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Messages - Dave Likeness

Nobody is disputing that all parish pastors are servants
of Christ. However, from my vantage point some pastors
become mentors for other pastors. Pastors Merkens and
Lindemann were extremely gifted and had plenty of wisdom
to share about the pastoral ministry concerning evangelism
and worship. Their parish experience helped mold other
Who are 4 pastors you would name as outstanding
parish pastors in the LCMS during the 20th Century?

I would suggest two pastors that come to my mind:

Rev. Guido Merkens (1927-2012) He served 42 years
at Concordia Lutheran Church, San Antonio, Texas.
He will be remembered for his energetic evangelism
efforts as the founding pastor of Concordia. For
many years his parish led the LCMS in Adult Confirmands.
He conducted seminars  in 49 states for thousands of
pastors and laity.

Rev. Herbert Fred Lindemann (1909-1995) He served
25 years at Redeemer Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne,
Indiana. He was known for his strong emphasis on the
worship life of the parish and the liturgy. He was
a leader in worship renewal in the LCMS. He was the
chairman of the Institute for Liturgical Studies at Valpo
University for almost 20 years.
Your Turn / Re: Lutheran Levity
January 06, 2024, 05:52:30 PM
Two retired Lutheran pastors got extremely cold
while paddling on the Yukon River in Alaska. 
They decided to build a fire in their boat which
burned and sank. This proves that you cannot
have your kayak and heat it too.
Your Turn / Re: Howdy and Happy New Year
January 05, 2024, 10:16:43 PM
Donna, perhaps your retirement will give you more
time to attend the University of Illinois football
and basketball games. Women's basketball has become
a big time college sport.  The Lord's blessing on
this next chapter in your life.
Your Turn / Re: Supply & Demand for LCMS Pastors
January 04, 2024, 02:53:47 PM
The history of rural LCMS parishes in the Midwest
demonstrates their impact on their members.  One
particular congregation in central Minnesota comes
to mind. It was chartered 145 years ago and their white
wooden church building is 120 years old.

Recent obituaries of their lifelong members who lived
to be 80 to 90 years old are interesting. They list the
date of their Baptism, Confirmation, Wedding and Funeral
as well as the pastor who officiated.  They list their
Confirmation memory verse along with the hymns sung
at their Wedding and Funeral.

Bottom Line: These LCMS rural congregations have a
Lutheran culture all of their own.
Your Turn / Re: Lutheran Levity
January 03, 2024, 03:20:37 PM
When Dr. Martin Luther conducted his first wedding
he was surprised.

At the wedding reception he saw a young man bring
a ladder to the Banquet Hall.

Luther politely asked him, "Why the Ladder?"

The man replied: "I heard the drinks were on the house."

Your Turn / Re: Supply & Demand for LCMS Pastors
December 29, 2023, 06:02:17 PM
There is a big difference for those who
are second career men in the pastoral ministry
and those who went directly to college and seminary
after high school. 

Second career men bring their experience from the
corporation or company where they were employed.
Now they want to make a difference in people's
lives with God's Word and Sacraments. Some may
have the opportunity to serve 20 years as a parish

Those who went immediately to a Lutheran University
and then a Lutheran Seminary after high school, they
will have the opportunity to serve 40 years as a
parish pastor. Length of service in the pastoral
ministry is just one difference.

Bottom Line: Both of these avenues to the parish are
necessary in today's world.  The Lord needs workers
in His Church.

Your Turn / Re: Supply & Demand for LCMS Pastors
December 26, 2023, 05:47:38 PM
Before we cry in our Luther Beer Steins, the shrinking
of Christianity in America is not limited to us

The 2023 book The Great Dechurching has some sad data.
70% of our nation's parishes have 100 or fewer people
in weekly worship. Only 10% have more than 250 folks
in weekly worship. 70% of all U.S. church attenders
go to churches that have 250 or more in attendance.
Your Turn / Re: Supply & Demand for LCMS Pastors
December 26, 2023, 12:57:41 PM
Mr. Mundinger asks what approaches the LCMS is
considering for small parishes which cannot afford
a full-time pastor.

On the District level these small parishes can be
asked to do a self-study as they look at their options.
The District cannot force any type of action, however
many parishes of their own free-will have opted to
form dual parishes.

In the LCMS, the Central Illinois District has seen
a sizeable increase in dual parishes. Currently, there
are now 12 dual parishes.  This means one pastor serves
two congregations who share his salary costs.  There
are also several other parishes presently considering
this action.

Bottom Line: In Central Illinois District there are not
24 small parishes trying to call a pastor. Instead we
have 12 dual parishes who have a full-time pastor.

Your Turn / Re: Supply & Demand for LCMS Pastors
December 25, 2023, 04:08:09 PM
I agree with you Randy.  Ideally it would be
wonderful to have a full-time pastor. Reality
perhaps means they no longer need a full-time
pastor due to lack of finances and shrinking
membership. They might have 50 people or less
in weekly worship.
Your Turn / Supply & Demand for LCMS Pastors
December 25, 2023, 02:54:16 PM
At the November, 2023 Council of Presidents meeting,
the following was a report from the 35 Districts:

Parishes calling for solo pastor....438
Parishes calling for senior pastor...61
Parishes calling for associate pastor.69

Parishes not calling but served by part time pastor 579

Bottom Line: 568 parishes are calling a pastor
and 579 parishes need a pastor but are not calling one.
The LCMS has about 6,000 parishes and 1079 need a pastor.
Your Turn / Re: Male and Female
December 22, 2023, 09:15:58 AM
The fact that 100% of incoming students receive
scholarships or grants probably made the trustees
of St. Mary's College reverse their decision on
December 21, 2023.  According to their website
some of their financial donors were stopping their
donations until they reverted to only biological
women as students.
Your Turn / Re: Global Methodist Church Is 1 Year Old
December 20, 2023, 03:16:02 PM
As of December 20, 2023, 7,600 congregations
have left the United Methodist Church denomination.
This is a 25% exodus from the UMC which had about
30,000 congregations. Not all of them have joined
the Global Methodist Church denomination.

Dec. 31, 2023 is the deadline for a peaceful exit
from the UMC. It has been called the biggest schism
in recent Protestant history in America.
Here is a list of official acts in Lutheran Church of Norway

Infant Baptisms: 1960: 96% of population, 2019 only 51%

Youth Confirmands: 1960: 93% of population, 2019 only 54%

Church Weddings: 1960: 85% of population, 2019 only 31%

Church Funerals: 1960 Stats not available
 2019 it was 85% of population

Bottom Line: In 2019, only 3% of the population of Norway
attended Sunday Worship more than once a month
The Roman Catholic Church still believes in the
Sacrament of Marriage for one man and one woman.

The Ritual of Blessing for gay couples will counter
act the seriousness of their Sacrament of Marriage.
Perhaps Pope Francis is struggling to remain relevant
in the 21st century. This was a public relations
move and not a theological one.
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