Stalled Megachurches

Sam Rainer

September 9, 2008

An article in USA Today suggests that megachurches may be taking micro dips in attendance. While the number of megachurches has grown (from 600 in 2000 to more than 1,250 in 2005), recent data indicate attendance growth rates are slowing or have stalled. You can read the full article here.

Ed Stetzer, head of LifeWay Research, points to the lack of transformation as one of the possible catalysts for the decline:

You can create a church that’s big, but is still not transforming people. Without transformation, the Christian message is not advanced.

I don’t think megachurches will vanish any time soon. Nor do I believe they should. But one of the weaknesses of these larger churches is the tendency to drift towards a transactional environment – a feel good show and message in exchange for bodies in the seats

I agree with Dr. Stetzer – all churches (large and small) should be places of transformation, not transaction. The body of believers should exemplify how God can transform people. When churches simply transact for attendees, growth will ultimately stall.

What do you think? Is the megachurch trend slowing? Will they take on different forms, such as multi-sites? What will the future hold for these larger congregations?

2 comments on “Stalled Megachurches”

  1. peter Migner says:

    Is the megachurch trend slowing?

    Regardless of the size of any church they all go through changes and phases including decline and growth.

    Will they take on different forms, such as multi-sites?

    Probably so and when they do they grow hopefuly.

    What will the future hold for these larger congregations?

    Time will tell, the whole idea is still new compared to the traditional sized churches for decades and centuries.

  2. Steve Williams says:

    Saying megachurches have stalled is like saying it rained today. It may have rained somewhere in the U.S. today but not where I live.

    Some megachurches may be stalled, but not all. I belong to a megachurch and it’s still growing, as it has consistently since it began 13 years ago.

    And to top it all, I and 10,000 of my closest friends watch the sermon on large-screen video every week. And it’s on a one-week delay. We see the sermon a week after our pastor preached it on the main campus just 12 miles away.

    Who would have thought you could grow a church of people watching a 30-foot video screen??? Isn’t technology great!

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