Are the fields of America white with harvest or do we live and labor in a different season?
In strength or weakness, when we have plenty or when we are in want, as a powerful church or as a remnant church, we sow for this promised future.
Membership, financial resources, and influence are in decline, even steep decline, in many congregations. Now fewer people with fewer resources and less influence remain to do what the larger, more prosperous, and more favored church failed to do …
The purpose of the Remnant Church is to bear witness of Jesus in our world so that others would come to faith just as we have. God’s purpose in doing this through a remnant is that we would give Him the honor, praise, and glory that is due Him.
Being the Remnant Church is a call to the Cross … Our Savior’s urgent plea for His Remnant Church — for our sake as well as for the sake of those who are perishing around us — is “Don’t go to Egypt.”
The Revs. Steve Schave and Mark Wood will take on the roles of directors of Church Planting and Revitalization, respectively, in work mandated by the 2013 LCMS convention.
Demographically speaking, the future is bleak for the LCMS. And that is the future that the devil would have us believe.
The church can be the church she is called to be without being liked, appreciated, or favored by the culture in which she exists. Indeed, we may even find that we can more readily be a faithful church when we are not liked, appreciated, or favored.
If the word ‘missional’ moves us to better serve Christ and our neighbor through a renewed devotion to living out the Gospel and a renewed commitment to answer our call to proclaim it, then it is serving us well.
“Why do we need to keep these rural and small town churches going? Aren’t they just a drag on our resources?” To this I answer, “We can’t live without them”!
Revitalizing the declining church is a call to preserve our confession rather than our institution.
“Revitalization” isn’t the best word to describe the work of helping congregations be healthy and whole, but it’s the one we use. Once we get past the stigma of the word, we discover that every congregation needs “revitalization.”
Church and neighborhood revitalization is alive and well in Fort Wayne, Ind., where the LCMS Office of National Mission, Lutheran Housing Support and three LCMS congregations have joined forces to rehab homes for underprivileged residents.