Author Topic: Megadeth Bassist to be an LCMS pastor thanks to SMP  (Read 16393 times)

John_Hannah

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Re: Megadeth Bassist to be an LCMS pastor thanks to SMP
« Reply #60 on: January 22, 2012, 01:44:07 PM »
Whoa! I'm not prosecuting or persecuting anyone. I made an observation based upon personal experience at one seminary with some knowledge of the other over 40 years ago. This I compared to what I know today. Count it as 70 years of experience with the LCMS.

I don't know exact numbers. I do know that the number of students is considerably lower than was the case even ten years ago. There is an added problem; the number of available calls for graduates is shrinking. Whether anyone is counting that decline or not, it will eventually take care of itself without me.

Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

George Erdner

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Re: Megadeth Bassist to be an LCMS pastor thanks to SMP
« Reply #61 on: January 22, 2012, 01:55:53 PM »
Would there be the same level of kvetching about the SMP if the person in question was a session player who played bass more or less anonymously on hundreds of different recordings? What if it he was a bass player who played in some lounge singer's band that toured night clubs and gambling casinos? What if he played the bass fiddle in a major symphony orchestra?

Rev. Matthew Uttenreither

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Re: Megadeth Bassist to be an LCMS pastor thanks to SMP
« Reply #62 on: January 22, 2012, 02:03:38 PM »
As far as I can tell, there is only one person "kvetching" (to use your word) about the lyrics of the band.  The "kvetching" has more to do with the actual program and the perceived misrepresentation of the program than the bassist from a c-list metal band.

Daniel L. Gard

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Re: Megadeth Bassist to be an LCMS pastor thanks to SMP
« Reply #63 on: January 22, 2012, 02:12:22 PM »
The problem for the future of seminaries is not SMP (or TEEM). The real problem is sustaining seminaries staffed for candidate student body levels of the 1950s when we have actually declined sharply in the last 60 years.

If we focus on the merits and demerits of SMP, we will avoid addressing real problem and fail to arrive at real solutions.

Peace, JOHN

Pastor Hannah,

This is what you wrote. The real problem, in your words, is "sustaining seminaries staffed for candidate student body levels of the 1950s when we have actually declined sharply in the last 60 years." You have effectively charged the seminaries with causing the "real problem" - all I ask is that such a statement be backed up by facts rather than mere observations.

John_Hannah

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Re: Megadeth Bassist to be an LCMS pastor thanks to SMP
« Reply #64 on: January 22, 2012, 03:19:15 PM »
The problem for the future of seminaries is not SMP (or TEEM). The real problem is sustaining seminaries staffed for candidate student body levels of the 1950s when we have actually declined sharply in the last 60 years.

If we focus on the merits and demerits of SMP, we will avoid addressing real problem and fail to arrive at real solutions.

Peace, JOHN

Pastor Hannah,

This is what you wrote. The real problem, in your words, is "sustaining seminaries staffed for candidate student body levels of the 1950s when we have actually declined sharply in the last 60 years." You have effectively charged the seminaries with causing the "real problem" - all I ask is that such a statement be backed up by facts rather than mere observations.

I am not "charging" anyone or any institution with anything.

I did not say anyone or any institution is "causing" the problem.

I made a simple observation which can be verified, proven inaccurate, or ignored.

Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

Daniel L. Gard

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Re: Megadeth Bassist to be an LCMS pastor thanks to SMP
« Reply #65 on: January 22, 2012, 03:26:01 PM »
The problem for the future of seminaries is not SMP (or TEEM). The real problem is sustaining seminaries staffed for candidate student body levels of the 1950s when we have actually declined sharply in the last 60 years.

If we focus on the merits and demerits of SMP, we will avoid addressing real problem and fail to arrive at real solutions.

Peace, JOHN

Pastor Hannah,

This is what you wrote. The real problem, in your words, is "sustaining seminaries staffed for candidate student body levels of the 1950s when we have actually declined sharply in the last 60 years." You have effectively charged the seminaries with causing the "real problem" - all I ask is that such a statement be backed up by facts rather than mere observations.

I am not "charging" anyone or any institution with anything.

I did not say anyone or any institution is "causing" the problem.

I made a simple observation which can be verified, proven inaccurate, or ignored.

Peace, JOHN

Then please verify it if you would. Otherwise, I'll consider the topic closed.

Peace to you also, DAN

iowakatie1981

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Re: Megadeth Bassist to be an LCMS pastor thanks to SMP
« Reply #66 on: January 22, 2012, 05:39:23 PM »
The point of these is that the urgency of the need means that it would not be prudent to uproot the candidate from job, family, and neighborhood only to have them come back to where they were to serve disconnected from the culture they left behind and liturgical Lutherans.... okay that was not the real issue... but it could be and probably is among some...

We don't have all that many places with needs that create such a big urgency and the programs are ripe for abuse by those who do not want to be Lutheranized or who do not want to put in the time.

Rast is right -- not a sem issue but a church one and as long as we are moved by so-called urgencies to justify all sorts of ways to bypass the sems, we will end up with two classes of clergy and with a route to avoid the very things that sems were designed to offer us... not in the least of which is some homogeneity of doctrine and practice.

But what do I know....

Two classes of clergy?  Methinks that's only likely if those in either "class" work to ensure that it happens...

