One of the major trends of recent decades has been the rise of the “megachurch”—that is, congregations that attract huge numbers of people each weekend. So how big is the megachurch audience, exactly? In our national research, Barna Group tracks the size of the churches that Americans attend. Overall, only about one in 10 self-identified Christians (10%) in America attend a church with at least 1,000 attenders. In other words, while megachurches are a much-discussed trend, the vast majority of American Christians attend smaller churches.
As part of the Barna: Cities effort, we can pinpoint America’s most and least megachurch-oriented cities. The research shows that Las Vegas, NV has the highest concentration of megachurch attenders among the Christians who reside in the market (29% of all Christians who live in the region attend a church of at least 1,000 attenders). The second-ranked market was Baton Rouge, LA (27%). Two Florida cities made the top of the list, including Tampa-St. Petersburg (21%) and Orlando (18%). Texas also contributed two cities to the rankings: Dallas, Fort Worth (19%) and Houston (19%). The New Mexico corridor of Albuquerque, Sante Fe (19%) also places in the top seven cities.
The bottom three markets included Madison, WI, Toledo, OH, and Salt Lake City, UT. In each of these three markets, only 1% of Christians reported attending a megachurch.
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