Treasurer Kuchta Endorses Structure Changes but Admits it is a Centralization of Power, by Pr. Rossow

Synod Treasurer Tom Kuchta endorsed the structure changes this afternoon but in doing so made two striking statements.

First, he admitted that the structure proposals were indeed a centralization of power. The Blue Ribbon Task Force and the Floor Committee that has succeeded them have claimed all along that this is not a consolidation of power. Treasurers typically think in terms of saving money. Consolidating power indeed helps to save money but on the other hand, it puts control of the money in fewer hands. We understand that treasurers like the money in tighter control but we do not make decisions in the church based on money adn the control of money.

We make decisions in the church based on Scripture and doctrine. The LCMS has a fine tradition of putting authority in as many hands as possible with a deliberate process that allows as many as possible to search scripture and make sure that we are being Biblically sound. These proposals take that away and centralize the power as Tom Kuchta has said.

The second significant thing he said is that the proposals will only save the synod 1.4 million dollars. The synod has a an 84 million dollar budget. We are not even sure if this is restricted or unrestricted dolars. This is a drop in the bucket and certainly not worth the loss of authority for congregations and the centralization of power that we would relinquish with the passage of these proposals.

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.


Treasurer Kuchta Endorses Structure Changes but Admits it is a Centralization of Power, by Pr. Rossow — 21 Comments

  1. Spoken like a real company man.

    First he admits the proposals don’t save money, then admits they concentrate power.

    After he played a pivotal role in selling out our Lutheran FM station to Benny Hinn supporters.

    No thanks.

  2. 1) Has anybody bothered to mention at the microphone the cost and results of the consultant hired by the Synod which stated that such a change in governance is not needed and not wanted? Best to quote the exact cost of that study and to quote exact words.

    2) Has anybody bothered to mention from the microphones that the Synod’s Board of Directors as recorded in its regular minutes had clearly stated that the Carver Model of governance was not appropriate for our Synod — and yet synodical representatives continue to speak of the Carver model in a positive manner as if the synod had endorsed such principals for governance?

    3) Why not make requests for information from the synodical treasurer which will demonstrate how much money has been wasted on consultants? We would save much more money by not hiring non-synodical consultants than we would by passing the governance changes.

    Are we eharing any speakers at the microphones finding the real chinks and the soft underbelly of the Blue Ribbon proposals which would cause well-intentioned, but naive delegates to call into question the presentations of the floor committees. It isn’t just arguing against certain things — it’s doing it in the way that will make an impression on those lay delegates who don’t really have a clue as to what it happening but they above all things don’t want to do anything that is “unfair” or “unloving” or calls into question the “hard work” of the floor committees, etc.

  3. @Rev. Joel A. Brondos #4
    Rev. Brondos is right on! And also ask why the Delegates have not seen the report? By the way in their claim to reduce redundancy, is not having a National and international layer creating redundancy in several areas i.e. mission, human care, disaster response etc…

  4. There was no question and answer period during Kuchta’s presentation.

    In this afternoon session there have been some good questions raised and as one delegate said to me, slowly but surely the smell of BS is making its way through the convention hall as the committee is forced to answer dozens and dozens of questions. Things are going OK at this point. Good questions are being asked. The only round of applause from the conventioneers so far was after a critical comment/question questioning the need for the president and first vice president to be a team.

    The heat is slowly being turned up on the committee.


  5. The closest comparison I can think of for this year’s synodical convention is a week-long infomercial where delegates are being sold the theological equivalent of a Thighmaster for three easy payments of just $49.5-million . . . guaranteed to firm and tighten.

    By the time the mail-order package is delivered and the people realize that it simply didn’t work as advertised, it will be too late to get their money back. Oh well. Kevin Trudeau has nothing on some of our synodicrats.

    Perhaps that will change after Tuesday. Kyrie eleison.

  6. Dear Pastor Rossow and BJS bloggers,

    I am writing from home, so don’t know what Mr. Kuchta said. I have the highest regards for his abilities and judgments, as I have said before here. Delegates need to listen carefully to what we says–ALL OF WHAT HE SAYS!

    And sometime during the convention, delegates need to both give him a long standing ovation; as well as personal handshakes and hugs throughout the convention. This man has saved our synod–financially–everyone at national offices knows that!

    The end of Kuchta’s report in the Convention Workbook warned that the national offices will become insolvent (my terms) if something is not done soon. The convention ignored his warnings in 2004. If they ignore him this time, it may be too late. Restructuring by creditors is not a pretty thing. They take the family jewels and leave you with the junk to sell at the garage sale. Comprende vous?

    I disagree with the restructuring, at least those portions that I have commented on previously, because it places too much “left hand” power in the hands of a clergyman, namely, the synod president. That cure is worse than the problem. If synod needs to downsize its departments, let’s do that at this convention, either through substitute resolutions, or by giving the LCMS Board of Directors the authority to cut departments and staff on an “as needed basis.”

    Whoever is elected in the next week will have to deal with these severe financial problems, one way or another. They cannot be ignored.

    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

  7. @Pastor Tim Rossow #6

    “. . . but surely the smell of BS is making its way through the convention hall . . .”

    I watched for a couple hours this afternoon and the BS was almost more than I could take. By BS, I mean Buegler and Stoterau, of course. That’s what you meant, too, right? 🙂

    Seriously, how many times can two men talk about the “bubbling up of grassroots” in one day. It reminded me of the repeated mantra “congregational bias” at our district convention. The question is: Will this “Jedi-mind trick” approach work with the delegates?

  8. @Rev. Thomas C. Messer #9

    “B” and “S” are master spin-meisters, and are touting the party line all the way. Also very heavy handed, and don’t hear a thing anyone says. This whole scheme is about as grass-roots as the health care bill.

    Martin Noland is a voice worth heeding.


  9. The comments of Rev. Bohler, on the Sunday afternoon proceedings indicate more serious abuse perpetrated on the convention delegates.

    If these comments accurately reflect the views of the BRTFSSGBS speakers, such speakers should be called to account for such deception.

  10. Today was just for Q&A, not for debate. I know several people who are waiting for the debate portion to speak. Hopefully the debate will start forthwith in the morning. This Q & A is getting very tiresome and there is only 20 minutes of open mic. They get 40 minutes to “sell” it and then we just get 20 to question.

    The questioner gets two minutes, but the responses go on and on. Then “Look at that, we are out of time.”

    Tha family at home is watching the live feed and they are getting pretty disgusted by it all.

  11. Tom,

    Thanks for bailing me out – yes I was referring to Buegler and Stoterau and least that’s what I’ll tell my wife when she reads that comment and wonders about my creative use of language.


  12. Democracy is the least efficient form of government; the most efficient is a dictatorship.

  13. @Rev. Joel A. Brondos #4
    There were a couple of pointed questions about their linke of thinking.

    One was asking if a SWOT analysis was done (common in business) and one person at the podium answered yes, while the other answered no.

    Not much was discussed about the consultants time nor money, nor #2 or #3. Although after the treasurer’s report, several referred back to the table on costs when taskforces were mentioned in subsequent resolutions. The committee chairs also admitted at the podium that the estimated convention savings really could be an increase depending on how many delegates the convention decided to attend 10% as presented, 15% or 20%, etc.

    The delegates responded with their votes with the results foudn on the convention website.

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