Trusting and Trying – Weighing What Works at Westminster

by Matthew Ruttan, published April 1, 2013 in The Presbyterian Record.

Westminster is in Barrie, Ont. — a growing city. We’ve had people pass away and move. There is some changeaphobia. We don’t have any money in the bank. And lo and behold, there are a few people who don’t always get along. Sound familiar? Six years ago a question wafted in the air: Will we survive?
If you’re reading this it’s because hope is arising.

In the past five years we’ve been faithful. The number of worshippers has gone from 65 to over 90. Although some folks are no longer with us, we have 50 new members and many adherents (with more on the way). Numbers aren’t that important. Disciples are. Over half of those in worship were not here four years ago. We’re a slightly older group but are getting younger. Diversity is good when it reflects your community.

Can we make any generalizations to explain why things are going in the right direction? Does some of the good have to do with introducing a strategic plan, or some praise songs, or different programs, or something else? Church isn’t a one-size-fits-all thing. If we don’t make the right generalizations this exercise can mess up our thinking. … Read More