Rock Star Pastor Fisk Ascends into Heaven, by Pr. Rossow

We here at BJS have obtained the attached still photo that shows the rock star pastor ascending into heaven just after breaking ground on the new youth and music building at Bethany Lutheran Church and School, Naperville, Illinois. Actually it is just a silly picture to post for April Fool’s.

On a more serious note, every once in a while the internet heats up with comments here and there about so called “Rock Star Pastors.” I have a different take on the matter. Based on working with Pastor Jonathan Fisk for the last couple of years I can assure you that he has a very good sense of authority and respect for vocation. I cannot think of a single example of Jonathan breaking ranks. He is very mindful and respectful of his senior pator and also the Board of Elders here at Bethany.

As a matter of fact, I have noticed that many in his generation of pastors have this positive trait. It is the exact opposite of “Rock Starring.” These guys are far more committed to their local parish than my generation of pastors. They really see their call as a call for life. They consider themselves married to the parish God has joined them to. I have gotten to know a certain satirical pastor not too far from here who likewise might be labeled a rock star pastor and after getting to know him, I have seen how humbly devoted he too is to his parish and to his call.

When I put myself in the place of these pastors I find myself asking, what if I were them? Would I pass on the opportunities before me to teach the Gospel through, chopped up videos, radio shows, satirical videos, and the like? I am sure that in the day, having Martin Luther or C. F. W. Walther visit one’s parish or circuit was quite a rush. Should they have backed away from their gifts of leadership, creativity and even charisma in order to avoid wrongly perceived arrogance?

I am not defending any sins of pride. If they exist, they should be confronted, confessed and forgiven. In my experience, these “Rock Star” pastors are no more given to the sin of pride, or other sins than the rest of us. They are plagued with sin just like all flesh.

Rock Star Pator or not, in the end, I look forward to being raptured into heaven someday with you and them where the videos aren’t choppy, everybody’s hair is perfect, and the praise bands will be really awesome, for eternity. Happy April Fools.


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.


Rock Star Pastor Fisk Ascends into Heaven, by Pr. Rossow — 5 Comments

  1. Pastor Rossow,
    Let me be the first of the BJS bloggers to congratulate you and your congregation for taking a bold step with the planned music and youth building. God will surely bless your efforts. My family has visited Bethany several times. We live west of Rockford, so we only get to come into the ‘burbs’ a few times each year. We love how the liturgy is done at your church. You don’t play the emcee. You ‘read the black and do the red’ as Rev. McCain has said.

    We’re looking forward to seeing Pastor Fisk in action at the upcoming ‘Making the Case’ conference in Collinsville, IL in June.

    In Christ,

  2. Thanks Diane. Confessional churches can be bold and courageous. It is certainly not a sacrament to be bold and courageous as the growthers make it out to be but that does not mean that we ought not to plan big things. I know several bold confessional churches. The ones that come to mind are Immanuel – Alexandria, VA (multi-million dollar school expansion), St. John – Wheaton, IL (brand new sanctuary), St. John – Niles, Illinois, (classroom renovation and new pre-school), Hope, De Witt, MI (new fellowship hall and Sunday School rooms), and many others.

    Bethany Naperville, of course, is the only one with an ascending pastor however! 🙂 It just seems appropriate since the Mount of Ascension is near the village of Bethany.

    Having said all that, we must always remember that faithfulness to God’s Word is the most bold thing we can do and practice.

  3. Pastor Fisk is among the “Young Lutherans” (along with Jordan Cooper, Chris Rosebrough, the Table Talk radio and Boars in the Vineyard hosts, etc) who are really getting through to people with their spread of Lutheranism. More power to them!

  4. I am very thankful for WEtv, BJS, Higher Things, and the Lutheran Satire. God the Holy Spirit used these particular mediums (as well as the superb leadership of Pres. Harrison and our wonderful local parish) to help guide my family into Confessional Lutheranism last year. This outreach is so important, especially in this media age. I can’t stress this enough. My kids (aged 12 and 14, respectively) are HUGE WEtv and LS fans. They have been able to digest Lutheran identity and theology in a very unique way, by laughing their tails off! Again, I am just so thankful for all of you and everything you do in the Lord’s name…

  5. Great article! Confidence in the knowledge of what scripture teaches is necessary if a pastor is going to effectively teach; and YES, he must be bold in guarding the flock from false teachings. It’s unfortunate that some would interpret this as arrogant or rude.

    We are blessed to have so many confessional pastors reaching out to us through the media and any other means necessary to bring us the pure, simple, true Word.

    Our family loves WEtv, and our 14 and 16 year old boys come running when they hear Pastor Fisk’s videos starting. Thank you, Pastor Fisk, for boldly reaching out to us to teach that which is truly biblical in a light-hearted, refreshing way.

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