Wednesday, December 13, 2006
As Boenhoeffer suggests grace costs....
One of the most important theologians of the twentieth century illuminates the relationship between ourselves and the teachings of Jesus
What can the call to discipleship, the adherence to the word of Jesus, mean today to the businessman, the soldier, the laborer, or the aristocrat? What did Jesus mean to say to us? What is his will for us today? Drawing on the Sermon on the Mount, Dietrich Bonhoeffer answers these timeless questions by providing a seminal reading of the dichotomy between "cheap grace" and "costly grace." "Cheap grace," Bonhoeffer wrote, "is the grace we bestow on ourselves...grace without discipleship....Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the girl which must be asked for, the door at which a man must know....It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life."
The Cost of Discipleship is a compelling statement of the demands of sacrifice and ethical consistency from a man whose life and thought were exemplary articulations of a new type of leadership inspired by the Gospel, and imbued with the spirit of Christian humanism and a creative sense of civic duty.
What people say about it
Amazon.com"When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die." With these words, in The Cost of Discipleship, Dietrich Bonhoeffer gave powerful voice to the millions of Christians who believe personal sacrifice is an essential component of faith. Bonhoeffer, a German Lutheran pastor and theologian, was an exemplar of sacrificial faith: he opposed the Nazis from the first and was eventually imprisoned in Buchenwald and hung by the Gestapo in 1945. The Cost of Discipleship, first published in German in 1937, was Bonhoeffer's answer to the questions, "What did Jesus mean to say to us? What is his will for us to-day?" Bonhoeffer's answers are rooted in Lutheran grace and derived from Christian scripture (almost a third of the book consists of an extended meditation on the Sermon on the Mount). The book builds to a stunning conclusion: its closing chapter, "The Image of Christ," describes the believer's spiritual life as participation in Christ's incarnation, with a rare and epigrammatic confidence: "Through fellowship and communion with the incarnate Lord," Bonhoeffer writes, "we recover our true humanity, and at the same time we are delivered from that individualism which is the consequence of sin, and retrieve our solidarity with the whole human race." --Michael Joseph Gross Book
Monday, December 04, 2006
What has it to do with mission?
Well many people are looking for answers about life, how to live???
Many ethics books simply tell us what to do!!!
This book written by the Lutheran pastor and academic Dr Mark Worthing, focusses not so much on the issues but rather helps us explore and understand the framework and foundation for making decisions as Christians.
It is an easy to read book, ideal for small groups, people wanting to explore decision making as a Christian and desiring to find a gracious God in the midst of difficult decisions.
What is ethics
What is Christian ethics?
Major ethical systems
Ethics of Jesus
Role of the bible in Christian ethics
Ethics and the Christian community
Law and Gospel
Sanctification and Good works
Christianity and culture
Ethics of Vocation and work
Money Money Money
Marriage and sexuality
Decision making and the will of God
Resources for Christian decision making
coping with controversy
plus bonus material
Friday, December 01, 2006
Centred Life mainly focuses on helping congregations help indivduals in discovering, nurturing and living out their calling.
Centered Life is an initiative for congregations that share the belief that the mission of the church is to nurture, equip, and send forth their members to see their whole lives as ministry. Members:
- are helped to discover their strengths and their calling.
- are encouraged to use their strengths to live out their calling in their homes, communities, work, and congregation.
- discover meaning, purpose, and identity as faith becomes relevant to all aspects of their lives.
- are drawn to regular attendance and participation in worship and congregational life as the primary source of nurture, sustenance, and growth in faith and life.
The Centred Life is not about living a different life, but living life differently.
Your calling is your life, it's in the work you do every day—as a parent, child, neighbor, caregiver, volunteer, worker, or however you spend your time.
To know your calling is to know:
- meaning and purpose
- identity and belonging
- freedom and hope
"...I always thought I came into this world to go to church; now I see that I'm in the church to go into the world." - Nelvin Vos, Seven Days a Week
It offers ways and ideas on how you and others can discover their callings, many resources some free and some at a price.
