Nominees for Concordia Seminary President Announced

Started by D. Engebretson, January 15, 2020, 12:18:42 PM

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Dave Benke

Quote from: FrPeters on February 08, 2021, 04:20:13 PM
QuoteEgger was nominated in that way among the other interior candidates, Larry, not in a way unique to him.

Scratching my head... was not that the point of my post?  He was initially nominated by the faculty .

My words were in response to this:

QuoteThat search committee did not bring Dr. Egger forward as a finalist candidate. The electors re-added his name over the recommendation of the search committee. If he accepts the call, he will be the president at an institution where a committee that included 7 of his faculty did not forward his name to be president...

What did I say other than to point out he was not an outside name added but on the original list and brought forward by ALL the electors to be one of two and then the one selected?

That bolded part interests me, that all - four - electors put Prof. Egger to be one of the two finalists.  That they went "back" to get him means they had dealt themselves seven cards for the finalist hand and somehow discarded six.  Oops!  One too many. 

So they went backwards to the 37 other names.  My guess - guess it is - is that they went back to the 37 other names and chose more than one, or one who was not Egger.

Dialog then ensued among the electors, while poor Joel Lehenbauer sat like little Jack Horner all alone in the corner.  And Egger emerged, like Neo, as the One to join Joel.  After all, they had 37 people among whom to choose,  having abandoned six of the seven finalists.  When I scratched my head on this, I thought, "I'll bet they had others from that group that could not muster the united Elector Finalist List, and eventually it came to Professor Egger.  As, for good or evil, a veteran of many of these types of selection efforts, that process makes the most sense to me.

Dave Benke
It's OK to Pray

Dave Benke

Quote from: PrTim15 on February 08, 2021, 06:11:43 PM
Biggest issue at Seminary enrollment...I'm never sure how to handle the comment that I heard not long ago, "well God's not calling men to be pastors like he was." Put that enrollment number on a wall in everybody's office. Pray for it, strategize toward it and watch God open door after door.

This number would sure be a great one to drive other change in LCMS. The conversation could go away from "well we have 40 guys ready to go and 80 churches that need them." Could be something more like, "Well here's 150 candidates who are ready to serve and go into the harvest field, and COP we need 80 more calls to parishes." I'm fairly sure nobody who lives within spitting distance of inside of the 270 Beltway would know how to have the conversation yet. The pressure on the system if we had more church workers may cause it to pop.

That's good from a numerical perspective, Tim.  Currently the downsizing concept is that after the small to tiny shakedown cruise that's coming down the pike, the thinking is that we'll have 50 guys ready to go and 50 parishes ready to take somebody.  And many of those will be two or three point parishes. 

If you front-load an excess of candidates, you could "get away" with it for a year or two, but then it would drive the enrollment down by an even bigger factor, as 50 or 100 men and their families sat waiting in the wings with nothing. 

What happened too often in the not-that-distant past was that candidates were sent to congregations that were so marginal that they could really only "afford" a pastor for half a year or so, during which time he was supposed to bring in the necessary membership and money to cover his own compensation.  Which is unfair.  But which does lead to thought-processes about having a side hustle or an alternate hustle for anyone going to the seminary.  Which then is vocationally a potential stretch, even though Paul did it for a long time and mostly, I think, was considered an apostle rather than a tent-maker who had a side Gospel hustle.  Then that should be clear to the entering student.  I don't know if that's the case. 

The underlying question is if we're either closing or more likely merging congregations at an increasing rate, are we opening the same amount or more?  What does "opening" mean anymore?  In the Missouri Synod, I think the engine for that, which will probably cause trouble on this board, is the large to very large congregations, which can not only spin off daughters, but can also lend leaders and parishioners to the effort to going into X neighborhood where there once was a church or Y neighborhood where we've never been before.  That labor and talent pool is already in place, wouldn't you say, Tim?

Dave Benke
It's OK to Pray

Dave Likeness

Bishop Benke raises the concept that was prevalent in the 1960's.  The idea of
very large parishes  starting daughter congregations in a new area which is fertile
ground for a mission start. Obviously, it was not as costly to start a mission parish
in that decade.  Today, more mission parishes are started because a group of the
laity are in an area without a Lutheran church.  However, some mission-minded
LCMS Districts have a heart and passion for mission start ups.

Jim Butler

Quote from: Dave Likeness on February 08, 2021, 09:13:40 PM
Bishop Benke raises the concept that was prevalent in the 1960's.  The idea of
very large parishes  starting daughter congregations in a new area which is fertile
ground for a mission start. Obviously, it was not as costly to start a mission parish
in that decade.  Today, more mission parishes are started because a group of the
laity are in an area without a Lutheran church.  However, some mission-minded
LCMS Districts have a heart and passion for mission start ups.

