Monday, December 08, 2008

Deep and wide: Growing via evangelism?

Deep and wide: Growing via evangelism?:
"STONY POINT, N.Y. — Mainline Protestant denominations have been shrinking for the past 40 years because they’ve scaled back what they did so well for decades before: birthing babies. Growth surged during the baby boom of the 1950s, but when that faded so did membership.

In order to reverse that trend the other historic way — growing the church through evangelization — about 75 Presbyterians gathered 30 miles northwest of New York City Nov. 10-12 for the “Grow the Church Deep and Wide: Evangelism Consultation” at Stony Point Center. ..."
"The proclamation of the Gospel for the salvation of humankind" may be the first of the six Great Ends of the Church, but it has been one that has caused discomfort in more than a couple of the Presbyterian churches I have joined over the years. Many years ago the church where I currently hold membership dropped the traditional 'Evangelism Committee' and replaced it with the 'Outreach Committee' for reasons that are somewhat unclear to me, although the consensus is that the 'E' word carried too much baggage.

Jack Haberer's article in The Outlook gives a bit of the history of the problem and how it is being met today.

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