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WHAT IT TAKES TO STAY DOWNTOWN

In the changing kaleidoscope of the inner city, a church must take on new hues.

Trying to function like a suburban congregation in downtown Cincinnati was not working for Prince of Peace Lutheran Church. We realized that unless we became a neighborhood church, the prognosis was certain death. We were attracting few new people. The membership was growing older, and the leadership was getting tired. We might survive another five years at best.

To survive, we began to realize, we could not be a suburban congregation whose only identity with the inner city was that we happened to meet in a downtown building. Major changes had to be made.

By God's grace, Prince of Peace now is growing slowly into an inner-city church. The principles that guided our change were revealed through the processes of prayer, listening to the neighborhood, and what I call graced luck: accepting the fact that when we stumble onto something that works, it is because God's Spirit guides and nurtures our attempts.

Ministering to All Kinds

The first principle directing our change was inclusiveness. In ...

January/February
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