Oct
27

LCMC Gathering Reflections

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Dear Peace Lutheran Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Our LCMC Annual Gathering was held on October 2-5, in Denver, Colorado. Margaret Nagel and I were your delegates. October 2nd was simply a welcoming dinner and evening service. The Gathering began with a wonderful opening song powerfully sung by 837 LCMC congregational members present. It was very moving! We proceeded to a Bible Study of Acts 2 42-47: Today – Day-by-Day Ministry. The Opening Welcome presented the Gathering theme of “Back to the Future.” We were introduced to the staff and to our new LCMC Logo, which stands for “The Blood of Christ chasing the devil across the World.” Our LCMC Mission Statement was discussed to “Strengthen the churches we have and plant the ones we don’t.”

Our Monday keynote speaker, Ed Stetzer, was introduced. He shared these key points for our consideration.     The commissions of Jesus and engaging all God’s people using John 20:21: “We are sent.” John 14:26: Missions get uncomfortable for a cause. All God’s people are sent in mission for Jesus. Jesus’ Mission is a mission of sent-ness. Matthew 28: 18-20: To all different kinds of people “GO” to all Nations. Most church members choose our traditions over changing the future. Our church is on the great commission highway – through grace and faith – don’t let our church become a cul-de-sac.  Luke 24:46-48: With a message to be on a mission and don’t forget why you came. We talked about the Bible at our church; how we don’t talk to our neighbors about the Bible. Act 1:6-8: Empowered by the Spirit, “Make Jesus’ last word our priority”

1 Peter 4:10-11:  Engaging all Gods people. Get involved in missions!

The idea of how we wrongly have our church set-up like a theater, with the most important thing happening in the front of the church, when the most important thing should be what’s happening in the seats facing the front of the church. Ephesians 4:11-13: To bring God glory, and start moving our church in Mission. We then covered some LCMC statistics – 744 Congregations USA, 189 Congregations in 16 other nations for a total of 933! 63 new churches have begun in the last six months!!

We had three workshops. Margaret and I attended separate workshops so we would have more information to bring back to our church. Tuesday keynote speaker was Mark Granquist from Luther Seminary and he spoke on “Uses and Misuses of History.” We received a great history lesson including the formation of LCMC. We also had a great presentation from Dan Cites, Coordinator for Church Planting. My Breakout Sessions were:

  1. Lutheran Men: I volunteered to be a “Key Man” contact person
  2. Raising the Next Generation of Pastoral Leaders: Teach our children well. Intentional Pastors/Church Leaders.
  3. Sacred Worship in a Plugged-In World: On Wed morning, we concentrated on how other churches are succeeding. Growing in Faith can be more important for our congregation than growing in numbers.

I very much appreciate the opportunity you have given me to grow in my faith, and serve our church this way!

Thank you, Ken Birge