Hartford Institute Releases Major Report on Megachurches

Photo of Professor Scott Thumma

Scott Thumma, Professor of Sociology of Religion and Director of the Seminary’s Hartford Institute for Religion Research, and Dr. Warren Bird, Vice President of Research and Equipping for the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, have released a major report called “Megachurch 2020: The Changing Reality in America’s Largest Churches.”

Based on an extensive survey conducted earlier this year, the study was produced by the Hartford Institute for Religion Research, the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, and Leadership Network.

Some of the findings include:

  • Megachurches are becoming more multiracial.
  • Megachurches have been expanding.
  • Small groups are central to megachurches’ spiritual formation of members.
  • Megachurches are increasingly involved in community service.
  • Many megachurches place major emphasis on special needs ministry.
  • Megachurches overwhelmingly avoid political action.
  • The role of megachurch pastors cannot be emphasized enough.
  • Spiritual vitality in megachurches shows up in distinct practices.
  • Security is important, but it has always been for most megachurches.
  • Megachurch finances increase with engagement and trust.
  • Megachurches were better prepared for the pandemic’s shutdown.

The report also looks at long-term trends based on surveys conducted in 2015, 2010, 2005 and 2000.

For the full report, visit this link.


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