Large congregations rely on conservative values, strong pastors, study finds

I must admit that I regularly find myself “defending” megachurches, not that I argue for their correctness, but just that so many of my colleagues (and the media) seem to be misinformed about them. This study offers a corrective. I wonder how much coverage it will receive?

Among the megachurch myths that the study “debunks,” Thumma said, are:

— All megachurches are nondenominational. Reality: Most are affiliated with a denomination.

— Megachurches water down theology. Reality: Most have high spiritual expectations.

— They are extensions of the Republican Party. Reality: The majority are not politically active.

The survey also says megachurches don’t dwell on raising money, except when engaged in a building or capital campaign.

“We don’t get up every Sunday and show a thermostat and say this is how much we raised,” said the Rev. Michael Youssef, senior pastor of The Church of the Apostles. “Our focus is on worship. We don’t know who gives what. We trust God. He’s going to provide.”

UPDATE: The report can be found here.

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