Our Search for a Church is Over!

In March 2015, my wife, Susan, relocated to Denton, Texas from Naples, Florida.  Six months later I finished an interim ministry position in Southwest Florida and joined her. 70 Weeks of Searching  From late September 2015 through early February 2017 (17 months!) we embarked on a one of a kind journey I termed our "search for a church."  Despite our often conflicting professional travel schedules, we managed to worship 61 times in 36 different Mainline Protestant congregations within a Read More …

Leaving Your Denomination

Recently, the United Methodist Church has been in the media spotlight over the departure of clergy.  Most such publicity has focused on those who have chosen to perform same-sex weddings despite the denominations official position prohibiting such.  While such acts are likely to continue to attract attention and may ultimately help lead to reform, the denomination's position on who clergy may marry is not the only reason clergy are leaving the denomination. Jack Kale, pastor of the Central Read More …

Online Communion?

As online worship grows in popularity, churches are increasingly tasked with struggling with significant theological issues relating to this new way of being present (virtual presence) in worship.  One obvious area in need of consideration is communion.  More specifically, can Holy Communion / Eucharist / Lord's Supper be a part of an online worship experience? While independent congregations are free to decide the matter for themselves, most congregations who are affiliated with a (or with Read More …

From 5 Million to 4 Million

From 2001 to 2011, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America lost just over 1 million members.  More specifically: 2001 Membership: 5,099,877 2011 Membership: 4,059,785 Membership Loss: 1,040,092 or 20.39% So What? The decline of the mainline is a popular topic, yet few are familiar with the dramatic nature of the numeric decline in membership and denominational funding.  While the numbers presented here reflect the change in the ELCA, similar decline is happening across the Read More …

Membership & Worship Attendance

Len Wilson just started a new job yesterday in "an executive creative and communication position" at Peachtree Presbyterian Church (Atlanta, GA), one of the largest Presbyterian congregations in America with an average worship attendance of around 7,000. Recently, he blogged about attendance and membership patterns in the United Methodist Church.  In a rather comprehensive piece, he compared the ranks of the top twenty-five conferences by both membership and worship attendance.  These statistics Read More …