The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


20 Largest ELCA congregations in 2012

Hope, West Des Moines, Iowa 9,539

Mount Olivet, Minneapolis 6,000

Santa Maria de Guadalupe, Irving, Texas 4,500

Hope, Fargo, N.D. 3,258

St. Philip the Deacon, Plymouth, Minn. 1,968

Shepherd of the Valley, Apple Valley, Minn. 1,920

St. Andrew, Mahtomedi, Minn. 1,894

Bethlehem, Minneapolis 1,698

Lord of Life, Maple Grove, Minn. 1,483

Good Shepherd, Naperville, Ill. 1,475

Sheridan, Lincoln, Neb. 1,432

Our Savior of East Mesa, Mesa, Ariz. 1,418

Prince of Peace, Burnsville, Minn. 1,389

Mount Calvary, Excelsior, Minn. 1,375

Southwood, Lincoln, Neb. 1,345

Community, Las Vegas 1,258

Our Saviour, Naperville, Ill. 1,222

Good Shepherd, Madison, Wis. 1,216

St. Paul, Davenport, Iowa 1,195

Hope, The Villages, Fla. 1,183

The 20 Largest in 1988 >>


Bruce Roberts

Bruce Roberts

Posted at 11:47 am (U.S. Eastern) 8/1/2013

Since Lutheran congregations are not sports teams in competition for being number one, the important questions that come from postings of congregation size in 1988 and 2012 are those that ask "Why the changes?".   We can all learn as much from exploring why a congregation of 100 in 1988  has had a 50% growth to become a congregation of 150 in 2012, as we can from asking questions about why the drop in a congregation of that served 3,000 in 1988 to become a congregation of 1,400 in 2012.  How can we engage in a conversation together about what works to enhance the well-being of the people in congregations of all sizes across the country?

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Embracing diversity