Thursday, February 5, 2009

Wish Dreams and Lutheranism: Part IV

So you want to be a rock and roll star
Then listen now to what I say
Just get an electric guitar
Then take some time and learn how to play...

And in a week or two
If you make the charts
The girls'll tear you apart

(The Byrds)
Option #2: Get yourself a Mission Church

The Wish Dream for Lutheranism proposed this for the simple reason that sometimes it is easier to start with a clean slate. Renovations can only go so far. When you take the house down to studs, or even the foundation, it's not a remodel anymore.

The mission church option allows the enterprising pastor to get it right from the start. When transfers or life-long Lutherans come in, it is simply a matter of explaining to their raised eyebrows, "We're a mission church, we do things differently here."

The problem with this option is District Mission officials produce these mission churches...and they don't want this kind. They want "The Alley" or "Jefferson Hills," not "Holy Virgin Mary the Mother of God Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod." Or not even "St. Paul Lutheran Church (LCMS). I write this at the risk of putting a bad construction on them. I wish I were wrong. If I am, we can at least conclude that those who establish mission plants have a poor success rate of establishing even passably recognizable Lutheran congregations.

What about planting one yourself? Getting your congregation to start her own mission plant, going outside of the power structures? It has been done, and is certainly a more organic way for the Lutherans to spread. A church starts a sister church plant and a pastor serves there part-time until the plant grows enough to petition for membership in the synod and a chance to call a pastor.

But it would not be your church. Your call is with the mother ship, not the daughter congregation. It is hard to spend enough time and energy on a daughter to get it large enough anyway.

I suppose it could happen if your calling congregation were large enough that they could call another pastor and free you for full-time sister congregation work, but this would be a long-shot.

P.S for Chemistry types:

Here is my spoof on the song above:

So you want to be an X-ray crystallographer
Listen now to what I say
Just get an X-ray machine
Some crystallized stuff and x-ray all day:

And in a week or two
You'll be analyzing
What composes you.


  1. Doorman-Priest said...

    Get yourself a Mission Church

    What? And the girls will still tear you apart?