ELCA Growing Younger

Congregations Lead Initiative


For generations denominations in the United States including the ELCA have sent missionaries to the far reaches of the globe. Ironically, the US is now home to the largest population of un-churched and spiritually disconnected people in the world. All US denominations have seen a steady stream of people leaving, often citing spiritual restlessness, apathy, hypocrisy, or there must be more. We see the same trends in the ELCA. Perhaps you have seen this in your own congregation. Those who study demographics believe the decline in overall church attendance is linked with young people’s religious practices, or lack thereof.

But what if this is not the whole story? There are bright spots, congregations, who are growing and engaging new younger people. These congregations are flourishing – spiritually, emotionally, missionally, and sometimes numerically.

On this page you will find stories, resources, and tools to assist you and your congregation connect with new people so that our world may experience the difference God’s grace and love in Christ makes for all people and creation.

6 Core Commitments

The 6 Core Commitments

Of Churches Growing Young

Help others understand the tenets of Growing Young with the one-page PDF.

6 Core Commitments

ELCA Growing Younger

Train The Trainer Virtual Gathering

The ELCA Mission Team and The Fuller Youth Institute invite you to the 2021 ELCA Growing Younger Train the Trainer Virtual Gathering. Learn more.





Resources from ReconcilingWorks, an Independent Lutheran Organization

ReconcilingWorks is an independent Lutheran, membership-supported organization for the full welcome, inclusion and equity of LGBTQIA+ Lutherans in all aspects of the life of their church, congregations and community.


The Reconciling in Christ (RIC) Program is for congregations, synods, colleges, seminaries, and other Lutheran organizations and ministry communities that have made a public commitment to welcome, include and celebrate LGBTQIA+ people.

Find a RIC community

The 2016 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Churchwide Assembly passed the two following pieces of legislation. This resource seeks to provide guidance to synods and the churchwide organization as it employs more inclusive language.

Download PDF

Interested in learning more? ReconcilingWorks offers educational resources for Lutheran congregations. The best place to begin the Reconciling in Christ (RIC) Journey is with the Building an Inclusive Church (BIC) toolkit and training.

educational resources