As promised earlier today, we
are going to answer a question from a reader.
Here is the question:
thank you for your research. I have 2 questions Agape Fellowship Church
1. The senior pastor, is he/she a college graduate in all cases? what is it about the Sr Pastor that draws the crowd?
2. Is there any research you know of identifying the emerging church movement within the megachurch's?
Church Planter/Youth Leader
Agape Fellowship Church
Thanks Alan for the questions. I think there are actually three there.
To question number one – Education of the Senior Pastor/Directional Leader:
Scott pulled these figures out for you to examine.
Here is the data from 2005
Highest level of education:
High school diploma or GED
6% Some college or technical school
19% College Bachelor’s degree
37% Masters Degree (including M.Div)
35% Doctoral Degree (Ph.D., D.Min. – excluding honorary doctorate)
So it is almost universal, but not quite, to have a college degree.
My sense is that number is pretty equivalent to other entrepreneurs by the way. I have met highly profitable business people that don’t have a college degree and some that hold a Doctorate.
many traditions, education does not matter as much as “calling” and “anointing.”
The second question concerns “the crowd.” We cover that in a whole chapter in our book and draw a sharp distinction about that. While many attenders will mention the pastor there are usually very strong other factors that keep a person I the church.
And finally to your third question, one of the streams we describe in the book is very close to some of the emerging church conversations. In fact many of those that were in the “emergent” conversation early on have now grown to mega church status.
The other answer is that while there is a clear definition of “megachurches” there is still not a very solid definition of an “emergent” church. My friends in that movement speak of the “conversation” which goes back and forth. I am comfortable in participating in that conversation but I know others in the megachurch movement that will shy away from that conversation.
In a few cases we also have some “church within a church” activities that look like some of the “emergent” churches but many of the “emergent” leaders tend to discount those approaches.
Go ahead and hit the comment button to leave your own thoughts.
Thanks for being the brave one to ask the first question Alan.