(Pastor Rob Jarvis is involved with the CLCC group. Like BJS they seek to equip laymen to know and support Confessional Lutheranism. CLCC posts are archived on the Regular Columns page of this website.)
Last time we talked about the need to start thinking about the “mutual conversation and consolation of brethen” in our own congregations. What follows then are a couple ideas to “break the ice.” I would like to acknowledge the members of the MNNFaithful e-mail list, because they provided several of these ideas from a discussion they were having earlier. You will note as you are reading through them, this is only to get us started.
- Submit a controversial article to the newspaper. You will probably want your pastor to do this. Remind him, the goal for this is to stir discussion among Christians, particularly members of your congregation, not specifically to evangelize.
- Put thought provoking ads in the local newspaper or billboards. You want these to be controversial among those who consider themselves conservative Lutherans, but broad enough for a general population. What’s a hot topic right now? I just heard Pr. Mark Jasa, the campus pastor at UCLA, has a table that he sits at with a poster saying, “Religion is for the weak.” How’s that for provocative? Signing it “Some Lutherans in town,” is likely to get some of the members of your congregation to wonder, “Which Lutherans?” “Are you one of them?” and I’m sure you can imagine them asking, “What does that mean?”
- Distribute politically neutral handouts. Dr. Barry’s “What About Pamphlets” are great for this; so are copies of articles that deal with doctrine, but not the synod’s politics.
- Watch the official periodicals, particularly the Lutheran Witness. Many people receive it. Look for good articles in them. Encourage others to read them if they haven’t and then discuss it with them.
- Watch the devotions in the Portals of Prayer or other devotional material your congregation makes available. If it is an especially good one, that is, it brings out particularly Lutheran elements in a very effective way, you might consider asking at a gathering if anyone has read it. This seems to be a very natural and spontaneous way to get that discussion started.
- DVD’s that bring out the best of Lutheranism are being produced all the time. Your pastor is usually sent sample DVD’s or promotional material. Ask him about these and see what he may have for you. Ask that they or at least a portion of them may be shown to a gathering of the members.
Watch for the remainder of this list later.