This author is publishing a new book on the LCMS for lay people. It is
titled, "How To Start Or Keep Your Own Missouri Synod Lutheran Church: A
handbook for lay people who like Missouri Synod congregations the way they
began and want to be certain about the presence of God in their worship
This new book is designed as a "how to" and a
"resource" book for lay people. It is 120 pages long with 30
chapters and 198 footnotes. It can be read in an hour and half unless the
reader wishes to spend more time examining the footnotes from Luther, Walther,
Pieper, The Lutheran Confessions, Fritz, Mundinger, and the LCMS Constitution
explaining the basis for a Lutheran congregation.
With all the controversy over pastors who think they are Willow Creek/PLI
CEO's, or want to return to pre-Waltherian European Lutheran hierarchy, the
question in the minds of many lay people is, "Will any one tell us what
is the Missouri Synod supposed to be like? This book answers the question with
the highest Lutheran authorities.
It sells for $5:00, plus handling and shipping and can be ordered by
calling 573-237-3110 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
or replying to email@example.com.
From its beginning, the Missouri Synod gave absolute assurance of the
presence of God in all its member congregations through the means of grace.
The amazing thing about the LCMS today, is that it identifies its teaching,
but it will no longer clearly explain what the Synod is.
The Missouri Synod's greatest mystery is the Synod itself, namely, what is
the Missouri Synod, where did it come from, and what is it supposed to be
like? Answers to these questions were published in books that have long since
gone out of print.
Lay people started most of the LCMS congregations and lay people pay for
all of them.
This writer asked Concordia Publishing House, North Western Publishing
House of the WELS, and Augsburg-Fortress of the ELCA if there was any book in
print that told lay people how to start or organize a congregation. The answer
from all three publishing houses of the largest Lutheran church bodies in
America was, "No!"
Concordia offered me books on church careers, how to start a Lutheran
School, and evangelism. Wisconsin offered information on stewardship and
evangelism, and the ELCA offered the same.
How to start and organize and keep an LCMS congregation was once the
foundation of the Synod. Walther's "The True Visible Church" and
"True Form of the Lutheran Congregation Independent of the State"
helped organize 1200 congregations in his lifetime, and 3000 congregations by
Today, organized Lutheranism doesn't think this kind of information is
necessary for lay people. "Church planting" or opening new
congregations is now the specialized domain of district "experts."
Concordia Publishing House suggested I call the local District Office.
By not defining itself, the Synod's bureaucrats allow themselves maximum
flexibility with a minimum of accountability. They have also mistaken the
layman's apathy as their new "leadership role."
By and large, LCMS congregations are presented as amorphous, nebulous,
structureless, gatherings that assume the form preferred by the
"leader." Hence there is no answer to the question, "Why
Missouri?" This approach doesn't sell cars any more than it sell's church
bodies. The LCMS has lost more than 200,000 members since 1969, while the US
population grew by 60 million.
This little book makes no pretense of being anything more than a primer on
the subject of how lay people can start or keep their own LCMS congregation.
It covers a very broad area with only a brief amount of information on topics
that take up volumes of material on any one of the individual chapters.
A Missouri Synod-Lutheran Church is one of many different kinds, types, or
styles of Lutheran Churches. An LCMS Church confesses the Bible and the
Lutheran Confessions. It also practices congregational autonomy and
self-governance as taught by C.F.W. Walther, the first LCMS President. Hence,
any Lutheran congregation practicing the church government or polity taught by
Walther is a Missouri Synod style church, even if it doesn't belong to the
Christ tells us He is present where two or three are gathered in His name.
He is only present through these three means of grace: the preaching of Law
and Gospel, and the administration of Baptism and the Lord's Supper. From its
inception, the Missouri Synod has thus guaranteed lay people the presence of
God in its congregations based on clear texts of the Bible.
This book is written for those lay people who wish to maintain the presence
of God and the office of the ministry in their congregations through the means
of grace. The office of the ministry is only identified after Scripture
identifies the means of grace.
To help explain the content of this new 120-page book
the following are the titles of the 30 chapters.
How To Start Or Keep Your Own Missouri
Synod Lutheran Church
A handbook for lay people who like Missouri Synod congregations the way
they began and want to be certain about the presence of God in their worship
- How the Missouri Synod Began and Grew
- What Are Some Advantages of Starting or Keeping an LCMS Congregation
Over Other Church Bodies?
- When and Why Start Your Own LCMS Church?
- Who Can Start an LCMS Church?
- How to Organize a New LCMS Congregation
- How to Be a Lutheran Church and Not a Religious Corporation
- Why Laymen Should Govern Their Congregation Through a Voters' Assembly
- Luther Taught That All Christians Are Members of the Priesthood of All
- Why and How Voters Judge Doctrine
- Voters' Assemblies: Why We Should Keep Them
- How Did Walther Start the First LCMS Congregation?
- What Was Missouri's Original Position on Voters' Assemblies?
- God's Word Gives 2 or 3 Christians the Authority to Establish Their Own
- Why the Congregation Not the Synod, is a Church
- God's Word is the Final Authority in the Church
- How Do You Know If Your Assembly Is a Real Church?
- How Do You Know If Your Church Is Teaching the True Gospel?
- How Do You Know If Your Church Has True Baptism?
- How Do You Know If Your Church Is Distributing the Real Lord's Supper?
- How to Maintain Christian Fellowship At the Communion Rail
- How To Add Members By Confirmation and Remove Members By Excommunication
- How Do You Know If Your Congregation's Call to a Pastor Is a Call From
- Why Ordination Is Not a Sacrament, But a Human Work
- How to Write Your Church Constitution
- What Are Some Pitfalls To Starting Your Own LCMS Church?
- How to Finance Your Own Church
- The Congregation Calls, Elects, and Ordains Its Own Pastors
- God Has Made the Congregation the Highest Authority Over Pastors,
District Presidents, and the Synod
- Walther's Qualifications for Laymen of LCMS Congregations
- What Should a Lutheran Worship Service Be Like?