Rocky Mountain District to Entertain Motions to Slow Down the Blue Ribbon Express

We ran across some motions that will be brought before the Rocky Mountain District convention this June. Here is one that wisely asks the synod to slow down the process for considering the structural changes proposed by the Blue Ribbon Commission. (For more on the Blue Ribbon Commission click here.) We agree with the spirit of this motion and hope the synod will slow down this express. Consider this proposed motion and let us know what you think.

For Reasonable Conversation and Consideration of Changes to Structure

Whereas conversation, dialogue, consideration, and encouragement should always be rejoiced in and supported in our Synod, and,

Whereas proposals for serious and profound changes in our Synod’s practice and structure should be freely discussed, debated, and considered by all, and,

Whereas all our districts should allow for reasonable opportunity throughout all our districts for free and open review, dialogue, and conversation regarding the profound changes being proposed for our Synod’s practice and structure, and,

Whereas the BRTFSSG has succinctly stated the concern by helpfully alerting the Synod that the proposals

“involve proposed changes to parts of the Synod’s Constitution—changes too lengthy and detailed to be described adequately in the task force’s presentations at the district conventions” (“Introductory Note,” of the BRTSSG’s document for proposed changes),


Whereas most congregations and pastors and circuits are being exposed to the BRTFSSG proposals only shortly before their own respective District conventions, and many aren’t even being exposed to them until their own district conventions, and even then the proposals they are exposed to aren’t clear and final, but are often ambiguous and are presented as being in flux, and,

Whereas clarity and consistency are needed in the documents to be considered by the Synod in order to have serious consideration and beneficial conversation and dialogue, and,

Whereas the BRTFSSG’s own documents give proposals and recommendations that are often inconsistent, even in conflict with themselves, so that within the same documents the reader is confronted with serious ambiguities and contradictions, for example,

  1. In the “Walking Together, Presentation Format” from the LCMS website, power-point slide 17 proposes that “Commissioned Ministers” be considered to be “members of synod” alongside ordained pastors, yet slides 27 and 28 recommend that at conventions these same “Commissioned Ministers” would be treated the same not as ordained pastors but, rather, as lay persons; or,
  2. BRTFSSG’s “Walking Together” document, slides 20-22, recommends a change in the name of synod, even stating the rationale, while the BRTSSG’s document “Provisional Proposal” recommends the opposite, stating that “The name of the synod organized under this constitution shall be: The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod”),


Whereas reasonable time and place and opportunity has not be given and established for beneficial debate, dialogue, discussion, and mutual consideration of the serious and profound changes to our Synod’s practice and structure (as found in the recently released but still not final proposals of the BRTFSSG),

Resolved, that the Synod establish a time period and a method in which these profound changes to practice and structure may be openly considered throughout the Synod, so that all may be allowed the time and opportunity to review and consider the work of the BRTFSSG, and,

Resolved, that since there is not enough time to have a substantial and meaningful conversation in preparation for the 2010 convention on clear and consistent proposals, the final work be clarified and presented to the next Synodical convention following the 2010 convention.

About Pastor Tim Rossow

Rev. Dr. Timothy Rossow is the Director of Development for Lutherans in Africa. He served Bethany Lutheran Church in Naperville, IL as the Sr. Pastor for 22 years (1994-2016) and was Sr. Pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran in Dearborn, MI prior to that. He is the founder of Brothers of John the Steadfast but handed off the Sr. Editor position to Rev. Joshua Scheer in 2015. He currently resides in Ocean Shores WA with his wife Phyllis. He regularly teaches in Africa. He also paints watercolors, reads philosophy and golfs. He is currently represented in two art galleries in the Pacific Northwest. His M Div is from Concordia, St. Louis and he has an MA in philosophy from St. Louis University and a D Min from Concordia, Fort Wayne.


Rocky Mountain District to Entertain Motions to Slow Down the Blue Ribbon Express — 14 Comments

  1. The Rocky Mountain proposal raises one of the most important questions about President Kieschnick’s plan to restructure the LCMS: Why the hurry?

    The burden of proof is on President Kieschnick and the other advocates of his plan. Why can’t the congregations of the LCMS wait, get all the information and deliberate in a thoughtful manner?

    If President Kieschnick’s plan is as wise and necessary as he says it is, careful examination and discussion will bear that out.

    One thing is for sure, once the LCMS adopts President Kieschnick’s plan, be it wise or foolish, there’s no turning back.

    Measure twice, cut once.


