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[LCMSNews] 'Igniting Congregations' events set

From "LCMS e-News" <>
Date Wed, 27 Aug 2003 21:32:35 -0500

	LCMS News

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	August 27, 2003 .................... LCMSNews -- No. 94

	President's Office schedules first
	'Igniting Congregations' events

	The first three gatherings for "One Mission Ablaze: Igniting
Congregations," Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod President Gerald
Kieschnick's initiative to reverse the church body's 30-year membership
decline, have been scheduled.

	The first, considered a "test" group, will bring a pastor and
"key" lay person from each of 10 St. Louis-area congregations to St.
John Lutheran Church, Ellisville, Mo., Sept. 12-13. The congregations
were invited to participate because of their record in confirming
adults, and that first event will focus on increasing adult confirmands
in the Missouri Synod.

	Participants will take part in a three-pronged process that

	* challenge them to increase their ministry's effectiveness over
the next five years;

	* give them opportunities to share their success stories, and
hear the success stories of others; and

	* encourage them to serve as mentors to other congregations, and
to work with other "igniting" congregations to meet goals.

	After the pilot next month, subsequent "Igniting Congregations"
events will bring together leaders from the top 30 Synod congregations
in each of seven other categories -- church-worker recruitment and
retention, growth in worship attendance, the number of new missions
planted, attendance growth at new missions, increase in the number of
non-Anglo worshipers, and adult accessions through school ministries and
through youth ministries.

	Two of those also have been scheduled -- for Oct. 24 25 at St.
James Lutheran Church, Lafayette, Ind., and Nov. 14-15 at King of Kings
Lutheran Church, Omaha, Neb.

	Kieschnick will attend all eight events and will address
participants, challenging them to reach even more people with the

	Rev. Jon Braunersreuther, Kieschnick's senior assistant, said
the initiative is designed to "recognize these congregations who, by
God's grace, have been particularly effective in specialized ministry
areas, challenge them to increase their effectiveness and share what
they've learned with other congregations."

	Helpful information gleaned from those taking part in the events
will be posted on the Synod's Web site at
<>  so that all LCMS congregations will have access
to it, he said.

	The initiative's leaders intend to monitor participating
congregations over the next five years in an effort to find out if the
"igniting" events have made a measurable difference in the number of
people being reached for Christ.

	"We're counting people because people count," Braunersreuther
said. "The numbers represent people who are touched by the means of
grace. Who wouldn't want more people sitting in the pews of Lutheran
churches, hearing God's Word and receiving the sacraments?"


	If you have questions or comments about this LCMSNews release,
contact Joe Isenhower Jr. at or (314) 996-1231,
or Paula Schlueter Ross at or (314) 996 1230.


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