A picture of viability among ELCA congregations was shared in “Coming to grips with struggling congregations,” an article by Linda Nansteel Lovell in the March 2011 edition of The Lutheran magazine.
Congregations of the Metro D.C. Synod are not exempt from this opportunity for self-examination. The Rev. Phil Hirsch, our director for evangelical mission and assistant to the bishop, has brought energy and insight to trends as our ministry aspirations and calling confront contemporary challenges.
Pr. Hirsch named a fear in the article, saying, “It used to be that people were concerned that their children wouldn’t sing the hymns of old, that they’d all be singing contemporary hymns. Now we’re concerned simply that our children will have Christian faith.”
The article takes a look at numbers and ministry with calm eyes. The Rev. Paul D. Erickson, assistant to the bishop for evangelical mission in the St. Paul Area Synod, listed an operative question for a congregation in addition to financial considerations: “Does a congregation have life, energy, a sense of mission and purpose in the world?”