A brand new poll has been conducted by leading church consultant Thom Rainer, which shows that 35% of churches in the U.S. are actually growing right now! That is amazing news given that it has been well established that only 20% were growing just a couple years ago. But here’s the startling and shocking reality: according to our ELCA national office only TWO PERCENT of the 9,000+ ELCA churches are growing at all. That is a stark contrast to the national trend, and highlights the utterly unique position we are in at Good Shepherd, as a church that is actually exploding in every conceivable metric. That’s something I don’t take lightly and is something I ask you to join me in giving thanks to God for this very real blessing.
I am amazed at what God continues to do through us together. I am overjoyed that we have raised the full scope of our capital appeal in order to better connect people of all ages with our Good Shepherd. And we cannot “rest on our laurels” knowing the kind of impact that I truly believe God wants to make through us outside of our walls. Because of how very rare our congregation really is in the ELCA, it's a tremendous responsibility we have to push further into our mission together. There are so many others that need to know the promise and grace of Jesus.
That is one of the reasons that the birth of our downtown Fargo campus is such an exciting and pivotal time in the history of Good Shepherd. The last time a Moorhead church birthed another one in our denomination? Over SIXTY years ago, when Trinity Lutheran birthed Our Savior’s! I just heard some very compelling reasons on a recent podcast for what multi-sites and new campuses do for a “parent” congregation. More growth, evangelism, discipleship, engagement and financial blessings all occur in the vast majority of multi-site congregations. That is exciting on every level because these are all signs of the real gift: that we are able to serve and love God in helping ALL to know the Good Shepherd in our mission together.
And just how can we serve and love God and others?
CHEERLEAD this with others.
WE set the tone for our mission, so grab those pompoms!
JOIN us on Sunday and welcome our guests. Be friendly. Sing out and praise God!
INVITE others. MOST people will come when invited!
SHARE your time, talent, and resources. YOU can make the difference.
Pastor Dan Dornfeld