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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Question for the ELCA

Is evangelism our first business?

Does my beloved church believe evangelism is our first business? Of course, evangelism is not the only business of the church. But if the church follows our Lord's last command (Matthew 28:18-20), a bundle of adult baptisms should occur, as at Pentecost.

I did some checking. There are some 9,800 ELCA congregations and last year there were 4,978 adult baptisms. That must mean almost half of our congregations didn't have one adult baptism and the other half spent an entire year converting one person. If Pentecost had a similar track record, it would have been a colossal flop. Instead, a church was born.

For years I have been urging the whole church to make Jesus' last command its first business. What Jesus made primary, the church should not make secondary.


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