Top Churches to Watch in America

Andy Stanley, Lead Pastor, North Point Community Church

Me encontré ésta lista de iglesias relevantes en los Estados Unidos. Impresionante el impacto que están logrando al haber evolucionado con los tiempos.

The Openhouse Project en Costa Rica utiliza recursos audiovisuales de North Point principalmente, presente en varias de éstas listas. Unidos también se encuentra en un proceso de evolución en dirección al modelo que inspira precisamente North Point en Alpharetta, por lo que nos hemos sumado para hacerlo juntos.

La idea es simple: enfocarnos en una experiencia que se quiera repetir, una y otra vez, en ambientes relevantes y propicios para desarrollar una relación íntima con Díos, una comunidad participativa y particularmente influencia en quienes no han encontrado dónde hacerlo. ¿Lo ves? No es ni por un segundo cuestión de religión. De seguido el artículo:

Top Churches to Watch in America

Andy Stanley, Lead Pastor, North Point Community Church

One of the wisest things a pastor can do is learn from other churches. Ministry is a busy vocation, so it is important use your limited time wisely when looking for churches to study.

There are roughly 320,000 churches in the United States, and obviously no one has time to study them all. In fact, few people have time to study all 421 churches from the 16 big “top churches” lists since 2004. If you are looking for some top churches to watch in America, I have created mashups of the top churches to study in the areas of growth, innovation, church planting, size, influence, and overall.

See the complete churches to watch list.

Keep in mind these lists aren’t perfect. Many are subjective. Some have misinformation. But I find these mashups to be a step in the right direction of creating better lists.

Also, keep in mind that these aren’t the only churches worth watching. You should also be learning from local churches, church plants, and more.

My methods for ranking the churches are simple. Churches are ranked (1) by how many lists they have been included on and (2) by the average ranking they have had on the lists. See the end of the article for a list of all lists referenced.

TOP 10 U.S. CHURCHES to learn from about CHURCH GROWTH
These are the top churches to learn from about how to consistently experience high level growth.

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

TOP 10 U.S. CHURCHES to learn from about CHURCH INNOVATION
These are the top churches to learn from about innovative methods.

  1. LifeChurch.tv (Edmond, OK) :: Craig Groeschel
    Made 2/2 innovation lists with an average rank of #1
  2. Granger Community Church (Granger, IN) :: Mark Beeson
    Made 2/2 innovation lists with an average rank of #2.5
  3. Mars Hill Church (Seattle, WA) :: Mark Driscoll
    [tie for 3rd] Made 2/2 innovation lists with an average rank of #5.5
  4. Seacoast Church (Mt. Pleasant, SC) :: Greg Surratt
    [tie for 3rd] Made 2/2 innovation lists with an average rank of #5.5
  5. Fellowship Church (Grapevine, TX) :: Ed Young, Jr.
    [tie for 5th] Made 2/2 innovation lists with an average rank of #6
  6. Mosaic Church (Los Angeles, CA) :: Erwin McManus
    [tie for 5th] Made 2/2 innovation lists with an average rank of #6
  7. North Point Community Church (Alpharetta, GA) :: Andy Stanley
    [tie for 5th] Made 2/2 innovation lists with an average rank of #6
  8. National Community Church (Washington, DC) :: Mark Batterson
    Made 2/2 innovation lists with an average rank of #9.5
  9. Community Christian Church (Naperville, IL) :: Dave Ferguson
    Made 2/2 innovation lists with an average rank of #10
  10. Saddleback Church (Lake Forest, CA) :: Rick Warren
    Made 2/2 innovation lists with an average rank of #12

TOP 10 U.S. CHURCHES to learn from about CHURCH PLANTING
These are the top churches to learn from about planting multiple churches.

  1. Redeemer Presbyterian Church (New York, NY) :: Tim Keller
    Made 1/1 church planting lists with a rank of #1
  2. Mars Hill Church (Seattle, WA) :: Mark Driscoll
    Made 1/1 church planting lists with a rank of #2
  3. Northwood Church (Keller, TX) :: Bob Roberts
    Made 1/1 church planting lists with a rank of #3
  4. Perimeter Church (Duluth, GA) :: Randy Pope
    Made 1/1 church planting lists with a rank of #4
  5. Spanish River Church (Boca Raton, FL) :: David Nicholas
    Made 1/1 church planting lists with a rank of #5
  6. East 91st Street Christian Center (Indianapolis, IN) :: Derek Duncan
    Made 1/1 church planting lists with a rank of #6
  7. Community Christian Church (Naperville, IL) :: Dave Ferguson
    Made 1/1 church planting lists with a rank of #7
  8. Fellowship Bible Church (Little Rock, AR) :: Bill Wellons
    Made 1/1 church planting lists with a rank of #8
  9. Kensington Community Church (Troy, MI) :: Steve Andrews
    Made 1/1 church planting lists with a rank of #9
  10. Church at the Springs (Ocala, FL) :: Ron Sylvia
    Made 1/1 church planting lists with a rank of #10

