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Megachurch Articles

*These articles are available from Hartford Institute's website.
For additional article references, see our Megachurch Bibliography


Exploring the Megachurch Phenomena - A portion of 1996 dissertation by Scott Thumma which describes what megachurches are, their characteristics, and their resonance with the modern cultural context. (see his later research for more accurate descriptions of the current reality.)

The Kingdom, The Power And the Glory - Scott Thumma's dissertation about one megachurch, Chapel Hill Harvester Church/Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, Earl Paulk former pastor. The dissertation traces the rise, growth and decline of one, atypical for sure, megachurch in detail.

Growing up and Leaving Home: Megachurches that Depart Denominations
Scott Thumma and Adair Lummis Unpublished paper presented at the annual meetings of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion/ Religious Research Association,  Tampa, FL. 2007

An Analysis of Rick Warren's 40 Days of Purpose Movement.pdf Written by Mike McMullen and William Kilgore, University of Houston-Clear Lake, this paper was presented at the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion in October of 2006.


If you are interested in megachurches, you might find this 2007 book co-authored by Hartford Institute professor, Scott Thumma, interesting.



Presentations: (please do not use without crediting author and website. Some of the slides in these presentations will be identical)

PowerPoint Presentation for Indianapolis Center for Congregations by Dr. Scott Thumma Beyond Megachurch Myths Book Review May, 2008

PowerPoint Presentation for Indianapolis Center for Congregations by Dr. Scott Thumma Learning from Megachurch Model May, 2008

PowerPoint Presentation "Beyond Megachurch Myths: What we can learn from America's Largest Churches" from Hartford Seminary, Hartford by Scott Thumma

Listen Now Listen to the pod cast of Dr. Thumma's presentation
Watch Now Watch the C-SPAN2 Book TV presentation

PowerPoint presentation on multisite megachurches from the Religious Research Association national meeting Nov. 2007 Tampa by Warren Bird of Leadership Network

PowerPoint Presentation "Outreach Lessons From the Fastest Growing Megachurches" from National Outreach Conference Nov. 2006 San Diego by Scott Thumma

PowerPoint Presentation "Overview of Megachurch Phenomenon" from Religious Research Association Conference Oct. 2006 Portland, OR by Scott Thumma

PowerPoint Presentation "New Ways of Being Big" from speaking tour of Korean Churches April. 2006 by Scott Thumma

PowerPoint Presentation "New Directions in Megachurches" from speaking tour of Korean Churches April. 2006 by Scott Thumma

PowerPoint Presentation "Megachurches and Social Forms" from Church Presentation Feb. 2006 by Scott Thumma

PowerPoint Presentation "Exposing Megachurch Myths" from Church Presentation Feb. 2006 by Scott Thumma

Journalistic: (also see the bibliography)

Megachurches' way of worship is on the rise
By Jane Lampman, The Christian Science Monitor, February 6, 2006

Press Release by The Leadership Network Beyond Megachurch Myths (Jossey-Bass, 2007) Debunks Popular Misconceptions about America’s Largest Congregations

Megachurch, Megatech
by Edward Cone, CIO Insight, November 5, 2005

Megachurches, Megabusinesses
by Luisa Kroll, Forbes, September 17, 2003

The Business of the Kingdom:  Management guru Peter Drucker thinks the future of America is in the hands of churches.
by Tim Stafford, Christianity Today, November 1999

Is Willow Creek the Way of the Future?
an article by David S. Leucke appearing in The Christian Century, May 1997 

It's a God Thing: The Rise of the Megachurch
Good piece by Gary Bryson about Hillsong Church in Sydney, Australia. April 24, 2005

Wikipedia entry on Megachurches (not bad but it should also be compared to our 2005 national research)

The Alpha and the Mega - A documentary film by Morgan Mead.

How accurate are church counts? Here are three comments from Blogs on the topic.

Do Pastors Exaggerate Attendance Figures? by Ray Pritchard

Body-Count Evangelism by Warren Smith

Response to the Smith article by Mark Kelly "If he had bothered to contact us first."



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