Why not venture into the site and see what it may offer your congregation http://www.centeredlife.org/
Friday, November 24, 2006
These books are not constitutions or by laws but easy to read books abou God and living the Christian life
The essential field guide for all things Lutheran. For anyone hiking the trails of life's adventures and challenges — will want to pack this handy illustrated field guide to Lutheran theology and culture. This enjoyable, easy-to-read, reliable, all-in-one collection helps you understand the essential information about our theology, culture and Lutheran way of life. Organized by Church Stuff, Everyday Stuff and Bible Stuff with how-to's like "How to Forgive Someone" and lists like "The Top-10 Bible Villains." Encapsulates essential principles of the Christian life, making many of the complexities of our religious tradition accessible for contemporary seekers.
What the publisher says: "This is a fun book that affirms that Lutherans can (and must!) continue to laugh at themselves! It takes God very seriously but helps the reader to 'lighten-up!' It reminds me of the quote, 'Laughter is another way of crossing ourselves!' From the picture of Luther on the cover (is this his confirmation photo?) to the final pages of 'tongue in check' humor, these pages are a great mix of what life is all about — hurts and hoorays, Good Fridays and Easters, life and death, praying and playing!
What others say:
R Stout an amazon customer: You have no idea how excited I've been about this book. It's a thing of pure beauty. It is history, geography, sociology, practicality, theology, and -- perhaps most importantly -- great oozing masses of offbeat humor. It is hands-down the best single piece of popular religious writing and armchair theology that I've seen. Funny, intelligent, down-to-earth, comically illustrated, and irreverent. It's everything you need to see what good, orthodox, traditional Christianity is all about. (And it's a good tool for defense against extremist nutjobs!) It's set up in the same format as the ever-famous Worst Case Scenario guides. From chapters on camparative religion, a family tree of Christian denominations, and anatomical drawings of a proper Crucifixion, to a history of the Church, Medieval life, and good orthodox Christian theology, this book is perfect for people who know nothing of religion, perfect for Christians of any stripe, and perfect for life-long Lutherans.
My home parish bought 100 of them and sold out immediately. My work parish just ordered 25 and we've already pre-sold several. Did I mention there's a section on HOW TO AVOID BEING BURNED AT THE STAKE? Also tips on what to request if you can't avoid being burned at the stake. I kid you not. Another list includes ways to cast the Devil out from your presence. #6 is "break wind," and is noted as one of Luther's favorites. Also included:
How to Stay Alert During a Boring Church Service
Five Grossest Bible Stories
Five Weirdest Old Testament Laws
How to Perform a Crucifixion
How to Reform the Church History's
Six Most Notorious Heretics
Three Most Rebellious Things Jesus Did
Five Funniest Stories in the Bible
I've highlighted the humor, but this handbook is no satire. It is a serious, joyous, and thoroughly Christian document meant to educate, entertain, and deepen one's relationship with God and Christ's Church. It also includes guides on how to appreciate liturgy, how to deepen your experience of a worship service, how to find famous stories in the Bible, how to understand miracles, how to approach Scripture, how to live as a Christian in your everyday life... Honestly, this book is simply priceless. By all means, buy it, and pick a few copies up for your friends and loved ones.
The Lutheran Handbook on Marriage
In this book you will find:
The Lutheran Model for Marriage and Its Biblical Forerunners
The Five Stages of the Luther/von Bora Marriage
Katharina von Bora's Herring Barrel Escape from the Convent
Five Noteworthy Things Martin Luther Said about Marriage
Portrait of Martin and Katie
Five Faithful Couples in the Bible
Five Unfaithful Couples in the Bible
The Five Most Interesting Things Paul Said about Marriage
The Three Most Interesting Things the Song of Solomon Says Dating & Courtship
Ten Rules for the First Date
The Top Ten Attributes to Look for in a Spouse
How to Probe for Your Prospective Spouse's True Religious Views
The Five Most Effective Ways to Pop the Question The Wedding
