My church has $8000 burning a hole in its pocket and you can help us spend it.
I get frustrated with opportunities to support mission organizations, churches or synods only to learn that 20%, 30% or even 50% of my gift is spent in overhead costs. Don’t you? I’d rather give money to mission work and theological education than to consultants. I’m sure you feel the same. Here is a chance to get past your frustration and support a truly worthy organization: The Luther Academy and its Indonesia project.
Let me offer you an explanation and an opportunity. My congregation, Glory of Christ Lutheran Church of Plymouth Minnesota, will match funds up to $8000 to support the work of the Luther Academy in a very specific endeavor.
First let me tell you about the Luther Academy. It is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide theological education to pastors. One way in which the Luther Academy accomplishes its work it to publish LOGIA, a quarterly theological journal read and enjoyed by many confessional Lutheran pastors. It is also publishing a twelve volume series of doctrinal books called the Confessional Lutheran Dogmatics. Luther Academy hosts conferences every year in West Africa, South America and the USA. It is beginning work in Uganda and Indonesia. It has invitations to begin work in East Africa, Southern Africa and Central America. It has also done significant work in Northern Europe, Eastern Europe and Australia. Luther Academy has been around for a quarter of a century and is currently led by its executive director, Rev. Daniel Preus, former first vice president of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.
Luther Academy has a unique opportunity to do work in Indonesia. Here the plan is to provide transportation, room and board for both an American theological teacher/professor and up to 100 Indonesian pastors. These very eager pastors will attend a one week conference with 30 hours of class time, learn theology from the professor and go back to their parishes better Lutherans and better pastors for it.
There are a number of Lutheran churches in Indonesia, together numbering about five million members. The largest of these churches were founded 150 years ago by missionaries committed to the theology and practice of the Prussian Union. These missionaries were more Reformed than Lutheran and consequently the churches and their pastors have little Lutheran identity. They have not been well trained. They have been influenced by pietism and the Lutheran World Federation. Some have never seen a Book of Concord. They are not in fellowship with us. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that some of the church leaders have come to the conclusion that the Lutheran Confessions and doctrine are faithful to Scripture. These leaders are eager to have the pastors of their churches learn what it means to be Lutheran. For the first time since the founding of their churches they want an unambiguous Lutheran theology to be taught in their churches. In fact they are so eager for Lutheran theology they have virtually begged Daniel to send confessional teachers so that they can learn to be better pastors. What an opportunity!
This is where your money comes in. 100% of each dollar will be used to carry out the plan of providing education to these pastors who both need it and want it.
$20,000 is needed. $4000 has been given by Bethany in Naperville, the congregation served by Rev. Tim Rossow. $8000 has been committed by Glory of Christ in Plymouth, my church. We are counting on individuals and congregations for the rest.
If we do this for five years then we can be the single most important theological force in that entire nation for the next half decade. That’s mission work. Here is a chance to quit complaining about how dollars are wasted and use your dollars in a way that will truly bring the pure gospel to a corner of the world desperate for it.
So I ask you and challenge you to help support the Luther Academy. Send Checks to:
St. Louis, MO
Check out the Luther Academy here www.lutheracademy.com.
Put Indonesia project on the bottom corner of your check. Periodic reports will given as we reach the goal of raising $8000 and as the actual plan takes place in 2009.
(Editor’s Note: Pr. Preus would like to keep track of how much gets sent in from our website. If you do not mind, please add a comment to this post when you send your check in and let us know how much you sent. If you would like to be anonymous send an e-mail to [email protected] and I will report your contribution as a part of the total BJS raises. Also, I do want to let the BJS members know that shortly after the New Year, we will be starting our rolling, annual fund drive for Issues, Etc. I encourage the Brothers to contribute to the Luther Academy. I am personally contributing, as you can see from the first comment below but please keep in mind that our solicitation for Issues, Etc. is coming soon.)