Jump directly to the Content

Church Growth Meets the Real World

Close to 80 percent of my seminary class came out of a metropolitan church, campus church, or urban parish that gets denominational support. It's in these places that people catch the vision for ministry.

Whenever I watch Christian TV, I see the churches of Charles Stanley, Ben Haden, Robert Schuller, and others. In these types of churches—plus church camps, retreat centers, and Bible studies in university towns—many clergy conceived the vision of what ministry can be like (versus the old, Gothic-style Methodist/Lutheran/UCC church of their parents). Upon graduation, however, we seminarians found that 80 percent of the vacancies are in that parish of our parents.

As I see the seminary advertisements in Leadership, I wonder if they're telling prospective seminarians that only a small percentage of calls are in big churches. Many are in small, struggling churches like mine.

WORKING WITH WHAT YOU HAVE


In rural America, I live with contradictions of sorts. Many people claim to be salt-of-the-earth-old-time-backbone-of-America-rural-people—until ...

March
Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
Inside the Church Building of 2017
Inside the Church Building of 2017
What's hot, what's next, and what needs to die.
From the Magazine
I Hated ‘Church People.’ But I Knew I Needed Them.
I Hated ‘Church People.’ But I Knew I Needed Them.
As I attended my second funeral in three weeks, two Christians showed me a kindness I couldn't explain.
Editor's Pick
What Christians Miss When They Dismiss Imagination
What Christians Miss When They Dismiss Imagination
Understanding God and our world needs more than bare reason and experience.
close