Last Updated: Feb 05, 2019

Press Kit (Church Clarity 101)


Church Clarity’s Story

Church Clarity (CC) is a crowd-sourced database of local congregations that we score based on how clearly they communicate their actively enforced policies.

Church Clarity exists to solve the problem of ambiguously communicated policies among Protestant churches, who often lack centralized decision-making bodies that dictate policy for all churches at all times (in contrast, see Roman Catholic church). This is a problem particularly salient among churches who try to present a ‘progressive’ brand and theology, but who enforce policies inconsistent with that brand.

The idea for Church Clarity began when George Mekhail, one of CC’s co-founders, was serving as Executive Pastor of Eastlake Church, a megachurch near Seattle. In 2015, Eastlake announced that it now would officiate same-sex weddings. Mekhail noticed how many pastors called Eastlake to communicate their private support, but still took no action to change their church’s policies. Mekhail began to notice how pastors would publicly preach inclusive sermons but maintain exclusionary policies in private, and a year later, he conceived the idea of a “scoring methodology” that would score churches for how clearly they communicated their policies, similar to a “credit rating,” or “J.D. Power rating” for churches.

In 2017, Sarah Ngu, one of the co-founders, was reporting a feature story for Sojourners, profiling four queer Christians who were part of non-affirming churches (i.e. churches that restricted their abilities to participate.) When she reached out to the pastors of each church to give them an opportunity to respond to their queer congregants’ statements, she was struck by the silence and evasive answers that pastors gave in response to basic yes-or-no questions on their church policy. Mekhail read the story and reached out to Ngu to share his idea, and together they, along with Tim Schraeder (original third co-founder), developed a scoring methodology and process. To learn more about scoring process, go here.

Church Clarity launched on October 18, 2017 with an initial focus on LGBTQ policy. Crowdsourced Church submissions poured in from the public, and volunteers from all over the world signed-up and received training on how to score these churches using the Church Clarity methodology. Together with consultation of our volunteers, the Church Clarity leadership team -- George and Sarah -- continually refines its scoring methodology and training. In March 2018, Church Clarity launched a new element of scoring which expanded the methodology to include policies that impact Women in Leadership. We have published several stories about how ambiguously communicated policy have harmed people. We have shifted the conversation in the church to include policy and not just theology, and established a new standard expectation for churches and Christian leaders to be clear -- see #ClarityisReasonable.

We are not advocating for changes to policy; we are simply requesting that actively enforced policies be adequately disclosed on church websites. By establishing a new standard of clarity, what we are trying to return power to the people. We want to equip people with critical information that they need in order to decide how to engage with a church or anyone in the church world. We are currently planning on expanding our methodology to cover many other areas of the church industry.  

Organizational Facts


(As of January 2019)

2890 church submissions

1127 churches published

25 active volunteers

Our database includes churches from...

195 denominations and networks

9 countries (we are mostly focused on North America, however, given that is where our volunteer & team expertise is located)

Who is behind Church Clarity?


The leadership team consists of George Mekhail and Sarah Ngu, the two current co-founders, who make all major decisions in consultation with our volunteer corps. Learn more about the team and volunteers here.

Past Press Coverage & Press Releases


100 Largest Churches in America: 2017 Church Clarity Report

100 Largest Churches in America: 2018 Church Clarity Report


Religious News Service

NBC News

VICE

The Magnificast (podcast)

Bad Christian (podcast)

Images

Contact info


info (@) churchclarity.com

The 2018 100 Churches

12Stone Church
Lawrenceville, GA
Ada Bible Church
Grand Rapids, MI
Bayside Church
Roseville, CA
Cathedral of Faith
San Jose, CA
CedarCreek Church
Perrysburg, OH
Celebration Church
Jacksonville, FL
Christ Fellowship Church
Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Church by the Glades
Coral Springs, FL
City First Church
Rockford, IL
Community Bible Church
San Antonio, TX
Cornerstone Chapel
Leesburg, VA
Cross Church
Springdale, AR
Crossroads Church
Cincinnati, OH
Eagle Brook Church
Centerville, MN
EastLake Church
Chula Vista, CA
Elevation Church
Matthews, NC
Faith Church
St. Louis, MO
First Assembly of God
Fort Myers, FL
Gateway Church
Southlake, TX
Grace Church
Greenville, SC
Grace Ohio
Akron, OH
High Desert Church
Victorville, CA
Hope Fellowship
Frisco, TX
LCBC Church
Manheim, PA
Lake Pointe Church
Rockwall, TX
Life Center
Tacoma, WA
Lifepoint Church
Fredericksburg, VA
Long Hollow Baptist Church
Hendersonville, TN
Lutheran Church of Hope
West Des Moines, IA
Manna Church
Fayetteville, NC
Mariners Church
Irvine, CA
New Life Church
Conway, AR
Oak Hills Church
San Antonio, TX
Pinelake Church
Brandon, MS
Red Rocks Church
Littleton, CO
River Valley Church
Apple Valley, MN
Saddleback Church
Lake Forest, CA
Sandals Church
Riverside, CA
Shepherd Church
Los Angeles, CA
The Church of Eleven22
Jacksonville, FL
The Crossing
Quincy, IL
The Rock Church
San Diego, CA
The Village Church
Flower Mound, TX
Vineyard Columbus
Westerville, OH
World Outreach Church
Murfreesboro, TN