Saturday, November 23, 2013

Paper: Lutherans and Pentecostals in dialogue

This handbook was produced by members of a six-year Lutheran-Pentecostal Study Group initiated by the Institute for Ecumenical Research in Strasbourg, France. The handbook is designed to facilitate dialogue between Lutherans and Pentecostals. Drawing on the study
group’s experience, it presents insights gained and lessons learned and aims to provide a resource for further dialogue initiatives.
This handbook has three main sections. The first explores goals of Lutheran-Pentecostal dialogue. The second presents an analysis of the the topics that the study group covered, including a number of key insights gained in the process. The third section is more historical and seeks to introduce members of the two church families to each other— Lutherans to Pentecostals and Pentecostals to Lutherans. Much more could be said, of course. As rewarding as this initiative was, its members also recognized that they were merely scratching the surface. Our agenda was preparatory; if we had succeeded in answering every question, there would be no need for further dialogue—and further dialogue between Pentecostals and Lutherans is something all the Study Group members wish to encourage very strongly.

Main areas of dialogue include:
To think and speak appropriately about the other, not bearing false witness against each other.
To be mutually enriched by each other’s tradition.
To provide opportunities for mutual correction.
To enable cooperation in ministry, mission, and social outreach.
To resolve and avoid conflicts between our churches.

Identifying the dialogue Partners
Method for dialogue
How do we encounter Christ?
    The pure Gospel of Christ
    The full Gospel of Christ
Differences in church culture
How do we encounter Christ in proclamation?
    Necessity of discernment
    Proclamation as the task of the whole community
    Hermenuetics of scriptural interpretation
How do we encounter Christ in sacraments and ordinances?
    Terminology and heritage
    Water Baptism
    Presence of Christ in the Lord's Supper
    Areas for further discussion about the Lord's Supper
How do we encounter Christ in charisms?
    Spirit Baptism
    Gifts of the Spirit
    Fruit of the Spirit
    Lutheran responses

Lutheranism to Pentecostals
Pentecostalism to Lutherans
Lutheran reaction to Pentecostalism in the USA

The paper is available here

Monday, November 18, 2013

Discussion Starter: Biggest issue for the mainline church is Grandparents and Parents whose children have deserted the church

Imagine for a moment if at least 50% of the children of those attending church.....were still attending church.....
In many mainline churches... a lot (not all) of the next generation has deserted the church...
Now this is causing significant issues.....

It causes issues for the congregation who:
  • often have structures that suit a time when there were many possible future leaders to fill positions.
  • no longer have attenders who are able to give financially like they used to and do not have the skills or fitness to give physically like they used to.
  • are often ministering and doing mission in a way that is suitable to the past....helping children grow in the faith who have always been part of the church but not connecting to those who have resentment or have never connected really to the Christian community.
And the real people it causes issue for are the Grandparents and parents:
  • Some of them blame the church, pastors, leaders and others in the church community for their children and grandchildren not being part of the community.
  • Some of them blame the evils of the Sunday Sport, busyness, work, etc.
  • Some of them blame themselves.
  • Some of them worry about their child and grandchilds eternal future...but don't know what to do because they want to have a positive earthly life with them now.
  • Some will think getting a child baptised is enough...
  • Some of them seem to continue living only for themselves and not the next generation...
Reflection Time
Take some time to reflect on Psalm 71:18
Even when I am old and gray, 
do not forsake me, O God, 
till I declare your power to the next generation, 
your might to all who are to come. 

How can we help those in your congregation help those whose children and grand children are not in a living relationship with they know of God's real power???

Research: How adults become Christians

How Adults become Christians is the result of the work of Dave Bennett, National Director of Bridge Builders (A UK Evangelical organisation).

His project reveals the following:
Part 1: How do adults become Christians?
The various aspects looked at:
The significance of church involvement during childhood
The nature of conversion experience
The role of crisis in conversion
The involvement of the Church
The use of the Bible
The need for change of attitude, not just increase in knowledge

Part 2: In the process of adults becoming Christians, what part is played by individual Christians?
The role of the individual Christian
The significance of relationships
Assessment of the involvement of strangers
The relevance of activities used by individual Christians
- Praying
- Inviting
- Lifestyle
- Sharing your story
- Using the Bible
- Giving literature
- Explaining the gospel
- Caring and getting alongside
- Answering question
- Making suggestions
- Having a common interest
- Giving videos
- Use of Internet
- Use of variety and imagination
Unhelpful aspects of certain activities
The importance of being sensitive to people

