Where have all the pulpits gone? By Rev. Joshua V. Scheer

No, this is not a commentary on modern church architecture. It’s about the pulpit shortage and its effects in the LCMS and the many things to watch out for.

One of the worst effects is that there are pastors with legitimate reasons for needing another call who have not been able to be moved. We understand in our theology of the call that this is by God’s design, but it doesn’t stop men from suffering temptations of unbelief.

Men in these situations are going to be tempted to doubt the divine nature of the call which they serve. They will see the “process” as purely human, and that view will rub off on their beliefs about the divine call. This is dangerous as pastors need the assurance of the divine call to conduct a ministry in good conscience.

Another temptation- a pastor may begin to view their own call as a Nineveh where they don’t want to serve anymore. This poor view of the place they serve will most likely not be caused by the congregation but by the situation.

Another temptation, a pastor may begin itching the ears of his parishioners. This means that in a pulpit shortage, Satan will no doubt be hard at work tempting men to just get along at any cost, even that of a good conscience or sound teaching and practice which flows from it.

Another temptation is that a pastor may get angry at the authorities. District Presidents are trying to deal with the shortage but even their hard work cannot change the fact that there is a shortage. Seminaries may also be the target of anger. Brothers in the faith will be needed to correct such anger and encourage prayer for those in authority.

Others will suffer in this shortage as well. District Presidents and those who help our congregations to call will also struggle in this. They will undoubtedly struggle with the powerlessness of their situation. Brothers and sisters in the faith will be needed to encourage them in their hard work and pray for them. Seminary recruitment efforts will suffer as they can no longer lift up their placement record. Seminaries will be attacked on various levels for their recruitment policies. Attendance may drop as men will not come in such uncertain times. Those undergoing training at seminary will be tempted in many of the same ways pastors are. Those considering seminary will struggle too. Both those at seminary and those who are considering it will need brothers in the faith to remind them that aspiring to the office of pastor is desiring a noble task (1 Timothy 3:1).

Brothers in the faith are needed to speak words of correction and encouragement to men in such times of temptation. They are needed to offer gentle correction for error and encouragement in sound teaching and practice. Brothers in the faith should remind these men (and their families) that the place in which they serve is still an Eden (see Walther in Law and Gospel), and that the souls in their Eden need them. Brothers and sisters in the faith will be needed to support our seminaries in every way.

With this challenge comes opportunity for faith as well. It’s time to restore mutual conversation and consolation among pastors. It’s time to encourage them and their families in their struggle. It’s time to pray God for strong faith in the face of such temptations. It’s time to enlarge our support of District Presidents, seminaries, and those who desire to be pastors. It’s time to engage in “Life Together” during this challenge of pulpit shortage.

Pastor Joshua Scheer
Redeemer Lutheran Church
Bagley, MN

About Pastor Joshua Scheer

Pastor Joshua Scheer is the Senior Pastor of Our Savior Lutheran Church in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He is also the Editor-in-chief of Brothers of John the Steadfast. He oversees all of the work done by Steadfast Lutherans. He is a regular host of Concord Matters on KFUO. Pastor Scheer and his lovely wife Holly (who writes and manages the Katie Luther Sisters) have four children and enjoy living in Wyoming.

Comments

Where have all the pulpits gone? By Rev. Joshua V. Scheer — 81 Comments

  1. @Helen #50

    As I’m sure you know .. 🙂

    Helen, my 28 year old is still my “wee one” even though she’s now got a child.

    I am still my mom’s “wee one” even though I’m older than my daughter. 🙂

    True, an 17-22 year old will not admit to being anyone’s “wee one”, but not the parent! We are trusting our babies to these colleges that are supposedly synod’s, but you are never quite sure what is being taught.

  2. Here’s a thought, how about we get the Concordias Lutheran again? Maybe delegates to pay attention to who is eledted to their respective boards. Boards hiring faithful presidents to properly gudie the institution.

    I like that the Concordias are out there around the country. Tanking them and keeping only the sems open is like asking the peasants to travel to the monastaries. I will grant that they get clustered in the Midwest, and I don’t really understand what Selma’s goal and mission are (that is really my fault, not theirs), but to tank the whole system I find an overreaction. The only one I would cast adrift is Valpo, since we have no hope of offering corrective there. (like stop advertising them in the Lutheran Annual)

    Hopefully with new leadership at the top, a new atmosphere will emerge and greater care will be taken in promoting spiritual development of the students. Just the original topic, churches have vancancies. Are we to shutter everyone of them? Some we might have to, but we have been talking about CRM’s, consolidations, fully funded studies for no debt load to pastors… Let’s be a little more kiind to our institutions. I don’t want to cut our noses off to spite our faces.

