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By Lyle E. Schaller

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Which segment of the unchurched population will you focus on first? 15. As you do this, which of the barriers to church growth described in this chapter will you have to eliminate? (At this point you may want to look more carefully at your congregation to identify other barriers to church growth. For suggestions on several other types of barriers to growth, see Lyle E. Schaller, Survival Tactics in the Parish, pp. 91-103, 135-43. ) Chapter IV The Dynamics of Inclusion and Exclusion The first three chapters of this volume have been devoted largely to identifying and describing several of the most neglected factors that are actual barriers in reaching and assimilating new members.

Their evaluative comments on the openness of that parish seldom are heard by its leaders. The second group is composed of the members who visited, joined, and later dropped into an inactive role. They found the exclusionary walls too difficult to penetrate. The third group is composed of those people who united with that congregation and subsequently, without changing their place of residence, transferred their membership to another congregation. Interviews with this group of ex-members yield different types of evaluative comments.

While it is impossible to defend this theologically, unless one turns to the doctrine of original sin, there are people who have a very strong commitment to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior but are not involved in the life of any worshiping congregation. Likewise some skeptics contend that some of the most active church leaders have a very limited or very shallow Christian commitment. For descriptive and analytical purposes it may help to separate one's institutional loyalty to a specific congregation from one's Christian commitment.

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