Anatomy of a Lutheran Wedding
How to Plan a Lutheran Wedding
How to Select Your Maid of Honor or Best Man
How to Make Mutually Satisfactory Decisions about the Wedding
The Five Most Overused Wedding Bible Readings
Five Fresh Bible Wedding Readings
The Five Most Overused Wedding Hymns
Five Fresh Wedding Hymns
How to Light the Unity Candle without Setting the Bride's Hair on Fire
How to Respond When the Groomsman or Bridesmaid Faints
Five Common Wedding Ceremony Emergencies and How to Handle Them The First Year
How to Train Your Spouse
How to Merge Household Possessions
How to Merge Household Finances
How to Share a Car
How to Maintain Your Own Friendships
The Five Most Important Things to Remember When Choosing Your First Home
How to Decorate a Lutheran Home
How to Choose a Church Home Together
How to Establish a Routine of Daily Devotions
How to Keep Christ at the Center of a Marriage
How to Negotiate Where You Go for the Holidays
How to Prevent In-Law Encroachment
How to Prepare for an In-Law Visit
How to Respond to an In-Law's Nosy Question
Seven Common Moments in Which You Should Think before You Speak
How to Identify an Ill Spouse
Four Biblical Passages to Quote When You Call Your Spouse by an Old Flame's Name
How to Make Your Marriage a Springboard for Ministry
How to Use Your Spiritual Gifts in Your Marriage
How to Forge a Strong Second Marriage
How to Parent Your Spouse's Children Early Years
How to Manage a Household Calendar
How to Start and Maintain Your Own Holiday Traditions
How to Choose Your Child's Godparents
How to Get Your Family to Church on Sunday Morning
How to Pack a Diaper Bag for Worship
The Top Five Criteria for Evaluating the Church Nursery before Putting Your Kids in There
How to Handle Your Child's Non-Lutheran Friendships
How to Adopt a Child
How to Enjoy a Successful Marriage without Children Middle Years
How to Survive the Seven-Year Itch
How to Date Your Spouse and Keep Things Spicy
How to Balance Work, Home, and Church
How to Preserve Your Marriage through Your Kids' Adolescent Years
Ten Tips for Surviving the "Sandwich Generation" Years
How to Handle a Career Change
How to Recognize a Midlife Crisis
How to Maintain Your Marriage as You and Your Spouse Change Later Years
Ten Effective Ways to Dislodge Your Adult Children from Your Home
How to Survive after Your Kids Leave Home
How to Spoil Your Grandchildren Rotten
How to Grandparent Other Peoples' Kids
How to Survive Your Spouse?s Retirement
How to Retire without Ruining Your Marriage
Seven Rewarding Ways to Spend Time after Retirement
How to Support Your Spouse through a Serious Illness
How to Honor Your Spouse?s Memory
How to Plan Your Own Funeral
How to Leave a Legacy Money, Sex, & Other Fractious Issues
How to Navigate an Interdenominational or Interfaith Marriage
How to Get Your Spouse to Accompany You to Church
How to Plan Your Lutheran Vacation
How to Resolve Marital Conflict
Common Marriage "Stressors" and How to Manage Them as a Team
How to Talk to Your Spouse about Money
How to Write a Will (to Prevent a Posthumous Fight over Your Assets)
How to Write Living Wills Together
How to Plan for Retirement
How to Talk to Your Spouse about Sex
The Top Five Ways to Strengthen Marital Communication The Top Ten In-Law Issues and How to Deal with Them
How to Be Gracious to Your Spouse?s Friends Even When You Don't Really Like Them
How to Avoid Being Triangulated by the Kids
How to Decide Who Does What around the House
How to Share the TV Remote Control
The Lutheran Handbook for Pastors
This book contains:
How to Know if You're Called to Be a Pastor
Luther's Call to Ministry
Seven Critical Pieces of Pastoral Advice Luther Gave
Luther's Five Biggest Pastoral Dilemmas and How He Handled Them
How to Avoid Becoming the Pastor You Swore You'd Never Be and Become the Pastor You Always Wanted to Be
How to Manage Your Relationship with the Bishop
Five Important Ways the Lutheran Confessions Define Pastoral Ministry
Seven Things Luther and the Reformers Said about Ministry
How to Know When It's Time to Find a New Call
Seven Things to Keep in Mind When You Interview For a New Call
What to Do When You Find Out You're the Wrong Person for the Call You're In
How to Retire from Ministry Gracefully Administrative Stuff
Five Tips on Hiring the Right Personnel to Make a Great Ministry Team
Thirty Subjects You Should Never Ask about in an Interview for New Staff
How to Empower Your Staff to Do Good Work
