What’s Really Causing Church Decline…and What We Can Do About It

Faith+Lead blog admin Connect with God, Innovate Faithfully 9 Comments

Dwight Zscheile (VP of Innovation, Luther Seminary) and Michael Binder (Affiliate Professor at Luther Seminary and Co-Lead Pastor at Mill City Church, Minneapolis) ask what we can do to renew the church’s identity and help it join God’s work in the 21st century in this keynote address from the Faithful Innovation Summit, July 24-26, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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Comments 9

    1. Hi William, thanks for touching base! Is the video dropping off for you at a certain point? Let us know and we’ll help troubleshoot!

    1. Thanks for touching base, Lori! Yes, we plan to share additional resources from the Faithful Innovation Summit here on the blog over the coming weeks.

  1. A noble intention, but the analysis of the problem and suggestions seem to be coming just from their heads. We need A LOT more data and more rigorous analysis if we are going to turn this church around. We could take years to do the sexuality study. Can we not put the same effort into studying our own loss of relevance? Are we afraid of what we might find?

  2. In 1987 at the time of the merger forming the ELCA, The American Lutheran supported 1,000 missionary units PLUS wives!
    The last I saw any numbers of missionaries now supported by the merged ELCA was down to 245 in 2019.
    Membership in 1988 was 5.25 million members.
    Membership in 2005 was 4.85 million members.
    August 9, 2009 the ELCA voted to ordain homosexuals.
    Membership in 2015 was 3.75 million members.
    Membership in 2019 ????

  3. It is quite obvious why the ELCA has diminishing membership. They have become a sponsor of a particular political party and it starts at the top.They must remove politics, esp. nationally from their philosophy and never take political positions nationally and internationally.Jesus would never allow us to take one side over another,yet our Bishop encourages just that.Many members are leaving this day due to her recent comments about our President and also about taking sides with the Palestinians over their neighbors.Treat everyone and very group equally and start immediately. TELL HER

  4. The answers seem obvious only to those who are in the grip of ideology, or who draw conclusions from small slivers of information. We are too political, too apolitical, too liberal, too conservative, too pietistic, not pietistic enough, too orthodox, not orthodox enough, too out of touch with postmodernism, too out of touch with old time religion, or we are more corrupt or less nice than we wanted to think we were … Stop already. Whatever your complaint, someone has the opposite one, and others have different ones entirely.

    Learning to listen better is a start, but if it only gets us a few anecdotes, it won’t help.

    Look, the only way to figure this out is for ALL of us to admit we don’t know, start seeing the logs in our own eyes, and GO BIG with an extensive church wide years long study of the problem. Short of that, we only have worthless speculation, we are clueless, and our Church (and the Lutheran witness to the Gospel, in this country anyway) will be lost. And time won’t go backward for us. Let’s get on it!

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