The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


How healthy is your congregation?

Here are 5 signs of congregational vitality

If you find the perfect parish, join it right away," a cleric once said. "But remember, once you join it, it will no longer be perfect." Many want to find the perfect congregation but because of human sin and folly, we never will. Still, every congregation can promote its well-being. Take these three examples.

First Church is barely keeping its balance. Membership is static. Financial giving is slightly better than the last two years, but each year it's more difficult to find leaders and workers. A longtime lay leader observes, "More members want the congregation to meet their needs. They are less interested in contributing to something beyond themselves."

Is this a healthy congregation? Or is it showing symptoms of disease?

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February issue


Embracing diversity