I have not seen nearly as much doctrinal leadership or supervision from the Harrison administration in the LCMS as I expected there would be. (If you disagree prove me wrong by listing confessional accomplishments from the administration in the last five years in the comment section below. I am willing to be convinced.) Having said that, praise is due where praise is deserved.
Some have argued that over time the new hires of the administration will have a lasting effect and bring about the change that is needed. I am not sure about that but one thing I am sure of, Steve Schave, the new LCMS Director of Urban and Inner City Missions and the Director of Church Planting is having a very positive effect on the synod and President Harrison gets the credit for adding him to the synod staff.
I had the pleasure of speaking alongside Rev. Schave last week at a missions conference sponsored by Lutherans in Africa at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Houston, Texas. (Click here to see the most striking and clearly Lutheran sanctuary in the LCMS.) Rev. Schave’s paper demonstrated a knowledge of and passion for confessional church planting and urban ministry. It was a breathe of fresh air after listening to evangelism and urban theorists in the LCMS droning on and on for the last thirty years about changing everything so that we can reach the lost. Schave is committed to encouraging church plants around the font, altar and pulpit with historical Lutheran piety. He believes in the same for urban church renewal as well.
I got to spend some personal time with Rev. Schave and his message was consistent and confessional. This is the promised “Harrison effect” and if there could be more of this effect it would be encouraging.