Sep 21 2012
Report: Multisite Churches Number Over 5,000, on the Rise
A church-centered Texas nonprofit has released a report stating that the number of multisite churches in North America has skyrocketed in the past 10 years.
According to the report released by the Dallas-based Leadership Network, as of 2012 there are over 5,000 churches with more than one location for worship, up from 200 in 2002.
Dr. Warren Bird, director of Research and Intellectual Capital Development at the Leadership Network and the report's lead researcher, explained the significance of the rapidly growing trend.
"What grew in popularity initially among megachurches has now expanded to churches of all sizes, especially those with attendances of 500 and larger," he said in a statement. "This rapid rate of growth for the number of multisite now outnumbers and outpaces the number of megachurches (churches with 2,000 or more in weekly attendance)."
Bird told The Christian Post that there were multiple reasons for this dramatic increase in churches with two or more campuses. "Churches most likely to consider multisite are those with a heartbeat to help people connect with God through a vibrant local church," said Bird.
The Rev. Gary Shockley, executive director of New Church Starts at the Board of Discipleship of the United Methodist Church, told CP that multisite churches are increasing in his denomination.
"Of the 621 new churches started since January 2008 at least 50 percent or more were multisites," said Shockley.
[TBC: The clear danger in multi-site churches is for individuals to gravitate towards groups with a charismatic leader. It also naturally promotes submission to a select group of leaders. According to Scripture, the multiplicity of the Body of Christ is in view in a church service: "And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is ; but exhorting one another : and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching" (Hebrews:10:24-25).]