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List of the largest evangelical churches

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This list of the largest evangelical megachurches contains only evangelical Christian megachurches related to the following currents: baptism, pentecostalism, evangelical charismatic movement, neo-charismatic movement and nondenominational Christianity. Large churches from other denominations, like catholic, are not included as they are not deemed to belong to the megachurch phenomenon which by definition is part of Protestantism. The list is not exhaustive, there are large annual changes, and there are difficulties to compare the churches as different methods to count can be used.

Characteristics[edit | edit source]

The term megachurch is used for churches with regular attendance of 2,000 people. When it has more than 10,000 people who gather together, the term gigachurch is sometimes used.[1][2]

Research institutes[edit | edit source]

Annual publications[edit | edit source]

Church Growth Today is a research center who publishes annually lists of evangelical Christian megachurches in USA and the world.[3][4]

Lifeway research is a research center who publishes annually a list of evangelical Christian megachurches in USA.[5]

Directories[edit | edit source]

The Leadership Network contains a directory of all Christian megachurches of the world (excluding Canada and USA).[6][7] This global list has over 270 megachurches. The Hartford Institute has compiled directories in Canada and the USA. The US list has more than 1,668 megachurches[8][9] and the Canadian list 22.[10]

Data accuracy[edit | edit source]

The numbers reported are not accurate by any means, as attendance and membership may be defined very differently.[11] Attendance may include people that are not legally members of the church, not baptised, non-believers, children, and may even belong to other churches. Some churches include their, sometimes loosely, affiliated churches in other places and even people that attend by electronic media. As many have several services on one day, there may be some overlap, with people attending more than one service. The exact number of people is seldom counted, thus estimation errors can occur. There is an obvious psychological boost from reporting growing numbers, "success", for enhanced credibility and motivation to support the work. The megachurches may quite be different from traditional evangelical congregations where clear membership records are maintained, to define who has legal right to vote in the church assembly, who can be appointed to public offices and who belongs to the flock under direct pastoral care, and the pastor can often be replaced. The megachurches are often formed around a strong leader that stays in charge for decades, it is often like his "own personal enterprise", many times with limited economic transparency, a tendency that has been questioned in various countries.[12][13][14] In notable cases the headship has been passed on from father to son, like in Lakewood Church. Many megachurches have had an affiliation to a denomination, but have become independent, thus outside the denominational supervision that is common for non-independent congregations. Thus, in cases of irregularities, a pastor may continue without disciplinary measures, due to their sheer power, and any disappointed members may leave but new people keep coming in, with reduced effect on attendance.[15]

Hence, due to inaccuracies, the same church can sometimes be reported to have attendance and membership counts that differ 5-10 times, depending on how reporting is done and who is doing it, e.g. Yoido Full Gospel Church can sometimes be mentioned with attendance numbers over 800,000.[16]

List[edit | edit source]

The list below is of the largest Evangelical megachurches with weekly attendance of more than 30,000 persons.

Name Affiliation Current City Country Av. weekly attendance
National Temple Apostolic Church Nigeria Pentecostalism Lagos Nigeria 40,000 [6]
El Lugar de Su Presencia No Nondenominational Christianity Bogotá Colombia 45,000[17]
Calvary Temple Church No Nondenominational Christianity Hyderabad India 190,000[6]
Church of the Highlands Association of Related Churches Nondenominational Christianity Birmingham USA 38,000 [5]
Comunidad Cristiana Agua Viva No Evangelical charismatic movement Lima Peru 42,000 [6]
Deeper Life Bible Church No Nondenominational Christianity Lagos Nigeria 65,000 [6]
Faith Tabernacle Living Faith Church Worldwide Neo-charismatic movement Lagos Nigeria 50,000 [6]
Graha Bethany Nginden Gereja Bethany Indonesia Pentecostalism Surabaya Indonesia 50,000 [6]
Hillsong Church No charismatic Christian Various Worldwide 100,000[18]
Igreja Batista da Lagoinha Convenção Batista Nacional Baptist Belo Horizonte Brazil 50,000 [6]
Lakewood Church No Nondenominational Christianity Houston USA 52,000 [3]
Mision Cristiana Elim Internacional No Pentecostalism San Salvador El Salvador 50,000 [6]
New Life Assembly of God Assemblies of God Pentecostalism Chennai India 40,000 [6]
New Creation Church No Nondenominational Christianity Singapore Singapore 33,000 [6]
New Life Fellowship Association No Nondenominational Christianity Mumbai India 70,000 [6]
North Point Community Church No Nondenominational Christianity Alpharetta USA 39,000 [5]
Redeemed Christian Church of God No Neo-charismatic movement Lagos Nigeria 500,000 [6]
Christ's Commission Fellowship No Nondenominational Christianity Manila Philippines 55,000[19]
Victory Every Nation Nondenominational Christianity Manila Philippines 70,000 [6]
Yoido Full Gospel Church Assemblies of God Pentecostalism Seoul South Korea 800,000 [6]

References[edit | edit source]

Content on this page has been translated from the existing French Wikipedia article at fr:Liste de megachurches évangéliques; see its history for attribution.

  1. Alicia Budich, cbsnews.com, From Megachurch to "Gigachurch", USA, April 6, 2012
  2. Ed Stetzer, Newspaper christianitytoday.com, Megachurch Research - Terminology, USA, October 9, 2008
  3. 3.0 3.1 Ruth Gledhill, Newspaper Christian Today, Church growth: World's largest churches are getting bigger, USA, September 08, 2016
  4. Dr. John Vaughan, Church Growth Today, About, USA, Retrieved October 30, 2016
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Lifeway research, outreachmagazine.com, 100 LARGEST PARTICIPING CHURCHES 2016, USA, Retrieved January 3, 2017
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 Warren Bird, World megachurches, Leadership Network, USA, Retrieved January 3, 2017
  7. Matt Levin, Newspaper chron.com, Megachurches spread across the world, USA, July 31, 2015
  8. Hartford Institute Database of megachurches in the US Archived 2016-04-29 at the Wayback Machine, hartfordinstitute.org's website, USA, Retrieved June 26, 2016
  9. Rick Noack, Lazaro Gamio, Newspaper washingtonpost.com, How US-style megachurches are Taking Over the World, in 5 maps and charts, USA, 24 July 2015
  10. Hartford Institute Megachurches of Canada Archived 2016-03-06 at the Wayback Machine, hartfordinstitute.org's website, USA, Retrieved February 13, 2016
  11. Do Pastors Exaggerate Attendance Figures?
  12. Senator Probes Megachurches' Finances
  13. Controversial Megachurch Pastor Won't Discuss Finances Because of Jesus
  14. Are Prosperity Preachers Destroying the Traditional Black Church? A Review of 'Black Church Inc'
  15. Will Europe's Third-Largest Church Punish Pastor for Multiple Affairs?
  16. The Economist: O come all ye faithful
  17. "Historia". supresencia.com (in español). Retrieved 2018-11-30.
  18. "2016 Annual Report Australia | About". hillsong.com. Retrieved 2018-04-08.
  19. "Global Megachurches by Leadership Ne.Zhang Zhongchengtwork's Warren Bird PUBLIC". Google Docs. Retrieved 2018-08-14.

Sources[edit | edit source]

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

  • Sébastien Fath, Dieu XXL, la révolution des mégachurches, Édition Autrement, France, 2008

See also[edit | edit source]

Others articles of the Topic Christianity : Christianity, Dean Burgon Society, Theologian of Christianity, List of Christian Nobel laureates, Ihud Bnei HaBrit, Angelo Roppolo, Norman Maphosa
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