A Worship Model for Presidents Kieschnick, Hoesman, Mirly, Hennings and The Alley to Consider, by Pr. Rossow

Somehow I got on an e-mail list that resulted in me getting invited to a worship webinar hosted by Prince of Peace Lutheran Church (ELCA), Burnsville, Minnesota. I figured it would be interesting to check out their website for information on their worship practice. I have printed it below. Let me know what you think.

Since Prince of Peace is  in the same neck of the woods as The Alley Church.    I figured it would be good for them to check it out since they are seeking to be relevant to the culture. (If you want to find more posts on this site on The Alley or any other topic you can try out the new “post search” feature. Thanks to our computer guy Norm Fisher you can now  simply type in the key word and it will show you all the posts that use that word or phrase.) I also figured since President Mirly of the Missouri District has done nothing that we know of about Jefferson Hills “Lutheran” Church that he might be interested in Prince of Peace’s model for worship. For that matter since President Hoesman has done nothing about theophositc prayer in the Michigan  District,  President Hennings was comfortable having a Pentecostal woman minister lead worship  for the Texas district youth gathering and over and above this all sits President Kieschnick who has done nothing about these situations, we thought they might be interested in another funky model to promote in their districts and the synod. Prince of Peace’s website is at http://www.princeofpeaceonline.org/index.asp  .

Is it just me or is the synod really sinking fast into the ways of the world under President Kieschnick? Many LCMS folks are promoting Matt Harrison for synodical president next summer. I do not know that much about him but I do know he has a track record of supporting and promoting rich liturgical worship. Based on what is happening in the synod on the worship scene, I would say it is time for a change.

Weekend Worship:

  • Saturday  5:30 PM
    This service is centered in God’s Word and the sacrament of Holy Communion. Saturday worship is led by a band of vocalists and instrumentalists and combines relevant and thoughtful preaching with uplifting music of the past and present.
  • Sunday  8:30 AM
    This worship event incorporates the sounds of organ, choirs, ensembles, soloists and worship teams to create an experience filled with streams from the past and present together with thoughtful and relevant preaching from God’s Word. Baptisms and communion are celebrated at least once per month during this worship time.
  • Sunday 9:45 AM (ASL)
    This worship event   is led through an incredible variety of musical sources including bands, choirs, instrumental ensembles, soloists and organ. Here many streams of art and music converge to create a worship experience grounded in God’s Word.   Texts and themes are brought to life through art, music, drama, dance, and sacrament.
  • 11:00 AM Nexus-Community Worship (www.nexus-community.org)
    Nexus-Community Worship is a ministry of Prince of Peace that celebrates God’s movement in our everyday lives and our world through scripture, word, song, prayer, and art. This worship of praise and thanks is led by a worship band in full partnership with each person who attends Nexus-Community worship. Come celebrate with us and continue the conversation at www.nexus-community.org
  • Sunday 2:00 PM Iglesia Cristiana en Español Worship
    This worship event happens in the Teen Center in the lower level of the Christian Life Center and welcomes persons of every age into a service where the dominant language is Spanish. You can expect highly energetic music and preaching.

Wednesday Evening Worship:

  • 5:40pm W.o.W. Worship
    WoW is a midweek, 40-minute, worship experience for the whole family. You can expect student lead singing, relevant skits, videos, and a lively message. This varietal service, invites kids into learning and supports adults in their teaching. Come, worship together.

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.

Comments

A Worship Model for Presidents Kieschnick, Hoesman, Mirly, Hennings and The Alley to Consider, by Pr. Rossow — 26 Comments

  1. What is this desire to have “streams” in worship? Several of the descriptions talked about “art streams” and “music streams” and merging past and present streams….

  2. Another example of attempting to “be all things to all men” and actually ending up being nothing to no one.
    “Streams” usually flow to something bigger, wider, deeper and that isn’t the path to Salvation.

  3. What a “circle of life” picture, Steven!

    Interesting what it says about Worship:

    Worship is not a program of the Church, nor is it merely a Saturday night/Sunday morning event. Worship is to Christian Living what breathing is to life. Worship is our breath and no disciple can grow without breathing deeply and daily. By God’s grace planting seeds, taking root, growing and bearing fruit happen in Corporate and individual worship for all generations.

  4. From the description of its worship services, this ELCA congregation could be a typical LCMS congregation –or Presbyterian, Episcopalian, or Methodist congregation. Generically protestant.

