Lessons learned when the church is in decline

graph-chart-down-downward-dip-plunge-recession-depressionFor years, the congregation I currently serve enjoyed relatively easy growth. The main reason was the explosive growth of our community. We were in the fastest growing county (percentage-wise) in the country. New homes being built everywhere, new families moving to town, new people seeking churches, Lutherans seeking Lutheran churches. With 3-4 visiting families at each and every worship service, the challenge was to keep up with follow-up phone calls and visits.

We added a third Sunday morning worship service. We began a Wednesday night education for youth and adults. We designed and built a new sanctuary. We had a vicar for three consecutive years. I learned a lot in those years as our modest congregation pretty much doubled in size. Continue reading