Tuesday, April 29, 2008

WELS Pastors attend Exponential Conference in Orlando

Several WELS pastors from across the country gathered together last week at an ecumenical conference (but they didn't pray with 'em).

http://www.exponentialconference.org/


These WELS pastors sat at the feet of nationally known Church Growth gurus including Rick Warren and Ed Stetzer.


People like to shout out that we won't let Leonard Sweet preach to us at WLC. Since the growth leaders can't come to WELS colleges the cutting edge pastors visit these national seminars.

If you want further details about the wonderful ideas presented at this conference contact a pastor at the local WELS congregation in Maitland, FL, or your own local church planting WELS pastor.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Further details? I'm a WELS pastor, and I knew nothing about this conference. So don't ask me.

I receive mail all the time concerning conferences like this. If I had the money, I would attend some of them, just to see what they were presenting. When I was a vicar I wanted to know more about Charismatics, so I attended a couple Charismatic meetings and sat quietly in the back (and no, I did not pray with them). It opened my eyes to what they were all about. It's a good thing you didn't know about it or that there were no blogs back then. You probably would have condemned me without really knowing why I was there. And sometimes, just sometimes, a WELS pastor who sits in at one of these conferences can learn a new practical, common sense way of gaining a hearing with someone so law and gospel can be presented. Can you tell me what's so bad about that?

Anonymous said...

Could you please post the names of the WELS pastors that were in attendance so that I may question them directly about their motives and reasons for being there?
Regardless if they "learned" anything, I am greatly offended by their attendance. I was taught in WELS that God's Word was sufficient for all things.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous WELS Pastor,

"A new practical, common sense way of gaining a hearing with someone." How about, "hello."

No, these seminars are about how to "attract" people, not about proclaiming Christ crucified. So you move from the clever method you learned at the 3 day seminar for bringing them in and then you kill them with the law? So what you have is bait and switch, or as another preacher might call it, being ashamed of the Gospel.

Been There, Done That

Anonymous said...

"So you move from the clever method you learned at the 3 day seminar for bringing them in and then you kill them with the law? So what you have is bait and switch, or as another preacher might call it, being ashamed of the Gospel."

Huh? I don't understand where you're coming from. The law has no place in evangelism? That what you seem to be saying.

Anonymous said...

Without the Law the gospel is worthless. Without the law we actually despise the gospel. We feel infringed upon that someone died to save us considering by nature we don't think we need any saving to begin with. "Why does someone need to die for my sins when I'm not sinful?"

The law is an essential part of evangelism. Without it we are not being faithful to the gospel.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous asks,

"Huh? I don't understand where you're coming from. The law has no place in evangelism? That what you seem to be saying."

That's not what I said. Sorry you missed the irony in what I wrote. The preaching of the law that kills which must be proclaimed is incongruous with these duplicitous and often silly means of getting people in. It is absurd. These religious hucksters say we must find out people's perceived needs. Now what unbeliever says, "hey, I need to be crushed by the law, I need to be shown that I am a poor, miserable wretch, I need to have my conscience smitten with terror?" The point is, these methods having nothing to do with a proclamation of that kind of law to be followed by the Gospel. A preacher who feels he must learn some nifty ways of "gaining a hearing" as the above writer said, do not undestand what it is that brings people to faith, and invariably will not preach a law that terrorizes people which is necessary for the Gospel to create faith.

As I said, so you move from the clever method you learned at the 3 day seminar for bringing them in and then you kill them with the law? (Should have added) Silly.

Been There, Done That

John said...

Could you please post the names of the WELS pastors that were in attendance so that I may question them directly about their motives and reasons for being there?


You might start by contacting the WELS pastor, a presenter at the last church and change conference, at King of Kings in Maitland, FL.

Anonymous said...

"A preacher who feels he must learn some nifty ways of "gaining a hearing" as the above writer said, do not undestand what it is that brings people to faith, and invariably will not preach a law that terrorizes people which is necessary for the Gospel to create faith."

If the way you conduct ministry creates stumbling blocks that prevent you from reaching people with the Gospel (He did say literally, "As you are going."our human role in His divine process), how does your preaching of law and gospel effect the hearts of listeners who will never set foot in your church or Bible class? My friend, the Means of Grace demand an audience or "a hearing."

Just shout'in

Anonymous said...

Just shouting,

You opine "If the way you conduct ministry creates stumbling blocks that prevent you from reaching people with the Gospel.."

The "ministry" that Christ commissions ministers through the church to do is to preach the Gospel and administer the Sacrament. I am not sure what you mean by "conduct(ing) ministry (that) creates stumbling blocks." What are you talking about?

Indeed, the Gospel must be heard and so one is called goes and tells, one invites others in, one gives an answer for the hope they have. One does not bait and switch.

You write "He did say literally, "As you are going." What are you referring to there? (Mt. 28?)

BT, DT

Dutchy said...

Do you consider preaching the law to be a stumbling block, JS?

-Dutchy

Anonymous said...

Define "bait and switch". Who does that in the WELS?

And no, I don't consider preaching law to be a stumbling block. I do consider some formats of worship in certain contexts a stumbling block to earning a "hearing".

Just shout'in

Anonymous said...

Just...

"some formats of worship in certain contexts a stumbling block to earning a 'hearing'."

Such as?

Anonymous said...

JS,

Our congregation (liturgical, every Sunday communion) has received several new members (young families, mostly) from other Lutheran churches in the area BECAUSE those other churches have gone to a contemporary worship format. It seems that contemporary worship created a "stumbling block" for them. And those congregations that went contempo to reach new members are overall shrinking, not growing. Anecdotal evidence, yes, but the truth of what is happening here, nonetheless.

