Every year, Outreach Magazine publishes a list of the 100 largest churches in America along with the 100 fastest growing churches. The 2008 research about the top 100 largest churches can be seen here or purchased here. The list of fastest growing churches can be viewed here.
Here are a few excerpts:
1. Behind the numbers are stories of changed lives, renewed churches, and transformed communities.
2. If current trends continue, the number of medium-sized churches will continue to decrease and the bulk of churches will tend to be large or small.
3. New sites, as well as new buildings and regional population increases - even new leadership - served as growth catalysts.
4. Many churches are exploring the virtual world by making use of online technology for things such as internet campuses.
5. Multi-site continues to be one of the best-known strategies for church growth and expansion.
6. Interest in multi-generational churches for all ages is growing. So also is a focus on the 20-somethings, many of whom embrace megahurches who are intentional about reaching them.
7. Other common aspects of growing churches include: an outward focus, a climate of creativity, leader teams, clear vision, and the danger of leadership burnout.
Ed concludes by saying, "Regardless of your church's size or shape, Christ calls each f us to seek out fresh ways to contextualize the Gospel for a dying world. I pray that we never lose sight of that call or the people waiting to meet their Savior in or through our churches." Amen to that!
P.S. You can view a Power Point presentation of Ed's insights here.