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Nebraska District-LCMS Spring Pastor's Conference April 19-21

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Nebraska District-LCMS Spring Pastor's Conference April 19-21 Powered By Docstoc
					 NEBRASKA DISTRICT-LCMS
SPRING PASTOR’S CONFERENCE
      APRIL 19-21, 2010
     LINCOLN, NEBRASKA



    Theme: Unity, Diversity &
    Harmony
SESSION 3: UNITY IN THE
        SPIRIT
  SITUATION OF THE CHURCH TODAY

 Decreasing   commitment to Christian faith

 Declining   membership

 ““The  most significant event in the
 life of the Christian church in the
 twentieth century is the end of
 Christendom”

 Christiandiscourse is not a leading force
 in the public square
   SUMMARY OF PRESENT SITUATION
 “a hostile environment.”
 increasing secularism in which people are
  quite indifferent to traditional religion,
 counterfaiths: the spread of the gospel of
  prosperity, the revival of ancient religions,
 the present missionary aggressiveness of
  Islam and Buddhism, and
 others false and biased ideologies that
  take on the fanaticism of religion.
 “pruning   time”

   is a time of sifting, a time of testing for
 It
 the church. Many Christians have fallen
 away or have been torn away

   is a time of conflict with the culture
 It
 rather than domestication within it
 “a   period of rediscovery”

 rediscovertraditions in theology, liturgy, and
 the church’s life

 Remember  the LCMS theological and
 missional history.

 rediscovery   of the church as unity and
 mission.

 LCMS has been given by God the resources to
 accomplish Great Commission
       UNITY NECESSARY FOR MISSION

Aproverb: “Many hands make light
 work.”

 Ecclesiastes   4.9: “Two are better than
 one.

 Sowe should be united because we face a
 common danger and share a common task.
   GREAT COMMISSION: OUR TASK

 18Then Jesus came to them and said,
 "All authority in heaven and on earth
 has been given to me. 19Therefore go
 and make disciples of all nations,
 baptizing them in the name of the
 Father and of the Son and of the Holy
 Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey
 everything I have commanded you.
 And surely I am with you always, to
 the very end of the age."
               EPHESIANS 4.1-6

   “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge
    you to walk in a manner worthy of the
    calling to which you have been called, with
    all humility and gentleness, with patience,
    bearing with one another in love, eager to
    maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond
    of peace. 4There is one body and one
    Spirit—just as you were called to one hope
    when you were called— 5one Lord, one
    faith, one baptism; 6one God and Father of
    all, who is over all and through all and in
    all.”(Eph. 4:1-6).

         GOD HAS MADE US ONE
 Creedal  beliefs in one, holy, catholic and
  apostolic church; four notes of the church
 One Body of which Jesus Christ is the
  Head
 Holy because God has chosen it for His
  own and lives in it through His Holy
  Spirit
 Catholic: spread throughout the whole
  world from one end to the other and
  because it is all-embracing in intent
 Apostolic because it bears the impress of
  the teaching and discipline of original
       SURROUNDED BY DIVISION

 Estranged   from one another by different
  languages and cultures
 Skin color

 Social classes

 Economic differences

 Political views

 US is a highly polarized country in terms of
  politics and religion today.
 Family life is not different
 UNITY: CHARACTERISTIC OF NEW LIFE IN
               CHRIST

 Baptism:   the sacrament of our unity with
    Christ, of our participation in his paschal
    mystery.

    The sacrament of our unity with
    Christ and at the same time the
    sacrament of our unity in Christ.

 Acts   2.41-42
 “Sothose who received his word were
 baptized, and there were added that day
 about three thousands souls. And they
 devoted themselves to the apostles’
 teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of
 bread and the prayers”

 Tobe baptized means to be “added” to
 the church, to enter into a very tangible
 apostolic community united in Eucharist
 and prayer.
 Our text urges us to recognize the unity
 that is ours. In effect it is saying to us:
 “You are one. Therefore be one”

 Sometimes we think that we are
 responsible for bringing about unity in the
 church. But we Christians do not make
 the church one, the Spirit does

 Ourtask is to exhibit, and to show the
 unity already given by the Spirit
  UNITY IN THE LOCAL CONGREGATION

    Paul urges us: “… eager to maintain
 St.
 the unity of the Spirit in the bond of
 peace”

 Inevery congregation the virus of division
 is present, if only dormant, waiting to do
 its divisive work

          in the church result from the
 Divisions
 most ordinary circumstances
        DEALING WITH DIVISIONS

 Practice   what we confess and believe
 Love: key ingredient to preserving unity

 It takes love, confession, and forgiveness for
  us to become united, growing and inclusive
  as the Church of God in our communities.
 Respecting the differences present in any
  congregation we need to understand that
  our unity is found in Christ.
 Do not either minimize or maximize
  existing differences but emphasize
  strongly our unity in Jesus Christ.
         THE NEED TO BE UNITED

