Outreach magazine just released its annual report on the 100 largest and fastest-growing churches. No surprise at the top of the "biggie" list: Houston's Lakewood Church, led by Joel Osteen, sees a whopping 47,000 people come through its doors each weekend. And the fast-growing church in America? According to this year's report, it's Iglesia Cristiana Segadores de Vida, located in Hollywood, Fla.—which is indicative of our country's influx of Hispanic believers. Is this some kind of trend? From "mega" to "giga": There are more megachurches now than ever, and they continue to grow—so much that Outreach now categorizes congregations of more than 10,000 people as "gigachurches." Thirty-six of the top 100 fell in this category, while No. 100 on the list of largest churches still has an attendance of more than 6,000.
* Go forth and multiply: Going multi-site is becoming the norm among churches. In 1990, there were only 10 multi-site Protestant churches in the entire country; today 16 percent of all churches are currently considering expanding to an additional site. In addition, 25 percent of all megachurches today meet on multiple sites (that's five times what it was in 2000). Among multi-site churches, 60 percent plan on adding another site in the next year.
* Mega-mixture: With Hispanic and Asian populations on the rise in this country, so are the number—and size—of the churches predominantly made up of those segments of society. Most megachurches have a representation of both Hispanics and Asians within their congregation. Yet judging by the number of Hispanic churches on the fastest-growing list, it's clear that churches exclusively reaching these cultures are experiencing growth. What's your take on Megachurches and gigachurches? Where do you see Megachurches going in the next 10 years?