Five Things Senior Pastors Can Do to Endear Themselves to Their Staff
How to Run a Staff Meeting
How to Fire Someone When You Really Have to
How to Get the Best Out of the Church Administrative Assistant
How to Relate Effectively to a Senior Colleague
How to Relate Effectively to a Junior Colleague
Five Common Pitfalls Solo Pastors Fall into and How to Avoid Them
Ten Tips for Building Effective Pastoral Relationships in a Congregation
Four Unlikely Leaders in the Bible and What You Can Learn from Them
How to Release Your Congregation's Ability to Develop a Vision for Ministry
How to Delegate
How to Enable Your Congregation to Live as the Priesthood of all Believers
How to Participate in a Committee Meeting without Having to Be in Charge
How to Take Charge of a Committee Meeting When it Gets Off Track
How to Support and Empower Your Church Council without Becoming a Dictator or a Wallflower
How to Survive an Annual Meeting
Ten Things about Parish Ministry They Didn't Teach You in Seminary
How to Read a Congregational Financial Statement (and Why it's Important)
How to Manage Your Calendar
How to Carve Out Time for Sermon Preparation
How to Lead a Retreat Pastoral Stuff
How To Follow Jesus As Your Pastoral Model
How And When To Respond To A Request For Pastoral Care
How To Make An Effective Hospital Visit
How To Make An Effective Home Visit
How To Make An Effective Shut-in and Care-Facility Visit
Ten Things You Should Never Say to a Parishioner
How To Use The Grapevine To Support Your Ministry
How To Identify A Church Alligator
How To Avoid Getting Triangulated
How To Manage Habitual Office Drop-In Visitors So You Can Get Your Work Done
How To Remain Calm In A Crisis Situation
How To Mentally Prepare For A Funeral
Seven Preachers In The Bible and What Made Them Great
How To Preach A Prophetic Word Without Getting Fired
Three Clean Ice-Breaker Jokes For Use With Church Crowds
How To Preach A Stewardship Sermon Without Sounding Like You're Begging for a Raise
How To Create A Climate of Care, Love, and Openness In Your Congregation
How To Conduct Yourself at an Ecumenical Worship Service
How to Deal With Disgruntled Transfers From Other Churches
How To Drink Coffee
How To Accept Cookies and Other Goodies Without Gaining Weight
How To Listen To The Same Story For The 100th Time And Feign Interest
How To Respond When You Forget A Parishioner's Name
Five Ways To Handle The Tacky Gifts Parishioners Give You Worship Stuff
Ten Things You Should Never Say during Worship
How to Welcome Visitors
How to Ad-Lib a Prayer, Blessing, or Benediction
How to Use Your Family Members as Sermon Illustrations without Alienating Them or Boring the Congregation
How to Preach without Notes
How to Wing a Sermon When You Forget Your Notes at Home
How to Use Pronouns and Verbs in a Sermon
Eight Common Hand Gestures to Use with Your Sermon
Ten Uses for Old Sermon Manuscripts
How to Recover When You Lose Your Place or Forget...
How to Recruit Worship Assistants Discreetly When Someone Doesn't Show Up
How to Handle a Ringing Cell Phone during Worship
How to Handle Loudspeaker Feedback
How to Recover from an Open-Mike Gaffe
How to Respond to a Shrieking Child Incident
Five Common Wedding Faux Pas and How to Avoid Them
How to Survive an Anxious Wedding Party Personal Stuff
How to Recover from Christmas and Easter Overload
How to Stay Fit
How to Maintain Your Personal Devotional Life
How to Keep Up on Current Trends in Theology, Even When You're Busy
How to Maintain a Social Life as a Single Pastor
How to Keep Both Your Job and Your Family
Five Ways to Help Your Marriage Thrive Despite the Demands of the Job
How to Avoid Answering Personal Questions
How to Get Out of a Traffic Ticket
The Pros and Cons of Wearing a Clergy Shirt
Thursday, November 23, 2006
The Natural Church Development is based on extensive research. Read about it here research project.
It identifies 8 Quality Characteristics that apply to all congregations no matter where they are located, what style of church they are or which denomination they belong to.
There are various NCD Tools aimed at helping congregations develop those 8 areas?
Then there is the focus on church health that leads to 'all by itself' growth.
There are stories about what has happened to churches that have been applying the NCD principles for some period of time.
There is also a new way of looking at church planting.
NCD is about a fuller and deeper experience of God.
