In an address delivered in August to LCMS national leaders, Pastor David Maier gave an inspiring speech answered with a standing ovation. He spoke of a bright future for our Synod — and how, by God’s grace and the power of His Holy Spirit, we can get there.
It was clear to all in attendance David Maier is ready to lead our Synod.
David Maier is a leader called out from among us
David referred to our founder, CFW Walther, noting our forebears escaped the unionism of the German national church. Two years before Synod’s founding, Walther remarked,
“God knows that we ourselves under (our first leader, Martin) Stephan had nothing else in mind but to prove ourselves completely faithful to the true Lutheran Church. But there was nothing which caused us to fail in this very thing more than our stubborn exclusiveness.” 1
Maier pointed out how Walther recognized the foolishness of seeking purity through exclusivity. CFW instead eagerly sought to develop partnerships among like-minded congregations and pastors.
Walther preached a powerful sermon at the first synodical convention. He urged the saving of souls to be the ultimate focus that would unite passionate, purpose driven, Bible-believing disciples of Jesus Christ of diverse backgrounds. As a result of that clarity of doctrine and unity in mission, our Synod grew in most amazing ways.
Our Synod has escaped domineering leadership before
David reminded his audience it is a good thing that the LCMS eventually became a different church than the kind it set out to be under its first unfaithful leader, Martin Stephan. Unfortunately, over recent years we have begun to slip back … back into the image of the church controlled by the domineering Stephan rather than the church later reshaped by Walther.
- Stephan’s church sought doctrinal purity by exclusion. They carefully sought to weed out any person not articulating the faith in the prescribed forms.
- Stephan’s church was clergy-centered. He was the center of the church, their authority in material and spiritual matters. He kept tight control of access to the office of public ministry, under the guise of pure doctrine.
David Maier — like Walther — trusts congregations
Opposite to the eventually-deposed Stephan, Walther trusted the local church. He knew congregations are able to make the decisions for the life of the congregation, able to call men into the office of public ministry.
Walther’s church held tightly to doctrinal integrity and the traditional manner of doing ministry, yet he was an advocate for the manner of ministry yielding to the mission of the church: the saving of souls.
Maier’s call for reclaiming our church
Maier stirred his audience by boldly saying,
“Friends in Christ, it would not be right for us to sit back and let the church of our birth be systematically transformed back into that stubborn, exclusive, inherently arrogant church that failed.”
Maier called on his audience to reclaim a church that values and empowers laity to be leaders and co-laborers in the mission at the center of God’s heart — the seeking and saving of His lost ones; and for reclaiming a synod that functions in support of local ministry, not in control of local ministry.
David asked those gathered to join him in praying for our Synod, that God would accomplish immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine. (Ephesians 3:20 NIV)
Nominate Maier and Klinkenberg for President
Congregations have received ballots to nominate two men for Synodical President. In a coming newsletter, Congregations Matter will give a summary of an address Pastor Timothy Klinkenberg delivered at the same leadership meeting.
Both Maier and Klinkenberg cast a positive vision — in direct contrast to the dark views of Synod’s current President Matt Harrison who openly speaks of Synod shrinking to half its current size in the next decade.
Instead, David and Tim believe the Gospel is meant to be shared and that God will use our witness for His purpose, that all people “be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:1-7, ESV).
Please nominate both Maier and Klinkenberg for President and mail your ballot soon.
- Click here to read more about the qualifications of Pastor David Maier.
- Click here to read more about the qualifications of Pastor Timothy Klinkenberg.
New Presidential Leadership – and our congregations – matter!
1 Roy A. Suelflow, trans., ed., Selected Writings of C. F. W. Walther: Selected Letters. (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1981), 86.