Mega CHRISTIAN SINGLES church?

The largest ever survey of American megachurches has revealed, “nearly a third of megachurch attendees are single compared to just 10 percent of a typical congregation,” and “although megachurches have nearly twice as many new attendees, most of the new people are already Christians and came from another church.” So how much church shopping is related to spouce shopping do you think?

Somewhat more surprising, the survey also revealed that “megachurch attendees are less committed financially than those in a typical church with 32 percent saying they contribute nothing or give just a small amount when they can.”

10 thoughts on “Mega CHRISTIAN SINGLES church?

  1. Jarred says:

    Let me start this comment by acknowledging that I”m making an assumption that a certain impression I’ve gotten about megachurches is accurate on the grand scale. If that assumption is wrong, please let me know and ignore the rest of my line of reasoning.
    I’ve often gotten the impression that megachurches tend to brand themselves as a place where people can reach their full potential and have all their needs fulfilled — to the point where a lot of them even tend to preach a “prosperity gospel” to some degree or another. Assuming that my impression is accurate, it seems that this would contribute to the high percentage of singles in such churches.
    Let’s face it, for single people, finding that special someone you can spend your life is often a pretty important thing and even a high priority goal. So if one find a church that promises fulfilment, I can see why one would assume that means romantic fulfilment too. It’d make that church high on my list.
    There’s also the fact that for many Christians, church and church activities become the center, primary, and even sole source of social interraction other than work. I’ve known Christians where it’s pretty obvious that church is the only place one is likely to meet meet that special someone simply because church is the only place they go where they’re likely to meet and really talk to anyone.
    I am a bit curious about the trend about financial commitment, though. I’d almost expect that to be opposite. I wonder if that might be due to church size though. After all, in a church with thousands of members, it’s pretty easy to assume that others will take care of the church’s financial needs so you don’t have to. When you walk into a church of just a hundred families or so and are confronted with the $3000 a month budget, you tend to be confronted with how important your own giving is.

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  2. Eric says:

    “JUST a hundred families or so”
    Median metropolitan church size is well under 100 people, probably 50.
    Certainly big churches have have a bigger % of people who are there for what they can get rather than what they can give.
    “…are single compared to just 10 percent of a typical congregation,”
    I’m guessing that’s only counting adults… still, that’s quite a difference.
    A few other figures on that one here:
    http://transformingmelbourne.blogspot.com/2009/04/who-are-not-in-our-churches.html

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  3. Janet says:

    I’m wondering if the “give less” and the “single” stats are strongly influenced by the fact that megachurch attendees are younger. (ie haven’t yet met someone, earning less or a bit immature about stewardship).
    Having said that… it makes sense to me. If I were single and looking for a Christian partner I’d have more chance of meeting a range of singles in a large church than a small one. Can’t see anything wrong with that… but it does create a younger demographic drain away from smaller churches.
    I think the rise of the mega church has made it harder for small local churches to remain viable, which is a shame I think. A small local church has far more potential to be a caring face for the local community.

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  4. Matt Stone says:

    Jarred, even where Christians singles have a social life beyond the church, church is still going to be the best place to find a partner if spiritual compatability is high on your agenda, particularly in areas that are more secularized. So on one level it is quite understandable for young people to shift to where the singles action is at. In a church of 100 or less, with only 10% of the adults being single, that only allows for 5 partner options if the genders are equally balanced. In an options focussed age most would find that unacceptable. Parachurch events, like Chrsitian arts and music festivals, are an obvious place where Christian singles can meet but megachurches provide an equivalent space every week. I can see the drawcard, but I can also see some unfortunate side effects. Not least being the question of, should romantic fulfillment be the prime determinant in what size church you commit to? Bring on more parachurch festivals I say, that strikes me as a healthier response on many levels.
    On the financial commitment, you could be right but it could also be a reflection of the maturity of the congregation. You may have less disposable income as a parent but parenthood does (often but not always) force you to think more responsibly.

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  5. Matt Stone says:

    Eric, yes I suspect it is only counting adults in the Christian singles figures. Over a third of our church is under ten. If only adults were counted we would look very similar to the survey results, but only if adults were counted.

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  6. Matt Stone says:

    Janet, yes the viability of smaller churches is a serious concern, considering when the same survey confirms that smaller churches are more effective missionally, something we already knew. Megachurches may help sustain natural church growth but if it is at the expense of conversion growth then in some ways that is counter productive. It certainly risks making Christians more and more insular. I wonder how many organic house churches have thought through the young Christian singles issue?

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  7. tamahome says:

    “megachurch attendees are less committed financially than those in a typical church with 32 percent saying they contribute nothing or give just a small amount when they can.”—-is this true???hmmm…tamahome

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