Monday, March 30, 2009

Lutheran Leaderhship 8: Obstacle removers, not obstacle encouragers or enforcers

The core mission of Jesus is extremely clear....

Read John 3:16-17
“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.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

Reflect and share
As one of his disciples how does Jesus core mission affect how you lead?
Where can you see examples of Jesus core mission in your life and the organisations you are leading?
Where can you see Jesus core mission missing in your life and the organisations you are leading?

One of the issues every leader faces is that there will be obstacles to us living out and leading people in being in touch with Jesus core mission, at times we even put obstacles in the road.
We can assume there are more important things than Jesus core mission. This could be the hoops people need to jump through to receive God's love, that they must participate or like a certain style of music or worship, that they need be living perfectly up to our standards before God would even consider loving them, that everyone must worship at the same time or anything else that we say is crucial that the bible doesn't say is crucial (remember the Lutheran principle we do and not do what the bible clearly says, but where it is not covered there is freedom).

Even the disciples fell into the trap of putting up obstacles of others developing relationships with Jesus.

Read Matthew 19:13-14, Mark 10:13-16 and Matthew 18:15-17
Reflect on and share
What do these texts say to us as leaders about people being in contact with Jesus?
What do they mean for us?
Are there any practices or thoughts in our organisation that needs to be reviewed to remove the obstacles that exist for people to develop a relationship with Jesus?
Why do you think we want to develop and enforce obstacles?

One of the things in life we need to face is that people are different...there are different generations, different personalities, different backgrounds and experiences....
This situation of differences often results in what one person sees as good another sees as bad...but for many things, not all the reality is neither is good nor bad maybe just more appropriate for one type of person and less appropriate for another. And the bible does talk to us about this situation read 1 Corinthians 12 and 13....

and if you are interested in learning about the different types of people that maybe in your organisation and how they may connect with Jesus read the book Sacred Pathways by Gary highlights 7 different types of people and the ways they relate to Jesus....

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Passionate Life Devotional

The Passionate Life Devotional is an excellent short devotional book that stirs the reader to a closer spiritual walk with Christ. These inspirational reflections all centre around a basic theme - Jesus invites us to "Come" and experience life with Him. He invites the faithful, the sinner, the weary, the rich and His invitations require a response from us. This devotional challenges the reader to repond by drawing closer to the Lord. The short devotionals are fresh, thought provoking and encouraging.

Contemporary Music Resources

The Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Westborough has developed an excellent set of resources for those congregations using contemporary music in their worship.

They include:
Song List
Song list by Sunday
Song list by placement

To obtain these resources visit

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Lutheran Leadership 9: Being a Godly leader....take Godly rest

Probably one of the hardest things for leaders to do is to take rest as God instructs. Many good leaders are so engrossed and passionate about who they are leading and what they are doing that they can easily find excuses and reasons why taking rest is not possible.

And yet as we flip open the pages of scripture we see rest for a leader is a Godly thing to do...

The biggest leader of all God himself worked for six days then rested, read Genesis 2:2-3 and spend a few moments of thinking How the God who created everything, who has everything in His control takes rest....and ask why?

God also commands us to takes rest...
Read Exodus 20:8-11, Deuteronomy 5:12-14 and Leviticus 23:3
What are these verses saying to you?
What is involved in having a day of rest?
Who else is involved in rest?
What is God asking you to do when you rest?
(Read also and see what happened when Pharoah wouldn't allow His slaves to rest, Exodus 5:1-19)

Read and reflect on Matthew 11:25-30 and see what Jesus says about rest
How does Jesus offer you rest?

Read and reflect on Hebrews 4:1-13 on the importance of rest

Reflect and share on why is resting in God important for you as a leader.
What does God do in our rest?
How does resting in God influence how you relate to those you are leading and your family?
What are the challenges for you to rest?
What do you need to pray to God about in relation to rest?

Read the story of Chick-fil-A who never open on a Sunday and why at

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

More Contemporary Lutheran Music

Lutheran Songs Today is a great collection of songs for congregations with reaching people with contemporary music.

All the muso's are Lutheran and Lutheran Songs Today says it has attempted to collect the very best alternative & contemporary worship songs by Lutheran singer-songwriters and bands. There are music books and cds available. They also offer a lectionary based worship leader planning for each song, appropriate to scripture and theme references for the church year.

Some of the artists and groups include Lost And Found, Peder Eide, Dakota Road, Echelon, Jonathan Rundman, Cathy Pino, Richard Bruxvoort Colligan.

For more information, to listen to some of the songs and purchase either a cd and/or book visit

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Theology in the life of Lutheran Churches....LWF Seminars

Lutheran World Federation Department of Theology and Studies is hosting a gathering of seminars on "Theology in the life of Lutheran Churches".

Some of the topics are incredibly mission focussed and well worth digging deep into.

List below are the sessions and some of the papers that are available.

