For anyone who has any pre-conceived notions about the nation's growing trend toward "megachurches" — and I admit, I do — Beyond Megachurch Myths: What We Can Learn From America's Largest Churches (Jossey-Bass, 198 pages, $23.95) may help clear things up.
The authors, Dr. Scott Thumma, a faculty member at Hartford Seminary, and Dave Travis, executive vice president of Leadership Network ("the premier church networking organization for innovative churches"), break down such statements as...
"All megachurches are alike."
"Megachurches are cults of personality."
"Megachurches water down the faith."
"These churches are full of people of the same race, class, and political preferences."
At the end, in a chapter titled, "What Might the Future Hold," the authors cite the megachurches' ability to "read and adapt to the changing patterns and cultural needs of contemporary society" as the key to their success and continued growth in the future.
* A Megachurch is defined as a Protestant church that averages at least 2000 total attendees in their weekend services
* In 2007, there were 1,250 megachurches in the United States. The authors predict the total to be at around 1,500 by 2010.