Renewed Synodical Emphasis on Campus Ministry – LCMS U, a good thing for students.

LCMS-U_CMYKRev. Bart Day (Office of National Mission) and Rev. Marcus Zill (Coordinator of LCMS U and a faithful pastor in my circuit) have put together a new initiative called LCMS U.  This was announced at the UNWRAPPED Campus Ministry Conference last week.  Later this week, some of our authors here at BJS will give their thoughts about the conference as a few were in attendance and at least three of which were presenters at the conference (Pr. Wilken, Pr. Gale and Pr. Schuldheisz)

The new initiative has a website and a facebook page.

It is good to see a renewed effort to lead the way again in campus ministry as for years it fell off the radar of the national synod.  I am glad to see the new emphasis but also the pick of Pr. Zill to lead such an effort.  There are some very good men heading up different initiatives and efforts with the LCMS today.

After a year of not so good news on campus ministry, we have now seen some very good things start to happen – first ULC in Minneapolis was able to buy a property that is very close to their previous location (an awesome location and a great building for a campus center) and hopefully will be able to raise the extra funds to build a chapel there as well (more on that to come in the future).  Now we see campus ministry brought once again to the national radar with solid leadership.  When at a time other denominations are celebrating campus ministries that are far from faithful (click here for a story of a Episcopal transgendered priest becoming a campus chaplain).  It is good that Lutherans are seeking to be Lutherans on campuses that are filled with such deceptions and heresies.

Let us hope and pray that such efforts like LCMS U will continue to encourage and expand faithful Lutheran campus ministry across the country.  Let us pray for those dedicated campus ministries across the nation that work with students as they learn skills to help their neighbors

If you are in a congregation nearby to a university, college, community college, or even a technical college consider the folks who attend there and what opportunities you have to serve them.  From the looks of it, LCMS U will provide some resources to help you out.

 

About Pastor Joshua Scheer

Pastor Joshua Scheer is the Senior Pastor of Our Savior Lutheran Church in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He is also the Editor-in-chief of Brothers of John the Steadfast. He oversees all of the work done by Steadfast Lutherans. He is a regular host of Concord Matters on KFUO.

Pastor Scheer and his lovely wife Holly (who writes and manages the Katie Luther Sisters) have four children and enjoy living in Wyoming.


Comments

Renewed Synodical Emphasis on Campus Ministry – LCMS U, a good thing for students. — 9 Comments

  1. We need to acknowledge the contribution of Higher Things in this renewal of interest in Lutheranism by/for young people. Having proved of real value to high schoolers, they have developed “Christ on Campus” to provide for Lutheran students in higher education.

    Many “Campus churches” like ULC-MN have been quietly defunded by districts over some years. Others are so watered down and “happy clappy” sound Lutheran students don’t want them. The alternative is to provide for college and university students at supportive congregations in the vicinity of the schools.
    I wish them well in this endeavor!

  2. @helen #1
    Higher Things has done great work through the Christ on Campus stuff (which Pr. Zill was the head of for many years). I hope and pray much of the same good work will come through his new position as well.

    ULC has shown that our Lord is faithful, but also that there are dark forces at work to shut down faithful Lutheran campus ministries (at any cost). This new national focus I hope will bring everything into the light and keep it there.

    Your congregational alternative is a good one as I know many congregations which faithfully support students nearby.

  3. @Pastor Joshua Scheer #2
    Your congregational alternative is a good one as I know many congregations which faithfully support students nearby.

    Thanks, but not my initiative, although I welcome it. My Pastor, who has been attending HT with our high schoolers for some years, recently told me that our church has been designated as a “Christ on Campus” congregation. We are not directly adjacent to the original campus, as other denominations have been for many decades, but as the university (and its housing needs) have engulfed the surrounding neighborhoods we are no longer very far away. 🙂

  4. The Office of National Mission may not have acted if not for the actions of the MNS district. This is good news. Now that Synod has returned to supporting campus ministry, will safeguards be put into place to keep the districts from sabotaging LCMS U? For example, I do hope that TCN will not be involved.

  5. Thanks for the kind words and article, Josh.

    Of course, there are so many people to thank for their help in putting on the UNWRAPPED Conference, including my committee: Rev. Max Mons (University of Iowa), Rev. Jay Winters (Florida State University), Deaconess Shaina Mitchell (Ball State University) and Philip Fischaber (University of Tulsa). Also, Rev. Steven Cholak in the Dept. of Youth Ministry and Rev. Ian Pacey (University of Arizona) have also been instrumental. Pastor Bart Day has been a constant source of encouragement and support, as has President Harrison who set all of this in motion. The worship assistants, musicians, preachers, speakers and volunteers (Beta Sigma Chi) were simply awesome!

    As with all such things it is always a “all for one” kind of effort from so many arenas. It goes without saying that the President’s Office, everyone else in the entire Office of National Mission, Pastor Terry Dittmer and others in the Youth Ministry Department, the entire synodical Communications Department, Chaplain William Weedon, and countless others, have also been extremely supportive and helpful.

    I am also grateful for all those who have supported campus ministry over the years and most especially the last decade or so, including Higher Things (Christ on Campus), the Lutheran Campus Mission Association, Lutheran Student Fellowship, International Student Ministry, and many, many others. All these groups deserve to be recognized for their contributions.

    As we move forward now with LCMS U I am thrilled for the opportunity to serve in this capacity along with two assistant coordinators in Pastors Pacey and Winters. It is the privilege of a lifetime.

    But in my mind the real heroes are those faithful campus pastors and other workers who have tirelessly championed the cause of campus ministry even when their church was not watching. Above all, this conference and the new LCMS U initiative, is about the same two things that all such individuals are about: The Gospel and the young people of our church.

    Campus ministry is not just something that takes place in a vacuum a part from the rest of the body of Christ, but is something that needs to engage everyone throughout the church. We are seeking to build support for all who engage in campus ministry and we intend to draw together all within our Synod regardless of which side of whatever fences they are on. And we mean that. We also will not settle for giving our young people anything less than the very best.

    This is only the beginning, but it is a wonderful beginning for sure. We are grateful to God for the opportunities before us and covet your continued prayers. Thank you all for whatever support you can lend toward the promotion of campus ministry and LCMS U.

    If you want to show your thanks for these efforts, pray for us, pray for your local campus ministries, support them financially and otherwise, look around you and see where you might start something new, and above all else, please, I beg you, LOVE YOUR COLLEGE STUDENTS wherever they are.

    It is precisely for the Gospel and them that we labor.

  6. The Campus setting is the mission field of the 21st century. The level of unchurched and de-churched is HUGE! I’ve been in the Campus Mission field for almost 14 yrs, and it’s high time that the LCMS got back into taking interest into this most vital of missions.

    We need campus MISSIONARIES, pastors who are bold and outgoing, mission-minded – people will actually GO INTO THE UNIVERSITY with the Gospel – equipping their students to be bold and courageous witnesses of the Gospel – actively reaching out with the Good news! I am happy that Marcus is leading this effort and implore them to be bold with their outreach.

    I’m also happy that their initial event was successful and pray that they continue to push forward with the mission work on campus.

  7. Good luck to all of you in campus ministry. As a college professor, I can assure you that the level of religious ignorance and apathy is (to people who don’t have regular contact with Millennials) completely shocking. Keep up the good work.

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