  3. Ah the rancor! What I have suggested would work, and they are not without precedent.

    We need to understand that the synod as church can make these decisions as far as who is admitted and who is not – even on the basis of age. One is not “called” until after they are examined, receive a call, and are ordained – if the church decides that age is a criteria then it can do that and the Church has done so in the past.

    This is a mediated call that is made by God through the church/congregation. Age is a consideration that church can in its wisdom decide is a criteria. It is true that we do not know how long we will live or even serve, but as a rule 40 year olds will have less time to serve than the 25 year old out of seminary.

    How quickly we forget what would have happened if we had only had one seminary in the 60s and 70s. The synod needs two seminaries. Politically St. Louis will not be closed. Fort Wayne the classic target for closure gains the church nothing. The synod cannot sell it. If we close it, the land reverts to the family who donated it.

    The viable solution is close half if not more of the Concordia colleges.

    The problem with SMP, DETP or any other program is that the education is inferior at best. The education received from a mentor along with a few trips here and there certainly makes clergy. But it does not make resident theologians of parishes with the strength of conviction to stand against the forces within and without that seek to destroy the faith.

    It is better to go and walk with Jesus in the Word as it is rightly taught and be completely baptized into the ministry and wrestle with the task of learning theology from the great minds that God has called to teach the Church.

    Full disclosure – I am a graduate of Fort Wayne as was my Great, Great, Great Grandfather. I am completely and totally opposed to SMP, DETP, lay ministry, and any other easy way into the ministry.

  4. Copied from LCMS.org:

    Q. I have heard people making a distinction between a theology of glory and the theology of the cross. What is the distinction being made?

    A. The “theology of the cross,” as this phrase is used in Lutheran circles, usually refers to Martin Luther’s insight that God reveals himself most clearly, graciously and “gloriously” not through obvious outward “blessings” or “spiritual experiences” or the “wisdom” of human reason (this is how a “theology of glory” seeks after God) but in the “hiddenness” and lowliness of the cross and sufferings–first and foremost, through the cross of Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 1:18-25), and then also through our identification with Christ’s cross through faith (Gal. 2:20) and through our sharing in his sufferings as cross-bearers for him.

    It would be helpful to me if some of the forgoing discussion could be placed into the context of this, as there are a lot of references being made above to “problems” that could be “fixed” if only things could be “done better”. Thanks to all you wonderful and smart folks.

  5. The seminaries are at a nadir after nine years of neglect and even hostility from the previous administration. The former synodical president’s chief assistant at the convocation on the future of theological education put it bluntly: close or consolidate the seminaries; switch almost entirely to an SMP type format; create a series of “cathedral” seminaries located at “significant” LCMS congregations around the country, where students could be taught techniques for church growth.

    I was personally told bluntly by a former top synod official, when I asked if he favored closing a particular seminary, “We don’t need either seminary. Haven’t you ever heard of the University of Phoenix, the largest, most succesful university in the world? We don’t need bricks and mortar. That is a model from the past.”

    And St. Louis guys shouldn’t feel smug. The St. Louis campus is much more valuable, 72 acres in one of the wealthiest communities in the country, with premier buildings. This same top official said Washington University is landlocked but has billions in endowment and unlimited fundraising pontential and might pay up to $500 million for the St. Louis campus. IU-PU also would like the Fort Wayne campus, but though it is nearly three times as large it is not worth nearly as much in that market, and there is also some question about a reversionary clause to the original donor’s family, which he thought could be negated but might complicate a sale. So, the vision was to sell the St. Louis campus, use the proceeds to endow a new format of theological education, and consolidate a much smaller faculty on the Fort Wayne campus which would provide online classes, etc. for the deployed “cathedral” seminaries. Of course the consolidation would result in many if not most current seminary faculty, especially those unable to adapt to the new format, losing their positions.

    Both seminaries just barely escaped closure by 116 votes.

  6. Both seminaries just barely escaped closure by 116 votes.

    Really? REALLY? This boggles my mind. When did this happen? Who voted?

  7. With all due reverence Reverand Scheer, According to your biography you have been in the parish less than 3 years. In reality this takes some credibility away from your arguments. Once you have been through the process of evaluating your call, by whatever means MANY times, you will have an practical understanding. I apologize for my bluntness as I do not know you by anything but your writings.

