Item description for Beyond Megachurch Myths: What We Can Learn from America's Largest Churches (Leadership Network Publication) by Scott Thumma, Dave Travis & Rick Warren...
Overview Drawing on extensive, broad-based, and well-designed research, as well as stories and anecdotes, Beyond Megachurch Myths dispels popluar myths about megachurches while highlighting the diversity within the megachurch phenomenon. Defining a megachurch as a Protestant church that averages at least 2000 total attendees in their weekend services, Scott Thumma and Dave Travis reveal what these churches are and are not, why they are thriving, what their members say about their experiences, and why they have many valuable lessons to teach smaller churches.
Publishers Description Drawing on extensive, broad-based, and well-designed research, as well as stories and anecdotes, "Beyond Megachurch Myths" dispels popluar myths about megachurches while highlighting the diversity within the megachurch phenomenon. Defining a megachurch as a Protestant church that averages at least 2000 total attendees in their weekend services, Scott Thumma and Dave Travis reveal what these churches are and are not, why they are thriving, what their members say about their experiences, and why they have many valuable lessons to teach smaller churches.
From Publishers Weekly This data-driven description of American megachurches is aimed at leaders and
members of smaller congregations who may harbor apprehensions about this
growing phenomenon. Chapter by chapter, the authors tackle common
misconceptions of churches with more than 2,000 attendees and suggest that
they are simply Christian neighbors with a different-looking storefront who
are here to stay a while and who have much to offer smaller churches willing
to learn. However, the collaboration of the two writers (one an academic and
the other a consultant for church leadership) is disjointed, with the
"applying what you have read" sections at the end of each chapter feeling
tacked on to the richer content of the main text. One of the strongest
chapters confronts the "myth" that megachurches are akin to Wal-Mart in that
they grow at the expense of existing congregations. The authors argue that
megachurches feed a constant cycle of "birth, growth, maturity and decline"
needed to "help keep churches and religion in America strong and vital."
Readers are reminded that Christianity comes in many different packages and
that the market for religion can and should be tapped in a variety of ways.
(Aug.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Citations And Professional Reviews Beyond Megachurch Myths: What We Can Learn from America's Largest Churches (Leadership Network Publication) by Scott Thumma, Dave Travis & Rick Warren has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Christian Century - 01/29/2008 page 26
Publishers Weekly - 04/23/2007 page 46
Christian Retailing - 08/20/2007 page 21
Library Journal - 08/01/2007 page 94
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.76" Width: 6.06" Height: 0.94" Weight: 0.95 lbs.
Release Date Aug 10, 2007
Publisher John Wiley And Sons
Series Leadership Network Publication
ISBN 0787994677 ISBN13 9780787994679
Availability 0 units.
More About Scott Thumma, Dave Travis & Rick Warren
Scott Thumma, Ph.D., is professor of sociology of religion at Hartford Seminary and researcher at Hartford Institute for Religion Research. Scott is recognized as a leading researcher and writer on congregational studies. He is also editor of the Lilly Endowment funded website Insights into Religion.
Warren Bird, Ph.D., is director of research and intellectual capital development for Leadership Network. An ordained minister, he serves as an adjunct faculty member at Alliance Theological Seminary. Warren has coauthored 22 books including Culture Shift and Viral Churches, both from Jossey-Bass.
Reviews - What do customers think about Beyond Megachurch Myths?
Megachurches Can Be Mega Good! Dec 25, 2009
This was a very helpful book for me because it reminded me that megachurches are doing megagood things to bring people to Christ and to build them up in the faith. The authors contend that the research shows that megachurches are not what they have been stereotyped to be. Not all megachurches water down the faith, or are a turnoff to young people, or are ready to fall apart as soon as the founding pastor leaves. Many senior ministers and their staffs have thought long and hard about who succeeds them.
Also, the research confirms that many people are drawn to megachurches because of their outstanding forms of worship and for the many services they provide. The authors also deflate the myth that megachurches are not serving the communities they reside in, and they give many examples of churches that are actively involved with serving their city.
The authors also acknowledge the challnges megachurches face: a stumbling economy, the long drives many people have to make to get to the megachurch, the problem of filling the shoes of a beloved senior minister, the problem of people coming and going without getting involved, etc.
I was intrigued throughout. Great book.
A well substantiated book on megachurches Mar 17, 2009
Thumma has been researching the Mega Church phenomena for some 15 years. This book is a result from this research (up to 2005) and deals with the myths about megachurches. The book is positive/critical, but most important, it substantiates it's statements on thorough research within the megachurches. As a theology student, graduating on a research on megachurches in the Netherlands, this book is very usefull, though the situations are not completely alike. I can recommend this book to everyone who wants to learn more about Megachurches.
Mostly good Mar 1, 2008
I think this piece adequately demonstrated that many of the popular negative impressions people hold of megachurches are false. I've believed that for a long time. Some of the books that came out in the late 90's suggesting that these churches are nothing but marketing and entertainment were clearly exaggerated. I wondered if the authors had actually visited and studied the churches they were slamming.
On the other hand, their claim that megachurches don't grow mainly by transfer from area evangelical churches doesn't square with our studies. So far, in studies of nearly 30 megachurches, we have found only two that had over 10% of their people stating that they met Christ in that church: Willow Creek at 23% and Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa at 60%. Our own church is also over 60%. All the others had less than 10% converts, and many had less than 5%.
Taking the word of pastors and staff on how many in the church are converts vs. transfers doesn't work. Only on the ground interviews of meaningful samples of attendees can be trusted.
Dennis McCallum, author Organic Disciplemaking: How to promote Christian leadership development through personal relationships, biblical discipleship, mentoring, and Christian community
An Inspiration to Church's of Any Size Jan 18, 2008
This book is long on analysis and full of helpful lessons that any church can apply regardless of size. You could spend several months and thousands of dollars visiting the fastest growing churches in America and trying to gather what they've learned OR you can spend a few bucks and get it all in this book. Reading this book will challenge your assumptions and leave you inspired about the tremendous potential of the local church, including yours.
Research not opinions Jan 8, 2008
There are a lot of opinions about megachurches, but this is the first complete assessment of the megachurch phenomenon. It draws together extensive information and other available research to correct assumptions. It also includes practical questions and considerations for all pastors and church leaders. As a broad overview, it doesn't get better than this.
This book goes well with several others. I suggest Seeker Churches: Promoting Traditional Religion in a Nontraditional Way by Kimon Sargean, A Mosaic of Believers: Diversity and Innovation in a Multiethnic Church as well as Hollywood Faith: Holiness, Prosperity, and Ambition in a Los Angeles Church by Gerardo Marti, The Megachurch and the Mainline: Remaking Religious Tradition in the Twenty-first Century by Stephen Ellingson, When Church Became Theatre: The Transformation of Evangelical Architecture and Worship in Nineteenth-Century America by Jeanne Kilde, and Donald Miller's Reinventing American Protestantism: Christianity in the New Millennium.