Solas Alive — A Way to Share the Gospel with your Social Media Contacts

What is Solas Alive?

Solas Alive has been developed so that Christians can use their social media to connect with others who may not know about Jesus Christ and connect them with basic information about Christianity and ways to connect with the Christian community.

How does is work?

Using their social media accounts (Facebook, websites, email) individuals and congregations invite their contacts to view the Solas Alive videos.  These videos are themed around Solas of Luther’s Reformation (Grace alone; Faith alone; Scripture alone) and use humour, or though-provoking dialogue in an effort to pique the interest of the viewer. When the person goes to the supporting webpages they will find information on the basics of the Christian faith, links to additional resources, congregational search tools and the opportunity to ask questions.

Where can I find out more? Visit: Solas.

Posted in Evangelism, Lutheran Hour Ministries, Lutheran Laymen's League, Missional, Missionary, Priesthood of all Believers, Rural evangelism, Small Town Evangelism, Urban Outreach, Witness | Comments Off on Solas Alive — A Way to Share the Gospel with your Social Media Contacts

The Differences Between Pastors and Missionaries

In the following video, Dr. Robert Scudieri, President of Mission Nation Publishing, discusses with Rev. Peter Kelm, the former mission executive for the South Wisconsin District of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, the differences between pastors and missionaries.  The discussion also focuses on sharing the Gospel cross-culturally.

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“Assisted Suicide would put pressure on disabled people to die.”

Mr. Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director – Euthanasia Prevention Coalition has posted a troubling article on the effect medically assisted suicide may have on disabled people.

Here’s a portion of the article:

Not Dead Yet responded to the comment that “safeguards” will protect people:

Even if safeguards exist for terminally ill individuals, they argue, disabled patients represent a vulnerable demographic that could, in the future, be targeted both by a contracting health care system and by insurance companies worried about controlling costs and unwilling to pay for expensive care.

Earlier this month the American College of Physicians issued a policy statement against the legalization of assisted suicide. “This practice is problematic given the nature of the patient-physician relationship, affects trust in that relationship as well as in the profession, and fundamentally alters the medical profession’s role in society,” the organization’s position paper states.

The Washington Times reported this past May that insurance companies in states where physician-assisted suicide is legal have refused to cover expensive, life-saving treatments for patients, but have offered to help them end their lives instead.

Drugs for assisted suicide cost about $75 to $100, making them far less expensive than providing medical care.

Anita Cameron, director of minority outreach for Not Dead Yet, which opposes the measure, insists that economic pressure will help normalize euthanasia, and that in that environment the potential for abuse to the disabled community would be real.

“It is cheaper to kill us than to have us live,” says Cameron.

To read the entire article, click on: Pressure to Die.

Posted in Assisted suicide, Euthanasia, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, Physician Assisted Suicide, Pro-Life | Comments Off on “Assisted Suicide would put pressure on disabled people to die.”

“Follow Me: The Calling of Jesus” — A New Online Course from Lutheran Hour Ministries

What does it mean to follow Jesus? This question has been on the minds of Christians since the disciples first dropped their nets to follow Jesus. In these five spiritual reflections, we will explore Jesus’ call to follow Him, what it means to be a disciple, and how Jesus’ call applies to us today.

To learn how to register for this course and other courses that are offered online, visit: LHM Learn.

Posted in Discipleship, Evangelism, Lutheran Hour Ministries, Lutheran Laymen's League, Lutheran Missiology, Rural evangelism, Small Town Evangelism, Urban Outreach | Comments Off on “Follow Me: The Calling of Jesus” — A New Online Course from Lutheran Hour Ministries

“Lutherans and Evangelism” by Rev. Scott Gress

The world is in Chaos. Just mention Las Vegas, North Korea, terrorism, and the mood gets
quiet. Soon after the quiet sadness, the air is filled with disgust, disagreements as to what is wrong and what should be done and criticism about what is being done or not being done.

Yet this is just the time when a Christian witness about our incarnate Savior can speak to the darkness of this world. But how do we do that? Admittedly
many of our Lutheran churches and Christians do a wonderful job at worship and Bible study and loving one another. Many others are beginning to do a wonderful job at loving their community through acts of service which demonstrate the love of Christ as they love their neighbor. But actually evangelizing? Sharing the gospel? Even inviting people to church? That’s not necessarily part of too many of our church’s culture and identity. Never mind it is the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

Evangelism is quietly overlooked and we don’t really want to awaken that sleeping dog. Except every once in a while we notice we have fewer people in the pews and those we do have are getting older and by the way, we need some younger families.