 Sake   of our mission to the lost

 Luther wrote: We live on earth only so
 that we should be a help to other people.
 Otherwise, it would be best if God would
 strangle us and let us die as soon as we
 were baptized and had begun to believe.
 For this reason, however, he lets us live
 that we may bring other people also to
 faith as he has done for us…
 This is part of being a priest, being God’s
 messenger and having his command to
 proclaim his Word. You should preach the
 “good work,” that is, the miraculous work
 that God has done as he brought you from
 darkness into light. This is the highest
 priestly office. Consequently, your preaching
 should be done so that one brother proclaims
 to the other the mighty deed of God: how
 through him you have been redeemed from
 sin, hell, death, and from all misery, and
 have been called to eternal life. You should
 also instruct people how they should come to
 that light.
            C.F.W. WALTHER
A Christian might even wish that he could
 persuade the whole world to know that they
 can leave their sins and futile life behind and
 take hold of Christ. The holy desire to bring
 souls to Christ begins immediately, as soon
 as the light of true faith comes into a
 person’s soul bringing with it the fire of true
 love for others. This holy desire is
 inseparable from a true faith. Whoever has
 no desire to bring someone else to the saving
 knowledge of the saving Gospel has certainly
 not yet come to know the heavenly power
 himself.”
   EMBRACING GOD’S PASSION FOR
           DIVERSITY

 God’s   mission is to all people.

 “God so loved the world that he gave
 his only Son, that whoever believes in
 Him should not perish, but have
 eternal life” (John 3:16).

 Our heavenly Father “desires ALL to be
 saved and to come to the knowledge
 of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4).
       IDEALS PROPOSED FOR BECOMING
               INTERCULTURAL

 “To all people” it implies diversity,
 intercultural relationships and dynamics

 We ALL live in the mixture of
 intercultural/cross cultural realities

 Beingintercultural coincides with the
 mission of the church to reach every
 ethnic group with the gospel
          ACTS 17:26, 27
 “From one man he made every nation of
 men that they should inhabit the whole
 earth; and he determined the times set
 for them and the exact places where
 they should live. God did this so that
 men would seek him and perhaps reach
 out for him and find him, though he is
 not far from each one of us”
 Beingintercultural corresponds to the
 nature of the gospel to reconcile the world in
 Christ Jesus

 Galatians   3.28:


 There is neither Jew nor
 Greek, slave nor free, male nor
 female, for you are ALL ONE
 IN CHRIST JESUS.
 Beingintercultural concurs with the
 nature of the Church to be a redemptive
 community reflecting the new humanity
 in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:11–22)

      Church: Showcase of how Christ has
 Local
 removed the dividing walls of animosity
 and hatred. ONE in CHRIST

 Beingintercultural conveys a picture of
 multicultural worship because every
 nation, tribe, people, and language will
 worship together before the throne of God
 Revelation    7:9–12:
 9 “After this I looked and there before me was
  a great multitude that one could count, from
  every nation, tribe, people and language,
  standing before the throne and in front of the
  Lamb. They were wearing white robes and
  were holding palm branches in their hands.

10And they cried out in a loud voice:
 “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on
 the throne, and to the Lamb.”
   11All the angels were standing around the
    throne and around the elders and the four
    living creatures. They fell down on their
    faces before the throne and worshiped
    God, saying:

   12   “Amen! Praise and glory and
    wisdom and thanks and honor and
    power and strength be to our God for
    ever and ever. Amen!
    FEW VISIONARIES & MANY SLOW
                   LEARNERS

 Jerusalem    Church: Slow catching God’s
 Vision

 Hellenist   Jewish Christians: cross-cultural

 Uncircumcised    Gentiles: Controversy

 Peter   sent to Cornelius: God’s Vision
               (Acts 10. 28, 29)
           DIFFERENT MODEL
 Cosmopolitan   Antioch: Jews, Greeks, Syrians,
  and other minorities. Acts 11:19-21
 Diverse Leadership: sensitive to the needs of
  all groups represented in the church
 Paul (Saul) from Tarsus, Roman citizen

 Barnabas, Levite from Cyprus

 Lucius from Cyrene, cosmopolitan N African
  city
 Vision: Most important ingredient

 What God wants to do today in your ministry?
   ETHNIC UNITY & THE HEART OF PAUL’S
                GOSPEL
    people are sinners under God’s judgment
 All
 (Romans 2:9; 3:9)

 Butif all of us are equally lost, then all of us
 must be saved only on the same terms —
 through faith in Christ.

       comes from hearing the message,
 “Faith
 and the message is heard through the
 word of Christ” Romans 10.17
 Paulemphasized that we should not look
 down on one another for such differences;
 we can remain culturally distinct, yet be
 united in Christ (Romans 14:1–23).

 Unity does not mean uniformity,
 which often involves assimilating
 into the dominant culture. Instead,
 we should appreciate the gifts
 brought by each culture, tied
 together in unity not by some mega
 culture but by our common faith and
 the Spirit.
    INCARNATIONAL & RELATIONAL
       CHARACTER OF MINISTRY


 Ministry  is not an end in itself
 Journey of obedience and faith

 Following of Jesus Christ

 Connecting people with God

 Pontiff: Bridge

 Most of all is about the glory of God
  AMERICA: A GREAT MISSION FIELD
 God   is bringing the nations to our communities

 Wedo not need to go overseas to preach the
 Gospel

 Immigration has created a large number of
 opportunities for mission in our backyard

 LCMS    Growth among minorities today
    PERSONAL STORY: NON TRADITIONAL
               LUTHERAN

 Cuban/   Nominal Roman Catholic

 Practitioner    of Santeria and Spiritism

 Lost   Sinner

 Found   by God in a Lutheran ministry

 Sweetness   of the Gospel still changes lives

				
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