Funded! This project was successfully funded on July 16, 2012.

Photo-main
Play
00:00
00:00

A non-fiction book concerning the rise of the Megachurch in American culture and what that means for the future of Christianity.

First off, thank you for visiting my Kickstarter page! I appreciate any support that comes my way, financial or not. Just you being here means a lot to me.

My project involves the growth of megachurches throughout America. For those unfamiliar with the term, a "megachurch" is a church that has 2,000 or more members. However, many are home to 40,000 or more people.

Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas
Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas

The Subject

Most people recognize names such as Joel Osteen, Rick Warren and T.D.Jakes, who all command evangelical churches with more than 30,000 members. They have become virtual celebrities in the age of the megachurch, a phenomenon that grows more each year.

It appears that people now prefer to worship in large arenas with packed crowds that feature entertaining services, charismatic preachers and live music.

At the same time, it is apparent that our world in general has gotten "bigger" in a general sense. We shop at larger stores, drive larger cars and we Americans are...larger.

So what is it about the size of megachurches that attracts so many people? Many of these pastors began by preaching in their basements or in parks. How is it that they've cultivated a following usually reserved for pop stars and movie actors?

The Story

My story begins with my grandfather, Harry Foster, a reverend from Chelmsford, Massachusetts, who passed away in 2004. He was, to me and many others, the epitome of what a Christian should be; selfless, kind to others and ready to open his heart to anyone no matter where they stood in society.

As I heard more about the growth of megachurches I wondered how my grandfather would perceive of them. They are certainly a world away from the small, congregational church that he ran. But different doesn't necessarily mean better or worse; just different.

So I wanted to investigate the world of megachurches myself rather than rely on sensational media reports, which tend to be overwhelmingly negative.

What I hope to answer through my travels is how the megachurch phenomenon is affecting Christianity. Is it a positive development, serving to bring like-minded people together? Or is negative because...it brings a lot of like-minded people together?

Why is it that Americans like big things? Are we simply more social or is there a deeper reason?

These are some of the questions which I'll be delving into. I'll also talk about the history of megachurches and show that the concept of religion mixed with entertainment is actually not a new concept, but has a long history, stretching back to Civil War times.

The Project

Over the next year I will embark on a cross country tour of the United States to experience all of the nation's megachurches firsthand. In doing so, I will be able to compare the methods and styles of the different churches. I will also be able to interview church members and pastors in order to understand their faith.

My hope is to demystify the megachurch experience, which can seem alien and strange to some, and help others to understand this development in religion within a historical context.

Half of the funds received will go toward purchasing video equipment for the accompanying documentary. I own a camera already, which would be the biggest expense, but some of the other materials I need are:

CF Memory Cards

Hard Drive (for backup)

Lavalier Microphone (for interviews)

Digital Sound Recorder (for interviews and notes)

The remaining funds will be used to fund the trip itself. The expenses mostly include gas, food and lodging.

Any remaining funds will be put toward future legs of the megachurch tour. There are four legs in all. They are:

1) East Coast (Massachusetts to Florida)- Summer 2012

2) Texas-Colorado-Kansas- Winter 2012

3) California-Seattle- Spring 2012

4) Chicago-Kentucky-Ohio- Winter/Spring 2012

You can email me directly at premier213@yahoo.com if you have any questions. Also, check out megachurched.com for additional updates on the project.

Again, thank you so much for checking out my Kickstarter page. Anything you can do to help is appreciated to an insane level.

Also, if anyone out there has personal experiences with megachurches and would be willing to talk about them for use in the book, please contact me. I would love to hear your thoughts. You can also leave comments on the website or contact me via Twitter (Megachurched) or on my Facebook fan page.

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

Ask a question
51
Backers
$1,761
pledged of $1,500 goal
0
seconds to go
  • Pledge $1 or more
    You selected

    2 backers

    MEGA-VISITOR: Only got a dollar? No problem! If you can give anything at all I'll be happy to include your name in the acknowledgements, as you still took a part in helping me achieve my goal.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $5 or more
    You selected

    0 backers

    MEGA-SEEKER: In exchange for an honest Abe, you'll get an official "Megachurched" bumper sticker. Put it on your car, your refrigerator or your head. It's guaranteed to get weird looks and (hopefully) encourage some interesting conversations!

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $15 or more
    You selected

    10 backers

    MEGA-MEMBER: For $15, you'll get an ebook version of Megachurched in whatever format you desire, plus a Megachurched sticker. Of course, you'll receive heaping helpings of love from the author and be included in the book's thank you page.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $25 or more
    You selected

    11 backers

    MEGA-PARTNER: For $25, you get a paperback copy of Megachurched, signed by the author, along with your name in the thank you section and a big hug from the author (if you're cool with that sort of thing)

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $35 or more
    You selected

    9 backers

    MEGA-PARTNER-PLUS: For $35, you'll get everything above, plus the accompanying Megachurched documentary and over-the-top bear-hugging thanks from the author.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $40 or more
    You selected

    2 backers

    MEGA-MEGA-PARTNER: For $40, you'll get everything under the "partner" package along with an extra book to loan, give away or to attempt reading two books at the same time (very difficult)

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $50 or more
    You selected

    5 backers

    MEGA-MEGA-PARTNER-PLUS-PLUS: What do you get for the person who has everything? How about two of everything? Everything in the Partner Plus package but with... two of everything.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $100 or more
    You selected

    5 backers

    MEGA-TITHER: Seriously? $100? What do you want? Wash your clothes? Paint your house? I'm open to suggestions on this one. If you're giving this much, you either REALLY believe in the project or you meant to type $10. Either way, thank you from the depths of my heart!

    Estimated delivery:
Funding period

- (21 days)