Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Lutherland....the other side of the coin

The two Lutherland (see previous post) states I've lived in also have very many Roman Catholics. Despite having so many Lutherans and Catholics, who both practice infant baptism, there are plenty of unchurch people. Unchurched to the extent that they may not even bring their babies to be baptised for fire insurance.

A previous pastor in my current church told me that this county has about 50% unbaptised people. I don't know where he got that statistic. I should explain that this county is larger than some of those tiny states out east, has one not-so-large big city, two small cities, several even smaller cities, and lots of dots along the road. The ethnic diversity, while primarily northern European, also comes from about 50 other countries, as well as Native American. It is working class with a smattering of farming. Most of the immigration and settlement occurred after 1900.

IMHO, an historical failing of the Lutheran church(es) in general is that it has been a chaplaincy church, that is, taking care if her own, but not reaching out much at all.

In the Lutheran magazine, April, 2007, there is an article entitled, "More than just Preacher Factories." This has some good news about what is being taught in seminaries. But I found it also to be a sad commentary on the Lutheran church. When I read between the lines, my reaction was, "What took you (us) so long?"

For example: in a survey of recent seminary graduates from 2004, "that same survey underlined the need for increased training in evangelism at first-call pastors said they felt very unprepared for 'reaching out to unchurched persons.'"

Granted, the Bible says that we have different gifts. Perhaps the Lutheran seminaries have neglected finding and equipping people who have the gifts of evangelism.

1 comment:

And what do you think?