- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 20, 2005

When Brian D. McLaren, a University of Maryland English professor, did some homework, he was astounded to find out that 90 percent of all church growth in the country wasn’t real — it was just people moving from one church to another.

Mr. McLaren already was leading a small congregation in Spencerville in addition to his teaching career.

The statistics inspired the small group to transform its meetings into a “seeker church” that reaches out to “unchurched” people in the community. That was about 20 years ago.

Today, Cedar Ridge Community Church has missionaries in Sierra Leone, South Africa and other countries as well as outreaches in its own neighborhood. The church has swollen to 600 adults and 250 children and has more than 70 youths involved in its senior high and junior high school groups.

“These are not boring days,” Mr. McLaren said. “Ours is a church that is trying to help people who don’t have a church — the unchurched.”

Despite leaving his teaching career, Mr. McLaren continues to write. He has authored seven books and co-authored three. His latest, “A Generous Orthodoxy,” was released in August.

“Some people like to play golf. I write,” he said.

Judith Person

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