To obtain either a summary or complete paper visit here

Friday, November 15, 2013

Grow Ministries - Lutheran Children Youth and Family

Grow Ministries is the LCA Board for Children, Youth and Family Ministry which exists to support a national vision for children, youth and family ministry in the LCA by being a point of reference and resource for the wider church by researching and developing CYFM resources along with equipping and encouraging districts and congregations in their ministry to children, youth and families including camping. 
Their website offers numerous resources including:
Faith 5
Faith Inkubators
Milestone Ministries
Generations In Faith Together
Studies for Youth Camps
Quiet Time for Christian Life weeks

There is also a regular newsletter, information about upcoming training and links to other resources suitable for Children, Youth and Family Ministries. 

Visit their web site at

video: What God says about giving

A free reflection video on what God says about giving

Also available for viewing at

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Free Ebook: My journey with Hermen by Neil Stiller

My journey with Hermen:  the highways and byways of hermeneutics by Neil Stiller has been written to  help 'ordinary members' become more aware of hermeneutics.  
In some Lutheran contexts this is a currently a hot topic, but often presented in a very academic way.   

Being realigned
This booklet describes something of my personal journey as a pastor where I was often required to look at the past – at the stories about God’s actions for his people in the Bible. When that process made an impact on me I often found that I didn’t return to exactly the same position as before. God’s message had realigned me. It had turned me, I believe, more closely in the direction he wanted me to go. Whether I ended up going that way is another story. 
This journey includes trying to understand what God was saying and doing then, and what this means for me as I try to serve him in the kind of world and society in which we all now live.
Of course, many other people find themselves in exactly the same situation as I do, and it’s great to be able to offer one another support and encouragement.  But there is one special companion who has always provided invaluable help.  This account of my personal journey is really about him. I’m going to call him  Hermen.
As I now look back (I have recently turned 70) and try to describe this journey from my childhood onwards, I know that my memory will play its usual tricks. It will get some things wrong, I’ll impose what I now know on events in the past, I’ll fill gaps in my memory with hopes and dreams and fantasy, and so on. As a result, I can hardly vouch for the truth of anything I’m about to write. But, truth  or fiction, it’s as good as anyone’s able to get; and it is my journey!

To obtain your free ebook visit here

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Sermons (video, text and audio) from Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Campbelltown

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Campbelltown NSW offers sermons and training online visit their site at

Paper: Mission Work - the Lutheran way by EW Bunkowske

EW Bunkowske's paper explores what it means to do mission the Lutheran way...

Main topics include:
What is mission?
What is the message?
Who is the mission?
Who are the messengers?
How are the messengers organised?

To read the paper visit here

World Mission Prayer League -

The World Mission Prayer League is a Lutheran community committed to know Christ, pray for the advance of His kingdom, share the gospel and ourselves with those who do not know Him, and encourage Christians everywhere in this global task. Prayer is our working method.

We embrace a rich heritage that flows from the passionate witness of Christians faithful to the call of Jesus.  Our ministry realizes the vision of Ernest Weinhardt to bring the Good News into the heart of Africa, Asia, and Latin America.  The World Mission Prayer League consists of some 6,000 committed and praying members.  WMPL has over 100 missionaries in 20+ countries.

“We must have it as our aim to bring the gospel to the very last man. Wherever there are people who have not heard the gospel, to them we must go, no matter how few in number they may be.” – Ernest Weinhardt, WMPL Founder

Their church partners include:

  • Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania
  • North Western Gossner Evangelical Lutheran Church
  • Northern Evangelical Lutheran Church
  • Bangladesh Northern Evangelical Lutheran Church
  • Iglesia Evangelica De Confesión Luterana Del Ecuador
  • Iglesia Evangélica Luterana en Chile
  • Iglesia Evangélica Luterana Boliviana
  • Association of Free Lutheran Congregations
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
  • Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ
  • Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod
  • North American Lutheran Church
Visit their site to discover how they have been working for over 75 years, how you can serve and partner with them

Resurgence R13 Conference - online free

The focus of the conference was Will Christianity have a funeral or a future?  with many of the speakers exploring what it means to be church in a post Christendom world!!!The 

Resurgence R13 recently took place in November 2013.  You can now view the entire conference or part of the conference free of charge

Speakers include:
Mark Driscoll
Greg Laurie
Matt Chandler
Judah Smith
Crawford Loritts
Dave Brushes
Rick Warren
James MacDonald
Mark Burnett and Roma Downey
Sutton Turner

