We’ve all heard the discouraging news about the decline of the church in the western world. As I am attending a pastors’ conference these couple of days there are some encouraging words being shared.
One of those has to do with, of all things, evangelism. When you think of the most recognizable group taking part in door to door efforts to bring people into a belief system it’s probably the mormons who come to mind. And truth be told, when older adults are asked how many of them were part of some other church or belief when they were young, mormons raise their hands 26% of the time. They had grown up in a household that believed something else, but they were proselytized somewhere along the way. When Lutheran Church Missouri Synod members are asked the same question, 32% raise their hands! Our efforts at evangelism, sharing the good news about Jesus, have been effective all along!
It’s the retention rate, however, that’s the problem. The children we are raising in the church are leaving somewhere along the way: after confirmation, after high school graduation, etc.
In the coming weeks I’ll have some thoughts on the retention rates as well as some words to share about the intensity of Christian faith in America. Until then, remember: it’s a great time to be a part of Christ’s people!