Outreach ‘a’ priority, not ‘the’ priority in church-worker training, say delegates

HOUSTON — A resolution to “encourage and direct” Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod universities and seminaries to make “outreach to the lost” a top priority in their training of professional church workers was adopted July 17 by delegates to the Synod’s 63rd Regular Convention.

The adopted resolution (Res.1-05) was deemed a “substitute resolution” by convention chairman Gerald B. Kieschnick because it changed the substance of the original resolution, which asked the schools to make outreach the top priority (emphasis added).  The substitute resolution was approved by a vote of 706 to 419, or 62.8 percent.

Those speaking against the original resolution expressed concerns about whether outreach should be the only top priority in church-worker education. One delegate said he was concerned that other valuable aspects of ministry – such as preaching the Gospel to Christians who need to hear it – would become lower priorities for church workers.

Floor Committee on Missions Chairman Robert Newton, who introduced the original resolution and urged its adoption, said, “Our Lord Jesus Christ was explicitly clear with His top priority – to seek and save the lost.”  Anything short of that, Newton said, “would blunt His own personal mandate.”

Newton had urged delegates to consider outreach to the lost “as seriously … as our Savior has.”

The convention is meeting here through July 19 under the theme “One Message — Christ!  His Love is Here for You!”

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