There are free mini seminars at the international site
There web sites are well worth a look at: www.ncd-international.org and http://ncd-australia.org.au/welcome/
The ongoing mission of the WELS Spiritual Growth Task Force is to assist God’s people of the WELS in identifying issues which are symptoms of a need for Spiritual Growth and then to assist them in addressing these issues through the use and application of God’s Word.
• Help God’s people see and understand our ongoing need for spiritual growth.
• Help God’s people take ownership of these ongoing needs for spiritual growth.
• Help God’s people develop processes and strategies which apply God’s Word to these issues.
• Assist and encourage God’s people to implement these strategies and processes in their individual lives of service.
Available from this page are 20 studies including:
A-1 A Personal Relationship with Jesus
A-2 The Mission of the Church
A-3 Spiritually Healthy Families
A-4 Universal Priesthood and Public Ministry
B-1 Flexibility in Ministry Methods
B-2 Opportunities for Member Ministry
B-3 Serving in an Atmosphere of Permission Giving and Trust
B-4 Ministry Empowerment
B-5 Male Leadership
B-6 Women's spiritual gifts
C-1 Personal Spiritual Growth -Called Workers.
C-2 Ministry Attitudes
C-3 Mutual Encouragement and Respect
C-4 Ministry Appraisal
C-5 Relevant Preaching and Teaching
C-6 Interpersonal and Management Skills
D-1 Students' Spiritual and Academic Growth
D-2 Spiritual Character development of Future Called Workers
D-3 Teaching Flexibility in Minstry Methods
D-4 Unity and Respect Among Different Forms of Ministry
Details of running a spiritual growth retreat, other tools and papers
Why not take a look at http://www.wels.net/cgi-bin/site.pl?2601&collectionID=1139&t=16345
Thursday, November 16, 2006
The Lutheran World Federation Department for Mission and Development works together with member churches of LWF to create, maintain and develop ministries that integrate proclamation, service and advocacy for justice. Church leaders and workers, both clergy and lay, are trained through LWF sponsorship. About 450 ongoing mission, communication and development projects and programs worldwide are carried out annually for the benefit of churches and communities.
They have produced the document - "Mission in context: Transformation, Reconciliation, Empowerment - An LWF Contribution to the Understanding and Practice of Mission."
This 62-page publication aims at stimulating a self-analysis and reaffirmation of mission in context among the LWF member churches and other bodies.
The LWF Mission document is available in English, French, German and Spanish.
To download the full content of the LWF mission document please follow the links below:
Full LWF Mission document (low resolution – PDF, 1.754 MB)
Preface and Introduction (PDF, 313 KB)
Section 1 - Contexts of Mission (PDF, 341 KB)
Section 2 - Theology of Mission (PDF, 642 KB)
Section 3 - Practice of Mission (PDF, 438 KB)
Conclusion (PDF, 142 KB)
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
"Female and Fertile: Reproductive Capacity in the Local Congregation" by Mike Ruhl.
Scriptures describe the church as the ‘body of Christ’ (Romans 12; I Corinthians 12) – a living organism. Living things reproduce, institutions generally don’t. This study looks at scriptural descriptions of the church, explores the repercussions of the Bible’s portrayal of the church as female, and encourages application to your local congregation.
Leader's Guide: Female and Fertile
"God's Mission to the City" by Tom Eggold.
This study looks at various Scripture selections to emphasize the heart of God connected to the welfare and ministry of the church in the city. It also acquaints the class with the realities of urbanization, immigration and economic and cultural interdependence. The bottom line: How can the Christian community effectively respond to the mission field of the city?
Leaders Guide: God's Mission to the City
"Grace Upon Grace" by Glenn Lucas. The foundational scripture passage is John 1:16, "From his fullness we have all received grace upon grace." This study focuses upon God’s grace in the life of the participant. Through the study of God’s word the participant realizes that salvation in Jesus Christ flows fully out of God’s grace. Additionally, participants are invited to reflect upon and share times of grace experienced in their lives.
Leader's Guide: Grace Upon Grace
Monday, November 13, 2006
The theme of this web site from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America is
You Shall Be My Witnesses... Marked with the cross of Christ forever, we are claimed, gathered and sent for the sake of the world
The site offers resources and information for:
- individuals (you are my witnesses in your families, neighbourhoods, jobs, schools and to the end of the earth)
- leaders (you are my witnesses in your meetings, planning, training and mentoring and to the end of the earth)
- congregations (you are my witnesses in your worship, neighbourhoods, communities and to the end of the earth)
- synods (you are my wintesses in your councils, committees, campuses, offices and to the end of the earth).
