A new study on megachurches revealed that they have fewer seats, but those seats are filling up more often, they take in more money, yet giving has slackened, among other findings.
In an extensive study, Leadership Network and the Hartford Institute for Religion Research found that “Megachurches are still vital. But even they are affected by societal and cultural changes,” said Scott Thumma, co-author of the survey.
Christianity Today reports that for the research, 200 congregations of over 1,800 attendees each were surveyed.
The survey found that church attendance has dropped. In 2005, nearly all (96%) of megachurch attendees came every week, but now, in 2015, that figure has dropped to 85%.
Giving trends have also changed according to the survey.
In 2005, megachurches reported an average income of $4.6 million. In 2015 that number is higher at $4.7 million; however, the research states, that number is actually lower, adjusted for inflation, than what it should be judging by the 2005 statistics.
The survey also found that congregants were more likely to give to a megachurch if they emphasized global missions.
To see a full list of the research findings, click here.
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Publication date: December 2, 2015