After accepting the call to my present congregation, I met with church consultant Lyle Schaller, who has resided in our community for years. He told me more about the city and its people than all the demographic studies I had read.
One comment raised my eyebrows.
"Be careful what you ask your people to vote for. In this town, they'll vote in favor of anything-in the city, a new tax increase; in the church, a new building program-even when it is not needed. Because they know they will not have to be around to pay for it."
Several years later our church voted to build a needed $2 million sanctuary and educational facility. Recently in our building committee, we were bellyaching about receipts not keeping pace with financial projections and the significant number of families that had come and gone. One man said his wife had found an old church directory: "We've lost fifty-six families in two-and-a-half years." Schaller's words rang in my ears.
Naperville, like many other towns in our mobile ...1