    As a former chair of 2 call committees, I know that there are some pastors who refuse to come to ANY parish that does not suit their needs culturally, i.e. major metroplex with mucho shopping and recreation, etc. and other reasons. Just read a few SET’s (self evaluation tools) that pastors have on file with their DP. IMHO, the divine call is taken devinely, by fewer and fewer pastors. We were fortunate that the pastor we called saw the Holy Spirits guidance in leaving his metroplex for our parish.

    I fully understand that almost all pastors are human and as such are subject to the human pressures upon themselves, their wife, children, etc. I have been repeatedly troubled by this however. Call me Utopian I guess.

    Until the world is perfect or He calls me Home,

    Stand up and Shout.

  8. @Kebas #55
    The seminaries are at a nadir after nine years of neglect and even hostility from the previous administration. The former synodical president’s chief assistant at the convocation on the future of theological education put it bluntly: close or consolidate the seminaries; switch almost entirely to an SMP type format; create a series of “cathedral” seminaries located at “significant” LCMS congregations around the country, where students could be taught techniques for church growth.

    Fuller’s “techniques for church growth” would be (are already) a miserable substitute for a Lutheran seminary education. “Cathedral seminaries” sound like a fine way to divide the clergy (most of whom wouldn’t be clergy in the historic sense) and deep six theological education. Men who wanted to be confessional pastors wouldn’t be allowed in; [we’ve already seen the ‘selectivity’ in the PLI program.]

    Let us hope that it is this “bright idea” that has been buried!

    It’s the administration of the past decade which has substituted “divine” paperwork for the
    guidance of the Holy Spirit, don’t you think?

    Finally, Paul’s words to Timothy might be recalled: “Let no man despise thy youth”.
    Carry on, Pastor Scheer!

  9. SUandS,

    Actually, Your ad hominem tack takes away nearly all credibility from your argument.

    Given your substantial experience (a chair of 2 call committees), what do you find not credible in Pastor Scheer’s comments about temptation and the need for correction and enouragement- the mutual conversation and consolation among the brethren?

    Perhaps I’m missing something, and perhaps it’s because I do know Pr. Scheer by much more than his writings which I find quite mature, pastoral, and insightful.

    Please, help me out.

    Thanks,

    Pr. Don Kirchner

  10. @Norm Fisher #51
    I am still my mom’s “wee one” even though I’m older than my daughter.

    Norm, I was fatherless at 13 and an orphan at 30. I sometimes wonder what life would have been like if those things hadn’t happened.

    Dutch, I apologize. Love your “wee ones” while you can. There is no guarantee which of you will be putting flowers on the other’s grave.

    –helen

  11. @Jason #52
    I don’t really understand what Selma’s goal and mission are (that is really my fault, not theirs)

    Selma was formed to provide higher education for blacks, before desegregation.
    I have met some of Selma’s graduates and they greatly value it.
    E__a makes a great show of wanting “diversity” but LCMS has actually been providing ‘an historically black college’, as they describe them now.

    [That, of course, would be the best reason to send it packing… after our FM Christian radio station, the Woodlands in Florida (and probably some other things nobody’s told us about!) Sarcasm mode off now]

  12. Rev. Mike Mathey :4. Paul had the right to be paid for his work of spreading the Gospel, but he often chose not to exercise that right. He didn’t want to be seen as someone just looking for money to bring the message that he proclaimed. There were traveling teachers at the time who earned their living that way, and Paul didn’t want to put that burden on a congregation. Any thoughts?

    Brother Mathey:

    Context is everything here. What congregation did he say that to? The Thessalonians (2 Thes. 3:6-13), who were being persecuted and already under great distress. That’s why Paul said that he would not be a burden on them in his work of the ministry. They were so terrified and burdened by the persecutions and afflictions they suffered that any extra burden would have caused them to lose faith in Christ.

    But then, also consider what Paul writes to the proud Galatians in 6:6-8, that he who is taught the word should share in all good things with him who teaches. That includes temporal goods, like a salary. A congregation that refuses to pay their pastor mocks God and sows to benefit their flesh, and not the Spirit.

    Also, to bishop Timothy, Paul writes, “The laborer is worthy of his wages” (1 Tim. 5:18). He says this in the context of congregations showing their pastors honor for their labor in the word and doctrine. The next passage (:19) speaks about how accusations are sometimes made against pastors (lit. elders, but the pastoral office – cf. 1 Pet. 5:1). So to safeguard pastors, accusations cannot be considered unless from 2 or 3 witnesses. What does this mean? Because faithful pastors face hostility from the devil for their service, which sometimes includes stirring up members to withhold money or stop giving until their preacher is gone, Paul indicates that the laborer should be paid and that it is unChristian for a congregation to demand that their pastor should work for peanuts.

