The nomination numbers for the LCMS presidential election this summer portray the deep and wide appeal of Matt Harrison.
His appeal is deep. His writings demonstrate a rich understanding of theology and church history that goes deep into the scriptures, the Book of Concord and the historical archives of the LCMS.
His appeal is also wide. Matt Harrison is not simply the “conservative candidate” for the LCMS presidency. His experience and vision appeal to lots of different folks with lots of different priorities for the synod. Here are few that stand out.
Mercy – Many folks in the LCMS put a high priority on taking care of the poor and downtrodden. Rev. Harrison has spent the last several years heading up the service area of the synod that attends to just those needs, LCMS World Relief and Human Care. He understands the pain, grief and sorrow of the suffering and has led that group to new highs in levels of care and compassion. Matt Harrison has tasted the mercy of Christ and has made it a priority to share that mercy with others.
Missions – Many LCMS folks would rank mission work as the highest priority for the church. Rev. Harrison’s vast work overseas with World Relief has brought him in direct contact with our mission fields. He understands the importance of placing word and sacrament, ordained missionaries in the field. He would stop the rapid decline in our mission work and make it a priority once again.
Management – Many people want their pastors and church bureaucrats to be good businessmen. The church is not a business it is a family. Rev. Harrison treats the church like a family (reading his reaction to the nominations demonstrates his love and affection for people as family members) but if it is management skills that you are looking for, Harrison does not dissapoint. He has established LCMS World Relief and Human Care as one of the most efficient and fiscally viable service areas in the synod. As a matter of fact, the synod under President Kieschnick has actually had to borrow cash from World Relief reserves to stay solvent in some months.
One does not fully capture Rev. Harrison’s resume if he is classified as the conservative’s choice. His appeal is wide and that is one of the reasons he got an unprecedented number of nominations. But let us not forget that his appeal is also deep. We here at the Brothers of John the Steadfast and the Sisters of Katy Luther think that he would be a president that supports our goals of promoting and teaching the Lutheran Confessions to the laity, supporting the historic and traditional liturgy and upholding Biblical vocations of men and women. Rev. Harrison’s appeal is deep. Like C. F. W. Walther, his appeal goes deeply into the Scriptures and Lutheran Confessions. The congregations of the synod have noticed.