Struggles & Victories: Grace Lutheran Church

Struggles & Victories: Grace Lutheran Church

March 6, 2014 by

Grace Lutheran Church is a rural, ELCA congregation in Thomasville, N.C., serving about 100 people.

The struggle we are facing is people believe they are not being informed of what is going on with the church (specifically when it comes to captial campaigns, finance and the calendar).

My church is still getting used to electronic communication being one of (if not the) main catalyst for communication. Sadly, not all our members have a workable email so we have to make sure that any news items we send via email/website/Facebook will be seen by all our members.

In July we voted on starting a capital campaign to pay for much-needed bathroom renovations, and we said we would start the campaign in August. However, for the entire month of August, I was flying solo. My secretary was out recovering from a broken hip and my music director (and bulletin/newsletter/announcements collaborator) was in Iowa tending to family needs.

With my two main partners out (and no one stepping up to help) it was impossible for me to start the campaign. Because of the lack of start, some people felt like they were not getting any new information. Which in a way was true. But we had no one to come in and do an updated bulletin for a month, so the whole church lacked in updates.

It felt like some people wanted to tie miscommunication to an agenda by me, the pastor, and the leaders of the church. I miss the days when people could give honest critiques while understanding that mistakes just happen and are not on purpose.

But my team came back and we got things sorted out. All in all, the issues are definitely not major. Some members just do not understand how many people it takes to keep the “information ball” rolling, and we’re getting better at being on top of things.

Despite the drama, we raised the money in four months to cover the cost of the new bathrooms. The new bathrooms have galvanized the congregation to doing the same campaign next summer for a few other renovations projects.

Also, we recently had a retired pastor who left a congregation nearing 500 commend us for our website. He said it was “welcoming, easy to navigate and informative.” I thought that was very cool.

Photo by Metro Tiff
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Jonathan Conrad

Jonathan Conrad is a Lutheran pastor in North Carolina. You can check out his personal blog for sermons and more.
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