Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Church Report's 2006 Most Influential List

The Church Report has published this year's list of the 50 most influential (read "fastest growing and having more than 2,000 in attendance at weekend services") churches in the U.S. (HT: Kevin Hendricks who links to other list-related resources worth checking out).

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7 comments:

Danielle said...

This is the second time you posted this. Are you in favor of big churches or against?
I am a former member of Lakewood, and I hardly think pastor Osteen is influential. I think he's going DOOOOOWWWWWWWN. So many mainstream Christians can't stand him.

KP said...

Hi, Danielle. You're right that this is the second time that I've linked to The Church Report but actually, this is the first time I've linked to this particular list. My post in May links to The Church Report's 2005 survey. These are this year's results.

As to whether I'm for or against large churches, the size doesn't matter all that much to me as long as the church is functioning in accordance with biblical priorities. My personal preference is for something smaller than a megachurch but that's not because I think they're necessarily wrong. I know of a number of large congregations that faithfully teach the Bible, administer discipline, evangelize, and promote substantial interaction between believers through small groups. My reservation about larger congregations is that many people find them appealing because there they can be anonymous. I'm also concerned that some churches, motivated by the desire to increase or maintain numbers, succomb to the enticement to dilute or ignore some of the hard teachings of the Scriptures so as not to offend anyone. One cannot be a faithful communicator of the whole of Scripture without getting someone's hackles up.

My interest in these surveys is not so much in the size of the churches but in the kind of leadership that draws and influences so many. As to Joel Osteen, I think his influence, as evidenced by the size of his congregation, the sales of his books, and the reach of his television ministry, is undeniable.

If I may ask, where have you ended up after Lakewood?

Danielle said...

What happened after Lakewood is not something I am comfortable discussing.
:-)

Danielle said...

Oh, and by the way- the size of his congregation is not what the media portrays it to be. Since I left in Sept of 2003, I went back over a dozen times just because I felt like it. In the old church, there was always ample room for more people, even in the busiest services. They did not "need" a bigger facility. In the compaq center, all the times I have been there, it has never even been half full. The entire upper tier has always been untouched, every time I have been there, even during 11 am services which are the busiest. Don't believe all of what you hear in the media.

drinkuptheworldsabouttoend said...

Why are the Churches in the report American?

drinkuptheworldsabouttoend said...

ALL American I mean

KP said...

Because the The Church Report is an American publication and the churches surveyed are all located in the United States. Therefore, the list should more appropriately be called "The 50 Most Influential Churches in America."