So it’s at those times that many pastors and lay leaders bemoan that their church is not very active in evangelism. There may be those one or two members who always seem to be finding their way into gospel sharing conversation but it just seems foreign to the rest. So there is angst about what to do. Sadly the automatic response is offering a “sharing your faith” class. We talk about what to say, how to say it correctly and then we move on to the class on the Reformation or the book of Romans or something else. The lesson in evangelism gets lost. Something needs to be done to actually move the needle on elevating the importance of a behavior which should be a normal part of walking with Christ throughout every day!

But how do to do that?

To read the rest of Scott’s blog, visit: Lutherans and Evangelism.

Scott Gress is called by Lutheran Counseling Services and partners with the FL-GA District of the Lutheran Church as an independent contractor. He specializes in Leadership Training, Consulting, Coaching and Coach Training. Contact Scott to continue the conversation or experience a free sample coaching session. 561-542-4472, scottgress@me.com or scottgress.com

Posted in Discipleship, Evangelism, Missional, Missional Leadership, Missionary, Priesthood of all Believers, Rural evangelism, Small Town Evangelism, Urban Outreach | Comments Off on “Lutherans and Evangelism” by Rev. Scott Gress

Partnership provides life-changing support for Fort McMurray residents: Canadian Lutheran World Relief

In Fort McMurray, Alberta, the more than $527,500 raised by Canadian Lutherans and others is helping residents as they resettle and rebuild more than a year after wildfires caused widespread devastation in the region.

Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR) is partnering with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) and Lutheran Church–Canada (LCC) to help meet the physical and psychosocial needs of community members. CLWR is grateful to Rev. Dr. Larry Kochendorfer, Bishop of the Synod of Alberta and the Territories (ABT), and Rev. Dr. Glenn Schaeffer, President of the Alberta-British Columbia District (ABC), for their counsel and guidance as we respond to this life-altering event.

“CLWR appreciates the good collaboration with the ELCIC ABT & LCC ABC in response to this disaster and the very strong support from constituents,” says Robert Granke, CLWR’s Executive Director. “It is gratifying to see the timely and important support offered to the community as they rebuild their lives and look forward to a positive future.

To read the rest of the story, visit: Fort McMurray Relief.

NOTE: the administrator of Go! is a member of the CLWR Board of Directors.

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“Rescuer” by Rend Collective

Visit the Rend Collective website to check out their music.

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“7 Benefits to Pruning” by Jock Ficken

Rev. Dr. Jock Ficken, the Executive Director of Pastoral Leadership Institute (PLI) writes,

It’s no secret that the Church in the U.S. is struggling and declining; it’s well documented in many places.

It’s no secret that this places enormous pressures on pastors and their families and their congregations.

But…

What if much of what is happening in the church is a season of pruning?

And it’s a season of pruning for many of us as leaders and individuals within the community?

And what if God is cutting back branch after branch that bears no fruit in order to drive us–me–back to the Vine for provision and protection?

What if this pruning season is a season of character building for so many of us and for the Church as a whole?

And what if this pruning kicks prop after prop out from under us so that we only have one Source to rely on?

To continue reading, visit: “Pruning.”

Posted in Christian church, Church revitalization, Discipleship, Leadership, Missional, Pastoral Leadership Institute (PLI) | Comments Off on “7 Benefits to Pruning” by Jock Ficken

“Recommit to Reformation” by Peter Meier

Rev. Dr. Peter Meier, the Executive Director of the Center for United States Missions, published the following article in Mission Moments (October 15, 2017).

These days much is rightly made of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. God used Martin Luther as His servant to reform the church and restore the Gospel to its rightful place. As we celebrate and praise God for the good works of Dr. Martin Luther, it’s also good and right for us to ask ourselves a serious question:

What sort of reforming work needs to take place among us today?

There are two words that need to be a part of every church’s vocabulary.

The first word is healthy. Churches are healthy when they are able to adapt to cultural change, when they have healthy family systems and when they know how to maintain vitality as they age.

The second word is missional. While not everyone appreciates that word, it does describe an essential characteristic of healthy churches. They are able to think, plan, and act in alignment with the Great Commission. They understand their community and are engaged with it for the sake of proclaiming the Gospel.

What connects these two words is God’s mission (missio Dei). Healthy churches know that they are sent. ‘Sent’ is the meaning of the Latin word ‘missio.’ The members of these churches know that they are part of God’s missionary force, called, gifted and sent by God to make more disciples who make still more disciples who then gather into groups of disciples. Their vision is to make and multiply disciples. That’s why God put us Christians here in the first place.

