There is a reason many denominations are falling apart while others are growing every single year.
There certainly is. Congregants who are given stones when they're looking for Biblical bread have a way of not sticking around.
Continuing a 14-year slide, membership in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America dropped in 2005 to just over 4.85 million baptized members, according to a church news release.
The ELCAs baptized membership declined by 79,663 in 2005, or 1.62 percent, the largest such drop in at least 15 years, according to a report issued Aug. 1 by the Rev. Lowell Almen, the churchs secretary.
Since 1990, the number of baptized members in the ELCA has declined by about 390,000, the report said. The last time the church reported an increase in baptized members was 1991, according to the church news release.
The church also lost about 48,000 communing and contributing members a category that indicates regular active participation in the church falling to approximately 2.26 million in 2005.