Mega-churches are on the rise, according to a recent study released by the Hartford Institute for Religion Research and Leadership Network.

In order to be defined as a mega-church, attendance each week must exceed 2,000. According to the study, there are a little over 1,200 mega-churches nationally. Some of the more popular ones are: Rick Warren's Saddleback Church, T. D. Jakes' The Potter's House, and Joel Olsteen's Lakewood Church.

This trend can be traced back to the 1980's when churches started looking at "Disney (on crowd management) and big-box stores (with their greeters and acres of parking)." The report also stated: "Many of the fastest-growing, largest and newest mega-churches are full of people under 35 years old."

Let's take a closer look at one such church. Northside Christian Church in the Louisville, Kentucky area has altered some of the traditional appearance of the church. They replaced the pews and altars with stadium seating and video screens, the pipe organ with a band of electric instruments, vestibule with a mall-like lobby (gourmet coffee shop and playground).

One pastor of a mega-church said that the easiest way to spot a visitor is by the man wearing a necktie. Kevin Cosby, pastor of St. Stephen Church, said that the success of the mega-churches is due to the "blend of 'conservative theology' and 'radical methodology'." His "marching orders to the organizers of a new hip-hop youth choir were that if the adults didn't hate the music, the leaders would be fired." 11/26/06

(It is not always quantity but quality. God wants our best, such as our dress and music.)

And if a man also strive for masteries,
yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.
(2 Timothy 2:5)