LifeDate — A Journal Addressing Life Matters from Lutherans for Life

The spring 2017 edition of LifeDate will be going to press very soon. LifeDate is another way to share the For Life message with your congregation! Order LifeDate in bulk quantities at no charge. (Donations for shipping cost will gladly be accepted.) Call 888.364.LIFE (5433) to order!

Regarding LifeDate, a reader sent this note: “It is such a blessing to read LifeDate, and I appreciate that you put value on God’s gift of life in its full spectrum. Thank you for the many thoughtful perspectives your writers share … The issues that your publication addresses are ones that every family will face in one way or another. Thank you for the guidance and godly wisdom that your articles give. May the Lord continue to bless your work.”

LifeDate is Lutherans For Life’s quarterly journal of news and commentary offering a biblical Law/Gospel perspective on life issues, such as abortion, post abortion, adoption, end of life, bioethics, creation, family life, worldview and culture, and more.

There are a limited number of copies of back issues of LifeDate that are free upon request. Please call 888.364.LIFE (5433) or email info@lutheransforlife.org to order.

Posted in Abortion, Abortion Recovery, Discipleship, Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, Lutheran Church -- Canada, Lutherans for Life, Lutherans for Life -- Canada, Pro-Life, Prolife | Comments Off on LifeDate — A Journal Addressing Life Matters from Lutherans for Life

The 2017 Global Leadership Summit — This August and October

Two Days of World-Class Leadership Training (August 10-11; October 19-20)

  • Gain exclusive access to the HD telecast of the Summit at one of 600+ location
  • Get a unique blend of vision, inspiration and practical skills you can immediately apply
  • Learn from Bill Hybels and the diverse 2017 faculty
  • Leverage the Summit as a resource to transform yourself and your community
  • Join with people from 125 countries and 59 languages who attend the Summit around the world

For more information and/or to register: Visit 2017 Global Leadership Summit.

Posted in Bill Hybels, Discipleship, Global Leadership Summit, Missional Leadership | Comments Off on The 2017 Global Leadership Summit — This August and October

A NEW Lutheran Mission Matters

The latest issue of the Lutheran Mission Matters journal is now in print. Articles will soon be added to LSFM.global. The inspiring articles center around the theme of Science and Mission. Read this article about Lutheran mission’s contribution to the eradication of smallpox.

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“Get Out!” by Rev. Dr. Peter A. Meier

Dr. Peter Meier, the Executive Director of the Center for US Missions, writes in Mission Moments (January 16, 2017):

A Facebook post by Church Planter Kyle Blake caught my eye.

As an urban missionary, and pastor, I find that my most productive ministry days aren’t ones where I’m sitting in my office, they’re days where I’m walking the streets.

This morning, in the rain, I walked the neighborhood around our church for a little over an hour. Jesus was certainly with me because I saw God do some awesome things in that hour: begin to open doors with community organizations, allow me to share the Gospel and pray with a couple guys, and allow me to connect with another couple guys that I haven’t talked to in a bit.

I want to challenge my pastor friends, and everyone else, to get out of your office or home and go for a walk. Ask Jesus to open your eyes as you walk, and be ready to see things that you have not before.

Thank you, Kyle! Thank you for sharing your experience and encouraging all who call themselves “Child of God” to get out and do what Jesus commanded a long time ago, “Going, make disciples of all nations…”

Our versions translate that Greek participle as “Go.” That’s okay I guess, except for the fact that many understand it to be a command, “Go far away…” or “Go somewhere else…” to make disciples. Really, Jesus is telling us that we are to be making disciples as we go, wherever we are, in our own contexts, homes, families, neighborhoods, workplaces, schools and gathering places. As you are going, make disciples.

I’ve often said that when Jesus said, “GO” he meant “Get Out!” Get Out of the pews! Get Out of the church building! Get Out of your comfortable bubble and Get Out into the world – into your own personal mission field, wherever that might be! Get Out among people who may not be like you, but who need Jesus just like you do. Get Out where you can strike up conversations, where you can do real ministry, caring for people in their need, and where you will learn how to love your neighborhood and your neighbors.

The best example of this is Jesus Himself. He spent the majority of his time outside the Temple and synagogues. Jesus got out among the people, especially the poor and marginalized, the outcasts and sinners. His disciples learned as they were sent out, as they were on the road and in people’s homes, and in the marketplaces with Jesus.

If the church exists to do God’s mission, then to do the work of the church (“church work”) means we need to Get Out!

