Largest Churches

Wow, Outreach Magazine has released their largest churches list. I cannont even fathom going to a church as large as Lakewood. I wouldn’t go to Lakewood, but that’s for completely different reasons.

This is from ChurchRelevance.com

Top 18 Largest Churches in America for 2007

  1. Lakewood Church (Houston, TX) :: Joel Osteen
    >> 07 Attendance = 47,000
    >> 06 Attendance = 45,000 (#1 in ‘06)
  2. Willow Creek Community Church (South Barrington, IL) :: Bill Hybels
    >> 07 Attendance = 23,500
    >> 06 Attendance = 21,500 (#5 in ‘06)
  3. Second Baptist Church (Houston, TX) :: Ed Young Sr.
    >> 07 Attendance = 23,198
    >> 06 Attendance = 22,266 (#3 in ‘06)
  4. Saddleback Church (Lake Forest, CA) :: Rick Warren
    >> 07 Attendance = 22,000
    >> 06 Attendance = 20,595 (#6 in ‘06)
  5. LifeChurch.tv (Edmond, OK) :: Craig Groeschel
    >> 07 Attendance = 19,907
    >> 06 Attendance = 16,071 (#13 in ‘06)
  6. Southeast Christian Church (Louisville, KY) :: Dave Stone
    >> 07 Attendance = 18,013
    >> 06 Attendance = 18,520 (#7 in ‘06)
  7. North Point Community Church (Alpharetta, GA) :: Andy Stanley
    >> 07 Attendance = 17,700
    >> 06 Attendance = 16,700 (#12 in ‘06)
  8. Thomas Road Baptist Church (Lynchburg, VA) :: Jonathan Falwell
    >> 07 Attendance = 17,445
    >> 06 Attendance = 7,626 (#71 in ‘07)
  9. Calvary Chapel (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) :: Bob Coy
    >> 07 Attendance = 17,000
    >> 06 Attendance = 18,300 (#8 in ‘07)
  10. The Potter’s House (Dallas, TX) :: T.D. Jakes
    >> 07 Attendance = 17,000
    >> 06 Attendance = 14,000 (#20 in ‘06)
  11. First Assembly of God (Phoenix, AZ) :: Tommy Barnett
    >> 07 Attendance = 16,000
    >> 06 Attendance = 17,532 (#11 in ‘06)
  12. Fellowship of the Woodlands (The Woodlands, TX) :: Kerry Shook
    >> 07 Attendance = 15,600
    >> 06 Attendance = 14,120 (#18 in ‘06)
  13. New Birth Missionary Baptist (Decatur, GA) :: Eddie Long
    >> 07 Attendance = 15,000
    >> 06 Attendance = 22,000 (#4 in ‘06)
  14. Prestonwood Baptist Church (Plano, TX) :: Jack Graham
    >> 07 Attendance = 14,000
    >> 06 Attendance = 14,871 (#17 in ‘06)
  15. NorthRidge Church (Plymouth, MI) :: Brad Powell
    >> 07 Attendance = 13,865
    >> 06 Attendance = 12,700 (#23 in ‘06)
  16. Fellowship Church (Grapevine, TX) :: Ed Young Jr.
    >> 07 Attendance = 13,000
    >> 06 Attendance = 18,124 (#9 in ‘06)
  17. Christian Cultural Center (Brooklyn, NY) :: A.R. Bernard Sr.
    >> 07 Attendance = 13,000
    >> 06 Attendance = 13,000 (#21 in ‘06)
  18. New Light Christian Center (Houston, TX) :: Ira Hilliard
    >> 07 Attendance = 12,500
    >> 06 Attendance = 7,070 (#81 in ‘06)

What I would be interested in, and maybe this is in the print version, is how are these churches doing with Small Groups, Youth Ministry, that sort of stuff. My biggest worry with the big church is that it’s just a show, and I would love to know how these churches have grown small while they grow big.

9 thoughts on “Largest Churches

  1. Jason,

    Thank you for highlighting my post. Outreach magazine’s print issue does share quite a few in-depth looks at how these churches do ministry.

    These 100 churches represent an incredibly diverse spectrum of doing ministry. Although some big churches may be showy, some are also very, very humble.

    -Kent Shaffer

  2. Hmmm…
    #1, #3, and #18 are all in Houston, TX. I’ll bet people in Houston are cheating and going to all three churches instead of just the one. We all know where cheaters go… (apparently it’s Houston)

  3. I goto Fellowship Church in Grapevine and was hesitant to go at first because of the size. It is pretty easy to get lost in a crowd of that size, and because of that, the staff is very intentional about getting everyone connected into small groups.

    FC has something called Hometeams which are small group Bible studies that meet in people’s homes all over the area. This is where the small group connections happen. They are broken out by location and status (age, single/married, etc.) so you are truely connecting and living life together.

    Also, FC has a multitude of classes/minitries that help people connect and grow in their walk as well.

  4. Pingback: Connecting News, Commentaries and Blogs at NineReports.com -

  5. In Reply to:

    “Emily M
    October 3, 2007 at 5:21 am”

    The fact that #1, #3, #12, and #18 are all in the Houston area does not mean they are “cheaters.” Houston is the nation’s 4 largest city with a population of over 2 million and a metro area of over 5 million. And as the largest city in the “Bible Belt,” a combined total of 98,298 who are counted in those four churches sounds fairly reasonable to me. I know of some neighborhoods in Houston with over 300 churches. Be blessed Emily and believe!

  6. Lifechurch.tv explains all that for you at their website if you’re interested. They too have small groups called life groups with the purpose of “doing life together”. They also have discovery groups where you can meet with other that have the same hobbies, interests, etc… and hang out together so there are a TON of different ways to get involved there making it hard to feel left out…unless you want to be, of course. Also with lifechurch.tv all the “partners” do not meet in the same building so it’s not like 20,000 people are trying to get in and out of one building within the span of a Sunday morning. They hold services at different locations (live feed through satalite) and have several different service times (7 if you’re counting) so you can connect with those who go to the same service as you making it more personal.
    (I said “partners” earlier because Pastor Craig has shown us that “membership” to a church is should not be protraid as that of say a membership to a club, gym, etc… but more of a partnership with a group of other christians to help “lead people to become fully devoted followers of Christ”!) Hope that helped.

  7. My wife and I are exhausted from trying to find a church..We live in Katy west Houston, and we Love Covenant Church in Dallas..We have visited Lakewood, it is a long ways from our home and toooo big for us..We would like a spiritual church with great praise and worship music, with a great preacher like Mike Haynes…. We have visited both 2nd Baptist churches and we think we like non denominational…Any ideas…??? Thank you for your help…

  8. Pingback: 2010 in review « Ramblings On. . .

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s