I found this on the Cross-Focused Leadership for Missouri site the other day — they are evidently gathering pieces on “What Others are Saying…” around the synod. This is one of 6 that they have posted currently on their website — from the likes of Uwe Siemon-Netto, Pr Gary Arp, and this one by Dr. Leo Mackay.
Thoughts on Matt Harrison from the former Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs under President George W. Bush, Lockheed Martin Vice President and LCMS Elder, Dr. Leo Mackay.
I have worked closely with Pastor Matt Harrison for four years on the board of the Lutheran Housing Corporation (LHS). It has been a labor of love for us both, and, in that time, I have grown to admire – indeed to love – Matt. He has the heart, and the head of a pastor. Matt’s work both at LHS and L.C.M.S. World Relief is motivated by his convictions surrounding the task of Divine Mercy in the church and in our individual lives. He is a passionate articulator of it. More importantly, he is an erudite, learned proponent of it in word both written and spoken. His books and homilies on Divine Mercy are instructive and I would advocate their teaching to the whole of the Synod.
Working with Matt, for me, is a great joy. I am a great admirer of Lutheran pastors, and Matt is a “pastor’s pastor.” He is quick to show humor, constant in personal grace and charm, but efficient and industrious as well. He has been easy to work with and has been instrumental in lending a strategic quality to our board deliberations. He also exhibits a healthy skepticism about the powers of bureaucracy and an attendant impatience with “process” if it compromises results or interferes with ministry. That said, I have known him to be uncompromising in his ethics and approach to a proper sense of dignity in all proceedings. One quality I admire greatly in him is his total dedication to his calling as a pastor. Matt is friend and colleague, but he is always – and thoroughly – a pastor. It is in his sinews and animates the fiber of his being. As he sometimes has said, he has difficulty functioning without the sustenance of text. He is never so happy as when he is reading or interpreting from the Church fathers or the important German theologians who have shaped Lutheranism. He is a wonderful combination of thinker and doer.
A Harrison presidency would offer the chance for the LCMS to be led again by a first class theologian/pastor. A man reminiscent of Walther or Barry. Moreover, it would be an opportunity for the Synod to be fed and led by one wholly, and unequivocally, committed to the Lutheran Confessions and the sufficiency of Word, Sacrament, and Confessions. Wouldn’t that be refreshing? We serve an eternal God. One who has given us all that we need for this life and the life beyond. Rather than attempt to “update” the perfect (what a concept), we should revel in the Truth and propound it with love…and with conviction. No man is better equipped to do that than Matt Harrison. It is my fervent hope – indeed my prayer – that this is the also the path that the Holy Spirit would lead the Synod as we convene this summer.
Head on over to Cross-Focused Leadership in Missouri for other great stories on What Others are Saying … and other reports from the group.
Note also that Dr Mackay has been nominated for the Board of Regents for Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, and has been recommended by the United List.