BJS Authors practice real church growth in their parishes
Over the past year, the authors of BJS have increased a lot, but another thing has been increasing as well – the size of the authors’ households and consequently our parishes. No, we haven’t veered off the narrow way of Word and Sacrament to find methods and manipulations to sheep steal or anything else – we have simply been who we are in the vocations that God has placed us. Most of us are husbands and fathers and pastors also – and there is one thing that God does through husbands and wives to grow His Church, He gives the blessing of babies. And babies in this case have been plenty among our author pool. And these babies have been quickly brought into the family of God through the watered Word of Holy Baptism. Along with that, a number of our authors have received blessings from heaven which have yet to be seen with their eyes. Right now there 9 children that have been recently born to our authors’ households or will be born in the not too distant future (Pr. Juhl, Pr. Ramirez, Pr. Hull, Pr. Riley, Pr. Mark Preus, Pr. Hinton, Mr. Paul, Mr. Andrew Preus, and myself).
This is meant to be a wonderful occasion to give thanks to our Triune God for being faithful to His Word (Gen 1). And as these little ones have been/will be brought to the waters of Holy Baptism we see that faithfulness of the Triune God again (Mt 28; Titus 3; Rom 6; John 3; etc). Over and over God has shown faithfulness to us.
After thanking God of course thanks is also due to the faithful mothers who bore these children and care for them from conception on. Thank God for faithful women, faithful wives, and faithful mothers!
These little blessings from God come with some great responsibility as well, for they are the next generation of disciples who need to be catechized in the Word of God using the Small Catechism. Bible, Catechism and Hymnal will be the tools used in raising these little Lutheran blessings. Thank God for such great gifts to accomplish such a task and His promise to be present along with us in the Way.
What a blessing children are to parents and to the Church! As we struggle churchwide with changing demographics, remember our Lord’s faithfulness to His Word. As we struggle to purge the leaven of church growth, “bait and switch” evangelism methods/manipulations, remember that one of God’s chief plans involves children and catechesis.
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