As we celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, we give praise to God for His work through Dr. Martin Luther. Let’s consider what the great Reformer had to say about God’s mission as lived out by His people, the Church.

Luther encouraged the prayers and missionary work of God’s people in his exposition of John 14:12-14:

When a Christian comes to know Christ as his Lord and Savior, who has redeemed him from death, and is brought into His dominion and heritage, his heart is thoroughly permeated by God; then he would like to help everybody attain this blessedness. For he has no greater joy than the treasured knowledge of Christ. So he begins to teach and exhort others, confesses and commends his blessedness before everybody, and sighs and prays that they too, may come to this grace. He has a restless spirit while enjoying rest supreme, that is, God’s grace and peace. Therefore he cannot be quiet or idle but is forever struggling and striving with all his powers, as one living only to spread God’s honor and praise farther among mankind, to cause others also to receive this spirit of grace and through it also to help him pray. (Ewald Plass, What Luther Says, vol 2. Concordia Publishing House, 1955, page 959).

In a letter written in 1522, Luther gets to the heart of the missionary task, that is, a heart that knows the preciousness of Christ for itself and simply cannot keep it to himself or herself:

This noble Word brings with it a great hunger and insatiable thirst, so that we could not be satisfied even though many thousands of people believe on it; but we wish that no one should be without it. This thirst ever strives for more and does not rest; it moves us to speak, as David says: ‘I believed, therefore have I spoken.’ (Ps 116:10) (Plass, page 959).

In his lectures on Genesis 45:9-11, Luther says that those who have come to know God’s salvation must make it their business to tell others:

After we have learned to know God in His Son and have received the forgiveness of sins and the Holy Spirit, who endues hearts with joy and with the peace of soul by which we look with contempt on sin and death, what remains to be done? Go, and do not be silent. You are not the only one to be saved; the remaining multitude of men should also be preserved. (Plass, 960).

Two more quotes will show Luther’s conviction that the best way a Christian can serve his or her neighbor is to bring the neighbor to Christ:

We live on earth for no other purpose than to be helpful to others. Otherwise it would be best for God to take away our breath and let us die as soon as we are baptized and have begun to believe. But He lets us live here in order that we may lead other people to believe, doing for them what He has done for us. (Plass, 961).

No one can deny that every Christian possesses the word of God and is taught and anointed by God to be [a] priest, as Christ says, John 6:45 and Psalm 45:7… as Peter says too, 1 Peter 2:9, You are a royal priesthood so that you may declare the virtue of him who called you into his marvelous light… Here again it is certain that a Christian not only has the right and power to teach God’s word, but has the duty to do so on pain of losing his soul and of God’s disfavor. (Volker Stolle, Klaus Detlev Schulz, trans. The Church Comes from All Nations. Concordia Publishing House, 2003, page 21).  …

The Reformation work God performed through Martin Luther is not merely an historical event to celebrate 500 years later. Luther’s call for every Christian to share the life-changing Gospel message of Jesus with their family, friends, and neighbors is the ongoing re-formation work needed today. Making disciples who make more disciples who make still more disciples who gather in groups of disciples (planting new churches) is the task of every Christian and Christian church in this day as it was in the late 19th and early-mid 20th centuries.

If you are interested in reading the complete article, visit the Mission Moments blog.

Posted in Center for US Missions, Discipleship, Evangelism, Martin Luther, Missiology, Mission Moments, Missional, Missional Leadership, Missionary, Priesthood of all Believers, Rural evangelism, Small Town Evangelism, Urban Outreach, Witness, Word of God | Comments Off on “Recommit to Reformation” by Peter Meier

Fatal Flaws Film: The Candice Lewis interview. Candice was pressured to die by assisted death.

Kevin Dunn, Director of the film Fatal Flaws writes in a recent blog posting for Euthanasia Prevention Coalition:

Wherever you stand on the issue, it’s impossible to ignore the cultural shift in attitude towards euthanasia and assisted suicide. What was once considered murder under the law is now being accepted as medical ‘treatment’ in many countries. However, even the most ardent promoters of these laws are now saying the ‘genie is out of the bottle’ and are severely questioning where these laws have taken society.

In this first sneak preview, we travelled to St. Anthony, Newfoundland, Canada to interview 25 year old Candice Lewis and her mother Sheila Elson. Here they tell me how, during an emergency hospital stay, doctors pressured Candice into an assisted death. One year later, Candice – who lives with Cerebral Palsy – is back doing what she loves most, painting and being with her family.