Had a disturbing conversation this morning. It seems that the pastor of my friend's church has decided not to hold confirmation class for the children of this church. I was beyond shocked. Here's the background. The church is a small-membership church and has about 8 children in all. Of these, however, 5-6 are confirmation age--6th grade and up. While the pastor has promised to offer confirmation, he has not done so and has made no effort to see that these children receive instruction for church membership, despite being specifically asked.
I don't know about you, but to me this should be a chargeable offense for clergy. Statistics tell us that if children are not confirmed, the chance of them ever becoming active church members is great diminished. In other words, this pastor is actually pushing these children away from the church.
Not only that, but this little church really wants to grow in ministry and in numbers. It wants to pay 100% of its apportionment's--and does. It wants to be a station church again, but none of these things will ever happen if the pastor and leadership don't act.
There is just so much more that good preaching that goes into being a pastor. Care for the congregation--visiting, equipping, educating--also play a major role. We wonder why small churches struggle. Could this a reason? Where is the DS? How does the bishops' Call to Action address this?