Thriving Into the Future

 In Featured, Inspiration, News

by Jeff Marian

Last year the Star Tribune ran a series of articles on the decline of the Church. More and more adults of all ages, but especially young adults, identify as spiritual but do not believe that the Church can effectively feed their spiritual hunger. Prince of Peace reflects this decline in our membership, worship attendance, giving patterns and engagement in service.

Truth is, none of our boys are connected to a church. Many of you may have children or grandchildren who also are not connected. That breaks my heart, and I want to change that. I love the Church and I believe in the potential of Prince of Peace to impact the lives of future generations. And after serving at Prince of Peace for 11 years I want to invest the social capital I’ve earned to help lead us through change and position us for a brighter future, so that someday my successor doesn’t have to start from scratch.

I believe that we are being called to a new reformation, a re-forming of what it means to be the Church in a changing world. I don’t know what that looks like. No one does. But I trust that if we pray and listen, the Spirit will lead us. I want to nurture the Prince of Peace that we know and love today, because that still “works” for many of us. But I believe we also need to try new ways of connecting with those whom God loves but who are not connected into Christian community.

This re-forming process will be a significant enough challenge that I believe we would benefit from outside consultation. A consultant can provide fresh perspective, process and needed accountability. To that end, our Board of Directors has vetted consulting groups and is suggesting that we work with Vibrant Faith Ministries (vibrantfaith.org), located right here in the Twin Cities. I’ve worked with Vibrant Faith before and have been impressed with their wisdom and faithfulness.

The work ahead of us will require lots of listening, both to our members and to people in the community who want nothing to do with the Church as they understand it. In addition to our consultant, I’m working with our Board to create a small leadership team to help guide the work, work that I hope will begin in May.

I’ll keep you informed on our process and progress. In the meantime, here’s how you can participate in the process:

  • Pray. Please pray regularly for God’s discerning wisdom and guidance as we seek a pathway forward.
  • Share. If you’re asked to provide input into the process, please do.
  • The cost of a consultant is above and beyond our regular budget. Some of our most generous stewards have already provided over half the cost of the three-year contract. If you want to invest into the future of Prince of Peace and future generations, please consider a gift over-and-above your regular generosity.

Jeff Marian is the Lead Pastor of Prince of Peace. 

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Comments
  • Mike

    Some believe re-forming the church is necessary to match the changing times. Didn’t Martin Luther think a reformation was necessary because the church at the time was drifting away from the scriptures?

    We truly believe that as Lutherans we live by grace alone through faith alone on the basis of Scripture alone, and further have the belief that the Bible is the ultimate authority on all issues of faith.

    Is it possible that the reformation that is needed in our church today is simply re-aligning ourselves to be true to our beliefs and stop the slow slipping away we have experience in recent years by being a “changing church for changing times”?

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