Spring Planting

I recently had lunch with a senior church leader who was concerned about the number of Episcopal churches with declining memberships. Not the least of the problems of these parishes is their unwillingness to change. It’s no wonder that they have trouble growing.

The leader and I agreed that one way out of this dilemma was to try to “plant” new congregations either in closed churches or within existing small churches. This is proving very successful in London and some other dioceses in the Church of England. There is even a new bishop in London with special responsibility for starting new congregations.

I like the idea of planting within buildings we already have, since this strategy avoids the problem of finding a new space for worship and ministry. We may hope and pray that this idea catches on in the American Episcopal church. —J. Douglas Ousley

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