Are We Really an Aging Church
By Megan Rohrer
In the past 12 years I’ve preached at countless Lutheran, Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Congregational and Swedenborgian congregations nearly every Sunday. But, I could count on two hands the number of congregations who had worshipers younger than me.
During this same period, I baptized six adults and two children. Only the children were baptized in congregations. The adults, who were almost all younger than I was, asked me to baptize them in bars, restaurants and gardens. Each of these baptisms was accompanied by a story about how the individuals had become estranged from congregational worship.
With each baptism, I thought about all the people who have declared that the Lutheran church is dying and aging. Is it true, or are we pushing people away and letting people believe the lie that they are unable to be loved by God. And if people gain church membership through their baptism, then why are so few members choosing to attend worship?
When I was called as the pastor of Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church in San Francisco’s Sunset District this past February...
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