    In Christ,
    Rev. Robert Mayes
    Fullerton, NE

  13. Rev Orr @#53
    I agree 100%. SMP, DETP, deacons, lay ministry and other easy ways into the ministry should be abolished immediately. These pseudo pastors are great for DP’s who want a dumb and compliant “clergy” who do not have the theological accumen to stand up to the DP’s when they go astray.

  14. I visited Concordia, Selma for the first time recently. The nature of my visit included interviews with their new President, Dr. Mendedo, and conversations with quite a few of the administration, faculty, and students. I was absolutely stunned, surprised, flabbergasted!

    –That part of Alabama is gorgeous and Selma itself is a lovely town. It is very historic and the downtown has been beautifully restored with quaint shops, etc.

    –I about drove off the road when I came upon the Concordia campus. Not at all what I expected! Their original campus was 25 acres. Four months ago they acquired a 37 acre former Methodist institution directly contiguous. It is just across the street, and the city is going to vacate the street so they can create one campus of 67 acres. By comparison River Forest is only 40 acres.

    –The newly acquired campus already has many wonderful facilities including extremely nice dormitories in the “suite” style that is now preferred. It also has probably the most beautiful little gem of a chapel in the LCMS, in colonial revival style, with the finest quality woodwork, pulpit, lectern, pews, etc., a beautiful marble altar, and exquisite stained-glass windows. Everything was meticulously maintained by the Methodists, and by itself this campus alone is very impressive.

    –Prior to purchasing the additional campus Concordia had zero capital debt. The new campus cost $2.8 million, of which $1.7 million has been raised in just a few months.

    –When Dr. Mendedo began last year Concordia had an operating debt of over $2 million. He completely eliminated that and they ended last fiscal year $62,000 in the black–the only LCMS college to end the year in the black.

    –If the new campus was impressive enough, I was completely floored by the existing campus. A wonderful compliment of beautiful, modern buildings, again meticulously maintained. They have an enormous fieldhouse–about the size of Mequon’s if you’ve ever been there–with an indoor track, and top-of-the-line competitive indoor pool. The campus center also is a gorgeous, new facility. Dittos for the main classroom building, library, dorms, etc. There are a couple of “historic” original wooden buildings they are still using, but overall it is probably one of the nicest and most modern of the Concordia campuses.

    –Dr. Mendedo is from Ethiopia and originally came to the U.S. to get a doctorate in missions at Fort Wayne. He is both solidly confessional and extremely mission minded. For example, because the LCMS church in Selma is located some miles away and many students don’t have cars, he is opening that beautiful chapel they just acquired as a mission congregation, for both the students and community.

    –Concordia, Selma is poised to become THE premier Lutheran “HBCU” school (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) in the world, with black Lutherans not only from all over the U.S., both natives and immigrants, but also from many other nations coming there to get a first-class LUTHERAN education. Consider for example that in Ethiopia alone there are over 5 million confessional Lutherans. Selma’s peak enrollment was about 950 some years ago and though they went down during the presidential vacancy and are currently at about 650 the sky’s the limit for their growth, they now have the land with facilities already in place to expand, they are in the best financial shape of any Concordia, with have virtually no debt, and they are on the verge of getting 10-year reaccredidation with no notations.

    –Dr. Mendedo is a fantastic administrator–I’d nominate him for the new Chief Mission Officer if he hadn’t just started at Selma and is so needed there–but he is first and foremost a theologian, a zealous missionary, and a PASTOR, absolutely passionate about Lutheranism.

    –The spirit and vision of Dr. Mendedo is simply WONDERFUL. He is determined to better utilize Concordia, Selma and the unique opportunities it presents for international black mission work.

    I don’t think we should close any Concordia. That would be terribly poor stewardship. If there are problems, FIX them. (If only we could clone Dr. Mendedo!) And we most certainly should NOT close Selma!

  15. Oh Helen, my heart goes out to you. You are 100% correct, you never know. Next week it will be 11 years since my Dad went Home. I’m still am his “wee one” just long distance at the moment. It is only for a moment though. My boys are a joy, a vexing joy at times, but a joy! Since they were never supposed to be, makes it all the more sweeter.
    Your in my prayers Helen. His blessings, peace & tender mercy to you.
    Dutch

  16. @Timothy Christian Schenks #48
    Thanks for your well thought out reply. I agree that there are abuses that occur with vicarages, and that convertible vicarages are a problem if congregations are using them solely to “test drive” their vicar before buying.

