Each month I look forward to receiving The Lutheran Witness. I especially enjoy reading the mission-outreach articles, e.g., South Africa (April), Cambodia (February), early-childhood centers (December), and Indonesia (October). Missionaries we support come alive when we can read firsthand their stories from the mission field.
However, looking back seven months I see no articles that give us an update on the Ablaze! movement. Yes, President Kieschnick used the word Ablaze! in a couple of his messages, but I would expect that a movement like this, with its significant evangelism goals, would get coverage each month, from how individuals can be involved and new churches being planted to new mission starts around the world. Ablaze! is a great movement. Let’s keep it in front of the members.
Please do not feel obligated to increase stories on Ablaze! I feel that I see and hear enough about Ablaze! all the time. We have Ablaze! stuff in our mailbox every week. We have an Ablaze! light up pen from a convention. We have folders and stationery with Ablaze! inscribed on them. It seems that all other Church teachings and missions have been abandoned while we are fed Ablaze! news.
I could not agree more with Arlynn Sanders about the lack of information about Ablaze!—not only in The Lutheran Witness but especially at the congregational level.
Where are the weekly or monthly bulletin inserts that explain what Ablaze! is and how the congregation is asked to become involved? Where are the video announcements that could be show on projectors—a piece of equipment now available at most churches? Where are the lesson plans, study guides, Sunday school and Bible study lessons, posters, etc. that explain what Ablaze! is and how the individual is to carry it out? Especially needed are programs to teach individuals how to witness…similar to Willow Creek’s “Becoming a Contagious Christian” and “Just Walk Across the Room.”
Ablaze! is a wonderful national and international goal, but what is expected at the congregational level? We want to be involved but we need structured guidance, local goals, and resources in bite-sized pieces (and maybe even some pabulum) to mobilize the local congregation and to motivate individual Lutherans who tremble at the thought of even talking to close friends and family about our loving God.
Send letters to “Letters,”
c/o The Lutheran Witness,
1333 S. Kirkwood Road,
St. Louis, MO 63122-7295;
or send them via e-mail to Lutheran.Witness@LCMS.org.