Top 50 Most Influential Churches

May 30, 2006 by

The Church Report has released their list of the Top 50 Most Influential Churches. By “influential” they mean the fastest growing churches and those with more than 2,000 in attendance as recommended by 2,000 church leaders in a survey sent last year. 127 churches were nominated for the list.

  • Almost half of the top 50 churches and seven of the top 10 are still led by the founding pastor. (seems like we’ve talked about personality-driven churches before)
  • 22% of churches in the top 50 were founded since 1990, 39% since 1980.
  • 18 of the top 20 churches have at least one annual conference to share their practices and procedures (which certainly influences recommendation of these churches as influential).

It also sounds like a book is coming out offering profiles of the 50 churches.

Post By:

Kevin D. Hendricks

When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998, runs the hyperlocal site West St. Paul Reader, and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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6 Responses to “Top 50 Most Influential Churches”

  • RC of strangeculture
    May 30, 2006

    That’s very interesting and somehow strangly bizarre to me.
    –RC of

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  • Clif Guy
    May 30, 2006

    When I saw this story was getting attention again, I assumed The Church Report had done a new survey and updated the list. But when I clicked the link it looked like exactly the same thing they published last summer. Sure enough, this is the story from last summer. I can’t figure out why it’s making the rounds again as though it were new. Note that your link to the story is exactly the same as my link to the story in a post dated July 11, 2005:

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  • kevin
    May 31, 2006

    I didn’t realize it was an old list. I’d seen a few links to it and we had never talked about it before, so it seemed appropriate. Since it is that old I wonder what became of the book they were talking about.

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  • Strategy Central
    June 3, 2006

    50 Most Influential Churches

    Interesting list of the 50 Most Influential Churches over at The Church Report. The top 5 are the usual suspects. Once you get down a ways you’ll start to notice some names that are new…or at least they were to

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  • Gary Lloyd
    July 15, 2007

    This “Top 50 List” is a scam — there is no poll — no research. All Jason Christy is doing is scamming Christian leaders to get them to buy advertisements in his fake “Church Report” magazine.
    Just like Christy’s fake PAC called Impact America, and his fake news service, and his fake dating service that has one member, a Star Trek geek no less.

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  • Gary McCullough
    August 2, 2007

    Rising Evangelical Star Jason Christy Leaves Trail of Fraud, Associates Say
    By Hannah Elliott
    SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. Aug. 1 /ABP/ — When young, charismatic Christian publisher Jason Christy was tapped two years ago to lead the powerful Christian Coalition, the group’s leaders praised him for his ability “to inspire and encourage people of faith to action.” But Christy’s business dealings — both before and after his one-month affiliation with the Coalition — instead have inspired former customers and co-workers to file lawsuits charging Christy with defrauding their Christian businesses.
    Christy, 36, who apparently had no previous public-policy experience, persuaded the Christian Coalition in 2005 to place him in one of the most visible and powerful positions in evangelical life. But before the coalition’s leaders officially turned over the reins of their 1.2 million-member national lobbying group, they learned of a trail of legal and financial problems that has followed Christy from coast to coast.
    Former associates and customers of Christy’s many business ventures — mostly Christian magazines — say he cheated them out of money and threatened them. At least 10 of them have filed lawsuits, Associated Baptist Press has learned, and others have gotten court-issued restraining or protection orders against the Scottsdale, Ariz., businessman.
    Christy says all the allegations are false. He and his supporters say “enemies” are spreading lies about him because of soured business relationships. But critics say Christy is a scam artist preying on trusting Christians.
    Christy now publishes The Church Report, supposedly a conservative, national print magazine and web site. He has appeared as an analyst on CNN and spoken at megachurches like Robert Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral. He hob-nobs with some of the evangelical elite and still has relationships with leaders in highly respected positions, like the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.
    This article is continued at Associated Baptist Press News:
    Also at The Baptist Standard: and
    Christianity Today:

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