Megachurch Pastors

Leadership Network has just released the results of a study of 232 pastors in megachurches around the United States (h/t John Meunier).  Their criterion for being a megachurch is averaging more than 2,000 in worship.  Since I’m in a megachurch now (even though we miss their average by about 150), I’m really interested in the results of the studies being released.  Here are the basics.

  1. They think of themselves more as teachers and directional leaders than as pastors.
  2. Preaching tops the list of things they do best.
  3. They haven’t always worked in churches.
  4. Being an extrovert isn’t mandatory.
  5. Family stays at the top of their mind when it comes to prayers.
  6. They usually like the people they work with.
  7. They believe their top gift is leadership (77% of respondents reporting they have this gift).  The second highest response is teaching (67%).
  8. They are actively involved in sports.
  9. They find worship at their church helpful for personal spiritual growth.
  10. They’re not thinking about quitting.

Top five magazines read by Senior Pastors of Megachurches:

  1. Leadership Journal
  2. Rev!
  3. Outreach
  4. Christianity Today
  5. Fast Company

Top five books recommended by Megachurch pastors (wow, I’ve read all of these…associate pastors in megachurches must all read the same books as their senior ministers. ha!)

  1. Simple Church by Thom Rainer
  2. Axiom by Bill Hybels
  3. The Reason for God by Tim Keller
  4. It by Craig Groeschel
  5. Leading on Empty by Wayne Cordiero

If you’re interested in these findings, I recommend you download the full study.  It’s pretty good information for understanding today’s megachurch pastor.  There is also a study of executive ministers in megachurches that is well worth a read.

See any surprises here?

3 thoughts on “Megachurch Pastors

  1. Yea, I see a surprise. I was shocked that Blueprint for Discipleship wasn’t on the list of top five books that mega church pastors read… just kiddin’

    On a serious note, I have only read the first of those five books… since you read the other four, would you recommend them?

  2. Of the four, I highly recommend Tim Keller’s book. Keller is someone I really respect and admire.

    Axiom is sort of leadership anecdotes by Hybels – not bad – borrow it and breeze through in an hour.

    Cordiero’s book is about burnout in ministry – again, not bad, but it’s more of a situational read (i.e. read it if you’re about to burnout, and you’ll feel better about taking a vacation or a sabbatical).

    Lastly, I want to preface this – I’m not a Craig Groeschel hater – I’m just not the biggest fan of his books. A few good thoughts here and there, but I wouldn’t buy it.

    Even though you’ve read it, I might as well summarize the last one for anyone who hasn’t. Simple Church is good and challenging. Summary: church and discipleship are both complicated, but maybe they shouldn’t be so complicated, let’s simplify. It’s worth a read.

  3. Matt – Thanks for taking the time to provide your evaluation of these four books… Based on your recommendation I am going to see if Bridwell has Keller’s book right now.

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