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: La Iglesia en el Camino (The Church on the Way), Van Nuys, CA, www.tcotw.org, Pastor Jaime Tolle
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 add a comment below.
For more blogs in this “megachurch” series, see also “World’s First Megachurch?”, “Youngest Megachurch Pastor?“, “Biggest Megachurch Sanctuaries?” , “Megachurch Books?” , and “How Many Megachurches?”.