Friday, September 16, 2011

Fastest Growing and Largest Churches in America

For the fifth consecutive year, Outreach Magazine partnered with LifeWay Research to compile a list of the 100 largest, and the 100 fastest growing churches in America. Researchers contacted more than 25,000 churches for the report, which is based on attendance records, not membership, from February and March of this year. The list of the fastest-growing churches includes churches with attendance greater than 1,000, a numerical gain of 249 or more, and a percentage gain of at least 6.5 percent. Rankings were determined by factoring both numerical gain and percentage growth.
Top Five Largest Churches

  1. Lakewood Church, Houston, Texas, 43,500
  2. North Point Community Church, Alpharetta, Ga., 27,429
  3. Willow Creek Community Church, South Barrington, Ill., 24,377
  4. Southeast Christian Church, Louisville, Ky., 20,801
  5. Saddleback Church, Lake Forest, Calif., 19,742
Top Five Fastest-Growing Churches

  1. Richmond Outreach Center, Richmond, Va., +2,530 (83%)
  2. Elevation Church, Charlotte, N.C., +2,744 (48%)
  3. Real Life Church, Valencia, Calif., +1,763 (111%)
  4. The Potter's House of Denver, Denver, Colo., +1,800 (51%)
  5. Christ's Church of the Valley, Peoria, Ariz., +4,049 (29%)
Analysis of the data also revealed that:
  • Seventeen of the largest churches are in Texas, the most of any state.
  • Texas is also the state with the most fastest-growing churches on the list with eleven.
  • Almost half (47%) of the largest churches are “nondenominational.”
  • Common to many churches on the two lists were such factors as leadership development, the use of multiple sites, a small groups emphasis, and a desire to minister to their local communities.
For more information about the lists, or to order a copy of the special issue, Outreach 100, go to

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