Visit the Resurgence R13 Conference Page 

Free Webinars - Augsburg Fortress free faith formation resources

Augusburg Fortress offer free webinars every week
To view the catalogue of upcoming webinars visit here 

Webinars coming up shortly include:

Jump Start Your Search for Lenten Bible Study
With the Making Sense three book series and multi-media curriculum written by David Lose. Each Making Sense study grapples with tough questions about the Bible, the Christian Faith, and the Cross. Dive into a lesson from Making Sense of the Cross and jumpstart your search for a Lenten Bible Study.
November 12, 7:00 PM US/CST

Tools to Get Your Congregation Talking About Their Faith
Join us for a 45-minute introduction to Animate: Faith-an adult faith formation resource. Together we will review the seven session course and unpack session one, God | Faith is a Quest led by author Brian McLaren. Brian’s willingness to admit he has more questions than answers sets the tone for inclusive dialog with all participants. Come and experience how Animate: Faith can start animated conversations in your community!
November 13, 9:30 AM US/CST

Bring the Art of Bible Storytelling to Your Youth Ministry Program 
Come see how storytelling, creative reflection and dialog work together to create a brain-based learning experience that could guide your teens toward a more vibrant understanding of the biblical narrative. This webinar will cover: Big Picture Overview of Echo the Story Curriculum, Methodology and Pedagogy, and Walk through the Lesson "Promise"
November 14, 10:00 AM US/CST

Refresh Your Bible Study Leadership Skills 
By joining this live interactive one-hour session where we explore best practices for Leading Adult Bible Studies. Participants sample sessions from several new AF and Sparkhouse releases. Learn how to create a safe and vibrant experience for your adult learners. Discover the life cycle of small groups and how to bring balanced sharing to your next session.
November 14, 2:00 PM US/CST

Monday, November 11, 2013

Advent Candle Lighting Reflections - Australian Lutheran World Service

These Advent Candle lighting reflections have been prepared to help us remember what we receive from God as we celebrate Christmas and to encourage us, part of His church, to share these gifts with others.
They include stories of how God has been at work through Australian Lutheran World Service to bring hope, love, joy, peace and His light to people around the world, as well as biblical reflections.
They are ideal for the beginning of worship, chapels at school and aged care facilities and home devotions...

Visit to obtain the ALWS Advent Candle Lighting Reflections.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Logos 5 Lutheran Bible Software

Logos Bible Software  Version 5

Logos Bible Software is a worldwide leader in electronic tools and resources for Bible study.

Their mission is to serve the church. They do this by fostering a culture of service and innovation, by creating Bible study tools that connect people to the Word, and by hiring awesome, fun people.

Since 1992, Logos Bible Software has grown from a couple of programmers in a basement into the largest developer of Bible-study software and a worldwide leader in multilingual electronic publishing. We partner with more than 150 publishers to make more than 36,000 Bible-study resources available to customers around the world.
Innovation is key to Logos’ growth. In the last few years, they’ve expanded from their flagship software product, Logos Bible Software, to a variety of tools to complement your faith and Bible study experience. 
In June of 2011, they launched Vyrso, a Christian ebook store and ereader app. 
In 2012, they released Proclaim Church Presentation Software along with the Faithlife Study Bible and, a social network that allows Christians from all over the world to connect and share ideas online.
As Logos continues to grow, their goal is to not only create the best Bible study tools available, but to serve the church by making Bible study resources accessible to developing countries all over the globe.

Logos offers 7 different starter packages...visit here to discover what package suits you

There is also over 250 specific Lutheran resources available on Logos Bible Software including:
Luther's Works (55 vols.) 
The Northwestern Publishing House Electronic Library: Collection One (100 vols.)
Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works (15 vols.) by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Concordia Electronic Theological Library: Complete Collection
Lenski's Commentary on the New Testament (LCNT) (12 vols.) by R. C. H. Lenski
Fortress Press Luther Studies Collection (11 vols.)
Theological Commonplaces by Johann Gerhard (6 vols.) by Johann Gerhard
Augsburg Commentary on the New Testament (ACNT) (15 vols.)
The People's Bible: Complete Set
Classic Studies on the Atonement (32 vols.)
Examination of the Council of Trent by Martin Chemnitz
Concordia Commentary
Christian Dogmatics by Francis Pieper
Lutheran Study Bible
Book of Concord
Vist here  to discover these and more Lutheran resources

Book: Women of Christmas

The Women of Christmas: Experience the Season Afresh with Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna by Liz Higgs.

