The United Methodist Church, like other mainline denominations, is steadily losing members. Yet it has some large, thriving congregations, and about 100 of its churches draw more than 1,200 people on a typical weekend.
Sometimes, however, pastors of those big Methodist churches feel unappreciated or out of place in a nationwide church body that decentralizes authority and lauds committee work more than it does popular pastors.
“The [Methodist] denomination is built for the average church and serving its needs,” claimed David Travis, managing director of Leadership Network, a Dallas-based firm that serves mostly big evangelical churches. United Methodist megachurch pastors, Travis added, are “just as likely to attend an evangelical megachurch conference as they are to make an appearance at their own denomination’s meeting.”