For generations denominations in the United States including the ELCA have sent missionaries to the far reaches of the globe. Ironically, the US is now home to the largest population of un-churched and spiritually disconnected people in the world. All US denominations have seen a steady stream of people leaving, often citing spiritual restlessness, apathy, hypocrisy, or there must be more. We see the same trends in the ELCA. Perhaps you have seen this in your own congregation. Those who study demographics believe the decline in overall church attendance is linked with young people’s religious practices, or lack thereof.
But what if this is not the whole story? There are bright spots, congregations, who are growing and engaging new younger people. These congregations are flourishing – spiritually, emotionally, missionally, and sometimes numerically.
The ELCA has several trainers in Growing Young. To locate a trainer in your area or to determine what next steps might look like in your congregation, please contact the Office of Youth Ministry at firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be happy to assist you. Our goal is to equip you with tools and resources so that our world may experience the difference God’s grace and love in Christ makes for all people and creation.