I. This is a real interesting chart. (From here.) Notice its the affiliation of 16 year olds and not adults. So in one sense it is predictive of where the whole bodies are heading. So even though white Roman Catholic congregations may be on the decline, if anything the hispanic inflow upholds the number. The growth in unaffiliated is the solution to the decreasing MP line. (Yes there are all kinds of cross flows, but that is the high level answer.) And last comment as I’ve said before Lutherans just don’t really map well into the American divisions. We were never really part of the Mainline (Episcopal, Presby, Methodist, Baptist). The ELCA struggled mightily in since the 1980’s to join it. I’ve always felt kinship with the evangelical although I do feel that since the advent of Nashville Worship we’ve grown in different ways. Anyway, any thoughts?
II. This guy sounds like my post of a couple of days ago with my steady drip, drip, drip from a generation of leadership. It reminds me of a quip on The Closer. Chief Pope asks Lt. Chief Johnson if she thought she could do better? Brenda responds something like, “I’d be embarrassed if I couldn’t”. Ouch. I guess we are all just immature.
III. Rod Dreher linking to Tim Dalrymple. The top question that our group with LINC-Rochester agreed on for interviews was “Tell us about your personal relationship with Jesus Christ.” What Rod and Tim are talking about is the same thing that question gets at. As a pastor my primary goal is to make disciples not of me but of Jesus Christ. I want each person that I teach/preach/minister with to personally know the power of Christ’s resurrection in their lives. I personally am a rather systematic and intellectual guy, but for me that is part of the Lutheran prayer, study and trial. And I’ve learned being more of an autodidact than most that the way I read books is just different. To me they are conversations. My wife makes fun of me when I yell at a book. So many catechism and teaching classes are geared to make disciples for the teacher. Jesus said something like you go to the ends of the earth to make an convert and make him twice the resident of hell an you. (Matt 23:15) They should be the opportunities to meet Jesus. That is the goal at least.