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Friday, October 17, 2008 

How Do You Grow Your Church?

So, how do you grow your church? Looking around I see a couple of different ideas:

1. Preach God’s Word purely (it’s all about Jesus and Him crucified folks) and administer the Sacraments rightly. Baptize babies and catechize all people in sound Christian doctrine.

2. Open up a day care center and tell the parents that they will get a discount if they join your congregation. If members of your mother congregation apply for a job; tell them that it would probably turn out better if they transferred membership. Don’t worry, that mother congregation, they have plenty of members to spare.

3. Call your mother congregation’s members and just ask them outright to transfer to your exciting and dynamic congregation. Be sure to email the member’s pastor after they agree to give it a shot. Remember, if he objects; you need to say that you didn’t think he would mind… after all, they still have plenty (too many) of members to spare.

All three scenarios are in play in my little corner of the haut south.

My congregation, that uptight mother church that thinks it’s important to make sure her sheep are fed above all else without Madison Avenue programs has always went with the first of the above options. With two of our three daughter congregations are choosing the remaining options, is it any wonder why I have a problem with the Ablaze! program and it’s emphasis on counting?

We reap what we sow and we are reaping big time ‘roud here.

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I'm assuming you saw the Reporter article that lumped-counted all the children educated in Lutheran schools on the Ablaze counter?

Added 183,203. Will they count them all again at the beginning of next school year?

EC, after they added the prospective audience of a TV program as possible critical moments, absolutely nothing surprises me. Yeah, they’ll be counted again. If folks will call sister and mother congregations to get those numbers up, you'd better believe it!

I love your appreciation for the church being the church. I attend a small non-denominational church and we have no growth programs. We've had a few people come and go complaining that we're not focused on growth--especially since our church is located in one of the fastest growing areas in the state.

Actually, I DO think there are ways that we could be more focused as a congregation to share the gospel, but that should be the fruit of a church and not the sole purpose. Am I making sense?

Have a great weekend.

“Actually, I DO think there are ways that we could be more focused as a congregation to share the gospel, but that should be the fruit of a church and not the sole purpose. Am I making sense?”

Gosh darned evangelicals understand it better than many Lutherans! Curses!

YES, the fruit of faith should be evident but hidden. What is going on ‘round here is a focus shifting from Jesus at the center of our theology to us proving we have faith in Jesus. While we may not be willing to admit it; we are subscribing not the Lutheran Confession and Scripture but rather to the purpose driven church model and Rick Warren’s deeds not creeds, all the while we pay lip service concerning our adhering to the former

Amen, brother. I dig you and your Lutheran coolnes.

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  • I'm Frank Gillespie
  • From The Haut South
  • Confessional Lutheran
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