More on Evangelism

The ELCA is desperately trying to get diverse. Only 1.12% of its members are African-American (but that’s a little better than the .28% of the LCMS). Membership is slowly draining (as is true of most merged mainline churches). Lutheranism remains an ethnic church, made up mainly of Scandinavians and Germans. The ELCA has lots of plans, but they’re still finding themselves frustrated. It’s partly the cultural thing, but the ELCA attempts to connect with cultures (including dishonest outreaches to Hispanics using Our Lady of Guadalupe and calling the service “misa”) just haven’t worked.

I’d be tempted to suggest the liberal Protestantism they were teaching might be the problem, but that wouldn’t be true of the LCMS. More likely, these churches just aren’t used to evangelism. They just don’t like the idea of change. They just aren’t comfortable with unfamiliar faces in the pew next them. As another article to which I linked said, you’re either doing evangelism, or you aren’t.

4 thoughts on “More on Evangelism

  1. Is it the feeling that evangelization is only for the developing world, that the Western world is already Christian?
    BTW according to the Glenmary research Cte. survey about half the people in Harris county report “unclaimed,” (49.6%) when asked their religous faith. The Glenmary’s have the best stats. in the US because religous questions cannot be asked in the census.
    In Harris cty. ECLA lost 1,605 members between 1990 and 2000, the MO Synod gained 1,638 in the same period. RC gained 94,398. S.D.A. gained 1,292. Southern Baptists gained 89,923.
    The population of Harris cty. increased by almost 600,000.

  2. Hi, Liam (thanks for lunch the other day!).

    Do you have a link?

    Question–how much of that growth is due to evangelism? A good chunk of it will be do to births of members. Much has come from immigration.

  3. The LCMS was very active in evangelism and missions, including among blacks and Native Americans, up until some time in the 20th century when we had our affair with liberalism. The bureaucracy exploded sometime around the 70s, and I think that’s the main force behind stifling missions. We’re now much more obsessed with our internal battles than evangelism. It’s become almost impossible to do missions without some self-appointed champion of orthodoxy declaring that this or that thing you’re doing is overturning Pure Lutheran Doctrine.

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