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prov·o·ca·tion - something that provokes, arouses, or stimulates. pant - to long eagerly; yearn. a collection of thoughts intended to provoke and inspire. these posts are hoping to encourage people to think, especially Christians, and pant even harder for the waterbrooks of the Lord. If you are not a believer in Christ Jesus, I welcome your perspective and encourage your investigation on these matters.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Top 100 Fatest Growing Churches in 2006

Last week, Christian Post reported that Lakewood Church topped the list of the fastest growing churches in the United States. The report has been provided by Dr. John N. Vaughan, president and founder of Church Growth Today, which specializes in research to megachurches both domestically and globally.

Here’s some of interesting facts:

  • 52 churches are new to the top 100 list.
  • Texas leads the states with 19 with California, Florida, and Georgia following with 8 respectively (a total of 30 states represented in study).
  • Southern Baptist top the denominational list with 27 with Independent (18) in second with Independent charismatic (11) in third.
  • 40 of the churches on the list are also on the top 100 largest churches.
  • 1/10 of the 1,000+ megachurches are less than 10 years old.

A couple of notable churches on the list:

  • Willow Creek Community Church (Bill Hybels) at 8 with 2,900 additions
  • Lifechurch.tv (Graig Groeschel) at 11 with 2,849 additions
  • Mars Hill Church (Mark Driscoll) at 15 with 2,100 additions
  • The Church at Brook Hills (David Platt) at 23 with 1,531 additions
  • Fellowship Church (Ed Young Jr.) at 37 with 1,248 additions
  • Saddleback Church (Rick Warren) at 39 with 1,149 additions
  • Second Baptist Church (Ed Young Sr.) at 40 with 1,110 additions
  • Dauphin Way Baptist Church (Clint Pressley) at 73 with 800
  • Prestonwood Baptist Church (Jack Graham) at 97 with 655

A couple not on the least that I thought would be there:

  • Southeast Christian Church (Bob Russell)
  • Northpoint Community Church (Andy Stanley)
  • Mars Hill Bible Church (Rob Bell)
  • Bellevue Baptist Church (Steve Gaines)
  • First Baptist Church Woodstock (Johnny Hunt)

Oh, and in case you are looking for a church name that is most likely to make it on the list, try, beginning the name with either “Crossroads” or “Calvary” and then end it with “Community Church.” I figure I would add to the pragmatic tips and pretend like I am a church growth guru.

But seriously, I wonder what the criteria is for additions. I mean, if a church is 15,000 members strong and 1 out of 8 families has a child that year, what do you think that will do to the numbers? Or what percentage is transfer growth? Or the $64,000 question is how many are unregenerate?

To view the entire list for 2006 as well as previous years, click here.


Blogger Shannon Mckenzie said...

Well, it looks like Dauphin Way is closing in on their goal, a campaign which was kicked off by "encouraging" Dr. Lawson to leave. Did you ever get a chance to see the letter that was circulated? I know that was after your time in Mobile. Also, I am back in town, so we need to hit the B&N for that coffee. Oh yeah, I had one person contact me to be a contributor to AAEP.

9/05/2006 08:39:00 PM

Blogger R. Mansfield said...

Is it a Freudian slip that your title says "Fatest" instead of "Fastest" or did you do that on purpose?

9/05/2006 09:31:00 PM

Blogger Timmy said...


Yeah, I just noticed it! Lol. I was in a little hurry to post it because dinner awaited me. I'm now debating whether or not to change it . . .

9/05/2006 09:58:00 PM

Blogger Timmy said...


Yeah, I was intrigued to see them on the list. One has to wonder if the additions were the old members coming back after Lawson left. I have not read the letter in circulation but did do a little homework when I found out that Dr. Pressley recently became the Trustee for the state of AL for SBTS. In any case, I hope that there would be some reconcliation there, but the feelings are so heated, I am not sure that it is possible.

9/05/2006 10:01:00 PM

Blogger Alex F said...

I wonder what impact multi-campus models have on the list. One church on the list (from SC) has "campuses" in at least 3 different cities (and I mean not in the same area code cities).

Are these gross gains in membership or just pure additions? In other words, could the so-called back door be as wide as the front?

9/06/2006 12:37:00 PM

Blogger Timmy said...

Yeah, I think you are talking about Groeschel who also wrote the manual for developing a multi-site, church-franchising approach.

You asked some good questions, Alex, and it would be worthwhile to understand the criteria they used. I think the five year analysis that Tom Ascol and others have used would be worth doing on some of these if possible. By that I mean, take the membership, those added by transfer growth, baptism, or any other means, and see the differentiation in attendance with the those "added to the church." For some churches, for every 500 added, 100 stay. Is this how we are supposed to do church?

9/06/2006 01:14:00 PM

Blogger Clint Pressley said...

Dauphin Way went through a terrible time where nobody won. Steve lawson left hurt and the people remained devestated. 2003 was a tough time for Dauphin Way. The church was broken and that's not always bad. God has started the restoration process. Some that left have returned but most have stayed in their respective churches. God has healed many hearts but there is still work to do. Please pray that our Sovereign Lord would recieve glory even in this situation. Dauphin Way is a great church with a great future.

As for the list, who knows how we got on it?

As for being on the board at Southern: I consider it an honor to work closely with Dr. Mohler, a man I have a profound sense of respect for.

As for calling me "Dr." give me a year or so, I am still working on it.

Please keep praying for us, Mobile is a city in need of a Church that is not driven by consumerism but by a passion for Christ. I want DWBC to be that Church.

Clint Pressley

9/25/2006 06:16:00 AM

Blogger Timmy said...

Mr. Pressley,

First let me say "thanks" and "welcome" to my blog. Your thoughts and input are always welcome here.

What occurred with DWBC was indeed devasting or a lot of people, including those who were not members of DWBC. There were many of us who were acutely aware of all that was going on, and although I was not in Mobile at the time, many of my close friends were and experienced first hand all that took place. It was even more disheartenening when you read articles from your Baptist state paper who is more biased than the secular Mobile Press Register. Now I don't want to be naive to think that Dr. Lawson would receive a fair hearing, but part of the problem has been because he has been misrepresented not so much by the secular media, but by his own brothers and sisters. This ought not be, even if you have differences with him.

I sincerely hope that there can be reconciliation in this matter. While there are many of us who have a deep respect for Dr. Lawson, we also have a deep love for Christ's Church and want to see the healing take place. What concerned me with your new position as pastor of DWBC was due to people wanting to have someone who is the antithesis of Lawson as a replacement. However, it is good to know that, like Dr. Lawson you are a committed expositor of GOd's Word and want to build God's Church God's way. That's good news. There have been concerns, however, due to your public comments made at the 2004 Pastor's Conference in Montgomery, AL which have prevented the progress of such healing, wondering if the past would be perpetuated.

As permanent residents of AL and students at SBTS, the many whom I have talked to concerning your position as trustee hope that there would be a good relationship between you, the school, and the students from AL. Any way I can build confidence and good rapport between yourself and the students of SBTS which represent AL, I would be glad to chip in.

I will pray for you and DWBC and am encouraged to hear your desire to build on the foundation of Christ with solid biblical teaching and a passion for Him. May God be pleased to bless your ministry indeed.

9/25/2006 11:38:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/09/2007 05:10:00 PM


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