Thank you for the article on Groups Ablaze!
I want to comment in regards to the article Groups Ablaze! From the Beginning by Rev Lonnie Jacobsen.
I am thankful and praise God that Christ Lutheran Church in Arlington, Tenn. is growing and bringing Christ to many people, that they use small groups to do this, and that they have a plan to birth new churches and are accomplishing this. Praise God.
Rev. Jacobsen’s comment that “This won’t be a mega-church, something other people might see as a successful church” concerns me because I think any way that brings people to know Jesus as their Savior is a successful church.
The difference in the size of a church small or large is just the number of small groups and both will be successful in reaching people.
Jesus, when he was with people, dealt with and taught them in several ways: one on one (the woman at the well), in small groups (his disciples) and in large groups (feeding of the 5000 men plus women & children—prior to feeding them, I believe he was teaching them and I would imagine as they ate in small groups they were talking about what Jesus said). So, in my reading the Bible, I think it shows that Jesus used many ways and sizes of groups to reach people for Salvation.
I think as a church we need to embrace the many different ways that we can become Ablaze!
Harley E. Rokenbrodt
I was somewhat taken aback by the statement of Pr. Lonnie Jacobsen that when their church building was tragically damaged by fire the lay elders were “split off and led the Communion at each location so everyone could worship ‘corporately’ until we found a place to rent.” (October issue, p. 19)
I wish to put the best construction on this statement – perhaps Pr. Jacobsen meant to say that he sent the elders to each satellite location with the consecrated hosts and chalice from his celebration of the Communion. That would be a debatable practice in itself – but vastly superior to what his statement appears to say: that the uncalled and unordained elders of this parish led a communion service – complete with administering (consecrating and distributing) the Sacrament.
If this is, in fact, what occurred, it is very troubling as it directly conflicts with the teaching of Scripture as confessed in the Augsburg Confession XIV, “No one should publicly teach in the Church or administer the Sacraments unless he be regularly called” (Triglotta). It is even more troubling that this practice would be singled out for praise in The Lutheran Witness.
Pr. H. R. Curtis
Trinity Lutheran Church, Worden, IL
Zion Lutheran Church, Carpenter, IL
I just read Groups Ablaze!, an article by Diane Strzelecki in the October Lutheran Witness. I hope Dr. David Born was misquoted when he suggested people “don’t need to hear the gospel again” (p.17). By suggesting people don’t need the gospel again, Born certainly is advocating some radical changes. When any of us think we can continue Christ’s work without hearing the assurance of His gospel promises again (and again), we soon find ourselves promoting a message that is no gospel at all. Quotes like those of Born, a regional director of World Mission, cause many of us to question the direction of the Ablaze! “process”.
Rev. Kory Boster
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