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Author Anderson, Lauren Paige
Title Beyond hospitality: Becoming family
book jacket
Descript 110 p
Note Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 73-10, Section: A, page:
Adviser: Carl Savage
Thesis (D.Min.)--Drew University, 2012
I am an ordained elder in the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. Every year churches in our conference are closing, merging, or going on multi-church charges. The Rev. Dr. Duke Ison, my District Superintendent in Greensboro, is constantly quoting Lovett Weems's research on what Weems calls the "death tsunami" that is looming for the church throughout the northern hemisphere. Finances in my local church and on the district and conference levels are tight. Some days it feels as though gloom overtakes our clergy meetings and even our conversations in the local church as we look to the future
My local church, however, is in a part of Greensboro that is growing, and we are also situated in a high-traffic area at a major intersection. Estimates are that we have approximately 150,000 cars drive by our church weekly. We are easy to access and have visitors in worship almost every Sunday. When I arrived two years ago, however, I noticed that while visitors did return and even join, our retention of those new members was low. I embarked on this academic pursuit in the area of Congregational Growth and Development excited about the opportunity to learn how we might best be able to capitalize on the growth around us and plant seeds for fruitful harvest in our community
My project provided a leadership training workshop for Sunday morning greeters and visitation team members, reframed the concept of partnering new members with faith friends, and created a curriculum with which I taught a class for new member orientation. My prayer was that each of these components would help us to move towards fully embracing and integrating our newest family members into the life and ministry of the church. My goal was both to delve into some of the reasons why we seemed to lose newer members out the back door as well as to put into place some structures to decrease or eliminate those attritions
School code: 0064
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 73-10A
Subject Religion, General
Alt Author Drew University
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