There are assessment tools for:
- spiritiual gifts
- yonger generations
Well worth exploring at http://www.elca.org/evangelism/
Handt Hanson is the worship leader at the Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Burnsville.
From the Back Cover
Reveal the Passion and Personality of Your Church Through Worship. Your church's worship says a lot about your church. In Mission-Driven Worship, you'll learn from one of America's leading churches how your church worship can be a dynamic experience in the life of your congregation and a powerful draw for guests. A powerful catalyst for passionately communicating your church's vision. Worship authority Hanson offers ideas and insights that are tried, tested and proven successful-and shows how to create a worship environment that's right for your church.
Mission-Driven Worship will help you:
*Examine your church's current approach to worship.
*Assess and evaluate how you communicate your church mission and vision.
*Develop a worship strategy that builds a bridge between what you've done in the past to being mission-driven.
*Finalize your strategy with creative ways to make your worship more outreach- focused.
Review from www.roundaboutthechurch.com
Their favorite features:
- focus - not on the size of a church, but rather "the degree of passion, intentionality and creativity given to worship planning"
- excellent information to help you develop a plan for worship
- emphasis on building community in each area involved in worship
- emphasis on developing and "feeding" small cell groups rather than a big "organization" for true effectiveness
- focus on "learning" rather than "teaching"
- building blocks for worship - beliefs, values, mission, vision, outcomes
checkpoints and summary points at the end of each chapter
- requirements for quality worship
- do's and don'ts - helpful information
- look at church of the future
- value of worship teams
- five things to consider in selecting music
- sample worship format
Although this book is not about youth worship - it applies to worship for all ages - the information included in this book is extremely valuable and will enable you to develop a truly effective and real worship. Extremely well done Handt and Group Publishing!
What the bible teaches about mission
That mission is both local and global
It concludes with the following:
The mission of the church is God’s mission. Sent out by the command of Christ and empowered by the Holy Spirit, the people of God participate in God’s ‘plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in Christ' (Ephesians 1:10)
Why not have a look at the page:
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Stewardship is part of the Christian Life.......it is therefore part of mission (Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms... 1 Peter 4:10)
The Evanglical Lutheran Church of America has produced a simple, easy to understand and attractive flyer of what it means to be a Christian steward, a Christian caretaker......
- Respond gratefully
- Obey responsibly
- Sacrifice proportionately
- Give willingly
- Share abundantly
- Give proportionately
- Commit Intentionally
- Contribute regularly
- Live geniunely
- Accept a challenge
To view this brochure in pdf form visit
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Main objectives of the study:
- Recognize that all Christians have been called to be disciples, making disciples.
- Acknowledge that, as Christians, we have been commanded to be Gospel Blasters
and Power Shapers.
- Apply Romans 1:16 and catechism sections on Baptism and the Third Article
to the understanding of God’s active role in our lives.
- Identify the meaning of a disciple.
- Acknowledge and give praise for our great disciple leader, Jesus, and His work in our lives.
- Apply Matthew 28:18-20, Luke 10:33, John 8:31, John 15:8, Romans 6:4, John 15:16, John 15:3 and the Third Article to our understanding of Outreach Discipleship.
- Recognize that congregations in conflict can do ministry, but it is more difficult.
- Acknowledge that we are called to be both church members and Christian disciples.
- Acknowledge that the past has a big impact on the present, especially if we are not aware of unresolved conflict.
- Recognize that we are witnesses.
- Acknowledge that we want to be positive witnesses.
- Acknowledge that it is time to make a commitment.
Monday, November 06, 2006
What does it mean to be a Christian of the Lutheran variety
If you have one view of what it means to be Lutheran, like being stuck to a rigid liturgy, or being free to do whatever you please, or being grace centred, or stuck in another time zone, or eating certain foods, or attending only small church's, or your family originating from one country, or it means taking Christ to people in their language and at their level, or being devoted to the Book of Concord, then this book will help you see that others see that being Lutheran is either different from yoru own view or even quite diverse....
