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Queer Eye for the Lectionary
377 S. Harrison Street, 12D
East Orange, NJ 07018
Phone: 973-395-1068 h
Married February 2, 1974
Louie Crew's Natter [BLOG]
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Re: Do conservative or progressive congregations lead in growth?
XXXXXXXX wrote: > I am immensely curious whether there have been any > studies that correlate church growth with theological temperament. For > example, do "conservative" churches grow faster and larger than "liberal" > churches. I share your curiosity but do not expect us to find convincing proof for either side. If progressive churches were growing faster than conservative churches, I would be reporting the data that proves it. If conservative churches were growing faster than progressive ones, I assume George Gallup, a devout conservative, would be touting the proof. A close look at random samples of either type of congregation will reveal why neither theological temperament sets a congregation at an advantage to grow. There are progressive and conservative parishes that are tired, unwelcoming, self-absorbed..... and there are progressive and conservative parishes that are vibrant, welcoming, and engaged with communities near and far. Being progressive or conservative is quite important to those of us who are, and should be important to us. The issues which engage us are important not just to us, but also to those not engaged by them. There should be no argument at all at how important the circumcision debate of the first century was to the long-term mission strategy of the Church, but there must have been many, perhaps a majority, who wished people would stop talking about it so the issue could go away. Had the circumcision party "won," Christianity, if it existed at all, would likely now be a tiny sect of Judaism. Unfortunately, in "winning," the anti-circumcision party assured the divorce of Christianity from Judaism. All the first Christians were Jews, but by the end of the first century, very few were Jews, and Christianity cut itself off from many understandings vital to all the original Christians. The divorce was to Christianity's loss. It is wonderful to be adopted into a family, but less wonderful to know almost nothing about your family of adoption. Despite the uncertainty about what causes church growth, there should be no uncertainty about what causes successful ministry, clerical or lay: "Feed my sheep." In a never exhausting way, love those whom you serve. Forget careerism. Invest yourself fully in the lives of others. Louie, L1 Newark Louie Crew, 377 S. Harrison St., 12D, East Orange, NJ 07018 973-395-1068 http://queereye4lectionary.blogspot.com/ Queer Eye for the Lectionary
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