just 100 of the largest churches in America.

For the most part, the attendance numbers seem accurate.

Click here to read the entire article

Mick's picture

I wonder how many of these "top one-hundred" are preterist?

Maybe we should create a list with attendance from preterist congregations.

Mickey E. Denen

Virgil's picture

Some of those big churches are quite open to at least partial preterism. I don't know what that means for full prets but it would be interesting to know.

I was surprised to see that Rob Bell's Mars Hill wasn't on the list.

Mick's picture

It was. If you go to the original article it was in the lower half with attendance near 10,000 as I recall

Mickey E. Denen

Virgil's picture

My are absolutely correct.

Here is a direct link to the PDF for everyone:

PDF List

flannery0's picture

My church is number 33 on the list.

Interestingly, they just began a message series called "the Kingdom". Greg Boyd (and I am still a big fan of his) spoke last week as the kick-off. What can be encouraging about pastors who are not dispensationalist, and instead of the gloom and doom, left-behind message, speak about the true nature of the kingdom and the "how should we then live" focus Jesus' words, is that there are some really powerful, really beautiful places to meet their message....until, that is, they switch gears halfway through, as Dr. Boyd did last week. After going on and on about how the kingdom is within us right now, and not of this world, and is not spread by political means because Jesus did not come to set up a political kingdom; he completely contradicted everything he had just said and asserted that it isn't fully here yet. How do we know this? Just look around you. Satan is obviously still ruling the world. It won't be fully here until Jesus returns to rule the world politically (wait, I thought you just said it wasn't....?) The kingdom he had just stated was to come without observation can't be here after all because it isn't observable!

And that is a day in the life of my local mega church, number 33. :)


Virgil's picture

Tami, and that's a story that shows that not all "mega-churches" are necessarily "bad" or fail to motivate members. Now I don't know if that's the case for ALL attendees of your church, but after all who besides God will know that anyways?

Ed's picture

What's surprising to me is that 5 Michigan churches found their way onto the list. In a state where the population is shrinking, that's quite an achievement. It certainly wasn't like that when I grew up.

Of course, it is true that the whole "church growth" and "Willow Creek" movements started after I was an adult, so it's not a good indication of things. When I lived in California, there were a lot of megachurches out there. I went to one that had an average attendance each week of 2,000 people (a Vineyard), and it didn't have a membership list. You just showed up. We got a lot of homeless people who came for the coffee and doughnuts.

The 5 listed are Kensington (yours), Mars Hill (Bell), Word of Faith (Butler), Resurrection Life (Vander Klok), and Northridge (which used to be Temple Baptist). Truly a strange phenomenon in a state where a town of 400 people (Ubly) has two Catholic Churches, one on each end of town, with the same priest. Strange indeed.

What power do the megachurches hold that draws people? Is it the entertainment? The "Family-centered ministry?" Or just the desire of some to be associated with "the next BIG thing"? The last reason doesn't explain the initial influx of members, before it gets big. Definitely though, once a congregation gets a certain size, it does have a draw on those who like to make it known from the housetops that "I BELONG TO XXXXX CHURCH."

Oh well, as much as Boyd claims that the kingdom is spiritual and not political, most of these churches are VERY involved politically - on both sides of the spectrum. The Religious Right and the Evangelical Left both operate under the assumption that the government should be an arm of the church, enforcing good and evil as they see fit. Stop porn, prostitution, and drugs; encourage welfare, peaceful coexistence, and health care. All of these functions of the Church; but placed in the hands of the government. I guess if you can't win them with the gospel, you use the sword.

Put away your sword, Peter. He who lives by the sword, dies by the sword.



Papa is especially fond of us

Mick's picture

My perception is most of these "Mega Churches" are just the opposite of "Family-Centered." At least that is my perception from wannabe "Mega-Churches" I have been exposed to.

"Family centered" to me means promoting covenant relationships between parents and children. Most think "family centered" means special programs for children that creates bonds to peers and a "youth pastor" and allows fathers to relinquish their God ordained responsibility to train up a child in a way that they should go and guide the children as they walk along the path.

Maybe Tami can correct my perceptions.

Mickey E. Denen

Ed's picture

Yes Mick, we agree entirely. My purpose in putting "Family-Centered" in quotes is that it is anything but; although this doesn't stop the New-Speakers in the Mega Churches from claiming such.



Papa is especially fond of us

Life14all's picture

Be of good cheer all you preterists out there. If truth was discernable in numbers then we would all be in serious trouble.

"If 50 million people believe in a foolish thing, it is still a foolish
thing." Anatole France


Jim K.


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