Jump directly to the content

Four States Still Don't Have Megachurches

And other 2013 year-end status updates from Leadership Network.

Megachurches may seem ubiquitous today, with more than 5 million people now worshiping at one of America's 1,650 megachurches on an average week. But research by Leadership Network's Warren Bird, who has tracked the megachurch phenomenon closely, indicates that four U.S. states still don't have a Protestant congregation with more than 2,000 weekly attenders.

In a year-end status update, Warren recently revealed that Delaware, Maine, Rhode Island, and Vermont still don't have a megachurch. Other stats of note:

  • Even though megachurches only account for 0.5 percent of the 320,000 Protestant churches in America, nearly 10 percent of Protestant churchgoers attend one.
  • Only 21 percent of megachurches were founded in the last 20 years (the median founding year: 1977), and only 22 percent were founded by their current lead pastor.
  • The average (median) age of megachurch lead pastors is 55, while nearly 1 in 5 are under 45. Only five percent are under 40. (CT recently noted how one of America's youngest megachurch pastors drew scrutiny for how his building a "big house" was connected to his bestselling book.)
  • Worldwide, at least 48 countries have a megachurch, according to Bird's research.

CT regularly reports on megachurches, including their financial health, whether their worship is addictive, how Las Vegas is the most megachurch-oriented city, and how megachurches united with Broadway and the NFL against a common threat.

Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research, has noted the explosive growth of American megachurches and how megachurch myths are wrong.

Support our work. Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
Related Topics:Megachurches; Worship
Posted:December 23, 2013 at 3:10PM
Gleanings aggregates what others are reporting. Learn more.
Recent Posts
Tim Keller Stepping Down as Redeemer Senior Pastor
The influential Reformed leader is moving away from his NYC pulpit as his church becomes three.
Half of Hispanic Christians Worry About Deportation Under Trump
Pew: Latino Protestants most likely to rate Trump a ‘terrible’ president.
Black Churches Matter: Research Ties Attendance to Positive Outcomes
African Americans who worship regularly are better able to handle racism and discrimination.
Courts Split on US Christians Caught Up in Turkey's Crackdown
Deportation of evangelist David Byle blocked, while pastor Andrew Brunson still imprisoned without evidence.
Christianity Today
Four States Still Don't Have Megachurches