Anonymous said...

"And those congregations that went contempo to reach new members are overall shrinking, not growing."

Which congregations are you talking about? From the information I have that is not true. I just contacted two WELS "contempo" churches and both indicated growing numbers not shrinking with one of them currently averaging over 1300 in attendance, more than 100 up from last year. Where are you getting your information?

Is it possible the liturgical service cause a "stumbling block" for some who therefore attend the "contemp" churches, one of which offers the Sacrament every weekend?

I believe you can find "growth" (God's gift) in churches that offer traditional, blended, or contemporary. I believe, humanly speaking, excellence is the key. Know what may give you the best opportunity of share the Means of Grace with people in your ministry context. I would really shy away from making blanket statements.

Anonymous said...

"Which congregations are you talking about?"

The ones in the area where I live.

(there might be more wels churches doing contemporary worship than just the two that you contacted) :)

I didn't make any blanket statements, just told you what was happening here. Why did you get so defensive?

Anonymous said...

Without the Law the gospel is worthless.

Wow -- that comes as news to me. I've been a Lutheran my whole life (51 years, including college and seminary) and not heard that.

Without the 10 Commandments Jesus' life, death and resurrection is worthless.

WORTHLESS

Wow

The law gives worth to God's love in Jesus.

Wow

Anonymous said...

Dear Wow,

What were you reading in seminary? Had you read Walther's Law and Gospel or the Apology to the Augsburg Confession, or for that matter, any number of places in the BoC, you would have read that.

Anonymous said...

Rev. Wow,

What need is there to cite many testimonies since they are everywhere clear in the Scriptures?

The LORD has disciplined me severely, but He has not given me over to death. (Psalm 118:18)

My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to Your word! (Psalm 119:28)

Here, contrition is contained in the first clause, and how we are revived in contrition is clearly described in the second. We are revived by God's Word, which offers grace. This sustains and enlivens hearts.

The LORD kills and brings to life; He brings down to Sheol and raises up. (1 Samuel 2:6)

Contrition is meant by one of these; faith is meant by the other.

(The LORD) will be roused; to do His deed-strange is His deed! and to work His work-alien is His work! (Isaiah 28:21)

He calls it the "strange" work of the Lord when He terrifies, because to make alive and comfort is God's own proper work. But He terrifies, Isaiah says, for this reason-that there may be a place for comfort and making alive. For hearts that are secure and do not feel God's wrath hate consolation. In this manner Scripture is accustomed to join these two, the terrors and the consolation. It does this to teach that there are these chief parts in repentance: contrition and faith that comforts and justifies. Neither do we see how the nature of repentance can be presented more clearly and simply.

Phil

Anonymous said...

I think the poster explained why it's worthless. Perhaps worthless wasn't the correct word, but looking at its dictionary definition it means, "lacking worth; valueless." Perhaps that's a bit strong.

If you attempt to preach the gospel to one who has never heard it without proclaiming the law, the gospel will be despised, it will not be seen for what it really is. The above poster stated that quite clearly. While worthless may not have been the best word, it's not as atrocious as you seem to think.

Anonymous said...

Rev. Wow of 51 years,

Here is what I have learned over many years more than that. Read, reread, read the context, reread the context. Then write. The Gospel is worthless, as the writer wrote, to those not crushed by the law (the context of her/his remarks). As someone above noted, you would benefit from reading and rereading Walther's Law and Gospel. Especially Thesis VII
where he wrties, "How can a person feel hungry and thirsty while he loathes the food set before him?" (p. 92). I dare say "worthless" was a fine choice of words. In fact in the 95 theses Luther said that the Gospel is the most odious of all teachings because it makes the first last. Odious? Yes.

Old Man Wellman

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Anonymous at 9:40 last night. I don't often comment from beyond the grave, but when I see a Lutheran pastor who really should know better than he seems to, I can't resist.

Kind of like shooting fish in a barrel when supposed Lutherans don't even know what their own Confessions (or even Holy Scriptures) say. I mean, really, that quote wasn't even all that far into the Apology. Should be easily found by anyone.

Philip Melancthon

Anonymous said...

Philip Melancththon? Isn't he the guy who kept changing the Augsburg Confession for the sake of an outward, sham unity with the Calvinists? Isn't he the one guy who contributed most towards the problems in Lutheranism after Luther's death?

Anonymous said...

And yet, the Apology, written by Melancthon made it into the Book of Concord. And you'll notice that on BW here, Phil limited himself to a quote from that. Do you disagree with the Apology?

Anonymous said...

I loves talkin' with these WI folks. Indeedy, like shootin' fish in a barrel. Looky, thar's a carp! Read the frickin' confessions and stop posting on this site until you do! Now everyone, shut up, I'm trying to sleep!

Cletus

Anonymous said...

now do you suppose when it came for the prayer time, these pastors collectively stayed put in the seats and didn't participate? that's the question, i'd like answered. i'm ashamed of them. with all the good schooling the surely got at mequon, why would you want to cloud it and muddy the waters with rick warren nonsense. personally i've halted all offerings to the wels with all these shenanigans going on i will NOT be funding any of it.
it's not my father's wisconsin synod any longer.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 7:34 wrote,

"it's not my father's wisconsin synod any longer."

Sorry to say it still is - a Pietistic, legalistic, non-Sacramental focus with a narrow Christological hermeneutic. Same old, same old 'cept with a praise band playing the Methodist hymns.