Are These America’s Best Churches?

I'm not a huge rankings guy, especially when it comes to assessing value of churches. Having said that, it's helpful in some ways to hear about churches that are growing rapidly, planting churches rapidly, etc. It helps give me a starting place if I'm looking for ideas–or to try something new. Earlier this year, did something interesting…they took several categories of church ranking "lists" and merged them–which seems to me to be stab at a church BCS system.

The lists they used ranked churches in the following categories:

  • Church Growth
  • Church Innovation
  • Church Planting
  • Church Size
  • Churches Influencing Other Churches

Then, they merged the lists to come up with their list of the top churches to learn from in all areas. Here's their top 10.

  1. (Edmond, OK) :: Craig Groeschel
    Made 14/16 lists with an average rank of #8.71
  2. Saddleback Church (Lake Forest, CA) :: Rick Warren
    Made 14/16 lists with an average rank of #15.64
  3. Seacoast Church (Mt. Pleasant, SC) :: Greg Surratt
    Made 14/16 lists with an average rank of #37.79
  4. Fellowship Church (Grapevine, TX) :: Ed Young, Jr.
    Made 13/16 lists with an average rank of #10.69
  5. New Hope Christian Fellowship (Oahu, HI) :: Wayne Cordeiro
    Made 13/16 lists with an average rank of #25.08
  6. Willow Creek Community Church (South Barrington, IL) :: Bill Hybels
    Made 12/16 lists with an average rank of #12.08
  7. Woodlands Church (Woodlands, TX) :: Kerry Shook
    Made 12/16 lists with an average rank of #26.5
  8. North Point Community Church (Alpharetta, GA) :: Andy Stanley
    Made 11/16 lists with an average rank of #8.45
  9. Mars Hill Church (Seattle, WA) :: Mark Driscoll
    Made 11/16 lists with an average rank of #23.91
  10. NorthRidge Church (Plymouth, MI) :: Brad Powell
    Made 11/16 lists with an average rank of #36.73

You can check out their methodology and each list by clicking to the post here.

Questions: Does the concept of listing/ranking churches bother you? If so, why? What are your impressions of the rankings? Anyone missing? Any surprises? What other categories should be in there? 

Dr. Tim Spivey is Lead Planter of New Vintage Church in San Diego, California. He is the author of numerous articles and one book, "Jesus: The Powerful Servant." A sought after speaker for events, Tim also serves as Adjunct Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. Tim serves as a church consultant, and his writings are featured on, Church Executive magazine, Faith Village, Sermon Central, and Giving Rocket.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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3 thoughts on “Are These America’s Best Churches?

  1. I appreciate all of the efforts being made by these churches and believe there is surely good coming out of them. But that being said, I think the history of the mega-church is still way to young to give these churches some of the accolades they are given. I have visited several different mega-churches before and a few times I have left asking the question of what was drawing people to those churches, the robust gospel that Jesus lived and proclaimed or because there was a church that delivered the consumeristic expectations. Of course, it would be unfair to make a blanket indictment of all mega-churches but that is a concern of mine. It also concerns me that in scripture, God chooses to reveal his gospel through weakness (cf. 1 Cor 1.26-31) and yet, there is something about the mega-church that strikes me as “strong.”
    I hope that does not sound condemning because that is not what I am trying to do. Those are just some of my concerns and those concerns are aroused all the more seeing these categories used to determine the best churches. I would like to a list of churches that are having the most success in helping couples toward healthier marriages, helping people towards embodying the fruit of the Spirit in a more holistic way of life, bringing peace and justice to the chaos of the local neighborhoods, etc… Maybe I’m wrong, but those seem to be a more biblical way of discerning the best churches (and I do think there are some mega-churches that are doing that).
    Grace and Peace,