Seminar I: Interpreting the Bible in a global Lutherancommunion
David A. Brondos:

“Recovering sola scriptura as a liberating principle: Reflections from the global South”
Bulti Fayissa:
“His preference of the periphery: The faith of the foreigners in the Gospel of Matthew”
Kennedy Gora:
“The impact of the land situation in Zimbabwe on women: A rereading of 1 Kings 21:1-29”
James A. Kelhoffer:

“New Testament constructions of power and legitimacy based on persecution: Exegesis and the global Lutheran communion in dialogue”
Girma Mohammed:

“Whose meaning?: A critical look at wax and gold tradition as a unique ethiopian hermeneutics”
Elieshi Mungure:

“Signs of hope: African woman’s perspective in the current rereading and reinterpreting the Bible in the Lutheran communion”
Duane A. Priebe:
“Mutual fecundation: The creative interplay of texts and new contexts”
Batara Saut Marali Sihombing:
“God and Mammon (Matthew 6:19-34) from a narrative approach”

Seminar II: Creation, redemption and eschatology
Kristin Graff-Kallevåg:

“United with Christ in baptism”
Allen G. Jorgenson:
“On the art of properly distinguishing law from law”
Malte Dominik Krüger:
“On Luther and pictures: Zur Theologie des Bildes bei Luther”
Rosane Pletsch:
“Theology and ecology in dialogue”
Cornelia Richter:
"Trust–Claim for Reliability"
Edward H. Schroeder:
“Lutheranism's crying need: A mission theology for the 21st century Luther's own mission theology--Contemporary Lutheranism's best-kept secret”
Mary J. Streufert:
“Thinking about Chalcedon from a feminist perspective: Transgressing boundaries within the boundaries of no division”
Samuel Yonas Deressa:
“Entering into the now discussion of African theology of the late 1960s and 1970s through Gudina Tumsa’s approach”

Seminar III: Worship and other Christian practices
Dorothee Arnold:

“Spiritual care and palliative care: Chances and challenges for pastoral care”
Peter Balslev-Clausen:
“Hymns and hymn singing as an indicator of the situation of the church”
Samuel Frouisou:
“The church's impact on African women's marital and social conditions: The practice of marriage”
Dorothea Haspelmath-Finatti:
“‘Theologia prima’ liturgical theology as an ecumenical challenge to Lutheran worship practice”
Daniel Inyang:
“Worship and other practices of Lutheran congregations”
Alex Mkumbo:
“Church practice and church discipline in the worship service”
Kenneth Mtata:
“Absence of children at the Eucharist in the Lutheran churches in Africa”
Colette Ranarivony:

“Worship and other practices of Lutheran congregations: Pentecostal context”
Thomas Schattauer:
“God's mission in the practice of assembly”
Basil Schild:
“'It’s so Boring Waiting for Jesus.' Blessing and non-blessing in Central Australia”
Helen Grace Sironomy:
“‘I fear no evil for you are with me’ - Presence of God as a source of strength to palliative care patients”
Teresa Swan Tuite:
“Luther's tactual itinerary of grace”
Gertrud Tönsing:
“Singing the Lutheran song”
Jens Wolff:
“Worshipping-experience as the heart of Lutheran theology: An intercultural approach”

Seminar IV: The public vocation of churches in society
Norma Cook Everist:

“The church’s vocation in society through the ministry of the laity in the languages of their daily lives”
Eva Harasta:
“Pluriform unity in Christ. Responding to the challenges of multireligiosity from the perspective of Lutheran ecclesiology”
Paul John Isaak:
“The church prophetic witness: Social, economic, and political engagement by churches”
Joas Bainomugisha Kahesi:
“Concept of relationship theology”
Robert Kelly:
"Public theology and the modern social imaginary"
L. DeAne Lagerquist:

“‘Lest we become beasts who devour each other’: A Lutheran calling to higher education in multi-religious settings”
Alan Ka Lun Lai:
“Empire resisting pedagogies: Practicing theological education in the presence of empire”
John Rollefson:
“Invoking in public”
Ernest Simmons:
“Education for vocation in public life”
Antoinette Yindjara Beanzoui:
"The function of catechesis in the church"

Monday, March 16, 2009

Missional Bible Studies

The Center for United States missions (A partnership of the LCMS World Missions, Concordia University Irvine and North American Mission Executives of the LCMS) offers a range of resources for those interested in mission including a range of bible studies. These include:
"Resourced for the Mission"
"Female and Fertile: Reproductive Capacity in the Local Congregation" "God's Mission to the City"
"Grace Upon Grace"
"Growing and Going: A Look at the Heart of God"
"John 4: Sharing the Gospel Across Cultures"
"Lutheran Distinctives in Evangelism"
"Missional Churches: a series by Kevin Wilson on the characteristics of missional churches"
"Spiritual Formation in Worship"
"Stay and Make Disciples"
"Three Keys for Sharing Christ with Others"
"Witnessing Without Words"

These are available for download at

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Lutheran evaluation of individual new songs

The Texas District of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod offers a handy tool for congregations using contemporary songs from a range of sources. A song evaluation chart, which evaluates each song as to whether it conveys the Lutheran sacramental and/or teaching thought about:
  • Communion
  • Baptism
  • Confessions
  • Holy Trinity
  • Doctrine
  • Forgiveness/Redemption
  • Law and Gospel
as well as whether it is singable by a congregation.

Unlike some other resources this resource offers practical help to those people and congregations bringing God's word to people through new songs.

You can obtain a copy of this chart at

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Book: The Way of Jesus

Martin Luther called this the 3rd most influential book after the bible and writings from St Augustine.

Written by an unknown monk in 1300's, published by Martin Luther in the German as 'Theologica Germanica' in 1516 and now as an easy to read English translation this book continues to offer a great deal to us, helping us to reflect on God and ourselves.

With 54 short chapters (between 1 and 5 pages) this book is ideal for mediating, reflecting and short devotions.

Numerous reviewers have commented positively about how significant this book has become, that it is ideal for those people seeking the truth and that the English translation is easy to follow. Click on the link below to discover more about this book