I am floored at these two quotes that Scott Diekmann picked out comparing our Lutheran Fathers v.s. the TCN program on his blog, Stand Firm. Does anyone else think this program needs to be stopped before, as Scott mentions, we have a head-on theological crash in the LCMS?
The two quotes found below are a study in contrast. The first is Lutheran theologian Martin Chemnitz (quoted from Pastor Paul Nus’s paper “Theology and Practice of ‘the Divine Call’: A Minority Opinion”). The second is a quote from the Transforming Churches Network (TCN) document “Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Structure.” The first quote trusts the promises of the Gospel, the second trusts the checks and balances of the accountable leader model. Whom do you trust?
Very many and necessary gifts are required for the ministry, 2 Cor 2:16. But one who has been brought to the ministry by a legitimate call can apply the divine promises to himself, ask God for faithfulness in them, and expect both, the gifts that are necessary for him rightly to administer the ministry (I Tim 4:14; 2 Tim 1:6; 2 Cor 3:5-6) and governance and protection in the office entrusted to him (Isa 49:2; 51:16). (emphasis added)
What if many don’t think the pastor is capable of leading the church through this process?
There is no doubt that some pastors lack the basic skills to lead a congregation. However, most pastors have simply not been given the chance or the training to lead [sic] The traditional structure of our churches give conflicting directions to the pastor. While there has always been an expectation that the senior pastor would lead the church, there has also been a fear of the senior pastor “taking over” the church. This has resulted in many pastors being blamed for the condition of their church, yet not having authority to make needed changes. The accountable leader model recognizes the senior pastor as the leader of the church, it empowers him to lead, and holds him accountable for his leadership. Some pastors will require training to grow-up into this model. Some pastors will require time and patience to learn the fine art of leadership. Some pastors won’t be able to make the transition. You and your congregation need to be in prayer for your pastor. Your congregation will be greatly blessed through his successful transition. Trust in the checks and balances of the accountable leader model. Should the pastor struggle with the change, the coach will be there to encourage and direct and, when needed, say the hard words that need to be shared. (emphasis added)
For more information on the Transforming Churches Network click here.
Scott’s entire series on TCN may be downloaded in pdf format.
Make sure you follow Scott’s other postings on this excellent blog.