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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Close the back door

Too many members slip silently away

As a parish pastor, I wondered about those leaving the congregation through the back door. I am not thinking about those who left out of disappointment or anger, clear about their reasons for transferring — but of those who slowly, silently slipped into inactivity.

Our church is giving renewed commitment to outreach and evangelism. We are encouraging congregations to have many doors through which people might enter — Sunday morning worship, the adult catechumenate, Alpha, Wednesday evening suppers, after-school youth programs, summer programs and many others. As we become more intentional and invitational in our witnessing, let us not forget those quietly slipping away.


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April issue

APRIL issue:

Faith traditions

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