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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Questions for calling congregations

Evaluate mission, finances and culture

Previously, almost any ELCA congregation seeking a pastor could expect to find one. Today congregations have to ask some questions of themselves.

• Does this congregation have a vision for its mission that would engage and interest a new pastor?

• If membership and finances are in decline, what does the future look like and what can be done to grow?

• Can this congregation pay a salary and benefits at a rate that will not adversely affect the pastor's morale or put unnecessary hardship on his or her family? Is support sustainable through the years?

Photo illustration by Michael D. Watson• If there is a need to radically change how the congregation and its pastor function, are members ready to accept the changes when a new pastor arrives?

• Would the congregation be willing to share a pastor with another church or be led by a pastor or layperson without the traditional type of preparation?


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