I’m not quite sure how they figure out the rankings, but Saddleback Church is now #2 on the most influential church list according to The Church Report. Here’s a clip from Christian Post:
Many of the top 50 influential churches were non-affiliated congregations, according to the report. Participants from more than 2,000 of the largest non-Catholic congregations listed the same top five as featured in the 2005 list, with Willow Creek taking the first position this time.
Willow Creek had its beginnings at a Palatine movie theater in 1975 with an initial turnout of 125 people. The church grew to 2,000 people in three years from whence they purchased 90 acres of farmland in South Barrington, Ill. There, 100 ministries have been launched and the property was expanded to 155 acres. More than 18,000 people attend weekly services now.
The next three churches featured in the 2006 list following the top two spots were (in order) North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Ga.; Fellowship Church in Grapevine, Texas; and Lakewood Church in Houston, which is the oldest and largest congregations in the nation.