    As for some of the others commenting; I must confess, I am surprised at the implied and overt vitriol on this site toward DTEP/SMP vicars. To state that this is the “easy way”, or that we are somehow “dumb”, “compliant”, “uneducated”, shows a lack of understanding of the men enrolled in the program, the sacrifices many have made, and it also sounds very prideful and arrogant – not at all what I expected from my Christian brothers.

    The Lord wills that I put the best interpretation on such comments, so I pray something was lost in the posting.

  17. What is my take on this statement?

    a) The opinion of those signing this statement at the time was meaningless and irrelevant. Because for nine years The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod was NOT actually run of of 1333 South Kirkwood Road, but by a “shadow synod” headquartered at 505 South Kirkwood Road. (If you sat on a Synodical board or committee during those years it was BIZARRE. The “505” members were like robots, mindlessly carrying out orders. They would slip up and say things like, “Well, when we met last night we decided . . .” or even “we were told to . . .” If a meeting took an unexpected turn that they weren’t pre-programmed for, they would panic and one of them would suddenly feel the urge to leave for the restroom–to phone into “headquarters” for new marching orders, which I caught them doing.)

    b) The statement expresses the situation as it stood at the time. However, look at the list of groups and individuals it says is needed to reach a “consensus” before action would be taken. I assure you it was taken for granted as 100% assured by the “505” leadership that their candidates would absolutely sweep ALL these positions. Others, such as the Board for Pastoral Education, would be eliminated by restructuring–which did pass and, amazingly, the President now personally performs all the functions of that former board! Finally, the extraordinary power and leeway to rewrite the Bylaws would obviate any other obstacles.

  18. The key paragraphs are from Resolution 8-08A:

    “Resolved, That the President’s Office (through the CMO) and the seminary boards of regents provide leadership and coordination of seminary pastoral formation.”

    And the existing Handbook provision:

    “He shall be authorized, in the event that the affairs of the Synod require the exercise of executive power for a purpose for which there is no specific directive of the Synod, to exercise such power after consultation with the vice-presidents, the Board of Directors of the
    Synod, or the Council of Presidents, whichever in his judgment is most appropriate.”

    I have been on the receiving end of that latter provision, which was interpreted broadly by the former president. Combined, these two statements would provide the legal authority–and I believe in his mind he would quite sincerely consider it a MANDATE–for changes such as his assistant outlined at the summit on the future of theological education.

  19. @ Kebas

    Thank you for the wonderful update on Selma. That’s the kind of “church growth” (pun) we need. A pastor sees a spiritual need and provides. He isn’t looking for numbers or such things, but wishes to tell the Gospel. And a college that understands what it is (its vocation) and tries to be its best. I agree with fixing what treasures we have, not casually throw them away.

    And let’s support our pastoral leadership throughout the synod, not the bean-counters. Quite honestly, I find similarites with Mollie’s newest blog. Let us pray for the seminaries to develop faithful heads of households (pastors, DP’s, SP) who wish to prepare their charges (congregations, districts, synod) to be blameless before the Lord. Again, “beraucrats” need not apply. Then maybe we will have Concordias we will be proud and excited to send our children to.

  20. @Kebas #70
    Is this the resolution [8-08A] which needs to be rejected this winter by the congregations?

    How long has that handbook provision stood as you quote it?

    I won’t ask who was pulling the puppets’ strings, I’ll keep my guesses to myself.

    Pray for the new administration!

    I am delighted to hear of the renewed possibilities at Selma!

  21. Resolution 8-08A was not a Constitutional but a Bylaw change, which therefore took effect immediately and does not have to be approved by the congregations. The former Board for Pastoral Education and other boards ceased to exist the moment that resolution passed, and all their powers were subsumed by the Synodical President–just not the President the proponents of the resolution were expecting.

    The current President is assigning a greater leadership role to the new Boards for National and International Missions, but technically those boards are only advisory–the President is invested with remarkable, unilateral powers. Thankfully, the current President is choosing to excercise these very circumspectly and judiciously, but at some point this should indeed be ratcheted back. However, I doubt the next convention is the appropriate time to propose radical re-restructuring. We spent nine years and MILLIONS of dollars rearranging the deck chairs on the sinking good ship Missouri. What a complete waste of our collective time, effort, energy, and MONEY, which could have been spent doing meaningful things instead. Rather than rejiggering the bureaucracy all over again we need to concentrate on actually DOING the work of the Synod.