    TW

  5. To TW’s point,

    It amazes me that this has now become typical – no mention of Christ, no mention of forgivness, no mention of law and gospel…

    I had the same thought as I read the description. As funky and goofy as it sounds, it has become typical. I would not have had that thought 10, maybe even 5 years ago.

    TR

  6. And here I was thinking all along that the “attraction” was the forgiveness of sins through Christ our crucified and risen Savior!

    I was recently at an event where the leader held up the hymnal (LSB) and said, “For those of you who only know contemporary worship, this is a hymnal.” * sighing deeply *

  7. Please don’t hold your breath waiting for action from President Hoesman. When your District President allows a called and ordained ‘Pastor’ to all but renounce Article II of the Augsburg Confession at the open mike in convention and does not immediately rebuke this heresy, what are we to expect for the rest of the District. I just thank God we do not have more “innovations” (i.e. theophositc prayer) sprouting root from the seeds that have been sown in our District.

  8. “Worship is not a program of the Church, nor is it merely a Saturday night/Sunday morning event. Worship is to Christian Living what breathing is to life. Worship is our breath and no disciple can grow without breathing deeply and daily. By God’s grace planting seeds, taking root, growing and bearing fruit happen in Corporate and individual worship for all generations.”

    Is there a word for what this is? It’s not really Christian since it’s not about Christ. All I can think of is “Christian-ish,” but that’s a little weak. Or maybe “Worshipist.”

    “Sorry, I can’t go play golf on Sunday morning, I have to go do worship at my Worshipist church.”

  9. From the description of its worship services, this ELCA congregation could be a typical LCMS congregation –or Presbyterian, Episcopalian, or Methodist congregation. Generically protestant.

    Xactly my reaction as well. The leaders in our synod need not be informed of worship models like this; there are plenty of congregations here that follow this model. And, besides, our leaders are already well aware of this “worship model” – they’re actively endorsing, promoting, and putting forth as “perfect examples,” those congregations who “worship” like this. President Kieschnick is on record promoting Lakepointe “Lutheran” in Hot Springs, Arkansas, as a “perfect example” of an Ablaze!(tm) Covenant Congregation. Go take a gander at the website of that congregation for a bit. This ELCA congregation comes off as staunchly traditional and conservative in comparison.

  10. Please don’t hold your breath waiting for action from President Hoesman. When your District President allows a called and ordained ‘Pastor’ to all but renounce Article II of the Augsburg Confession at the open mike in convention and does not immediately rebuke this heresy, what are we to expect for the rest of the District.

    Funny…several of the ‘leading lights’ and ‘patriarchs’ of ‘confessional Missouri’ were pushing Hoesman for synod president leading up to the 2007 convention. Do you suppose he’s made a dramatic change, or that these LCMS ‘patriarchs’ just ought not be listened to?

    EJG

  11. @#11 Rev. Messer…

    I found a website for a Lakepointe Church in Hot Springs, AR. I saw NOTHING to indicate LCMS affiliation or Lutheran beliefs. In fact, in their promotional video they showed adults being baptized via immersion. They did not mention sacraments or absolution in their “mission & values” statement, so I would have assumed this was a Baptist or non-denom. If it is LCMS it doesn’t surprise, but it does disappoint.

  12. As with most church “ads” these days, the first thing the church wants to promote is its cool, relevant, uplifting music. This is becoming tiresome. There is an ad for a new church in our area which holds its meetings in a movie theater that stresses that the “people are not weird”. What? Their church is SO cool and you won’t have to look at weird people who worship God dressed nicely and smell good. You can come in your sweats and be comfortable. The LCMS thinks this is the model to follow? Sad

  13. #13 Matt – Checked out the Lakepointe site and no the don’t look or say “Lutheran” but it appears that they are, http://www.lcms.org/locators/nchurches/c_detail.asp?C1000914. Jefferson Hills in Imperial, MO as least buries, “We are members of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod by denomination” in their FAQ section of their website but they are just as much non-Lutheran as Lakepointe. I’ve also checked out http://www.ninethirtyone.org/ who are more visible in their tie to a Lutheran church but are also just as much non-Lutheran. Disappointing and requiring correction but none is given.

    Paul in O’Fallon

  14. I wonder if any of us has considered the possibility that Prince of Peace is merely copying the LCMS? Could it be?

    “Worship experience?” Bah, humbug!!

  15. Wow! Something for everyone! Consumerism to the max. If you didn’t know it was ELCA, the squishy neo-feminist language gives it away. Check it out!

