Outreach 100: Largest and Fastest-Growing Churches in America
For the first time since Outreach magazine has compiled its annual report of the largest churches in America, all 100 churches were listed with 7,000 weekend attendants or higher.
While some of the most well-known churches still rank highest in the report, some showed a drop in attendance over the last year. Lakewood, led by Pastor Joel Osteen, saw a dip from 47,000 attendants in 2007. Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Ill., experienced a drop from 23,500 people to 22,500, placing the megachurch at No. 4 this year.
Also, Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., led by Pastor Rick Warren, went down from 22,000 weekend attendants to 19,414. Saddleback is ranked as No. 8 this year after ranking No. 4 in 2007....
Many years ago, I heard a pastor say these words, "where the crowds are Jesus isn't". From my personal experience, I have found this to be true. The are very few on the narrow way, but many on the broad way that leads to destruction.
Truth is not found in numbers or popularity. A lot of these pastors are popular to the public and often this means they are teaching a very generic and diluted message and doctrines which do not convict or cause offense.
Mar 4:3 Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow: ....And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up,...
Mar 4:13 And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables? Mar 4:14 The sower soweth the word. Mar 4:15 And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts. Mar 4:16 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word,
immediately receive it with gladness;
Mar 4:17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended. " Mat 13:20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon
with joy receiveth it;
Mat 13:21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. "
Wow, "gladness, joy" in response to the word lead to quick growth.... but no root-- a good warning.