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  QuikStory Logo l
We determined that our older
members needed to make changes
to allow for younger ideas. . .
Jim Berg, Pastor
  Calvary Lutheran Church  
  LOCATION (click link for demographic summary)  
  Morrow Bay, CA 93442  
  REGIONAL BODY (click link for website)  
  Southwest California Synod
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
  FEATURED RESOURCE (click link to learn more)  
  MinistryMatch, 10 Facts  
  FULL STORY (click link to
Committed to change
Committed to community involvement
Leadership and congregation informed through included Link2Lead resources
Introduced contemporary worship service
Actively bridging older/younger generations in congregation
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l It's a Match l
"George! George . . .where's George?!" cried the 3-year old toddler repeatedly as he ran into the sanctuary.

George, it seems, was nowhere too be found. Tears began to well up in Jason's (name changed) large brown eyes as his disappointment at not getting his customary Sunday morning hug from his "newest oldest friend" transformed into sadness. But before the waterworks could spill forth, George, a tall, ambling man in his late '70s suddenly appeared—striding through the front door of the church. Squealing with delight, the youngster ran as fast as short little legs could carry him—straight into "Grandpa" George's waiting arms.

George and Jason aren't related. They're "just pals"—Prayer Pals, to be specific. Prayer Pals, a ministry that teams seniors with children, is one of several new ministries started by Calvary Lutheran Church after they learned of the needs of the community around them through Percept's MinistryMatch tool. With an advanced degree in math, Calvary's pastor, Jim Berg, already had a head for numbers, charts, graphs and all the other tools of the demographic trade that thrill some—terrify others. But, as it turns out, Link2Lead's resources were easy to decipher. Even the non-math leaders on Calvary's Council, as well as pastors from other Lutheran churches in the area (with whom Berg shared the information at a retreat), were impressed—if somewhat ignorant of what the information revealed.

"A number of those churches had not even thought about the ramifications of the changing community around them," says Berg. "My own church council, which by that time was very well informed because of the demographics, just laughed in a good natured way at the other church leaders there, saying, 'What are you saying—you mean you don't get to see these numbers all the time?'"

As a result of Percept's tools, Berg started a contemporary worship service that grew from 15 to 70. On the other hand, the traditional service went down from 80 to 40, confirming the overall decline in the senior community population. Although Berg and the congregation were happy about the increase in worshippers, many lamented the generational split caused by the two services—the older members by and large attending the first service, with the younger ones in the second.

"We determined that our older members needed to make changes to allow for younger ideas. . . so, instead of complaining about all those young families who were coming to church who they didn't know, some of the older folks decided to get to know them," says Berg. Prayer Pals was the perfect vehicle to bridge that gap—allowing God to do a "new thing" by using the old. -Jenni Keast

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