So this book is ideal to expand your understanding about being a Lutheran....
This is what the editor of the book says
In the middle of the twentieth century, American Lutherans were newsworthy enough to find themselves on the cover of "Time" magazine. Their claim to fame? In an era when American churches were beginning to look and act alike, Lutherans' strong confessional nature and stress on theology as well as their liturgy and ethnicity set them apart. They were "Protestants with a difference" at a time when differences were supposed to be dissolving in the American melting pot.
Subsequent years have posed serious questions to Lutheran identity, as disputes about the true nature of Lutheranism and the meaning of the Lutheran confessions, the structure of ministry, ecumenism, sexuality, and multiculturalism have all left their mark on Lutheran denominations. In "Lutherans Today" several historians, social scientists, journalists, and other leading experts map out the place of Lutheranism in the landscape of contemporary American Christianity and explore the directions in which it is heading in the new millennium.
Presenting new and original research, the book is divided into two sections. The first examines change and movements within American Lutheranism. Distinguished church historian Mark Noll here sets the scene by arguing that the predicament of American Lutheranism has always been the struggle to remain faithful to the enduring witness of the European Reformation while also accommodating itself to the democratic pluralism of the New World. Six other chapters discuss the Missouri Synod, the "Lutheran Left," the Called to Common Mission agreement, the evangelical catholic movement within Lutheranism, the rise of "megachurches," and Lutheran charismatics.
The second section considers trends and issues related to Lutheran identity, including politics and the pastorate, the impact of immigration and multiculturalism, the loss of Lutheran identity at Lutheran colleges and universities, and conflicting patterns of commitment among Lutheran youth.
As a whole, "Lutherans Today" will be valuable not only to all Lutherans but also to those interested in the development and current state of religious life in America.
There are many ideas, suggestions, papers and lots of other things about taking the Good News of Jesus Christ to the world....well worth a visit at
Ablaze!™ began as a vision of LCMS World Mission to involve every member of the LCMS, its partner church bodies, and partner mission agencies in one focused and concentrated effort to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with those who do not yet know Him. By joining together in this effort, not only would those who hear and receive the message of salvation in Christ be transformed by it and brought into the body of Christ, but our own church bodies, mission organizations and congregations would be strengthened as members grow in discipleship through mission involvement. Additionally, all our Lutheran resources would be strategically coordinated, so that more can be accomplished in mission to the glory and honor of our one, true God. It was the desire of LCMS World Mission to give this vision away—to ignite a spark that would become a mission movement of individuals, groups, congregations, etc., all committed to the goal of reaching 100 million unreached and uncommitted people with the Gospel by 2017, which is the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.
LCMS World Mission Purpose StatementPraying to the Lord of the Harvest, LCMS World Mission, in collaboration with its North American and worldwide partners, will share the Good News of Jesus with 100 million unreached or uncommitted people by the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017.
LCMS World Mission adopted this new purpose statement in 2002 for the following 15 years to direct the mission effort entrusted to the organization by the Synod in its bylaws. Under the larger umbrella of the Ablaze! movement, it emphasizes four core components of the way LCMS World Mission approaches our Lord’s Great Commission task:
The purpose statement of LCMS World Mission intentionally begins with prayer. Truly, prayer is most important in any effort to share the Good News of Jesus with others for whom Christ Jesus died, for our Lord says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Matt. 7:7)
There are a growing number of Lutheran mission societies, such as Lutheran Bible Translators, People Of the Book Lutheran Outreach, and Lutheran Heritage Foundation, which are involved in mission work throughout the world. These partners often work with LCMS missionaries, as well as our partner churches. LCMS World Mission desires to build strategic partnerships with entities such as these, so that our total LCMS resources can be used in the most efficient and effective ways possible.
Of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod’s 29 partner churches, the origins of 16 are connected with LCMS mission work. We humbly stand before our God as a church body, praising Him for using the LCMS to start Lutheran churches, many of which have also commissioned and sent out missionaries to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ to those who have not yet heard. We desire to strengthen our partnership with these national churches, and with the approximately 30 additional emerging and established Lutheran church bodies in other countries in which the LCMS is involved in mission work, to serve these bodies in the most appropriate ways and to continue to work with them to build capacity for the mission endeavor, so that all the peoples of the earth might believe on the name of Jesus and be saved.
