The LCMS World Mission Task Force on Mission Revitalization has been working with district mission executives and district presidents to identify characteristics of a revitalized congregation. Here are the suggested characteristics at this point:
Marked increase from previous years in conversion growth, measured by adult baptisms and adult confirmations.
Wow. I spent the last three weeks teaching my high school class on Sunday what the Church is and what it isn’t. I’m wondering if I need to go back and reteach the class to include the bullet points listed above. All I talked about was the invisibility of the saints as the tares will always be among the wheat and the visibility of means, that is to say the means by which we should look for Christ’s Church, the Word preached purely and the Sacraments administered rightly.
At no time though did I talk about the multiplication of measured metrics, critical events, or “evangelistic triads.” I can almost hear the collective sigh as l I tell my students that we need to completely reevaluate how we look at our congregation.