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Wednesday, February 13, 2008 

Revitalization Metrics

In A Pastoral Letter to Pastors, sent out and dated yesterday, Febuary 12, 2008, President Jerry Kieschnick writes concerning characteristics of a revitalized congregation;

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.

Worship attendance increasing 5 percent or more per year.

Multiplication of personal evangelism initiatives, including strategies like "evangelistic triads."

Multiplication of evangelistic small groups, including initiatives like "Groups Ablaze!"

Multiplication of number of hours invested by laity in community service.

Increase in members returning a tithe and/or increasing their percentage giving.

Growing commitment for planting or participating in the planting of a new mission within five years.

Multiplication in number of critical events.

Undoubtedly other characteristics of a revitalized congregation could be added to this list. I respectfully request your fervent prayers and intentional assistance in this very important endeavor.

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.

I was going to write about this myself, but you beat me to it!

It's kinda funny (funny-sad not funny-haha) that, taken individually at face value, each bullet point isn't all that bad a thing. But when taken in the aggregate & used as a metric, they take on a whole 'nother meaning, don't they?

Ha, I beat ya to the punch! But Pastor Chryst beat me to punch with his Revitalization: Numbers vs. Faithfulness post.

Yeah, it all looks good if your trying make the stockholders happy. But we’re not serving customers in a way that can be measured in a visible tangible sense. These guys are setting projected growth metrics for the Kingdom of God. Maybe Rome is now considered right when they say the believers can be seen and therefore be counted.

Have you heard of this "evangelistic triad." before? I started doing some research and what I’m coming up with is absolutely moon bat crazy stuff, even for our synodical leadership.

Sounds alot like Rick Warren and megachurch growth.

Anon, I know what you are saying and I agree. But allow me to disagree with you, ever so kindly, this may be Warren’s theology, but these are not the word’s Warren would use. Warren drops down to the lowest common denominator in terms of speech. If you look at the language in the email closely, it looks indistinguishable from any Fortune 500 sales meeting. Just swap out worship attendance with customer retention, personal evangelism initiatives with sales leads, number of hours invested by laity with service productivity, or increase in members returning a tithe with increased revenue through paperless quality assurance software. That’s what struck me the hardest.

I haven't heard of the 'evangelistic triad' stuff, and to be quite honest, I'm not sure if I want to know about it now. It can only serve to disillusion & discourage me. You know, like so much of what comes out of the Purple Palace these days...

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  • From The Haut South
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