LCMS isn’t perfect. In fact, it’s so imperfect that it’s perfectly imperfect. No, it’s not without flaws. Yes, it has challenges. The biggest difference between LCMS and LCC is that the church of the “Show Me State” isn’t afraid to look in the mirror.
Exhibit A: LCMS Journal of Lutheran Mission has released a special edition exploring the issue of membership decline. In LCC we sort of acknowledge it, but we hope it’s a trend that will reverse itself before we have to do anything about it.
Now, LCC has always fancied itself as the little twin to LCMS. I think we can dispense with that old chestnut by simply quoting the opening paragraph of the introduction to the publication:
This issue of the Journal of Lutheran Mission is dynamite. I, for one, have gotten very tired of hearing clichés, hunches and myths about the decline of the membership in the LCMS over the past nearly half-century. If we are to use our God-given gifts and resources to work against this decline, the first thing we need to know is what exactly has been happening and why. – Rev. Dr. Matthew Harrison, President LCMS
So, not to put too fine a point on it, the things we hear from others, and the things we tell ourselves don’t mean anything. We need to figure out what’s actually happening and why so we can do something about it. And by we I mean LCMS.
If you’re interested in the church, its people, evangelism, or any other issue surrounding the future of the church (re: everything), it’s a good read. It’s the kind of read that will make LCMS members think, and LCC members turn on whatever is funny on Netflix. Okay, we’re not that bad. Yes we are. No we’re not. Yes, we kind of are…otherwise I wouldn’t have thought this was worth anyone’s time or attention.
In Canada we’ll see more restructuring updates before we see a coherent and thoughtful document like this —> Journal of Lutheran Mission: December 2016 | Special Edition
Andreas Schwabe is editor and publisher of SolaGratia.ca, and an Edmonton-based multimedia & communication strategist and producer. His focus for SolaGratia is on administration, governance, and issues of faith. For clients, he writes or produces just about anything.