TOP 10 U.S. CHURCHES to learn from about CHURCH SIZE
These are the top churches to learn from about running a large church.

  1. Lakewood Church (Houston, TX) :: Joel Osteen
    Made 4/4 size lists with an average attendance of 44,750
  2. Second Baptist Church (Houston, TX) :: Ed Young, Sr.
    Made 4/4 size lists with an average attendance of 22,962
  3. Willow Creek Community Church (South Barrington, IL) :: Bill Hybels
    Made 4/4 size lists with an average attendance of 22,725
  4. Saddleback Church (Lake Forest, CA) :: Rick Warren
    Made 4/4 size lists with an average attendance of 21,107
  5. LifeChurch.tv (Edmond, OK) :: Craig Groeschel
    Made 4/4 size lists with an average attendance of 20,894
  6. North Point Community Church (Alpharetta, GA) :: Andy Stanley
    Made 4/4 size lists with an average attendance of 20,084
  7. Southeast Christian Church (Louisville, KY) :: Dave Stone
    Made 4/4 size lists with an average attendance of 17,515
  8. Fellowship Church (Grapevine, TX) :: Ed Young, Jr.
    Made 4/4 size lists with an average attendance of 17,348
  9. Calvary Chapel Ft. Lauderdale (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) :: Bob Coy
    Made 4/4 size lists with an average attendance of 17,305
  10. New Birth Missionary Baptist (Decatur, GA) :: Eddie Long
    Made 4/4 size lists with an average attendance of 16,250

TOP 10 U.S. CHURCHES to learn from that are INFLUENCING OTHER CHURCHES
These are the top churches that are influencing how other churches do ministry.

  1. Willow Creek Community Church (South Barrington, IL) :: Bill Hybels
    Made 3/3 influential lists with an average rank of #1.33
  2. Saddleback Church (Lake Forest, CA) :: Rick Warren
    Made 3/3 influential lists with an average rank of #1.67
  3. North Point Community Church (Alpharetta, GA) :: Andy Stanley
    Made 3/3 influential lists with an average rank of #3.33
  4. Fellowship Church (Grapevine, TX) :: Ed Young, Jr.
    Made 3/3 influential lists with an average rank of #3.67
  5. Lakewood Church (Houston, TX) :: Joel Osteen
    Made 3/3 influential lists with an average rank of #5.67
  6. The Potter’s House (Dallas, TX) :: T.D. Jakes
    Made 3/3 influential lists with an average rank of #8.33
  7. LifeChurch.tv (Edmond, OK) :: Craig Groeschel
    Made 3/3 influential lists with an average rank of #9.33
  8. The Brooklyn Tabernacle (Brooklyn, NY) :: Jim Cymbala
    Made 3/3 influential lists with an average rank of #10.67
  9. The Church of the Resurrection UMC (Leawood, KS) :: Adam Hamilton
    Made 3/3 influential lists with an average rank of #11
  10. North Coast Church (Vista, CA) :: Larry Osborne
    Made 3/3 influential lists with an average rank of #11.33

TOP 26 U.S. CHURCHES to learn from in ALL AREAS
These are the top churches that excel in all the measured areas from lists.

