I have had several thrills during the seven year history of our local Confessions Reading Group but last night may have been the greatest thus far. On Monday I had a phone message from John in Bensonville, Illinois a Chicago suburb about 30 minutes northeast of the suburban church I serve, Bethany, Naperville. He had read about our Confessions Reading Group here on the website (see the Confessional Growth page) and was asking permission to come join us. Of course, I encouraged him to come. It was a thrill last night when John came to the group and studied the Lutheran Confessions with the rest of us.
John is one of the thousands of Issues, Etc. success stories (peruse the signatures and you will see numerous stories like John’s story). He was formerly a member of Willow Creek Church (the premier example of the American Evangelical church that has sold out to relevance over reverence, and felt needs over doctrine). It is a story that we have heard time and time again. He started listening to Issues Etc. and now has become a confessional Lutheran. John is a member of Pastor Steve Cornwell’s Church in Hillside, Illinois where he gets superior pastoral care and oversight. He is free on Tuesday nights, saw the reference to our reading group on this website and decided to add our group to his routine of edification.
We had a smaller group of only six people last night. (The group averages between five and fifteen in attendance.) Included in the group was Rosemarie, the woman I first started reading the Confessions with seven years ago which eventually became our regular group and which is now blossoming into dozens of groups around the country.
Last night we continued our study of the Lutheran Manifesto (see the button on our home page beneath the Brother’s Cafe) the which we have been using in our reading group and Bible studies for the last several weeks and have found that it is not only heightening our appreciation of the Augsburg Confession but is also taking us deeper into the contemporary issues that threaten our Scriptural confession of the faith.
It was great to meet you John. Welcome to our group. I hope your thirty minute drive each Tuesday night is motivation for others to check out our list and seek out a similar reading group near them. By the way, we have several new reading groups to add to the list. I hope to get to that later this week.