The State of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America: An Organizational Intelligence Perspective

By J. Russell Crabtree

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In his new book, The State of the ELCA, J. Russell Crabtree examines the perspectives, experiences, and aspirations of a large cross section of members in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. In his reflection on the responses of nearly 60,000 members to a variety of questions, he addresses a number of topics including:

  • How does the experience of Lutherans compare with other mainline denominations?
  • Which groups feel most positive and which groups feel less positive about their experience in the Lutheran church?
  • What are some of the factors that make the difference between Lutheran churches that are experiencing vitality and those that are struggling?
  • How are Lutherans experiencing life in their congregations over their lifecycle ranging from the teenage years through child bearing, child rearing, empty nest, and retirement?
  • As they think about the future, what are the aspirations of Lutherans for their churches and how do these vary from Boomlets up through Boomers and the GI Generation?
  • What are the motivating factors for giving among Lutherans and how do these differ from one congregation to another?

Get ready for a few surprises as you read the answers to these questions, but also discover Lutheran perspectives on Scripture, spiritual practices, pastoral transitions, and Synods.

The State of the ELCA ends on a positive note by summarizing interviews with the pastors of four transformational Lutheran churches, one large, one small, one more conservative, and one more progressive.

“[A] must-read for congregational leaders, synod staffs, and synod councils.”  – Bishop Wayne N. Miller