Megachurches a Draw for Those under 45

The Christian Century, July 14, 2009 | Go to article overview

Megachurches a Draw for Those under 45


Megachurches are most attractive to younger adults, and almost all who arrive at their sanctuaries have attended church elsewhere before, a new survey shows.

The study by Leadership Network and the Hartford Institute for Religion Research found that almost two-thirds (62 percent) of adults who attend Protestant megachurches are younger than 45, compared to 35 percent in U.S. Protestant congregations overall.

Researchers found that just 6 percent of those attending a megachurch--defined as a congregation attended by 2,000 or more each week--had never attended a worship service before arriving at their current church.

Almost half (44 percent) had come from another local church, 28 percent had transplanted from a distant congregation and 18 percent had not attended church for a while, according to the study, released on June 9.

"It appears that megachurches draw persons who want a new experience of worship--contemporary, large-scale, professional, high-tech," said Scott Thumma, coauthor of Not Who You Think They Are: The Real Story of People Who Attend America's Megachurches. …

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