(redirected from Mega-church)
Also found in: Dictionary.


large Protestant church with an average weekly attendance of 2,000 or more; relatively uncommon until after 1970. In the United States, where most megachurches are located, there were more than 1,300 by the late 2000s. They can also be found in a number of other countries, e.g., South Korea, Brazil, and several African nations. More than 60 percent of the American megachurches are located in the Sun Belt, especially in suburban areas of California, Texas, Georgia, and Florida. The average congregation ranges from about 2,000 to 3,000 in size.

Whether belonging to an established denomination or nondenominational, practically all American megachurches share a conservative, evangelical theology and aim at attracting members from many religious backgrounds. Most megachuches have pastors who possess a markedly charismatic preaching style and often make use of print, television, and radio in their ministry. Run as much like businesses as religious institutions, megachurches usually serve social as well as theological functions. Typically open from morning until night, seven days a week, they very often host conferences, hold classes, operate cafés or food courts, maintain gyms and other sports facilities, offer child care and youth programs, and have many other auxiliary operations, including a variety of outreach programs. Other features of some of today's megachurches include the operation of a variety of business ventures such as residential developments, shopping centers, investment partnerships, a sports arena, publishing house, limousine service, graphic design studio, recording studio and record label, and specialized web sites.

One of the earliest, best known, and probably the most architecturally distinguished of the megachurches is the Crystal Cathedral (1980), Garden Grove, Calif., the former home church (1980–2010) of televangelist Robert H. SchullerSchuller, Robert Harold,
1926–2015, American Protestant minister and television evangelist, b. Alton, Iowa. Schuller gained attention (1955) when he used a drive-in theater to preach to his newly established Los Angeles–area congregation.
..... Click the link for more information.
; the building was designed by Philip JohnsonJohnson, Philip Cortelyou,
1906–2005, American architect, museum curator, and historian, b. Cleveland, grad. Harvard Univ. (B.A., 1927). One of the first Americans to study modern European architecture, Johnson wrote (with H.-R.
..... Click the link for more information.
 and John Burgee. By the mid-2000s, the nation's largest such church was the nondenominational Lakewood Church, Houston, Tex., pastored by Joel Osteen and holding services for a congregation of more than 40,000 in a former sports arena.


See studies by O. Guinness (1993), J. N. Vaughan (1993), G. A. Pritchard (1996), D. E. Miller (1997), L. E. Schaller (1992 and 2000), J. H. Kilde (2002), A. C. Loveland and O. B. Wheeler (2003), J. B. Twitchell (2004), G. Marti (2005), S. Ellington (2007), and S. Thumma and D. Travis (2007).

Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
Mega-church pastors won't be able to settle even for these.
While "Chrislam" is promoted by Emergent leaders and mega-church pastors under motives such as "promoting dialogue" and "loving our neighbor," he believes that this movement can only result in the watering-down and compromising of biblical Christianity.
The mega-church networks build constituencies, in part, by attacking denominations, even as these networks then become more than virtual--indeed, parallel and competitive--"denominations" themselves.
Perrine mega-church finally ready to open [Miami Herald]
This type of crisis is serious for any Christian, but it's especially troublesome for Falson, who is head pastor of an evangelical mega-church in New England.
Beyond the traditional one-on-one partnerships that school counselors form with community-based spiritual leaders, as appropriate, culturally competent school counselors willingly form more comprehensive partnerships with mega-church ministerial staffs to better meet the needs of students for whom religion and spirituality are salient.
In the last chapter, the mega-church, The Fellowship, is erroneously identified as being in Garland, Texas, rather than Grapevine.
The book has ecumenical breadth that includes, along with mainline Protestant churches and the Roman Catholic Church, the Free Church and mega-church movements.
The Reverend Ted Haggard has been sacked as leader of the US mega-church he founded after a board said the influential evangelist had committed "sexually immoralconduct".
Cizik and NAE President Ted Haggard, a mega-church pastor in Colorado Springs, were attending critical seminars on the environment, and climate change in particular, and describing their experiences of "epiphany" and "conversion" on the issue.
I started attending an "ex-gay" group at the mega-church I was attending in Maryland.
presidents sitting among an overwhelmingly African-American audience in a mega-church that seats 10,000 people.