What are you feelings about Megachurches? Here’s a new study about what’s going on with those who attend them from The Christian Post
US Megachurches Growing, Providing ‘Heightened Sense of Spirituality’
A new study has revealed that megachurches in America with congregations larger than 2,000 people are not only growing, but also satisfying the spiritual needs of their members.
“The megachurches movement is one of the leading indicators of how American Christians exercise their faith these days, so therefore they should be understood,” said James Wellman, associate professor of American religion at the University of Washington and one of the-co-authors of the study. “And our study shows they’re doing a pretty effective job for their members, based on self-reports, contrary to public opinion that tends to pass them off as a type of consumerist religion. In fact, their members speak eloquently of their spiritual growth.”
Wellman and his team used 470 interviews and 16,000 surveys of people attending megachurches, and their research noted that many found what they were seeking from America’s largest churches, mainly acceptance and belonging, salvation and spirituality, and genuine admiration for the charismatic leaders. The churches create “membership feelings and symbols charged with emotional significance, and a heightened sense of spirituality.”
“(T)he Holy Spirit goes through the crowd like a football team doing the wave. … Never seen it in any other church,” explained one unnamed megachurch member in the study.
Evidence of the successful growth of megachurches in America was also found in the statistics – today more than half of all churchgoing Americans attend the largest 10 percent of churches.
“Megachurch services feature a come-as-you-are atmosphere, rock music and what Wellman calls a ‘multisensory mélange’ of visuals and other elements to stimulate the senses, as well as small-group participation and a shared focus on the message from a charismatic pastor,” the study explains.
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