Letters to the Editor (May 2017)

Membership decline — another aspect

I read with interest the article on LCMS membership decline in the March Reporter. It made an impact on me, since I was ordained in 1971 and this decline has happened on my watch, too!  

I am writing because I think the article and study do not mention another aspect of our reality that is already having an impact in the circuit I serve. I have come to think of it as the “coming train wreck.”

This reality combines the decline in seminary graduates with the aging population of LCMS clergy. I have been told that by 2020, half of all LCMS clergy will be retirement age. 

Congregations are designed to have pastors. As our congregations decline in membership and resources, that becomes more difficult. It appears that the flow of candidates into our colleges and seminaries is dramatically low and has been. It also appears that the feeder system of candidates flowing from effective campus ministry, which was my path, has also narrowed considerably.

I hope the Synod’s leadership will also address this aspect of our present situation.

Rev. Timothy Fangmeier, Davidson, N.C.

Posted April 28, 2017

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