What’s a Megachurch?

Is it just a large church? Not according to Hartford Seminary researchers. To them, a megachurch has to be Protestant. And it has to meet these other criteria:

… strong charismatic senior ministers, many associate pastors, large staff, robust congregational identity that empowers 100’s to 1000’s of weekly volunteers, an identity that draws people from a very large area (sometimes an hour or more) and across parish boundaries, a multitude of programs and ministries organized and maintained by members, high levels of commitment and giving by members, seven-day-a-week activities at the church, contemporary worship, state of the art sound and projection systems, auxiliary support systems such as bookstores, coffee shops, etc. huge campuses of 30-100 acres, and other common megachurch characteristics.

So a Catholic church with 28,000 members (bigger than any church in the US but Lakewood), wouldn’t qualify in their definition. See Marcel’s commentary.

4 thoughts on “What’s a Megachurch?

  1. It all depends on how you want to define church. St. Ann’s is a parish of the church of Galveston-Houston, which has a membership of over 1,000,000. In many ways a Catholic bishop is more analogous to a pastor of a megachurch. Some megachurches have more than one campus (parishes?).
    I am sure some megachurches would reject the idea that Catholics are Christian so perhaps that influences the definition?

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