Questions for Discussion (Personal or Group Reflection)

1. Why do we often think of “church work” only as serving and doing tasks in the church building or only as done by professionals? What difference would it make to think of “church work” as the people of God engaged in God’s mission in their daily life?

2. Where do you need to “GO” to make disciples?

3. How does the Great Commission (Read Matthew 28:18-20) inform and direct your daily life?

4. What needs to happen in your church to create a culture of “going?”

5. Brainstorm a list of the people you see and places you go every day. What does your list tell you about your mission field? What mission prayers does your list suggest?

Posted in Center for US Missions, Church Planting, Church revitalization, Evangelism, Lutheran Missiology, Missional, Missional Leadership, Missionary, Priesthood of all Believers, Rural evangelism, Small Town Evangelism, Urban Outreach | Comments Off on “Get Out!” by Rev. Dr. Peter A. Meier

“Why ‘The Bible Says So’ Is Not Enough Anymore” — Andy Stanley

Andy Stanley writes,

Appealing to post-Christian people on the basis of the authority of Scripture has essentially the same effect as a Muslim imam appealing to you on the basis of the authority of the Quran. You may or may not already know what it says. But it doesn’t matter. The Quran doesn’t carry any weight with you. You don’t view the Quran as authoritative.

Close to half our population does not view the Bible as authoritative either. If you’re trying to reach people with an undergraduate degree or greater, over half your target audience will not be moved by the Bible says, the Bible teaches, God’s Word is clear or anything along those lines. If that’s the approach to preaching and teaching you grew up with and are most comfortable with, you’re no doubt having a good ol’ throw-down debate with me in your head about now—a debate I’m sure you’re winning. But before you chapter and verse me against the wall and put me in a sovereignty-of-God headlock, would you stop and ask yourself: Why does this bother me so much? Why does this bother me so much—really?

Interest peeked? Read the entire article at: Why ‘The Bible Says So’ Is Not Enough Anymore.

Posted in Bible, Evangelism, Missionary | Comments Off on “Why ‘The Bible Says So’ Is Not Enough Anymore” — Andy Stanley

“I am N” — Inspirational Stories of Christians Facing Islamic Extremists

I am N is an inspiring and challenging book that shares 50 true stories of Christians who are experiencing persecution due to Islamic extremism. I am N reminds us that wherever we live, we are the brothers and sisters of these suffering believers. So come meet them and their families by reading their insightful stories. Learn from them, pray for them, and deepen your faith in God who gives His children the courage to love even their persecutors.

There are a number of other I am N resources available:

* 90 day devotional called I am N
* I am N wristbands.
* I am N Curriculum Kit
* I am N Participant’s Guide
* I am N CD (music)

All these I am N products are available from The Voice of the Martyrs Canada. You can view a 21-minute video about VOM’s new I am N resources at: I am N.

Posted in Christian persecution, Discipleship, Persecution, Voice of the Martyrs | Comments Off on “I am N” — Inspirational Stories of Christians Facing Islamic Extremists

“We’re All in This Together” — Rev. Gregory Seltz

Rev. Gregory Seltz, the speaker for The Lutheran Hour, comments on the importance of every follower of Jesus being engaged in serving their Lord. He writes,

The universal priesthood was the truth that ALL BELIEVERS HAVE UNIQUE SERVICE TO RENDER TO OTHERS IN CHRIST. It was misunderstood in Luther’s time as something only certain Christians could do. Today it is often misunderstood as an issue of ‘who gets to be in charge.’ Those ideas miss the point entirely because all ministry is an opportunity to serve those that God has brought into your life, on God’s terms, in the various vocations where He has placed us all. That is exciting indeed!

What an incredible thing, then, to be resources by Jesus, led by Jesus, empowered by His Word, and then placed in ‘callings’ that might seem merely as regular, ordinary stations in life. But, now IN CHRIST, they are part of a believer’s priestly service to those God brings into your life. That means that each day, every aspect of our lives is dedicated to the Lord Jesus Christ to be His ambassador of a gracious, eternal life to anyone and everyone we meet.

Priestly service, it starts with our families, our spouses, our children. It starts in our places of work, the communities in which we live. All those places that seem so ordinary now, because we are Christ’s people THERE, they are part of Christ’s spiritual service to others through YOU.

To read the complete article, visit: “We’re All in This Together.”

