You know the calumny cast upon my bemonocled brethren of the Fort Wayne seminary, and even upon us poloshirted CSL grads of a self-consciously confessional bent: they come in, change everything in a heartbeat, castigate the people for not being Lutheran enough, and then when everybody leaves they blame it on God and say that a smaller congregations indicates greater faithfulness.
I have not actually met anyone who has ever told me that a smaller congregation is an indication of faithfulness (though I have seen pastors rather relieved to say goodbye to a parishioner or two who could not play well with others), so I had begun to doubt that such people really existed. I doubt no more. I finally found a church leader who has come right out and said that the losses in membership happening under their watch are a sign of greater faithfulness.
HT: Fr. Lee (CTS)