    The Handbook provision giving the President “emergency” powers has been there as long as I can recall. It had been rarely if ever invoked, but the previous President interpreted it more broadly, and cited it as the basis for a number of actions.

  22. @Stand up and Shout #57
    I am taken back by your comments. Stand up and Shout? Probably what goes on at your voter’s meetings which you label as “normal” behavior. Because Rev. Sheer has only been in the ministry a few years, this should take some credibility away from his arguments? At least he has been faithfully serving as a call and ordained pastor of a Lutheran Congregation for 3 years and spent 4 hard years studying at one of our seminaries which is not an easy task. This is very hard work. It is here where you spend many sleepless nights asking yourself, “What in the world did I get myself into!” (Especially for the 2nd career guys) Perhaps, you should ask pastors who have been beaten up by their congregations because of cultural differences, why they would prefer serving at a church in an area of the country that they would be accustom to. Remember, Stand up and Shout, most pastors who have graduated seminary are “placed” at their first calls. They have no choice where they go. Do you think it would be easy for someone who grew up in an Italian neighborhood in New York City and had to serve in a congregation in middle of Nebraska? Would this be easy? Would not this be a culture shock for the pastor and their family? I am sure you were frustrated when pastors, in the past, turned down calls to serve at your church, but maybe the culture within your church walls need changing.

  23. @Kebas #69

    So is it correct, then, to understand the previous administration and the signatories of that statement were attempting to mislead or deceive people in the LCMS about their future intentions and plans? All of the signatories, or just some? And if the latter, who were the dupes and who were the instigators?

    And I am confused by the reference to “‘505’ leadership”. What or who is included in this group?

  24. @Rev. Mike Mathey #45
    You have a point about Social Security since Pastors are treated as “self-employed” and pay the whole thing. Congregations should be taking that into account but don’t always. But tread lightly on income tax: most of us do not have a tax free housing allowance or a few other things… [which congregations no doubt do take into account!] 🙁

  25. I would say they were stating the situation as it existed at that time, and I have to assume sincerely so. In any case their viewpoint was irrelevant, because at that point the real power was with the “shadow synod”. This statement might be interpreted as “pushback” against that group’s agenda, and reflect the fracturing within that group, which contributed, thankfully, to their defeat.

    >>I am confused by the reference to “‘505? leadership”. What or who is included in this group?

    http://www.taxexemptworld.com/organization.asp?tn=962626

  26. @John Clark #75
    @Kebas #77

    Thanks Kebas. It is also the address to Concordia Lutheran Church in Kirkwood, just down the street form the International Center. You can check out there website and see if you can get a flavor of what they do. About the congregation, they send missionaries to other parts of the counrty. In the northeast, I think they help in a substantial part of an urban mission specialist, with prayer walks and house churches. Also, they underwrote a chunk of a contemporary music/worship conference. See njjam.com I believe Concordia hosted a national music/worship workshop at the beginning of the year. From people I talked to who went, there were workshops on traditional in the old sanctuary, and CoWo in the new worship center. But attendees coming back developed ONLY CoWo in the district jam session. Makes you wonder about the base on operations and test field for Jesus First.

  27. “Brothers and sisters in Christ, it truly hurts me that in our Synod, in the past several years, there have arisen groups that claim to be putting Jesus first . . . when it is obvious they are attempting to advance an old liberal theology and practice, an agenda that has haunted this church body since the days of Seminex and even before.”

    President Robert Kuhn, 2001 LCMS Convention President’s Report

  28. My comment concerns the OP article. I have looked at the pastoral supply situation for several years, ever since the 92 class graduated and 30+men from Ft. Wayne were left without calls.

    There really is an oversupply of pastors, and the reasons are numerous. Some pastors prefer to stay on after reaching retirement age, unfortuantely sometimes out of greed and selfishness. I know of one pastor who died recently, who was still serving his congregation in his mid 70’s. He was also serving a vacant cong. He had an assistant, but the asst. was serving as a worker priest. The elderly pastor was making over 100K a year with his combined income from SS retirement and salary and other income.

    Unfortunately some pastors do serve past retirement out of necessity. But the LCMS in general is drowing in church workers. DCE’s commonly serve when years ago it would have been a pastor. That’s why there is no place to go when a pastor needs to move. There is no shortage and probably never will be a shortage. Any claims otherwise are just plain wrong. The last two seminary graduating classes were way short of calls.

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