University of Dubuque Theological Seminary plans to hold a conference on Growing the Mainline Church to help pastors and lay leaders to lead their congregations into healthy, hopeful futures from June 22-23.
"For decades, the mainline churches were in denial; for the past few years, people were grieving for the days of yore," said the Rev. Michael Caine, minister of the Southeastern Region of the New York Conference of the United Church of Christ.
Despite a Journal News review of the five most prominent mainline denominations, which revealed the decrease of their membership in New York City and the surrounding suburbs by 45 percent since 1960, UBTS officials say that small, medium and large mainline churches are growing and thriving.
Through the conference, UBTS plans to explore the principles, practices, and possibilities that create a framework for authentic growth of churches. The Seminary assembled a resource team with pastors who have experience in leading growing of congregations.
Plenary speaker is Dr. Richard Jones, Senior Pastor of the United Methodist Church of Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, and he plans to address on the topic, "A Church Turned Around: Lessons Learned in Becoming a Growing Church" by Dr. Richard Jones.
Other session topics include: "Dancing at the Abyss: Spiritual Vitality in Wilderness Places," "From Survival to Revival," "Key Principles in Mainline Church Growth," and "Clearing the Minefield: Top Leadership Mistakes that Create Barriers to Growth."
Through the event, the Seminary proposes to share principles and practices that energize congregations and congregational leaders.