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6 years ago  ::  Feb 08, 2008 - 3:35PM #1
Beliefnetsabee
Posts: 600
If you can think of any topics which would be of common interest to Disciple's of Christ please feel welcome to post them on this board.
I always remember that for every word typed there is a real person sitting behind the keyboard.
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6 years ago  ::  May 03, 2008 - 12:27AM #2
Vanessa86
Posts: 170
Not sure where else to post this, so...

The congregation I belong to now has about 100 members who regularly show up for worship. I would love to see another 50 or so. (It seems a lot of people don't even know about us: I live in the heart of Baptist country, after all.) This is such a caring church, and I wish more folks would join us.

How have other DoC congregations gone about attracting new members?
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6 years ago  ::  May 03, 2008 - 7:49PM #3
Spirit-Wind
Posts: 308
[QUOTE=Vanessa86;474253]Not sure where else to post this, so...

The congregation I belong to now has about 100 members who regularly show up for worship. I would love to see another 50 or so. (It seems a lot of people don't even know about us: I live in the heart of Baptist country, after all.) This is such a caring church, and I wish more folks would join us.

How have other DoC congregations gone about attracting new members?[/QUOTE]

Your congregation is not unique in this regard Vanessa.  Frankly, I was unsuccessful in growing my last congregation, but I do think I have some ideas that are worth considering.

A)  Get the congregation to recognize who they are.  (Not just, "We're a family."  "We're friendly".  They all say that.)  What I'm talking about is honestly exploring who you are and what your strengths are.  For example, instead of focusing on "we need more young people", think of advantages of being primarily an older congregation.

One neat exercise would be to have a dinner/event where members brought photos and memories from the past.  Draw out a time-line of the congregation.  The history will help to tell the story.  They can then see who they are in relation to where they have been. 

B)  Once you narrow down who you are and what your strengths are, study the surrounding community and see how your strengths can serve the community. 

Instead of focusing on increasing numbers (which is important), focus on living out the Christian mission in a way that is especially suited to your congregation.   This will give you vitality.  Numbers may come as a result.  (I hope they do.)

DISCLAIMER:  While I think this approach will work, it is not easy.  It is also not magic.  I was unable to get this off the ground at another church.  You need to have people committed to this.  The pastor and one or two members can't make it happen.

Also remember, growth is of the Holy Spirit.  No program brings people.  God brings people.
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6 years ago  ::  May 04, 2008 - 5:20PM #4
Campbellite
Posts: 2,068
I remember hearing an intersting statistic a while back. The average DOC congregation has about 110 members. So you are in the middle of the pack. The average DOC minister grew up in a congregation of 250 plus. (My home church has 1,800!) Smaller congregations are for some reason less likely to generate Timothys/ Priscillas. No, I don't know why. Nor am I sure what the implications of that are.
You are unique.
Just like everybody else.
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6 years ago  ::  May 04, 2008 - 7:08PM #5
Vanessa86
Posts: 170
Basic question: What's a Timothy/Priscilla?
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6 years ago  ::  May 04, 2008 - 5:20PM #6
Campbellite
Posts: 2,068
I remember hearing an intersting statistic a while back. The average DOC congregation has about 110 members. So you are in the middle of the pack. The average DOC minister grew up in a congregation of 250 plus. (My home church has 1,800!) Smaller congregations are for some reason less likely to generate Timothys/ Priscillas. No, I don't know why. Nor am I sure what the implications of that are.
You are unique.
Just like everybody else.
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6 years ago  ::  May 04, 2008 - 7:08PM #7
Vanessa86
Posts: 170
Basic question: What's a Timothy/Priscilla?
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6 years ago  ::  May 05, 2008 - 8:24AM #8
Spirit-Wind
Posts: 308
[QUOTE=Vanessa86;477435]Basic question: What's a Timothy/Priscilla?[/QUOTE]

They are people who decide to become ministers from a congregation.  I was blessed to have two claim me as a Timothy;  the one from my childhood, and the congo of my early 20's.  They were both very supportive...and very proud.
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 22, 2008 - 3:23PM #9
mitchel1
Posts: 145
[QUOTE=Campbellite;477216]I remember hearing an intersting statistic a while back. The average DOC congregation has about 110 members. So you are in the middle of the pack. The average DOC minister grew up in a congregation of 250 plus. (My home church has 1,800!) Smaller congregations are for some reason less likely to generate Timothys/ Priscillas. No, I don't know why. Nor am I sure what the implications of that are.[/QUOTE]


Having 110 members doesn't translate into 110 showing up on Sunday. On average mainline churches have an average attendance that is about one half the number of "participating" members. A quick survey of the Yearbook will show that 110 in worship is definitely larger than the majority of congregations.

The implication of the majority of Disciples ministers coming from larger congregations may be this: larger churches tend to be more inspiring for potential ministers. Their experience also probably shapes their expectations about what to expect in ministry. This is another way of saying ministers don't get what they expect when they enter into ministry and may not be psychologically prepared to serve the kind of church they are likely to serve. But folks adjust.
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