I think one of the differences now is that larger churches create satellite congregations instead of planting completely new churches, e.g. the church in Nixa that the dude posted on Facebook about leaving is a satellite congregation of a church in Springfield, MO.
"Pastor Butler... [is] deaf to the cries of people like me, dismissing our concerns as Satanic scenarios, denouncing our faith and our very existence."--Charles Austin

PrTim15

Yes and congregations seem to be reaching out to others as well. I appreciate your comments and math Dave, you speak from greater understanding than I do. If we didn't need more guys that makes me sad.

FrPeters

I have mixed feelings about the satellite thing.  If an area is highly mobile or its future uncertain, a satellite is easier and cheaper to start up than a stand alone congregation.  But in some respects a satellite is like the mother church saying we do not trust anything but our leadership to know what is best for this group of people or that.  I am old enough to remember when a mother church sent a couple of hundred of its folks who lived in one area with some money and told them to start a congregation and supported that mission but without controlling them.  All the satellites I know are tied with more than money to the mother -- they are absolutely under the financial and operational control of the mom church. 
Fr Larry Peters
Grace LCMS, Clarksville, TN
http://www.pastoralmeanderings.blogspot.com/

peter_speckhard

Quote from: FrPeters on February 09, 2021, 09:49:55 AM
I have mixed feelings about the satellite thing.  If an area is highly mobile or its future uncertain, a satellite is easier and cheaper to start up than a stand alone congregation.  But in some respects a satellite is like the mother church saying we do not trust anything but our leadership to know what is best for this group of people or that.  I am old enough to remember when a mother church sent a couple of hundred of its folks who lived in one area with some money and told them to start a congregation and supported that mission but without controlling them.  All the satellites I know are tied with more than money to the mother -- they are absolutely under the financial and operational control of the mom church.
Part of that has to do with presumed reasons why one church thrives and another dies. Many satellites are not new starts but absorption of a dying congregation by a larger congregation. The larger congregation does not want to simply volunteer to pay the bills of a neighboring church. It wants to integrate the ministries. But the smaller church wants to keep control and not be integrated into a large ministry. It sees it as, "You can afford to pay our light bill. We can't. We're fellow Christians, you should help us out." The unspoken part of it is that the thriving congregation sees its own thriving as a result of its way of doing things and the death of the dying congregation as a result of its way of doing things. The dying congregation often does not see it that way.   

Dave Benke

#802
Quote from: peter_speckhard on February 09, 2021, 10:12:00 AM
Quote from: FrPeters on February 09, 2021, 09:49:55 AM
I have mixed feelings about the satellite thing.  If an area is highly mobile or its future uncertain, a satellite is easier and cheaper to start up than a stand alone congregation.  But in some respects a satellite is like the mother church saying we do not trust anything but our leadership to know what is best for this group of people or that.  I am old enough to remember when a mother church sent a couple of hundred of its folks who lived in one area with some money and told them to start a congregation and supported that mission but without controlling them.  All the satellites I know are tied with more than money to the mother -- they are absolutely under the financial and operational control of the mom church.
Part of that has to do with presumed reasons why one church thrives and another dies. Many satellites are not new starts but absorption of a dying congregation by a larger congregation. The larger congregation does not want to simply volunteer to pay the bills of a neighboring church. It wants to integrate the ministries. But the smaller church wants to keep control and not be integrated into a large ministry. It sees it as, "You can afford to pay our light bill. We can't. We're fellow Christians, you should help us out." The unspoken part of it is that the thriving congregation sees its own thriving as a result of its way of doing things and the death of the dying congregation as a result of its way of doing things. The dying congregation often does not see it that way.

That's an apt statement of the facts of the case.  The golden rule applies - the one with the gold wins.  At the other end of that scale is the phrase "presumed reasons."  My own opinion over time is that the better way of proceeding, if at all possible, is to close the dwindling location including its facility, find other church homes for the existing members, and start fresh in that community under the auspices of the group that wants to initiate new mission.   The folks in that dwindling congregation are usually out of gas, out of money, out of sorts and out of time.  They ask for and need capable pastoral care.  Their legacy then is not the facility, but that the work of the Gospel continues in that community/neighborhood. 

To be frank, I think some of the time at least the reason the satellite or other work-togethers take place, usually with the wider church (LCMS district, ELCA synod) involved, is that there's a fear that the out of sorts downtrodden group will do something crazy, like sell the building themselves and before going out of business give the money away to things that are not in the control of the wider church or some other mission enterprise.  So it ends up being about the gold in a different, preventative way from the wider church perspective, or in an aggressive keep your hands off our resources way from the downtrodden group perspective.

