By Warren Bird in collaboration with a Canadian research team
For Canadians who attended a Protestant church last weekend, an estimated one in eight attended a church that draws 1,000 or more in weekly attendance. These predominantly evangelical congregations are growing, reaching out, and focused on serving children and youth. Terms like megachurch, church growth, multiple services, and congregations with lots of young families bring to mind countries like the United States (think Joel Osteen and Lakewood, or Rick Warren and Saddleback), Nigeria (with sanctuaries that seat over 50,000), Korea (home to the world’s largest-attendance church) and other parts of the world – but Canada too? Isn’t church attendance on the decline across the 10 provinces and 3 territories?
This article discusses the findings of a research project that found that Canadian “megachurches” are increasingly popular amongst Canadians, with 1 in 8 Protestants attending these congregations weekly. This report discusses how large churches appear to be an attractive and likely enduring option for Canadians seeking an experience of engaged and growing congregational life. Leaders of these churches report that they are evangelistically effective, are reaching a diverse ethnic population, and are expanding to multisite venues—all with high-quality ministry programs.
Bird, Warren, and et. al. 2015. “Large Canadian Churches Draw an Estimated 300,000 Worshippers Each.”
Role of Churches. Immigrant Settlement Integration, immigrants, megachurches