Michigan's Membership Massacre
You’ve been mobbed with the glossies. They all point out how bad President Harrison is for pointing out some of the major causes of the LCMS’s decline over the past few decades. But it's a pity that the MI District President is trying to divide the Synod by maligning President Harrison for having the bravery to study and address our Synod's numerical decline. Far from being defeatist, President Harrison is actively responding to the crisis: and, yes, that begins with being the first President of Synod forthright enough to talk about the elephant in the room.
Here's another elephant in the room: While the MI District President has made President Harrison's discussion of the decline of the Synod a linchpin of his campaign, the MI District has lost more than 31,000 baptized members since the current District President took office. That's right: when David P. Maier became district president, there were over 211,000 LCMS members in Michigan. Today there are only about 180,000. So while President Maier complains of President Harrison noticing the decline in Synod, his own district has shrunk by 14.6% in just 9 years! (Data available at the back of The Lutheran Annual)
Is this the kind of leadership the Synod needs? This is worse than fiddling while Rome burns: it's hollering at the firemen as they rush to the scene for being so negative as to notice that the place is on fire! Instead, we need what President Harrison has provided: a call that not only wakes us up, but, in rousing us from slumber, also calls us to unite and focus on addressing the real issues, while we work together in the Lord's Kingdom.