… you can entertain yourself by checking out a list of the fifty most influential churches in the US. (Actually they don’t specifically mention the US but it’s clear that that’s their paramters – we certainly should give them the benefit of the doubt that they’d agree that there are great churches elsewhere!). It’s a pretty interesting list (as most lists tend to be).
A couple quick observations: Its clear that we’re talking megachurches here but, frankly, that’s probably accurate if the measure is influence. I was struck by the way it tends to make celebrities out of the senior pastors – an unfortunate trend that is pretty common throughout evangelicalism. (A trend that really goes against the biblical picture of plural pastor/elder leadership.)
Of course there are some churches and pastors on the list I’m pleased to see there (ie John Piper and Bethlehem Baptist) and others whose influence is unfortunate (ie Robert Schuller). Many will fall in between. We can (and usually should) certainly question and quibble about methodology and theology (or lack thereof), but most of these churches are evangelical churches who are apparently connecting with people on some level.
So, what do you think of the list? What does it say? What are your observations? Who’s missing?
(HT: Steve McCoy)