A sacred season is about to unfold for three women whose hearts belong to God. 
Elizabeth is barren, yet her trust in God remains fertile. Mary is betrothed in marriage, yet she is willing to bear God’s Son. Anna is a widow full of years, yet she waits patiently, prayerfully for the Messiah to appear in the temple courts.

Following in their footsteps, you too can prepare for the Savior to enter your heart, your mind, and your life in a vibrant, new way. Best-selling author Liz Curtis Higgs explores the biblical stories of Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna, unwrapping each verse with tender care and introducing you afresh to The Women of Christmas. 

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Evangelism Studies: You are the light of the world

You are the Light of the World - An evangelism training program for those who want to share the Savior with others
Chapter 1 - Evangelism -- A Definition.
Chapter 2 - Evangelism -- The Biblical Basis.
Chapter 3 - Evangelism and Its Role in the Church.
Chapter 4 - Evangelism -- Our Area of Responsibility.
Chapter 5 - Misconceptions, Obstacles and Excuses.
Chapter 6 - Passive Evangelism.
Chapter 7 - Active Evangelism.
Chapter 8 - Fitting Evangelism into Everyday Life.
Chapter 9 - Responding to Excuses.
Chapter 10 - Assimilating the New Member.
Written by Pastor Stephen Kurtzahn of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church Lawrenceville

To download these studies visit here

Monday, November 04, 2013

Worship and Discipleship weekly resource - CCToolkit now free

Changing Church forum has recently made available its weekly worship and discipleship toolkit available free of charge....
Changing Church forum is part of the ministry of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church Burnseville

For further information visit

This is a great resource as they offer various worship series and link the weekly devotions to worship for the week.

Friday, November 01, 2013

North Western Publishing House's latest resources

5 of the latest resources from North Western Publishing House 

Come Follow me depicts what it means to be a disciple, a follower of Jesus. The movie recounts the experience of the apostle Peter - his misunderstanding, denial, doubts, and fears. The answer for Peter is Jesus, who through his death and ressurection assures his disciple of forgiveness. The way for Peter to be a follower of Jesus is found in the power and promises of Jesus' Word - the same way as it is for us. The lead role is played by Bruce Marchiano, the same actor who played Jesus in the Road to Emmaus movie. Running time: Just over 30 minutes. Includes English with closed captioning and Spanish. -

Real questions from real people and real answers from God's Holy Word. The author reviews hundreds of questions that were submitted over the years to the Q&A on the WELS Web site and for the column in Forward in Christ (formerly the Northwestern Lutheran). He focuses on what the Bible teaches and how to apply scriptural principles. Christians from various religious backgrounds submitted the questions. Scripture and subject indices are included.

Designed for Church Web Sites
Anytime Anywhere Bible Studies are designed for church Web sites, using Adobe Flash. The CD includes everything needed to post the materials to a site and a helpful README file. The studies themselves feature 1984 NIV text, audio clips, and story illustrations. Five studies in two types are included: three "quick" studies look at the lives of the early kings of Israel: "Saul and David," "King David," and "King Solomon and Afterward," Two "in-depth" topical studies cover "What is Lutheranism?" and "What is The Church?" The quick studies offer a total of 90 lessons, each taking 10 to 15 minutes, and include the text of applicable portions of The People's Bible commentary for more insight. The in-depth studies allow users to explore each topic at their own pace in 3 to 4 hours. Each topic is examined under the categories: Bible Basics; Details; History, and Faith and Life. The five studies are also available for purchase as individual downloads: Saul and David (3500140E); King David (3500141E); King Solomon and Afterward (3500142E); What is Lutheransim (3500143E), and What is the Church (3500144E).

An Outreach Christmas Celebration for Children Ages 3-10
Series: Christmas For Kids
The two CDs contain everything you need to plan and implement a seasonal, one day VBS at Christmas time. This program features activity stations where students learn about the Savior's birth, praise him in song, make crafts, play games, and enjoy snacks and fellowship. The Planning and Teaching Guide CD contains all of the material necessary for leaders, teachers, and students, including: three levels of student lessons in PDF; full-color Bible story pictures in JPG and PDF; directions for planning, scheduling and conducting Christmas for Kids; complete instructions for teaching at the various stations; advertising pieces and clip art; craft ideas, patterns, and photos; an opening devotion; and a Bible story skit. Note: Student lessons, advertising poster, postcards, and doorknob hangers are included in both English and Spanish. The Song CD contains 12 tracks of Christmas hymns and songs to add a musical component to your program. Tracks 1-6 consist of vocals with accompaniment, while tracks 7-12 are accompaniments only. The songs are: Silent Night! Holy Night; Joy to the World; Away in a Manger; a variation of, We Wish You a Merry Christmas; Happy Birthday, Jesus; and, A Christmas Tree. Published 2013. Ages 3-10. Two CDs in a standard DVD case.

