United States: Exponential growth of Protestant “megachurches”

Source: FSSPX News


The Hartford Institute for Religious Research has published a study carried out in 2005 on “megachurches”, under the direction of professor Scott L. Thumma. Following an initial survey in 2000, the figures reveal an important progression of these Protestant places of worship which each attract more than 2,000 faithful every week.

 In 1970, there were 16 megachurches with an average of 2,279 faithful. Today, they number 1,210, with an average of 3,585 faithful. In one of the largest, at Lakewood Church in Houston, Joel Osteen welcomes 30,000 faithful every week.

 Of these communities, 56% call themselves “ Evangelical”, 16% are “Pentecostal”, 8% are “Charismatic”. 5% of the Churches belonging to these communities may receive more than 3,000 faithful for worship, the others have successive services. Having the benefit of substantial resources, these churches offer “professional” services: gifted preachers, talented musicians, assisted by cutting edge technology. And any newcomers are well cared for: 77% of the communities send out letters, 70% telephone, 38% send an email, 29% send one of their members to visit the newcomer.