  2. TW,

    The hurry will be the lack of $$$ which is caused by the current structure. Lack of $$$ hurts missions. People die without Jesus. We need structural change to save people.
    No structural change = no Jesus.


  3. JCO,
    I’m not sure if you are being serious or sarcastic. God doesn’t need money or the structural change of the LCMS to save more people or anyone for that matter. He still uses the good old fashioned Word and Sacrament and those have already been paid for by Jesus. Our Heavenly Father provides for the workers he sends into the harvest fields and I would argue that today He often provides this outside of church synods. If the LCMS is interested in saving money and doing more to sow the Word they can make a lot of stewardship changes right now within the present structure.

  4. JCO – I’m with Scott and Ross on this. How does this new sructure bring in money?


  5. No structural change = no Jesus. –JCO

    I hope you are being sarcastic, as suggested above!

    If people don’t understand the “New World Order” (or agree with it) they will not “pay and shut up.” The fundraising in association with “Ablaze” and “Fan the Flame” should have made that evident by now.

    Can anybody tell us what happens to the percentage “Lutheran Foundation” skims from other lcms organizations?
    Can anyone tell us what rational plan there is to return designated millions to “Human Care” and the other places they’ve been borrowed from?
    Can anyone tell us when the flood of money outward to non Lutheran entities will stop, and the support of genuine Lutheran ordained male missionaries will begin again? (Not to mention seminaries, and genuine Lutheran missions here?)

    My congregation contributes to District… presently… and I contribute to my congregation. I also have six or seven different Lutheran organizations which I support without sending a dime to St Louis (or District), as I have done through several decades and several transfers. In some times and places, most of my giving was “direct.”

    lcms inc. is “broke” (all ways) because it isn’t perceived as “Lutheran” by too many.
    I doubt the “fix” (which changes with every convention) will alter that.

  6. Scott,
    You are right on the $$$.
    “The hurry” is one of the tactics involved in paradigm shift. Act like it must be done yesterday to create a sense of urgency.

  7. TW,

    You asked the question, ‘Why the hurry?’
    I assumed you meant why is Pres. Kieschnick in such a hurry.
    Scott’s comment answers your question.

    I was and am not being sarcastic. I really think this is what many believe needs to happen to the synod for it to be about the ‘mission’. I expect a barage of ‘we need change or we’re gonna die’. We can’t expect to make it on a constitution and structure created in the first half of the 19th century. If we don’t do it we won’t save souls. (Read, we won’t reach our goal, Ablaze, TM) We don’t have the $$$. Structural change will streamline (read: centralize power) and make things more cost effective.

    Sorry I didn’t make myself clearer.

    Blessed Easter,

  8. What IS known is this: THE way in which God works faith in immortal (read: “for all of eternity so we had better not mess this up” — this is not another intellectual exercise or baby boomer experiment) souls is that He uses His blessed Means of Grace (Word and Sacraments) to create faith in peoples’ hearts to see and trust in Christ their perfect Savior!! What is NOT known is how polity/structure/constitutional changes saves souls. THAT is THE argument for why the changes are NOT needed. If we want to make polity/structure/constitutional changes, let us do that slowly and carefully because immortal (see above) souls are, literally, in the balance. What is so hard about understanding this? I pray that others will realize the value of the Rocky Mountain resolution — and that an overwhelming number of Districts will adopt it! May the Lord preserve us!

  9. Rev. W.
    I agree completely with you. Especially:

    What is NOT known is how polity/structure/constitutional changes saves souls. THAT is THE argument for why the changes are NOT needed.

    I think that those who want to change structure/constitution/polity must be forced to explain why.


  10. Thanks for agreeing, JCO. What I am most concerned about is the fact that everyone seems to care about numbers but there is very little talk about souls which will go to heaven or hell for all of eternity. It is time to quit with our incredibly trite experiments where souls are involved — and that, of course, is what the church always does (care for souls), and that is why this foolish experimentation MUST cease.

    Well, and the other thing which I pray would cease is that foolish notion that “I am successful if I can manipulate you into agreeing with me,” as in the leadership of the LCMS will be successful IF they can get us all to agree to the restructuring nonsense. Just because they want change and think that they are “nice guys” is NOT the case for why we should agree with them. Our sinful nature, b/c it lives in the world, has adopted this worldly way of thinking (usually without us even realizing it!) and it is causing wayyy too much unnecessary change. It simply does not make sense on too many levels.

  11. Pulling out a few critical spikes or widening the rail as the Blue Ribbon Express rounds the bend toward the convention will also be helpful.

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