Outreach has released its annual list of the 100 largest churches in America, and it includes 39 churches with 10,000 or more in weekly attendance. The smallest of the 100 churches averages just under 6,000 a week. (Seven of the churches have pastors who are on the Preaching Board of Contributing Editors. Just sayin’…)
The top 10 largest (and their cities or metro areas) are: Lakewood Church (Houston), North Point Community (Atlanta), Willow Creek (Chicago), Southeast Christian (Louisville), Saddleback (Lake Forest, Calif.), Woodlands (Houston), Central Christian (Las Vegas), Second Baptist (Houston), Phoenix First Assembly of God (Phoenix) and Christ’s Church of the Valley (Phoenix).
Why is such a list helpful? Ed Stetzer observes: “Falling rates of conversion, tearing of the cultural moral fabric, and declining church attendance provide little for which believers can celebrate and much over which we lament. While this is true across the country as a whole, it is true that God is glorified in healthy churches, and there are numerous examples where God is glorifying Himself in the midst of local churches in dramatic ways. This is one of the reasons I look forward each year to this particular report, as it provides us with examples of churches through which God is working and some of the ways by which He has chosen to do so.”