25 Most Innovative Churches in America

Kent Shaffer —  January 4, 2008

Outreach magazine has published the list of the 25 Most Innovative Churches in America for 2008 in their January/February ’08 issue. As usual, they also publish an in-depth article exploring some of the most innovative things these 25 churches have done over the past year.

While the 25 Most Innovative Churches list is fascinating by itself, I find it equally fascinating to see which previous “church lists” these 25 churches have also been included on. Most of them have been featured on lists of the “fastest-growing,” “the largest,” and “the most influential churches.” So is their “innovation” the key to their success? I’m sure it is a big factor. At the same time, their inclusion on previous lists (as well as other factors) often brings these churches’ innovative methods into the limelight.

Some of the most innovative churches in America may not be on this list because it is impossible to be aware of what all the churches in America are doing. But despite this challenge, Outreach magazine did a pretty good job. Here are the top 15, as well as which previous lists they have made:

America’s Top 15 Most Innovative Churches of 2008
and the previous lists they have made (see end for legend)

  1. LifeChurch.tv (Edmond, OK) :: Craig Groeschel
    >> 07 AMIC (#1)
    >> 07 FGC (#31) :: 06 FGC (#11) :: 05 FGC (#4) :: 04 FGC (#8)
    >> 07 LC (#5 = 19,907)
    >> 07 MIC (#5) :: 06 MIC (#7) :: 05 MIC (#16)
  2. Mars Hill Church (Seattle, WA) :: Mark Driscoll
    >> 07 AMIC (#9)
    >> 07 FGC (#23) :: 06 FGC (#15) :: 05 FGC (#54)
    >> 07 MIC (#8) :: 06 MIC (#22) :: 05 MIC (#23)
    >> 07 TMC (#2)
  3. Granger Community Church (Granger, IN) :: Mark Beeson
    >> 07 AMIC (#2)
    >> 05 FGC (#62) :: 04 FGC (#27)
    >> 07 MIC (#6) :: 06 MIC (#14)
  4. Flamingo Road Church (Cooper City, FL) :: Troy Gramling
    >> 07 FGC (#10) :: 06 FGC (#31)
  5. Seacoast Church (Mt. Pleasant, SC) :: Greg Surratt
    >> 07 AMIC (#6)
    >> 07 FGC (#66) :: 06 FGC (#54) :: 05 FGC (#28)
    >> 07 LC (#51 = 8,250)
    >> 07 MIC (#10) :: 06 MIC (#15) :: 05 MIC (#27)
  6. Saddleback Church (Lake Forest, CA) :: Rick Warren
    >> 07 AMIC (#18)
    >> 07 FGC (#84) :: 06 FGC (#39) :: 05 FGC (#5) :: 04 FGC (#15)
    >> 07 LC (#4 = 22,000)
    >> 07 MIC (#2) :: 06 MIC (#2) :: 05 MIC (#1)
  7. Mosaic Church (Los Angeles, CA) :: Erwin McManus
    >> 07 AMIC (#5)
    >> 07 MIC (#11) :: 06 MIC (#12) :: 05 MIC (#41)
  8. Fellowship Church (Grapevine, TX) :: Ed Young Jr.
    >> 07 AMIC (#4)
    >> 07 FGC (#15) :: 06 FGC (#37) :: 05 FGC (#20) :: 04 FGC (#5)
    >> 07 LC (#16 = 13,000)
    >> 07 MIC (#3) :: 06 MIC (#4) :: 05 MIC (#4)
  9. North Point Community Church (Alpharetta, GA) :: Andy Stanley
    >> 07 AMIC (#3)
    >> 04 FGC (#4)
    >> 07 LC (#7 = 17,700)
    >> 07 MIC (#4) :: 06 MIC (#3) :: 05 MIC (#3)
  10. Willow Creek Community Church (South Barrington, IL) :: Bill Hybels
    >> 07 AMIC (#20)
    >> 07 FGC (#59) :: 06 FGC (#8) :: 05 FGC (#30)
    >> 07 LC (#2 = 23,500) :: 06 LC (#5)
    >> 07 MIC (#1) :: 06 MIC (#1) :: 05 MIC (#2)
  11. National Community Church (Washington, DC) :: Mark Batterson
    >> 07 AMIC (#8)
    >> 07 MIC (#39)
  12. NewSpring Community Church (Anderson, SC) :: Perry Noble
    >> 07 FGC (#18) :: 06 FGC (#80) :: 05 FGC (#81)
    >> 07 LC (#64 = 7,600)
    >> 07 MIC (#21)
  13. Community Christian Church (Naperville, IL) :: Dave Ferguson
    >> 07 AMIC (#7)
    >> 07 FGC (#4) :: 04 FGC (#48)
    >> 07 MIC (#19) :: 06 MIC (#13)
    >> 07 TMC (#7)
  14. Elevation Church (Charlotte, NC) :: Steven Furtick
    >> 07 FGC (#8)
  15. Healing Place Church (Baton Rouge) :: Dino Rizzo
    >> 07 AMIC (#16)
    >> 06 FGC (#92)

Legend

  1. 08 AMIC = Outreach magazine’s 2008 America’s 25 Most Innovative Churches
  2. 07 AMIC = Outreach magazine’s 2007 America’s 25 Most Innovative Churches
  3. 07 FGC = Outreach magazine’s 2007 101 Fastest-Growing U.S. Churches
  4. 07 LC = Outreach magazine’s 2007 100 Largest U.S. Churches
  5. 07 MIC =  The Church Report’s 2007 50 Most Influential Churches
  6. 07 TMC = Outreach magazine’s 2007 America’s Top 25 Multiplying Churches
  7. 06 FGC = Outreach magazine’s 2006 100 Fastest-Growing U.S. Churches
  8. 06 MIC = The Church Report’s 2006 50 Most Influential Churches
  9. 05 FGC = Outreach magazine’s 2005 100 Fastest-Growing U.S. Churches
  10. 05 MIC = The Church Report’s 2005 50 Most Influential Churches
  11. 04 FGC = Outreach magazine’s 2004 100 Fastest-Growing U.S. Churches

Kent Shaffer

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I live in an RV with my wife and 2 kids and work with OpenChurch.com to help Christians collaborate and build a global Church library of free, open content.

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