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Tags: collaboration, education, meal, midweek gathering, rural, worship, youth
With a population of 639 people, Balaton is a little town on the prairie in southwestern Minnesota about 17 miles west of Walnut Grove, of Laura Ingalls fame. The community reached its peak population back in the 1940s. You better believe that the churches in town peaked at about that time, too.
Like most small churches, Trinity Lutheran Church and the Balaton United Methodist Church were seeing their numbers slip away through most of the 1990s and 2000s.
This is an excerpt from an essay in Renew 52: 50+ Ideas to Revitalize Your Congregation from Leaders under 50. Download the e-book for free.
The Rev. Daryl Thul is pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Balaton, Minn.
Brought to you by Luther Seminary's Vibrant Congregations Project, with funding by the Lilly Foundation.
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