  16. Matt #13,

    As Paul noted, LakePointe Church is an LCMS congregation. I know, I know, you would never get that idea from visiting their website. But, it’s true.

    In fact, in his January 2008 letter to pastors, President Kieschnick used LakePointe as an example of what “Ablaze! Covenant Congregations” look like. He even included a quote from Rev. Yohannes Mengsteab, national director for new mission fields development with LCMS World Mission, who said, “[LakePointe] is a perfect example of an Ablaze! Covenant Congregation that is engaged in a church-planting movement.” President Kieschnick raved about what a wonderful new mission plant LakePointe was and gave the strong implication that this is the kind of congregation that is paving the way for the future of the LCMS.

    After reading that letter, I found LakePointe’s website and searched through it. I was simply appalled, but, sadly, not surprised, that our synodical president would endorse and promote a congregation like this, which is not even close to being a little bit Lutheran.

    I sent an email to President Kieschnick asking him to visit the webstie and explain how he could possibly promote this congregation as a “perfect example.” I received an automated response telling me that PK would holler back at me later. He didn’t. I then sent a letter via snail mail to him, but never received a response. I guess it’s easier to ignore those of us who have concerns than it is to respond.

    As for the baptisms done at LakePointe, it’s not the immersing that should bother us, but rather the fact that they promote something called “spontaneous baptisms.” What in blazes is that? Upon further review, it seems that those are for people who visit and are so moved by the “worship experience” that they desire to be baptized. So they are. On the spot. I guess since they’ve made the decision to accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior and have committed themselves to being a “Jesus follower” (a common phrase used in the messages at LakePointe), they’re ripe for a spontaneous baptism.

    What I know with absolute certainty is that this congregation is NOT Lutheran in any way, shape, or form. And yet, it is a “perfect example” put before us by our synodical president. Great stuff! NOT!

  17. Tom, “Jesus follower” is typical language you’ll hear from Emergents a lot of the time or from the Seeker Sensitive, Purpose Driven guys. Chris Rosebrough plays a lot of these sermons on Fighting for the Faith & “Jesus or Christ follower” is rampant.

  18. @#18 Rev Messer,

    I noticed they claimed to have baptized 46 people recently. I think they meant adult converts, but it wasn’t clear. My first question about the “spontaneous baptism” is, “do they ask these people if they have been baptized previously?” It was not uncommon in my charismatic Baptist experience in the early 90s that one would be baptized more than once.

  19. do or can you realize how frightening this all would be for a family to choose to transfer to this state or metro area?!
    Thoughts for schools anyone?!!!!

  20. Lakepointe is St. Louis’ poster congregations for Transforming Churches. If you want to get the full flavor, you’ll go to LCMS.org, which is currently under construction, (I guess like the stimulus package, it’s “shovel-ready”) and find your way to the Transforming Churches page, and watch the video. Here’s a few excerpts
    as portrayed by the video “An Overview of the TCN Process (www.http://portal.revitalization-lcms.com/). This video presents the church as little more than an ecclesiastical twelve-step program. Preaching and teaching seem to have been replaced by “testimonies” as the means of building the church. Almost all of the testimonies speak not of the Gospel, or forgiveness, or salvation, but only how the church has met their needs, from drug abuse to instilling practical spiritual values, and used expressions such as “I gave myself to Jesus,” and “I committed my life to Jesus”. One speaker actually referred to his baptism as “I washed my sins away.” As I noted above, at this time the LCMS website is under re-construction, so the above link is only partially functional. But you get the drift.

    Pogo was right!

  21. PoP in Burnsville, ironically, is across the interstate from the MN South District Headquarters also in Burnsville. It is a good sized ELCA congregation. (I’ve driven by, but not attended.)

    FWIW

  22. Lakepointe is the only place to go in Mid-South if you want to be trained as a church planter, get approval and funding from District, which means that ALL of our congregations are supporting this misadventure whether we personally approve or not. Needless to say, we are raising our own funds and planting without District support or guidance.

  23. I seen the lake pointe church in the Witness and i was
    curious so i looked them up. It looks like they have
    Word and Prasie Band. I recive Word a Sacerment.
    I am a 22 yr old member of lcms and I came from the
    church of the Nazerne 5 yrs ago. I recive the fullness
    of the faith in the Lutheran church. And a real meaning in the sacerments I am glad I’am not the only one suprised at what Lake Pointe offers.

    Alan Smith Ia

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