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General Interest

Megachurch Languages?

By May 11, 2012 No Comments

by Warren Bird

Megachurches are not a creation of the United States. There are far more megachurches (defined as 2,000 or more in weekend worship attendance) outside North America than inside it.  I’ve had the privilege of visiting the nation’s largest-attendance church in the United Kingdom, Ukraine, China, Korea, Hungary and Singapore, among others. And in those churches, as well as those of other sizes, God is worshipped in languages parallel to the heavenly picture of “a great multitude that no one could count, from every tribe, nation, people and language” (Revelation 7:9).

In North America, are large churches primarily an English-language phenomena? No. Many English speaking churches host a church-within-a-church, such as Lakewood Church in Houston that offers three services in English led by Joel and Victoria Osteen and one in Spanish on Sunday afternoon. Others bill themselves as “one church in two languages” such as Christ Fellowship Church in McKinney, Texas, where Bruce Miller is pastor.

Just as significantly, there are also megachurches where the main language is not English. Some have ministry for English speakers and others don’t. Here are examples of the largest attendance church in North America for a number of languages:

Spanish: El Rey Jesus (King Jesus), Miami, FL, www.kingjesusministry.org, Pastor Guillermo Maldonado

Korean: Sarang Community Church (Love Community Church), Anaheim, CA, www.sarang.com, Pastor Stephen Chong

French: Eglise Nouvelle Vie (New Life Church), Longueuil, ON, www.nouvellevie.com, Pastor Claude Houde

Russian: Braytskaya Baptist Church, Sacramento, CA, www.brytechurch.org, Pastor Pavel Khakimov

Chinese: Richmond Hill Chinese Community Church, Richmond Hill, ON, www.rhccc.ca, Pastor Daniel Splett

Hmong: Saint Paul Hmong Alliance Church, Maplewood, MN, www.sphac.org, Pastor Chong Yang

Perhaps you can help me identify large-attendance congregations that speak a dialect from India, Portuguese from Brazil, or perhaps one of the languages from Nigeria or Uganda, or maybe even churches from Arabic-speaking countries. If so, please write to research@leadnet.org.

For more blogs in this “megachurch” series, see also “World’s First Megachurch?”“Youngest Megachurch Pastor?” , “Megachurch Books?”, “Largest Megachurch Sanctuaries” and “How Many Megachurches?” 



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Warren Bird

Author Warren Bird

Warren Bird, Ph.D. has been named a Leadership Network Senior Fellow in light of his exemplary service 2006-2018 as Director of Research and Intellectual Capital Development at Leadership Network. He currently serves as SVP of Research for ECFA.org (the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability). An ordained minister with background as both a pastor and seminary professor, Warren is an award-winning author or co-author of 33 books for ministry leaders including Hero Maker with Dave Ferguson, How to Break Church Growth Barriers with Carl George, and Next: Pastoral Succession that Works with William Vanderbloemen. Other recent titles are Better Together: Making Church Mergers Work with Jim Tomberlin, and Wisdom from Lyle E. Schaller. Some of Warren’s recent online reports include "Leadership Network/Generis Multisite Church Scorecard," and "The Heartbeat of Rising Influence Churches." See also research reports at leadnet.org/megachurchleadnet.org/salary and leadnet.org/portable. He is widely recognized as one of the nation's leading researchers of megachurches, multisite churches, church plants (new churches), large church compensation and high-visibility pastoral succession. He also oversees the world's only active, sortable list of global megachurches. Follow him on Linkedin, or on Twitter @warrenbird.  Click here to subscribe to Leadership Network Advance to get updates from Leadership Network.

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