Warren Bird and Scott Thumma have released new research on the mega church. The report comes out of the Hartford Institute of Religious Research and involved 25,000 people from 12 U.S. congregations. USA Today also reported on the research and noted a few key findings:
The average age of megachurch attenders is 40, compared to nearly 53 at a typical Protestant church. Nearly two-thirds of megachurch attenders are under 45, double the numbers in Protestant congregations of all sizes. The vast majority are between 18 and 44.
Nearly a third of megachurch attenders are single, compared to 10% in a typical Protestant church.
Today Jesse Phillips at catalystspace pointed to a recent post by Gary Hamel at the WSJ. Hamel discusses the influence of Generation F – the Facebook Generation. Specifically, how they expect the social environments of work to reflect the web. Hamel states, “these are the post-bureaucratic realities that tomorrow’s employees will use as yardsticks in determining whether your company is ‘with it’ or ‘past it.’” I’ve listed his main points.
- All ideas compete on an equal footing.
- Contribution counts for more than credentials.
- Hierarchies are natural, not prescribed.
- Leaders serve rather than preside.
- Tasks are chosen, not assigned.
- Groups are self-defining and -organizing.
- Resources get attracted, not allocated.
- Power comes from sharing information, not hoarding it.
- Opinions compound and decisions are peer-reviewed.
- Users can veto most policy decisions.
- Intrinsic rewards matter most.
- Hackers are heroes.
So mega churches have a large share of the Facebook Generation. And this generation has certain ideals they look for in social environments. Do you think these realities apply to the church? If so, are mega churches engaging Hamel’s noted realities correctly? Should they cater to, ignore, correct, or address any specific one?