Thursday, December 1, 2011

Did You Know Your Church’s DNA Is Defined by Five Components that Create the Platform for All Vision Casting?

Click on the graphic for a larger view
The following graphic comes from the Revitalization page of an LCMS congregation that’s involved with the Transforming Churches Network. Does the graphic have any sort of a Biblical basis, and is it appropriate for a Lutheran congregation?

As far as revitalization is concerned, Augsburg Confession Article V is hard to beat and is a little more succinct:
1 So that we may obtain this faith, the ministry of teaching the Gospel and administering the Sacraments was instituted. 2 Through the Word and Sacraments, as through instruments, the Holy Spirit is given [John 20:22]. He works faith, when and where it pleases God [John 3:8], in those who hear the good news that God justifies those who believe that they are received into grace for Christ’s sake. 3 This happens not through our own merits, but for Christ’s sake.
If you’re searching for book reviews on how to grow the Church written by non-Lutherans based on heterodox theology that therefore reaches questionable conclusions, they have a webpage for that which reviews the following books:

Winning on Purpose by John Kaiser
Church That Works by Gary L. McIntosh
Church Unique: How Mission Leaders Cast Vision, Capture Culture, and Create Movement by Will Mancini
Essential Church? Reclaiming a Generation of Dropouts by Thom S. Rainer
Discover your God-Given Gifts by Don & Katie Fortune


Anonymous said...

Uh-oh! Here we go again! Law, law, law!

As a potential corrective, permit a couple of quotes from Klaus Detlev Schulz's "Mission From the Cross" (CPH, 2009).

I can't find the reference for this one, but he says someplace, "Mission is accountable to Justification."
Here's another: "Mission is the act of extending the gift of righteousness to the world thru its preaching of the Word and administration of the sacraments." (p78)
Finally, "Justification is missiological in its very essence, since it describes what mission is at its core: imparting salvation thru the forgiveness of sins." (p. 79)

I also recommend Todd Wilken's recent paper on the Great Commission.

Joe Strieter

Anonymous said...

This is just another example of a congregation (and possibly an LCMS district) continuing a failed Church Growth program in spite of the fact that St. Louis has officially abandoned the TCN. St. Louis does one thing, while the districts do the opposite. Where is the unity of confession? Has anyone addressed the issue that the LCMS continues to lose members in spite of TCN and Willow Creek Association programs. Wouldn't such numerical results indicate that Church Growth strategies are not working?

Apparently, TCN borrowed its business strategy from the American Cancer Society. According to TCN, the LCMS will always have "problems" that can never be solved. How else is this consulting firm going to continue to sell its faddish books, study guides, videos, and "leadership" seminars. Remedies are readily available; however, by design, no cure will ever be found. Finding a cure would put TCN out of business, and we cannot have that.

Dennis Peskey said...

Interesting list of Martha manuals; do this, do that, do-wa-ditty etc. The Talents and Interests inventory list is much more extensive than our local YMCA. By the time they finish this course, they will had graduated to fine Methodists. Synergism at best; semi-Pelagian soon to follow. Lord have mercy.

jb said...

Church Growth is Calvinism in action, plain and simple. To them, the holy Spirit does not need the vehicles God gives us in Article V.

Yeppers. Sure.

"So, if they say to you, 'Look, he is in the wilderness,' do not go out. If they say, 'Look, he is in the inner rooms,' do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man."

"Church Growth" and Kent Hunter and his ilk were silly back in the '80's; and despite their continued efforts over the years since to peddle their stuff, they are still silly.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous I:

The LCMS has abandoned TCN? Are you sure? I'd better check that out.

Anonymous II

Anonymous said...

It's me again--Anonymous II, that is.
I just check the LCMS website, and TCN is still listed as an RSO, and the link to the TCN website still works. I don't believe it has been officially abandoned. In my district, at least, it's very much alive, and much too well.

Anonymous II

Scott Diekmann said...

At the synodical level, TCN monetary support has been decreased, and I think it's safe to say that President Harrison is not in favor of TCN. It is still an RSO, and has managed to infiltrate a majority of the LCMS districts. If you assume that the LCMS will shrivel up and die if we don't do something about it, the same aberrant theology that formed that thought is perfectly equipped to come up with the TCN solution. We've got to do something, somebody came up with this, so this is what we will do. Unfortunately, very few people have been willing to point out that TCN is a theological train wreck, or do a whole lot about it.

Anonymous said...

This is sad news. I guess the election of Matt Harrison was simply window-dressing. I tire of more of the same "change we can believe in" nonsense. How can the Koinonia Project move forward and the various factions within the LCMS come together while TCN continues to push many congregations further away from confessional Lutheranism. Thanks for validating my decision to keep all my money for designated non-church growth projects within my congregation. The LCMS is hopelessly lost. -----Anonymous I

Scott Diekmann said...

Some degree of patience is prudent in these situations. The Koinonia Project isn't a short-term deal, and no president can walk in the door and make bad theology go away. It takes time. Although I'd certainly vote for sooner rather than later.

Preachrboy said...

The church's DNA is the DNA of Christ, her head. After all, she is His body.

Rev. John Frahm said...

More of the McDonald's franchise model where the "successful church/leader" metastasizes itself into another location irregardless of church polity, parish boundaries, or other ecclesial concerns. The DNA and vision casting has more to do with programs, personalities, praise bands, power-point, and proselytizing than anything to do with law and gospel, sacraments, liturgy or catechesis.

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