Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Getting Rid of Those Stuffy “Liturgy Books”

I stumbled across this article at while looking for something a little more edifying. The article is the third in a series about storefront churches in Bixby, Oklahoma, written by Jo-Ann Jennings. This one is about Lord of Life Lutheran Church (LCMS). I’ll let you draw your own conclusions. Here’s the opening two paragraphs of the article:
If the word Lutheran causes you to think “black suit, white shirt, and polished shoes,” banish the thought. Vicar Jonathan Schultz has brought Lord of Life Lutheran Church to Bixby with praise and song. The once well-known liturgy books have been tucked away, and any reading or singing which needs to be done is on the wall in front of the congregation. “We want people with their heads up, worshipping Christ!” Schultz says with a huge smile. Not only that, but during the week, the church, in Cross Creek Shopping Center behind Bill and Ruth’s, is a coffee shop. One of Schultz biggest dreams-in-progress would be the ability to pick up a bus load of kids from a nearby trailer park and take them to the church in summer where they would be cool and have [sic] supervisor.

Schultz came to Bixby because of a vision of a Lutheran synod president who wanted to reach 100 million people by the year 2017. He looked at the globe to determine where to start. The US was to have 2,000 new Lutheran churches; Oklahoma, 12; Tulsa, six. “I am the second one,” Schultz said.
You can read the rest of the article here.


Anonymous said...

Maybe he can get the name of the shopping center changed to "Crosse Creeke Shoppyng Centre."

Anonymous said...

Does closing down an existing LCMS congregation and reopening it as a coffee house church count as a "new" Lutheran church? Visions of a reborn ULC come to mind..... I can understand a pastor using a screen as a tasteful "power point style" visual aid during a sermon. College professors teach that way all the time. I come to church feeling ashamed of my sins, knowing full well that I deserve damnation. In such a humbled state, I feel uncomfortable holding my head high in order to read the songs on the wall. Should I hold my head up high when asking for forgiveness? Those contemporary praise songs on the wall assume that "I" am all-important. Such pop songs advocate a theology of glory. If the pastor wants a coffee house or swanky lounge atmosphere, then that is fine. Please keep it separate from the church services. It is sad that such a church will also dump its CPH worship and study materials for Willow Creek Association materials - Most of which are hostile to the Lutheran confessions and offer very little theology beyond self-help advice.

Anonymous said...

Remaining differences between Lord of Life Lutheran and the non-denominational "seeker church" across the street: Infant baptism; Real wine instead of grape juice; and the LCMS pastor has an M.Div (which is no longer put to use). Sorry, the praise band, the coffee, and the fellowship at that non-denominational church are still superior. As both churches sing the same praise band songs and study the same self-help authors such as Rick Warren, Rob Bell and Beth Moore, why bother with the Lutherans. Lutherans need to focus on how to do fellowship without replacing their theology.