LCMS World Mission places strong emphasis on witnessing to “unreached” or “uncommitted” people—those who are not already believers in Jesus Christ.
“Unreached” people are those who have never heard a clear message in the name of Jesus. Asia, Africa, and the former Soviet nations are still home to many unreached people who have never had access to the Good News of Jesus.
“Uncommitted” is a term used for people who have been exposed to the Word, who have had an opportunity to hear the Good News of Jesus, but who do not have faith in Jesus as their Lord and Savior. “Uncommitted” people live mainly in such areas as Europe, Australia, North America, and South America.
The figure of 100 million was chosen intentionally after much research, prayer, and deliberation with our missionaries and mission partners. In our Lutheran understanding of conversion, God does the work of converting the unbelieving heart through His Holy Spirit. By setting this goal, we are not limiting the Holy Spirit. Ultimately, the Holy Spirit will determine how many people will be touched by the Gospel through our efforts, but we will be faithful sowers of the seed and will hold ourselves accountable to sowing the seed of the Gospel in the hearts of at least 100 million people in North America and around the world by 2017.
One of the outcomes of the Reformation was the rediscovery that God’s grace is offered freely to all people through the Word and Sacraments. We have a precious message to share!
In the past, Lutherans have frequently celebrated significant church anniversaries by publishing a new book on the Reformation or the Confessions. As a church body that grew out of the Reformation, what better way is there to mark a historic anniversary in our Lutheran heritage, than to bring together Lutheran churches around the world to celebrate God’s blessings through sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with people who do not yet know Him--rejoicing in His transformation of their lives through the preaching of the Good News and in ours by being used by Him in the expansion of His mission.
The vision of igniting a worldwide Lutheran mission movement to share the Gospel with 100 million people is expressed by the word, Ablaze! LCMS World Mission’s goal is to ignite a movement that will change the culture of our Lutheran church bodies to be one in which every member is fully engaged in personal mission involvement through the Seven Mission Responses: Go, Pray, Learn, Give, Tell, Send and Celebrate. While this is the expressed vision of LCMS World Mission, it is the organization’s intention to give this vision away, because it is God’s desire that all people be saved, and He has called all His children to participate in the task! This is a “Quantum Leap” forward in how we approach doing the work of the Lord’s mission.
Ablaze! is not a program or a campaign. It began as a mission vision with the hope of starting a mission movement. Each participating congregation, group, mission society, partner church, individual, etc. is challenged to pray about its own particular situation and the part of the mission endeavor it can impact and to design its own strategy to contribute to reaching 100 million people. LCMS World Mission is asking the church to develop mission models that work and can be shared with others. Ablaze! is not an answer…it’s an invitation!
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
I have commenced this blog as a way of sharing resources, information and other things that may help those Christians who are part of the Lutheran family (and others if they wish) in sharing the Good, no the Great News that God has given us with people in all places, of all ages and all ethnic backgrounds.
This news on one hand is so simple....
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16)
God gives us the gift of something that is so precious to Himself, His son, so that we can benefit for eternity, so that we are able to experience and be part of the new heaven and new earth (have a read of Revelation 21:1-6). And to think that God gave us this gift even though we have done nothing to deserve it.
Feel free to share with me (and therefore others) anything you have, questions or ideas. So welcome to the Lutheran Mission blog, or better still welcome to the Lutheran Mission family.
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
is a lectionary based bible study, that assists people in exploring the bible verses that are read in church each Sunday.
Produced by Lutheran Bible Ministries
These are available free of charge
available at www.bibleministries.org
Evangelizing the Church: A Lutheran Contribution
A Lutheran Confession
The gift is a call
Addressing captives in Babylon
For the sake of the world
Called out of our comfort zone
Navigating difficult questions
After the death of evangelism-the rise of an evangelizing church
WhAt OtHeRs are saying........
Ralph Quere says, "Hail the evangelizing church! This is the book I've been awaiting for three decades." see more of this review at
The developing theology journal says, "This book exhibits the best of Lutheran scholarship and draws on the best of the Lutheran tradition, seeking to reclaim the "Evangelical" for which they have been named. The Evangelizing Church calls Lutherans to heed the call of the gospel and get on board with what God is doing in the world." Take a stroll through this review at
any other reviews you find please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org