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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Looking for the door?

Evaluate family connections before saying goodbye to your congregation

The kids are grumpy — again — about going to worship. You're not excited about the adult education classes on the church schedule, and you're feeling less of a connection with other members. Your family starts skipping services here and there and, before long, you find yourselves eyeing the new church across town.

Is it time to find the door and say "goodbye" to your home congregation?

You're not alone if you and your family are wondering whether there are greener pastures at a different church, said Peter L. Steinke, pastor, author and congregational consultant who helps revitalize troubled congregations. At different points, most people entertain thoughts about leaving their home congregations, he said. Disenchantment can spur from a variety of causes: a sense of spiritual stagnation, disconnectedness with the worship style or preaching, or a ho-hum youth program.


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