The news from leadership these days at Synod headquarters, now with an eerie, vacant feel, is that further decline is imminent. The sale of Synod mission properties is necessary to save the Synod in financial distress. Synod universities will be shed. This is a leadership nightmare.
Instead, we need a Synod President who speaks to the heart of Synod’s people for love of our Lord and His mission to our communities and to the world. We need a leader who can enunciate a hopeful vision for God’s people — a vision that is not clothed in secrecy and political maneuvering.
Standing in the desert of the poor decisions of this Synod administration looking for distant answers will not bring health and growth to the LCMS.
We need a change of leadership. We need better leadership with a life-giving vision grounded in God’s Word and focused on leading people to life in Jesus Christ rather than President Harrison’s vision of riding out a decline in the Synod based on faulty demographic projections. (CLICK HERE to see Dr. Will Schumacher’s article about the faulty use of LCMS demographic trends.)
Hidden Decisions Harm Synod
Indeed, Concordia Alabama in Selma will now close. Our leadership did not tell Synod congregations of the closing in advance. In fact, leaders hid the closure from the last Synod convention. Concordia Portland was approached to leave the University System of Synod. The congregations of Synod were not informed.
This is not a vision for the education of the young people of the Synod. It is a leadership nightmare.
Current Synod leaders put Hong Kong mission properties on the chopping block and never informed Synod congregations of their plans. Will the money from the sale be used to pay debt at home, a rising debt over the past several years that the administration in St. Louis has kept hidden from the congregations of Synod?
This is not a vision for the gospel mission of the Christ’s Church. It is a leadership nightmare.
No Vision for Outreach
500,000 people is the number of further decline that President Harrison foresees in Synod’s future. The decline of membership in Synod has accelerated under Harrison’s leadership and his vision predicts further catastrophic decline.
This is not a vision of evangelical outreach, but a leadership nightmare.
It’s Time for a Change
It is time the nightmare comes to an end. New leadership can and will bring a renewed Bible-based and Gospel-centered vision for the people and congregations of Synod.
As the time for nominations from congregations for the next President and Vice President of Synod approach, it will be incumbent that prayerful consideration for new leadership come forth.
Our Synod Needs Transparent, Visionary Leaders
It’s time for our leaders to change the way they are acting — or it’s time for the LCMS to change leadership. Yes, new and better leadership can and will bring a hopeful vision to the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.
Let’s End This Leadership Nightmare
If you would like to join the movement to change Synod’s future toward a renewed Bible-based, Gospel-centered vision for the LCMS, here are some things to do:
- You have the responsibility to nominate men and women to serve as our leaders in Synod. The United Lister leadership brought us to this point. Let’s nominate men for Synod President, First Vice President, Synod Secretary and people for Board leadership who:
- annunciate a vision of hope instead of decline;
- believe in local control of Christ’s Church instead of centralized, hierarchical governance;
- promise transparent leadership instead of secrecy in finances, board decisions, the sale of property and the closing of our Concordias;
- support the local congregation in their work for the Lord Jesus rather than building a distant bureaucracy to control the local work of Christ’s Church.
- Elect local delegates to the 2019 National convention who will vote for the primacy of congregations and have a vision that is not clothed in secrecy and political maneuvering that will end the decline of our Synod.
- Make sure your congregation passes resolutions to the 2019 national convention that support this effort. We must turn our LCMS leadership back to its historic role. We need leaders who stand for growth and transparency, not just talk about it.
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