EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Examining megachurch growth: free riding, fit, and faith

Marc von der Ruhr () and Joseph Daniels

International Journal of Social Economics, 2012, vol. 39, issue 5, 357-372

Abstract: Purpose - Megachurches are thriving in religious markets at a time when Americans are asserting their ability as consumers of religious products to engage in religious switching. The apparent success of megachurches, which often provide a low cost and low commitment path by which religious refugees may join the church, seems to challenge Iannocconne's theory that high commitment churches will thrive while low commitment churches will atrophy. This paper aims to investigate this issue. Design/methodology/approach - This paper employs a signaling model to illustrate the strategy and organizational forms megachurches employ to indicate a match between what the church produces and the religious refugee wishes to consume in an effort to increase their membership. The model illustrates that megachurches expect little in regard to financial or time commitment of new attendees. However, once the attendees perceive a good fit with the church, the megachurch increases its expectation of commitment. Data from the FACT2000 survey provide evidence in support of the model's predictions. Findings - Data from the FACT2000 survey provide evidence in support of the model's predictions. Originality/value - The paper serves to illustrate the dynamic process by which megachurches attract new attendees and transform those that find a good fit between their needs and what the church offers into full members of the church.

Keywords: Megachurches; Quality signalling; Religion; Organizational analysis; United States of America (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://www.emeraldinsight.com/10.1108/030682912112 ... RePEc&WT.mc_id=RePEc (text/html)
Access to full text is restricted to subscribers

Related works:
Working Paper: Examining Megachurch Growth: Free Riding, Fit, and Faith (2010) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eme:ijsepp:v:39:y:2012:i:5:p:357-372

Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
Emerald Group Publishing, Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley, BD16 1WA, UK
http://www.emeraldinsight.com/ijse.htm

Access Statistics for this article

International Journal of Social Economics is currently edited by Dr Colin Tyler and James Connelly

More articles in International Journal of Social Economics from Emerald Group Publishing
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Virginia Chapman ().

 
Page updated 2021-01-13
Handle: RePEc:eme:ijsepp:v:39:y:2012:i:5:p:357-372