Found over on blogs.lcms.org:
Researchers dissecting the decline in LCMS membership have come to one conclusion: The standard reasons offered for why the LCMS isn’t growing — everything from “If only we weren’t so conservative” to “We need more early childhood centers to attract young families” — don’t have anything to do with the steady drop in numbers.
In the special December issue of the Journal of Lutheran Mission, several demographic reports explain the major reason behind patterns in decline and offer suggestions on how the LCMS can reverse the trend. The reports also touch on how issues like delayed marriage, birth control, divorce, student debt and others have impacted the Synod.
Observations from the Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, president of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, and the Rev. Heath Curtis, coordinator of LCMS Stewardship, also are included.