Interpreting Scripture's Symbols, Parables, and Word Pictures
Series: Bible Discovery
Author: Joel C. Seifert
There are many symbols, metaphors, and parables in scripture, and sometimes it can be hard to wrap your head around all of them. This book, by Pastor Joel Seifert, teaches the principles of interpretation and explains Biblical figurative language from a solid Lutheran understanding. By deciphering the symbols in scripture, you will grow in faith and knowledge of God's saving grace.
Includes Scripture index. Published 2013. Papercover. Pages: 148. Size: 5.5x8.5 inches.

Sola Publishing latest resources

Sola Publishing 5 latest resources

The mission of Sola Publishing is to provide individuals and congregations with educational resources that are trustworthy and useful, at a reasonable price. By providing solid Biblical resources with a confessional Lutheran focus, we seek to give people a deeper appreciation for the distinctive Lutheran focus on God's use of the Scriptures to bring about repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.

Live from the First Century: Christmas Program Script
by Amy C. Little
Based on the Christmas Story from the Gospel of Luke, this children's program script takes the form of a first century newscast; reporting on the events in Bethlehem. The script includes a number of character parts; with each scene featuring a Christmas carol sung by the children. 

Permission is granted to reproduce the script for local congregational use.

Advent Adventures  by Paul C. Koch
Taking a road trip in Advent?  Come along with us!
Sola’s Advent Adventures takes a “novel” approach to the season by offering serialized fiction stories to be used by a congregation over the weeks of Advent. Written by Pastor Paul Koch, these books are intended as a resource for midweek Advent services, but they could also be used on Sunday mornings, with stories and reflections serving as the sermon for the day. 
Each chapter in the larger story has a suggested psalm and scripture lesson along with a sermon reflection for the week, tying the fictional story to God’s story, proclaiming the gospel to the congregation. A suggested order for an evening vespers service is also included.

Superior Storm: A Lake Superior Mystery  by Pastor Tom Hilpert
The second in the series, "Superior Storm" is mystery-fiction novel that features the character of Jonah Borden as a not-so-typical Lutheran Pastor, who also happens to investigate local mysteries.
Pastor Borden loses the life savings of an elderly widow when the First National Bank of Grand Lake, Minnesota is robbed. Now he is playing detective, trying to solve the crime and recover the widow's money. But his friends in law-enforcement can't seem to help him, and information about the case mysteriously disappears. In the meantime, Jonah faces professional challenges, and to top it off, his own relationship with the beautiful Leyla Bennett is in troubled waters.  Jonah must overcome a malicious plot against his life, the ghosts of his past, and face the fury of Superior itself, if he is to save himself and the ones he loves.
Superior Storm is set amidst the wild beauty of Lake Superior; featuring a cast of unique and memorable characters.

Not My Will, But Yours: A Bible Study on the Bound Will  By: the Rev. Steven E. King
The theme of human bondage is seen throughout Scripture. From the Old Testament examples of people held in slavery whom God came to set free, to the New Testament examples of Jesus healing illnesses and casting out demons, we witness the Lord’s power of deliverance. Ultimately, all these stories point to the greatest act of God’s redemption in the cross, where Christ rescued us from our captivity to the powers of sin, death, and the devil.
This six-week study will explore the topic of the “free will” from a biblical perspective, looking at what Scripture has to say about the bondage of the human will, and how Jesus Christ has come to deliver us from ourselves.

2013 Theological Conference: Proclaiming the Word with a Lutheran Voice on DVD
Institute of Lutheran Theology and The Augustana District
As we witness to Christ Jesus in a context often described as "Post-Christendom", what do Lutherans have to add to the conversation? 
Conference Presenters: Dr. Mark Grandquist and Dr. Steve Paulson 
Panel Discussion: Our Culture - Randy Freund, A Mission Start - Janine Rew-Werling, Seminary Education - Tim Swenson, LCMC - Mark Vander Tuig
The Institute of Lutheran Theology is an independent, Lutheran theological project, holding that God in Jesus Christ brings sinners to repentance and new life. The Institute works with supporting congregations to educate the next generation of faithful Lutheran Preachers and teachers.
3 Disc Set; Approximately three hours of presentations