Monday, January 28, 2013

What does it take for a congregation to grow?

Mainline churches are losing ground and evangelicals are stalled, according to this interfaith report which I saw in the NALC newsletter. Aside from all the attention to worship style (contemporary, innovative, traditional) it seems that there does need to be a reason for existing. Many churches have forgotten that. It helps to stand for something. If you're a service club or just supporting your denomination's history and traditions, you probably won't grow.

And I think this is reported in most church growth surveys—“The primary way people first connect with a congregation is through someone who is already involved.”  Indirectly, that’s how we got to UALC.  In 1974 I heard about a program on the radio which was at a church I’d never seen (after 7 years in Upper Arlington, I’d never been on that street).  I attended, was invited to a Bible study, and then to attend a service.  We were confirmed on Palm Sunday 1976.


Anonymous said...

'confirmed'?? I was confirmed at age 12 in the family church where generations of my family attended. In my confirmation class weremy first cousin, 2 second cousins and a few 4 th cousins.

Norma said...

Lutherans don't rebaptize, but they will confirm adults who were baptized in other faiths. So Lutherans usually can transfer their membership to other Lutheran churches, but when Presbyterians or Baptists or Congregationalists join our Lutheran church, they are confirmed, not transferred. And, since the Lutherans have local control, that may vary from congregation to congregation.