I applaud the community service efforts of “The Little Church That Could,” Living Water Community Church of Richardson Texas, highlighted in the Feb. 2008 Lutheran Witness. The article, however, raised a number of concerns. First, the ministry of LWCC is described almost entirely without reference to the centrality of corporate worship. The Church “is the assembly of all believers among who the Gospel is preached in its purity and the holy sacraments are administered according to the Gospel.” The most significant reference to worship in this article reads, “Still, more worshipers would mean more hands to serve.” More worshipers might also be considered a sign that God is drawing more people into the faith through the power of His Word!
Community service is a precious fruit of faith and may be used by God to draw unbelievers to the hear the proclamation of His Word. Unfortunately, this article gives the impression that community service is the principle thing in mission work. God’s Word of law and gospel, which convicts sinners and forgives their sins, is the principle thing in mission work. I’m sure that the reality on the ground in Richardson is different, but this article presents a badly skewed view of how God grows His Church.
Finally, Jesus said: “But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,” (Matthew 6:3). This article makes a point of detailing what percent of their offering LWCC gives to District and missions, and Pastor Nichols is quoted describing the people as the congregation most involved in community service–ever. Hearing of the activities of other congregations can be encouraging and valuable for the Church, but the tone taken in this article perhaps departs from the Biblical standards for humility.
Reverend David Warner
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.