From: “We’re All in This Together!” The Lutheran Layman (Jan-Feb. 2017, p. 4)

Posted in Discipleship, Evangelism, Lutheran Hour Ministries, Lutheran Laymen's League, Lutheran Missiology, Missional, Priesthood of all Believers | Comments Off on “We’re All in This Together” — Rev. Gregory Seltz

God’s Love Defies Human Comprehension! Merry CHRISTmas!

God’s love defies human comprehension. Who of us can grasp that God loves His depraved and disobedient human creation so much that He assumes flesh and blood in order to bring about restoration and reconciliation between Himself and humanity? And yet, that is the mysterious and miraculous message of Christmas! God becomes a man so that He can rescue His people from the curse of sin and death. The writer to the Hebrews states, “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” (Hebrews 2:14-15) Such wondrous love leaves me speechless! Such boundless love moves me to join the angelic chorus in song as we worship our loving God!

I cannot think of a better way to wish you a Merry Christmas than to invite you to sing (or listen to) the majestic hymn, “Of the Father’s Love Begotten” sung by a gathering of Lutheran youth. I have included the words of this glorious hymn below.

“Of the Father’s Love Begotten” by Aurelius C. Prudentius, 413, cento. Translated by John. M. Neale, 1818-1866 and Henry W. Baker, 1821-1977 (Lutheran Service Book 384)

Of the Father’s love begotten
Ere the worlds began to be,
He is Alpha and Omega,
He the Source, the Ending He,
Of the things that are, that have been,
And that future years shall see
Evermore and evermore.

Oh, that birth forever blessed
When the Virgin, full of grace,
By the Holy Ghost conceiving,
Bore the Savior of our race,
And the Babe, the world’s Redeemer,
First revealed His sacred face
Evermore and evermore.

This is He whom Heaven-taught singers
Sang of old with one accord;
Whom the Scriptures of the prophets
Promised in their faithful word.
Now He shines, the Long-expected;
Let creation praise its Lord
Evermore and evermore.

O ye heights of heaven, adore Him;
Angel hosts, His praises sing;
Powers, dominions, bow before Him
And extol our God and King.
Let no tongue on earth be silent,
Every voice in concert ring
Evermore and evermore.

Christ, to Thee, with God the Father,
And, O Holy Ghost, to Thee
Hymn and chant and high thanksgiving
And unending praises be,
Honor, glory, and dominion,
And eternal victory
Evermore and evermore.

Posted in Christ Child, Christian church, Christmas, Forgiveness, God, Grace, Holy Trinity, Incarnation, Jesus Christ, Messiah, missio Dei, Salvation, Saviour | Comments Off on God’s Love Defies Human Comprehension! Merry CHRISTmas!

A Manual to Help You Birth a New Community of Faith

The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod’s Office of National Mission is investing significant energy and effort in working with our districts to assist in their church planting efforts.

Church planting can be accomplished through mother congregations, sponsoring circuits, or planting networks that may simply need support to get things started. Partnerships are also formed between struggling congregations in the inner city or rural areas and healthy congregations who wish to help them restart.

Mission Field: USA is the flexible framework for technical support, training, equipping and organizing church planting in multiple settings and contexts.

You can download a copy of Mission Field: USA: A Resource of Church Planting.  A Resource for Church Planting is a theological and practical manual for mission work, and it provides a foundation for what it means to be a Lutheran congregation. This manual also offers a step-by-step approach from forming a core group to becoming a fully established congregation in the LCMS.

Posted in Church Planting, Church revitalization, Discipleship, Evangelism, Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, Lutheran Missiology, Missional, Missional Communities, Missionary, Priesthood of all Believers, Rural evangelism, Small Town Evangelism, Urban Outreach | Comments Off on A Manual to Help You Birth a New Community of Faith

Sign Up for the Prayer Challenge and Get the Free Pocket Prayers eBook by Max Lucado

Do you want to know the keys to moving from a prayer wimp to a prayer warrior? Would you like to pray more? Better? Stronger? With more fire, faith, and fervency?

Join Max Lucado and thousands of others around the world, praying every day for four weeks! The Before Amen Prayer Challenge is simple: 4 minutes praying every day, for 4 weeks, and it will change your life forever.

When you sign up you’ll receive the FREE eBook, Pocket Prayers: 40 Simple Prayers That Bring Peace and Rest by Max and Andrea Lucado.

Posted in Discipleship, Prayer | Comments Off on Sign Up for the Prayer Challenge and Get the Free Pocket Prayers eBook by Max Lucado