Good (?) Stuff Found on the Web — Equipping Laypeople to give Pastoral Care

Sometimes I find the good, but sometimes I find the bad, as people submit things to me for pointing out to BJS readers.

Unfortunately this one is bad — it is a LCMS church that is holding a two-day conference about “Lay Pastoral Ministry”.

Register Now!

International conference for “equipping laypeople to give pastoral care”

April 23-24, 2010

Host: Christ Memorial Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, St. Louis.

“Welcome to participating in the 2010 International Conference on Pastoral Care of the Congregation by Lay People.”

Keynote Speaker: Ken Haugk of Stephen Ministries

This conference will offer a diversity of Workhop Leaders to include male and female pastors from the UCC, UMC, Church of the Brethren, and Anglicans, as well as the LCMS.

Christ Memorial in St Louis (A LCMS church, though I can’t find any evidence of it on their website) reports itself as “A different type of church”. I’m not sure what that means, but it sounds like another church where you wonder why they would be part of the LCMS.

The conference includes presenters such as Sandy Sisson, United Methodist Lay Speaker, Rev. Mike Walker, Senior Pastor, First UMC, Clover, SC; Rev. Craig Smith, Church of the Brethren, Elizabethtown, PA; Kathy Stine, King Street United Brethren Church, Chambersburg, PA; Dr. Don Hill, Director, Frazer Memorial United Methodist Church, Montgomery, AL; and Jim King, Trinity Fellowship Evangelical Free Church, Big Rapids, MI.

There’s more .. go here to read more about this event.

Thanks for those who contact me about things good and bad.

About Norm Fisher

Norm was raised in the UCC in Connecticut, and like many fell away from the church after high school. With this background he saw it primarily as a service organization. On the miracle of his first child he came back to the church. On moving to Texas a few years later he found a home in Lutheranism when he was invited to a confessional church a half-hour away by our new neighbors.

He is one of those people who found a like mind in computers while in Middle School and has been programming ever since. He's responsible for many websites, including the Book of Concord,, and several other sites.

He has served the church in various positions, including financial secretary, sunday school teacher, elder, PTF board member, and choir member.

More of his work can be found at


Good (?) Stuff Found on the Web — Equipping Laypeople to give Pastoral Care — 62 Comments

  1. @Dutch #49
    I can not go into all the many things going on at my church on the Internet. The pastors and staff approve of all the teachings in the church.
    Today I was in a class this morning, where the speaker from within the church encouraged people to go to BSF( Bible Study Fellowship). The list goes on and on and on.
    I cannot confront the leadership again but am praying for others within the church to speak up.

  2. Anyon,
    No, I don’t want you to feel you need to go into great detail here, I don’t think you need to. If you are (I’m in WI, so your a hop across the pond) where I think you are, it’s best not to. I think where you may be near, was mentioned in a previous article. I believe it is best you stay, anon.

    I don’t know what BSF, is off hand. Going before the Board of Elders, especially, when you know, most of that board are on or in embracing agreement w/this stuff, that is rather futile. But, David did so once!!! (As a woman, I did not agree with going before our board, so the men did, I did the leg work & gathered facts on paper).

    If you are, where I think you are, there really isn’t a new church I can direct you to. However….if you select the contact option here at BJS, I’m sure BJS can help you find one. If I’m wrong, & you aren’t near MIA MI, then no worries. But if you are, standing alone, in front of who & what I think you may be, you need advice, that is more learned & wise than mine. You can & I reccomend emailing BJS directly, for more wise counsel, than I can give.
    But should you need to chat or need a shoulder, mine are rather broad!!! (those blacksmith north German genes!) BJS has my email, Norm can get you in touch with me.

    It is a gut wretching situation your in, and many here have seen the same. You most certainly Anynon, are not alone & are in my prayers. You need aid & BJS is here.

  3. @Dutch #54
    Yes, it is the NonDenominational one. It was one of three different bible studies the speaker suggested, also listed it on his handout.
    When I asked the staff person that was hosting the meeting if we were having a BSF study at our church.
    He told me no, that it is a Baptist based study and is only offered at certain churches in the various regions. He told me where the closest church is where it is offered. The one that the speaker is or was the regional director. At the big Baptist Church with a generic name a few miles away.

  4. Okay Anynon… I will be calm, cool, & collected.
    Not emotional, just factual. (deep breath taken by me) So, if I understand your post correctly in #55,
    your LCMS church, isn’t “offering” it, but the Baptist church down the road is, & the speaker for this “Bible Study Fellowship International”, was in your LCMS church, encouraging LCMS members to attend? And this was welcomed by the Women’s Director, Elders, and Pastor of your LCMS church?
    Your LCMS church, is “marketing” the Baptist Church down the road’s, small group study
    (as if Bible Study Fellowship International, could be deemed a small group study)? Your church isn’t hosting, but the Baptist Church’s is? Is that correct?

    If I’m wrong, and I quite often am on BJS, please tell me so.
    Anyone else, have any CONSTRUCTIVE ONLY thoughts for Anynon, at this point?

  5. The speaker at the meeting today is a member of my LCMS Church. He teaches an adult Sunday bible class at my church.
    He was and may still be the leader of BSF at that now Non-Denominational Church that used to be Baptist.
    The speaker in his talk mentioned BSF and the three question method of studying the Bible.
    1. Facts. Who what when where and why.
    2. Principles: What is timeless. Changing thinking
    Sometimes a boat is just a boat
    3. Applications: Changing Behavior.

    Where do I start?
    Study the Scriptures yourself, Sunday, Wednesday, BSF,(Crossways–> offered at my church)
    The above is in part what was on his handout.

    When I asked the Small Group Director that was hosting this meeting if our church had BSF at our church , he told me it was at the church where the speaker is the leader.
    So, that’s it for BSF and my LCMS church referring about 75 people to study the bible down the road in an Interdenominalization group!

  6. @anyonymous #57

    You can become the resident curmudgeon and try to do something about it. You can talk to your pastor, the elders, whomever. It’s a thankless task. You can’t get personal–just deal with the issues. You have to be able to back up your concerns. No whining, no complaining–just deal with the issues. Lots of questions, no rants. I’d start with private meetings with pastor, and follow-up–can’t let it drift–stay with it. Go from there.

    In time you’ll either see some results or you won’t. Then it will be decision time.

    johannes, former resident curmudgeon, now curmudgeon-at-large

  7. Anyonymous, I also live in Michigan and have a lot of the same concerns that you do. We also had Phyllis Schirer class a few summers ago, and the women just gushed over how wonderful it was. I had to drop out of the women’s “Bible study” class because it was way too feelings/me oriented. The German personality was often mocked. [I am “all-German” although my ancestors have been in the U.S. for 150 years.] LCMS materials are regarded as too boring. “Popcorn prayers” liberally laced with “I just wanna” abound. I long for a more confessional Lutheran church, and I did find one a few miles away, but I hate to leave where I am. Most Bible studies are lay-led and in the past have had little pastoral oversight. The times are changing, though, and I am more optimistic. But know that you are certainly not alone!

  8. Thank you for responding to let me know that you also discerned the errors in Priscilla Shirer’s teachings. There are a lot of women though that fall for her emotional jargon that mesmerizes them into embracing all her goobly glob!
    It’s amazing how those under her influence get upset and defensive when you try to tell them that she is teaching false doctrines.

  9. People who are getting conned don’t like to be told that is what is happening.
    Instead of taking it as an analysis of the con artist they take it as a reflection on their judgment in listening to him/her.

    Maybe it is. I don’t know what else to think.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.