Author Date

2022-03-16

Degree Name

BA

Department

Anthropology

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Defense Date

2022-02-11

Publication Date

2022-03-16

First Faculty Advisor

Charles Nuckolls

First Faculty Reader

Jacob Hickman

Second Faculty Reader

Greg Thompson

Honors Coordinator

Charles Nuckolls

Keywords

American Evangelicalism, Megachurch, Kingdom Model, Community, Atlanta, 12Stone

Abstract

Based on ethnographic fieldwork conducted at 12Stone Church in Atlanta, Georgia, this report explores the strategies that 12Stone (like other evangelical megachurches) implements in order to grow and strengthen a church membership that consists of tens of thousands of members. The most prevalent of these strategies is the demographic-based rhetoric that 12Stone uses to draw in its main demographic, which is politically right-wing, white, Christian men. The rhetoric utilizes a doctrinal model that I refer to as the Evangelical Kingdom Model to impress upon members the evangelical mission and culture, the experience of which revolves around the local church level. At 12Stone, the strong, militaristic message of community targeted at politically conservative individuals effectively appeals to both their political and religious sensibilities in a way that reaffirms their commitment to 12Stone as a church.

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