More than one observer of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod has noticed the polar swings which take place in our leadership on a decadal basis. We need to elect a leader who will unify our Synod by embracing both our confessional and our missional values.
Over 40 years, the pattern has developed that we elect a perceived strongly confessional leader who will strive for doctrinal purity for a time and then a perceived strongly missional leader who prizes winning the world for Jesus as his successor.
Our Synod Values Both
Confessional AND missional. In one sense you would expect this since the two highest values among us are an unflinching loyalty to the authority of the Scriptures and an active zeal for reaching new people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
What two higher values are there for congregations and workers in the kingdom coming together in a church body?
To look at those values is to see a church body with extraordinary potential but, sadly, with minimal results. American evangelist Billy Graham may or may not have described the LCMS as a sleeping giant, but that is how we appear to many inside the Synod and out. So gifted and so silent!
Our Beloved Synod is Now Divided
Tragically, the very values which define us have become political polar opposites which divide us. In 2010 the Harmony Task Force of Synod published a report identifying seven aspects of disharmony in the Synod. Among them was A Politicized Culture. That report described the situation with this:
“National and some district conventions have become more politically charged than ever… The LCMS is becoming a denomination of parties, each seeking to elect its own candidates as leaders. In recent decades, the party in power proceeds with a scorched earth policy, totally disenfranchising the losing party. Rather than valuing all the voices in the LCMS, the losing voices are silenced until they can amass enough votes to gain power and do the same to the other party. Helpful here is Jesus’ description of “the rulers of the Gentiles who lord it over them” (Matthew 20:25).”
We Need Unifying Leadership
The 2019 election of a new synodical president provides a landmark opportunity to bring this bipolar politicization of the LCMS to an end. Necessary for our unified confession and mission is a president who embraces the entire church body, someone who is Biblically-centered and mission-driven.
We need a leader who:
- Understands the challenges of serving Christ in a post-Christian society and who sees our confessional commitments extending through our witness in the world.
- Embraces every pastor, worker, worker and congregation as a partner in the Gospel.
- Speaks words and exhibits character that will build unity, concord, and harmony.
- Has the trust of other leaders, Concordia experience and vision to bring our Synod out of its current financial crisis for the sake of all of our congregations.
David Maier of the Michigan District is such a leader.
Pastor David Maier Will Bring Us Together
President David Maier of the Michigan District is such a leader. Of all the candidates being nominated, President Maier has the greatest potential for ending the “scorched earth” policy described above.
Maier offers hope for a new season in the LCMS. He comes with humility and vast experience as a parish pastor. He gathered the resources and led the effort to save Concordia Ann Arbor. He comes as a Biblical, confessional Lutheran and as a strong proclaimer of the Gospel with a heart for the mission of God.
Embodying the best of who we are, President Maier offers us the best of what we can become. Our battle is not with one another but with principalities and powers. We cannot seek power of our own but power from on high for the sake of Christ’s Kingdom.
Nominate David Maier and Tim Klinkenberg for President
This is why we must nominate and elect Pastor David Maier as President of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. As congregations may nominate two individuals, we ask Congregations to also nominate Pastor Timothy Klinkenberg for Synod President.
Congregations — and electing a NEW President who will bring our Synod together — matters!