In a few weeks I will be attending my first LCMS district convention as my congregation’s Lay Delegate. I have to admit to having mixed feelings about attending. I am thankful that my pastor asked me and even more thankful that the fellow members of my church agreed to send me. I am selfishly and sinfully unsure what attending will do to me. Will I come out of it with a more positive attitude about the current state of the LCMS? Will it cause me to need a drink every time I think of Synod? Maybe I should just go and enjoy good company with fellow Lutherans outside of all the bylaws and floor committees. Having only been a member in the LCMS for 8 years I’m interested in seeing how things play out. Having never been to a convention this is really the first time I will experience church politics outside of deacons meetings and voter’s assemblies which are pretty uneventful at my church. What does a district convention do to a man?
The past few weeks and heading into the convention I am trying to get a handle on everything that will go on there. I even received my convention workbook in the mail…oh the joy of it all. After reading all the overtures I am fighting the urge to be pessimistic as either I am far too simple minded or this stuff is way over my head. I imagine at times I will be very interested in what is going on and others times I will be completely annoyed and bored. I guess I’ll find out. One thing is for sure it will be a great experience which I hope will have more positives than negatives. I would ask any of my fellow laymen who have attended a district convention to please give any feedback or comments which would help me and others in their first convention experience. Pastor Todd Wilken even gave some good advice in the question and answer part of his presentation at this year’s Brothers of John the Steadfast Conference.
As I stated above, the sinner in me is selfishly looking at how this district convention will affect me negatively and also my church, my district and the LCMS as a whole. One thing I will have to try to remember going into the convention is that our church body is filled with sinners who have a Savior who is far greater than our church body. He will always look after His church regardless of how we sinners try to screw it up. So during any times of annoyance, frustration and hopefully joy, I will need to try to focus my mind on Jesus Christ. His church is strong because of His Word and His work for us all. Our faith is in Christ alone and not the LCMS. Let us pray for faithful conventions throughout the LCMS and for faithful pastors and lay delegates to continue to do what’s best for the church by upholding our Lutheran Confession and a solid proclamation of the Gospel.