The average megachurch in America has the production sensibilities of a Grammy award-winning performer, the thoughtfulness of a famous professor or lecturer, the business-savvy of a multinational Fortune 500 company, the philanthropic effect of a global NGO and the supernatural spirit that pops right off the text of the Bible's Book of Acts.
They are almost all conservative theologically and politically (think 95 percent), but they have varying degrees of comfort with making politics an issue in the pulpit. If you pin any of them down, they almost always embrace traditional values. Their dual mission of evangelism and compassion stands in stark contrast to the very unholy games we play in the public arena. It's the tension between the pastoral and prophetic calls that every church must embrace, and each church must find its own way through. It's a real struggle, and different churches handle this tension in different ways.
Megachurches are the spiritual phenomenon of the 21st century; there are more churches with 5,000 people attending weekly services than at any other time in history. So much for those who claim ad nauseam that faith is declining in our country.
In compiling this list, Newsmax has elected to organize these churches based upon their overall influence rather than by their size (others do that regularly). While influence is notoriously subjective and therefore difficult to quantify, we based our list on the notoriety of the megachurches' leaders, the reach of their books, the ratings of their television and radio programs, and the way the public views them.
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