This is why we need a straight-ahead hierarchical Lutheranism.  Way better for planning.  The LCMS "way" is really more of a historical oddity based on specific circumstance, buttressed by the then-available bible passages and frontier American property-consciousness.

Dave Benke
It's OK to Pray

Charles Austin

Sometime in the late 1950s, my home congregation of about 700 members sent 200 of those members out of our fellowship so they could found a church about eight miles away in a growing area. That church, founded by the people we sent out to do so, now has 429 Baptized members, average attendance 162. My home congregation now has 195 Baptized members, average attendance 60, and a pastor who earns part of his income as a lawyer.
ELCA PASTOR. Iowa born and raised. And look at this. Here's the old 1960s protestor and critic of our government as virtually the only "love this country" patriot in this forum.

Mark Brown

Quote from: peter_speckhard on February 09, 2021, 10:12:00 AM
Quote from: FrPeters on February 09, 2021, 09:49:55 AM
I have mixed feelings about the satellite thing.  If an area is highly mobile or its future uncertain, a satellite is easier and cheaper to start up than a stand alone congregation.  But in some respects a satellite is like the mother church saying we do not trust anything but our leadership to know what is best for this group of people or that.  I am old enough to remember when a mother church sent a couple of hundred of its folks who lived in one area with some money and told them to start a congregation and supported that mission but without controlling them.  All the satellites I know are tied with more than money to the mother -- they are absolutely under the financial and operational control of the mom church.
Part of that has to do with presumed reasons why one church thrives and another dies. Many satellites are not new starts but absorption of a dying congregation by a larger congregation. The larger congregation does not want to simply volunteer to pay the bills of a neighboring church. It wants to integrate the ministries. But the smaller church wants to keep control and not be integrated into a large ministry. It sees it as, "You can afford to pay our light bill. We can't. We're fellow Christians, you should help us out." The unspoken part of it is that the thriving congregation sees its own thriving as a result of its way of doing things and the death of the dying congregation as a result of its way of doing things. The dying congregation often does not see it that way.

And of course a deeper part of that is so many of the larger churches are actually "conquering" churches.  They strip-mined the other local congregations in the area usually in the 90's by directly pitching first the worship wars and then all the family attractional stuff after they had taken enough of the other congregation's flock to get some lock-in.  Usually while there were ongoing pastoral feuds for decades over exactly this stuff.  It is amazing the stories one receives.

Weedon

#805
I am no fan of "Satellite" Churches, but the phenomenon does make me wonder if it's the transparochial nature of the Church reasserting itself in some less than felicitious fashion. Thinking of Missouri's heritage particularly: in Saxony in Leipzig at the time of Bach, the way that there were a number of churches and they shared some of the clergy and the musicians between them. Or again, of the arrangement in St. Louis between congregations that also shared clergy in Walther's day. I think it is treating the congregation as virtually autonomous [and above all in competition one with another] that is the odd man out in Lutheran and Christian history.

Rev Geminn

Mark and Will,

To me it speaks of two things: the breakdown of institutional trust coupled with our hyper-individualism.  I said this a while ago on here regarding congregational "takeovers" (I recognize that may be too strong of a word), but my concern is about who is setting the rules. Like so many other things, it's good until it's bad.  In work such as ours, which is hard to quantify, that's a recipe for disaster.

Peace,
Scott+

Mark Brown

Will, yeah, satellites, as much as I don't really appreciate how they often come about, are probably a step toward something more healthy ecclesially.  They are an establishment of some shared ministerium.  The problem, as Scott gets at, is that it is on a legal basis.  There is no consolation in the gospel, no shared burdens. But we might need the training of the law to learn it again.

PrTim15

When the dark of Covid is over and the light of healing shines upon congregations and across our denomination, what percentage of congregations in the LCMS will either close or have to close? Probably at this point, given the hyper individualism, a done deal for a number of churches as nobody reached out to them and they didn't reach out either. Will be interesting to see how the visible church is refined through this time.

peter_speckhard

Quote from: PrTim15 on February 09, 2021, 04:59:56 PM
When the dark of Covid is over and the light of healing shines upon congregations and across our denomination, what percentage of congregations in the LCMS will either close or have to close? Probably at this point, given the hyper individualism, a done deal for a number of churches as nobody reached out to them and they didn't reach out either. Will be interesting to see how the visible church is refined through this time.
I think you'll see a fair number of them limp along with pure supply preaching. It gives retired guys a very part-time, low pressure gig for some extra money and lets a congregation of 20 or 30 people gather in the place they love. It will become common enough to be considered a "no harm, no foul" approach that isn't good but also isn't bad enough to do anything about.

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