January 28, 2013
'Sin City' Tops Barna List of Most Megachurch-Oriented Cities
Pollsters identify cities with the highest (and lowest) concentration of Christians attending megachurches.
The Barna Group's new Cities research project has identified America's most and least megachurch-oriented cities.
Sin City made the list—but placed in a surprising location.
According to Barna, approximately 1 in 10 self-identified Christians in the U.S. attend a megachurch. (Note: Barna's cutoff is a church with at least 1,000 attendees, instead of the 2,000 attendees used by most megachurch researchers.)
Which city has the highest concentration of megachurch attendees? According to Barna: Las Vegas, Nevada, where nearly 1 in 3 local Christians (29%) attend a church with at least 1,000 attendees.
Barna's top 7:
29% Las Vegas, Nevada
27% Baton Rouge, Louisiana
21% Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida
19% Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas
19% Houston, Texas
19% Albuquerque/Santa Fe, New Mexico
18% Orlando, Florida
By contrast, the least megachurch-oriented cities in America—each with only 1 percent of local Christians attending a church with more than 1,000 people—are:
Salt Lake City, Utah
CT has regularly reported on megachurches, including Willow Creek's huge shift away from "seeker friendly" services, whether or not megachurch cafes and gyms should be taxed as businesses, and how the founder of Singapore's largest megachurch was arrested over his wife's pop music outreach.
CT has also examined whether or not megachurch worship is addictive, and editorialized on how megachurches are not the answer, but also not the problem.