It’s not marketing news per se, but the Associated Press reported last week on a study looking at the differences in contemporary megachurches and their smaller Protestant counterparts (minichurches?). Anyone interested in churches and marketing will likely be eager to dive into the statistics behind the article. The overarching finding of the study is that megachurches tend to be composed of younger, single adults, while other churches tend to be home for older families.
Among the other interesting findings of the study are that only three in four described the megachurch they attend as their “home church.” This could be indicative of some level of Christian tourism, where people visit to see what a given church is like, or it could just be that people are shifting towards visiting more than one church regularly. Megachurches are also the place of worship for more well-educated and wealthy individuals.
The survey seems to present some overwhelming evidence in favor of megachurches, except for one key aspect:
Nearly 45 percent of megachurch attenders never volunteer at the church and 32 percent give little or no money to the congregation.
Speaking with a friend, he suggested this could be because there are higher numbers of first-time guests and non-Christians. The survey doesn’t seem to support this hypothesis, however: 98% of those surveyed–visitors included–describe themselves as “committed followers of Jesus Christ.”
The report speculates this could be due to divided loyalties among different churches or the assumption that megachurches are for spectating rather than participating.
Either way, it seems megachurches are finding a lot of successes in some areas and some startling challenges in others.