Giants of the Gospel: A Cluster Analysis of Megachurch Mediated Communication

The megachurch with its mega members, multisite campuses, and mediated messaging are on the rise in America. Prior studies have examined church rhetoric and communication, but very few scholarly studies have addressed the growing trend of the megachurch and its use of technological advancements to help disseminate their message. Using Burke’s cluster analysis framework, this study examined the websites of the country’s ten largest megachurches. An analysis of key terms (community, prayer, hope, love, and Trinity) suggests a clear relationship between megachurches and Christian theology, as well as an argument for a perceived megachurch mentality or mindset. Considering both the mere repetition of the data, along with further clusters of support, the megachurch mentality is comprised of three themes: a push for church members to build community, to engage in worship and other religious experiences, and to connect with like-minded believers through ministries and small groups. In the end, this study contributes to an early, but growing field of academic research examining megachurch mediated communication.

Keywords: megachurch, cluster analysis, mediated communication