Great Stuff Found on the Web — Stand Firm on “A Theological Head-On”

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?


 


Car WreckThe 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?

 

Chemnitz:

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)

 

TCN:

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.

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, LCMSsermons.com, 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 KNFA.net.

Comments

Great Stuff Found on the Web — Stand Firm on “A Theological Head-On” — 14 Comments

  1. Low (66) Little emphasis on developing a growing base of
    leadership and there is a shortage of volunteer
    leaders. The pastor acts as a Shepherd and is involved
    in most of the significant ministry happening in and
    through the church.

    Currently there is a “core competencies” sample survey on the TCN website. The above quote is from the sample survey. “The pastor acts as a Shepherd” is a negative.

    That’s all you need to know about TCN.

    Scott’s article’s on Standing Firm are spot on. Read them before you consider going near this program.

  2. @Conv. Delegate #1

    “The pastor acts as a Shepherd” is a negative.

    “Pastor” is Latin for “Shepherd.” Pastors not only act as shepherds, they ARE shepherds or at least under shepherds. The “head on” has already occurred.

  3. In 2009, Pres. Kieschnick layed out his top 3 priorities, which was published in the Reporter and elsewhere. TCN was #2 on the list. Just another issue how this election will have consequences.

  4. As usual, Scott has hit the nail on the head. This book is required reading for anyone who buys into the TCN patent medicine and false theolgoy. Reading the TCN garbage on the LCMS website is an oxymoronic experience–one is pulled in two directions: what is this dreck doing in the LCMS? As I and others have said elsewhere, TCN is the just the latest mutation of the ChurchGrowth virus. As a young engineer, I was taught that “formula engineering” is a prescription for disaster. It is the same in the church–formula-based ecclesiology is dangerous to the church’s health. Yet, we continue to fall for the same old lies, in new disguises. I predict that TCN will have some successes, but ultimately will be consigned to the trash heap of failed programs. Tragically, many pastors and a gazillion parishoners could be deeply wounded. In the meantime, I highly recommend the Indiana District’s “Revitalization” effort, as given by Pr. Geoff Robinson. It is true revitalization, not bogus “Transformation.” Solidly Lutheran, Biblical and confessional.

    Also, check out Todd Wilken’s interview with Burnell Eckardt, Jr on “Leadership”, June 9.

    I know–you’re probably wondering what I really think about TCN!

    Johannes (TCN-challenged to the max)

  5. In the TCN model, if a church’s numbers (attendance and giving) are declining, the pastor is seen as ineffective and not performing up to the agreed standards and it is suggested that he leave his post and look elsewhere.

    Since Synod, Inc is a big supporter of TCN and Synod’s numbers (attendance and giving) are declining, would it also be suggested that . . . . .

    (you fill in the blanks)

  6. @jim_claybourn #6
    Jim:

    You are spot on. If the current POS where to honestly apply the TCN principles to his own leadership, he would have no choice but to resign, assuming he were intellectually honest about it… Why would any congregation accept this being foisted upon them by a synod that is too hypocritical to apply their own model to themselves?

  7. @jim_claybourn #6

    @Eric Ramer #7

    One might be tempted to say, “He was TCN’d.” That’s the verb form of TCN.

    Or one might be tempted to say, “He was transformed.” From sitting to ex.

    Not sure it would qualify as “Revitalized,” but we could hope that it would turn out to be a most welcome Natural Church Development, given the state of affairs in the LCMS.

    OK, I’ll quit now, but it was fun while it lasted.

    Johannes (pun-meister)

  8. Speaking of TCN — Overture 1-11 asked the CTCR and Seminaries to give a theological evaluation of Transforming Churches Network. (An excellent idea!) This overture was assigned to FC #1, which was Missions. (Seems to me it should have went to FC #3, Theology and Church Relations.)

    In Today’s Business Overture 1-11 is listed as part of Omnibus Resolution A and “has been referred” to the Board of Mission Services. I think its going no where.

    Is there any way that overture can be reconsidered? The overture didn’t ask the Board for Mission Services to consider it, but the CTCR.

  9. “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. ”

    Could we just say that the voting delegate will be Pres. K’s “coach”? You know, the ones to say the hard words that need to be shared?

  10. @Conv. Delegate #10
    “Is there any way that overture can be reconsidered? The overture didn’t ask the Board for Mission Services to consider it, but the CTCR.”

    TCN originated with the Board fo Mission Services. So it gets referred back there where nothing will happen. There is a not a chance that the CTCR will review TCN, The only way the convention will consider such an overture is if it votes to do so. An uphill battle.

  11. If I were a pastor and had agreed to a TCN numbers quota (e.g. 5% growth in 2 years or put my name on a call list) how would that change how I applied the law?

    If numbers are the most important thing, I don’t want to excommunicate an unrepentant sinner living with someone outside of marriage. If I remove this person from the membership roll, I have to bring in another new member to offset the loss. If I’m trying to grow my congregation, I can’t afford to lose members.

    For that matter, how would the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah have fared under the TCN model? I’m sure the prophets and priests in Jeremiah’s day would have done well under TCN. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Jeremiah%206:13-15&version=ESV

  12. David C Busby :
    If I were a pastor and had agreed to a TCN numbers quota (e.g. 5% growth in 2 years or put my name on a call list) how would that change how I applied the law?
    If numbers are the most important thing, I don’t want to excommunicate an unrepentant sinner living with someone outside of marriage. If I remove this person from the membership roll, I have to bring in another new member to offset the loss. If I’m trying to grow my congregation, I can’t afford to lose members.
    For that matter, how would the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah have fared under the TCN model? I’m sure the prophets and priests in Jeremiah’s day would have done well under TCN. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Jeremiah%206:13-15&version=ESV

    How about Rev Noah? His “congregation” continually declined until it was just his family.

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