Fast Growing Churches 6 Years Running

In January of this year, Church Relevance collected studies of the fastest growing churches in America from 2004-2009.

Here are the lists they consulted:

  • Outreach magazine’s 2009 100 Fastest-Growing U.S. Churches
  • Outreach magazine’s 2009 100 Largest U.S. Churches
  • Outreach magazine’s 2008 America’s 25 Most Innovative Churches
  • Outreach magazine’s 2008 100 Fastest-Growing U.S. Churches
  • Outreach magazine’s 2008 103 Largest U.S. Churches
  • Outreach magazine’s 2007 America’s 25 Most Innovative Churches
  • Outreach magazine’s 2007 101 Fastest-Growing U.S. Churches
  • Outreach magazine’s 2007 100 Largest U.S. Churches
  • The Church Report’s 2007 50 Most Influential Churches
  • Outreach magazine’s 2007 America’s Top 25 Multiplying Churches
  • Outreach magazine’s 2006 100 Fastest-Growing U.S. Churches
  • Outreach magazine’s 2006 100 Largest U.S. Churches
  • The Church Report’s 2006 50 Most Influential Churches
  • Outreach magazine’s 2005 100 Fastest-Growing U.S. Churches
  • The Church Report’s 2005 50 Most Influential Churches
  • Outreach magazine’s 2004 100 Fastest-Growing U.S. Churches

Based on these studies, Church Relevance put together a list of the Top Ten churches which consistently experienced high levels of growth over this 6 year period (I’ve inserted the founding date of each church (based on the church’s website)):

  • 1996 – Crossroads Community Church (Cincinnati, OH) :: Brian Tome
    Made 6/6 growth lists with an average rank of #42.33
  • 1988 – Lancaster County Bible Church (Manheim, PA) :: David Ashcraft
    Made 6/6 growth lists with an average rank of #75.33
  • 1996 – LifeChurch.tv (Edmond, OK) :: Craig Groeschel
    Made 5/6 growth lists with an average rank of #13.4
  • 2001 – Church of the Highlands (Birmingham, AL) :: Chris Hodges
    Made 5/6 growth lists with an average rank of #28.2
  • 1980 – Saddleback Church (Lake Forest, CA) :: Rick Warren
    Made 5/6 growth lists with an average rank of #33.2
  • 1993 – Woodlands Church (Woodlands, TX) :: Kerry Shook
    Made 5/6 growth lists with an average rank of #33.6
  • 1988 – Seacoast Church (Mt. Pleasant, SC) :: Greg Surratt
    Made 5/6 growth lists with an average rank of #48.2
  • 1990 – Community Bible Church (San Antonio, TX) :: Robert Emmitt
    Made 5/6 growth lists with an average rank of #50
  • 1998 – Bay Area Fellowship (Corpus Christi, TX) :: Bil Cornelius
    Made 5/6 growth lists with an average rank of #62
  • 1995 – CedarCreek Church (Perrysburg, OH) :: Lee Powell
    Made 5/6 growth lists with an average rank of #63.6

Some brief comments:

I wasn’t even aware of the existence of 7 of the 10.  How about you?  There are many churches which receive far more media attention than these.  Yet these are the ones consistently demonstrating growth in a changing American culture.  There are churches far larger than these.  Yet these are the ones truly growing.  The list reminded me how isolated I can become.  Perhaps it’s time for me widen my circles and see what God is doing in these places.

All of these churches are 30 years old or younger.  There is no church above 30 on the list.  Why does age seem to hinder consistent and significant growth?  What can older churches (the church I preach for is 80+) learn from this list?  What are younger churches able to do that can translate to older churches?

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