  1. LifeChurch.tv (Edmond, OK) :: Craig Groeschel
    Made 14/16 lists with an average rank of #8.71
  2. Saddleback Church (Lake Forest, CA) :: Rick Warren
    Made 14/16 lists with an average rank of #15.64
  3. Seacoast Church (Mt. Pleasant, SC) :: Greg Surratt
    Made 14/16 lists with an average rank of #37.79
  4. Fellowship Church (Grapevine, TX) :: Ed Young, Jr.
    Made 13/16 lists with an average rank of #10.69
  5. New Hope Christian Fellowship (Oahu, HI) :: Wayne Cordeiro
    Made 13/16 lists with an average rank of #25.08
  6. Willow Creek Community Church (South Barrington, IL) :: Bill Hybels
    Made 12/16 lists with an average rank of #12.08
  7. Woodlands Church (Woodlands, TX) :: Kerry Shook
    Made 12/16 lists with an average rank of #26.5
  8. North Point Community Church (Alpharetta, GA) :: Andy Stanley
    Made 11/16 lists with an average rank of #8.45
  9. Mars Hill Church (Seattle, WA) :: Mark Driscoll
    Made 11/16 lists with an average rank of #23.91
  10. NorthRidge Church (Plymouth, MI) :: Brad Powell
    Made 11/16 lists with an average rank of #36.73
  11. Lakewood Church (Houston, TX) :: Joel Osteen
    Made 10/16 lists with an average rank of #2.6
  12. The Potter’s House (Dallas, TX) :: T.D. Jakes
    Made 10/16 lists with an average rank of #13.5
  13. Second Baptist Church (Houston, TX) :: Ed Young, Sr.
    Made 10/16 lists with an average rank of #20
  14. Southeast Christian Church (Louisville, KY) :: Dave Stone
    Made 10/16 lists with an average rank of #27.2
  15. McLean Bible Church (Vienna, VA) :: Lon Soloman
    Made 10/16 lists with an average rank of #31.7
  16. The Church of the Resurrection UMC (Leawood, KS) :: Adam Hamilton
    Made 10/16 lists with an average rank of #40.4
  17. Calvary Chapel Ft. Lauderdale (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) :: Bob Coy
    Made 9/16 lists with an average rank of #20.67
  18. New Birth Missionary Baptist (Decatur, GA) :: Eddie Long
    Made 9/16 lists with an average rank of #21.11
  19. Prestonwood Baptist Church (Plano, TX) :: Jack Graham
    Made 9/16 lists with an average rank of #31.78
  20. First Baptist Church Hammond (Hammond, IN) :: Jack Schaap
    Made 9/16 lists with an average rank of #33.89
  21. Christ’s Church of the Valley (Peoria, AZ) :: Don Wilson
    Made 9/16 lists with an average rank of #36.11
  22. Crossroads Community Church (Cincinnati, OH) :: Brian Tome
    Made 9/16 lists with an average rank of #41.22
  23. Community Bible Church (San Antonio, TX) :: Robert Emmitt
    Made 9/16 lists with an average rank of #42.67
  24. New Life Church (Colorado Springs, CO) :: Brady Boyd
    Made 9/16 lists with an average rank of #45.89
  25. NewSpring Church (Anderson, SC) :: Perry Noble
    Made 9/16 lists with an average rank of #46.44
  26. Lancaster County Bible Church (Manheim, PA) :: David Ashcraft
    Made 9/16 lists with an average rank of #75.33

I appreciate that these lists prove that success in ministry can be achieved with a variety of models. They represent a wide spectrum of denominations and ministry philosophies that reach an equally diverse spectrum of cultures and communities. Something valuable can be learned from each church.

Referenced Lists

  1. Outreach magazine’s 2009 100 Fastest-Growing U.S. Churches
  2. Outreach magazine’s 2009 100 Largest U.S. Churches
  3. Outreach magazine’s 2008 America’s 25 Most Innovative Churches
  4. Outreach magazine’s 2008 100 Fastest-Growing U.S. Churches
  5. Outreach magazine’s 2008 103 Largest U.S. Churches
  6. Outreach magazine’s 2007 America’s 25 Most Innovative Churches
  7. Outreach magazine’s 2007 101 Fastest-Growing U.S. Churches
  8. Outreach magazine’s 2007 100 Largest U.S. Churches
  9. The Church Report’s 2007 50 Most Influential Churches
  10. Outreach magazine’s 2007 America’s Top 25 Multiplying Churches
  11. Outreach magazine’s 2006 100 Fastest-Growing U.S. Churches
  12. Outreach magazine’s 2006 100 Largest U.S. Churches
  13. The Church Report’s 2006 50 Most Influential Churches
  14. Outreach magazine’s 2005 100 Fastest-Growing U.S. Churches
  15. The Church Report’s 2005 50 Most Influential Churches
  16. Outreach magazine’s 2004 100 Fastest-Growing U.S. Churches

Special thanks to Outreach magazine, Ed Stetzer, and Church Growth Today for their work in compiling the data for the original lists.

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