What’s Your Grade When It Comes to Being a Member of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod? An Opportunity for Self-Assessment
I read on another Lutheran web site a proposal that people give The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod a “grade” based on how well they believe our Synod is measuring up to its objectives, as stated in our Constitution. An interesting excercise, but one that, in my view, usually leads to a lot of self-pity and whining. It’s always easy to sit back and play armchair quarterback and criticize “those guys” or “the Synod.” In fact, it gets to the point that some people have seemingly made a career out of lambasting “LCMS, Inc.” and perpetually whining and complaining and finding fault. Not helpful.
I think a much more helpful excercise that would probably actually produce something by way of positive results, instead of the typical online gripe session, is if each pastor and rostered church worker in the Missouri Synod, along with every member congregation and each lay member of each LCMS congregation were to carefully study each of our Synod’s objectives and then evaluate how they are, personally, in a real and practical way, supporting the objectives of our church body within their area of influence, calling and vocation in life. How about it? Care to give it a try? You don’t need to share your “grade” for each objective, unless you want to.
Here are the objectives, go ahead, think each one over and give yourself a grade for each one.
How well are you, personally, supporting each objective and/or implementing each one to the greatest extent that you can in your own personal life? It’s actually a very fun, interesting and helpful excercise. So, go for it!
Article III – Objectives
The Synod, under Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions, shall:
- Conserve and promote the unity of the true faith (Eph. 4:3–6; 1 Cor. 1:10), work through its official structure toward fellowship with other Christian church bodies, and provide a united defense against schism, sectarianism (Rom. 16:17), and heresy;
- Strengthen congregations and their members in giving bold witness by word and deed to the love and work of God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and extend that Gospel witness into all the world;
- Recruit and train pastors, teachers, and other professional church workers and provide opportunity for their continuing growth;
- Provide opportunities through which its members may express their Christian concern, love, and compassion in meeting human needs;
- Aid congregations to develop processes of thorough Christian education and nurture and to establish agencies of Christian education such as elementary and secondary schools and to support synodical colleges, universities, and seminaries;
- Aid congregations by providing a variety of resources and opportunities for recognizing, promoting, expressing, conserving, and defending their confessional unity in the true faith;
- Encourage congregations to strive for uniformity in church practice, but also to develop an appreciation of a variety of responsible practices and customs which are in harmony with our common profession of faith;
- Provide evangelical supervision, counsel, and care for pastors, teachers, and other professional church workers of the Synod in the performance of their official duties;
- Provide protection for congregations, pastors, teachers, and other church workers in the performance of their official duties and the maintenance of their rights;
- Aid in providing for the welfare of pastors, teachers, and other church workers, and their families in the event of illness, disability, retirement, special need, or death.