Look, I'm not the biggest fan of TEEM/distance-learning stuff.  I'm not a hater, but I do greatly sympathize with the "there's something to be gained by being on campus" argument.  That said: last year when I was on my internship in rural ND, our little conference within the synod contained 1) an older guy nearing retirement, 2) a middle-aged guy in mid-career, 3) a first-call pastor from one of the seminaries out east, 4) a "rostered layman" serving as pastor (who had been at the parish for about 10 yrs), 5) an interim, 6) a recent TEEM grad in the process of being called to the multi-point parish he had been serving, and 7) Q the Intern.  While undoubtedly 3, 4, 6, and 7 understood that we didn't yet have the training/experience of say, #1, nobody felt like (or was treated like) a second-class citizen. 

Not to insert my nose too much here, but if you don't like SMP/whatever and it appears to be sticking around, you can either come to terms with it, or not come to terms with it and take out your dislike of the leadership's decisions and the program itself on the its graduates.  One of these will necessarily create "two classes of clergy", and the other will not. 

Daniel L. Gard

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Re: Megadeth Bassist to be an LCMS pastor thanks to SMP
« Reply #67 on: January 22, 2012, 06:01:16 PM »
The point of these is that the urgency of the need means that it would not be prudent to uproot the candidate from job, family, and neighborhood only to have them come back to where they were to serve disconnected from the culture they left behind and liturgical Lutherans.... okay that was not the real issue... but it could be and probably is among some...

We don't have all that many places with needs that create such a big urgency and the programs are ripe for abuse by those who do not want to be Lutheranized or who do not want to put in the time.

Rast is right -- not a sem issue but a church one and as long as we are moved by so-called urgencies to justify all sorts of ways to bypass the sems, we will end up with two classes of clergy and with a route to avoid the very things that sems were designed to offer us... not in the least of which is some homogeneity of doctrine and practice.

But what do I know....

Two classes of clergy?  Methinks that's only likely if those in either "class" work to ensure that it happens...

Look, I'm not the biggest fan of TEEM/distance-learning stuff.  I'm not a hater, but I do greatly sympathize with the "there's something to be gained by being on campus" argument.  That said: last year when I was on my internship in rural ND, our little conference within the synod contained 1) an older guy nearing retirement, 2) a middle-aged guy in mid-career, 3) a first-call pastor from one of the seminaries out east, 4) a "rostered layman" serving as pastor (who had been at the parish for about 10 yrs), 5) an interim, 6) a recent TEEM grad in the process of being called to the multi-point parish he had been serving, and 7) Q the Intern.  While undoubtedly 3, 4, 6, and 7 understood that we didn't yet have the training/experience of say, #1, nobody felt like (or was treated like) a second-class citizen. 

Not to insert my nose too much here, but if you don't like SMP/whatever and it appears to be sticking around, you can either come to terms with it, or not come to terms with it and take out your dislike of the leadership's decisions and the program itself on the its graduates.  One of these will necessarily create "two classes of clergy", and the other will not.

I actually agree with some of what you say. I would add another option: you can remember that what the Synod in convention gives, the Synod in convention can take away and that July 2013 is 18 months away.

Oh....and, like President Benke, you can plan a video or two.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2012, 06:12:10 PM by Daniel L. Gard »

Dave Benke

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Re: Megadeth Bassist to be an LCMS pastor thanks to SMP
« Reply #68 on: January 22, 2012, 09:02:02 PM »
Chaplain, you're on record as opposing SMP from the very beginning.  Somehow it has not only managed to survive, but to thrive in the sense of producing a great number of candidates for the Office of the Holy Ministry. 

I'm sure there will be videos, and not just a few, because there is a great body of evidence of God's blessing in the ordained ministry out there among our pastors and parishes.  That is what will be shared - the abundant blessing of God in trained Lutheran pastors exercising the office of the Means of Grace.  And delegates will be exposed to all the varieties of service engaged in by our ordained pastors.  My sentiments -  May their tribe increase!

Dave Benke
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Daniel L. Gard

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Re: Megadeth Bassist to be an LCMS pastor thanks to SMP
« Reply #69 on: January 22, 2012, 09:24:32 PM »
President Benke,

It really does not matter what I think. I have no influence or power so I have no kingdom of my own to build. My only concern is to speak as my conscience compels me to speak even if I must speak alone. It is true that the arguments I presented in 2007 did not carry the day. In fact, they lost - big time.  I had no illusions then about taking on the full weight of the powers of Synod and” winning”. I still do not have those illusions. But it is not about winning – it is about the Church.

I do hope that whatever is said or done before and during the next convention on either side of the issue will not primarily appeal to emotions. Rather, the delegates will need to reflect theologically and consider the future shape of the Synod based upon facts and not flashy, well done technological shows. In other words: Wittenberg not Hollywood. I suspect that this will happen and that video wars will not be as productive as some might think. I doubt that the old “if you are not for this or that then you are not missional” line is going to be helpful.

I do hope that your videos are at least entertaining. Like I said, I will be happy to make a cameo appearance for no charge.

J. Eriksson

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Re: Megadeth Bassist to be an LCMS pastor thanks to SMP
« Reply #70 on: January 22, 2012, 10:03:04 PM »
Not my fight,... but for those who are opposed to the currant SMP route
what changes would you like to see in it?
What are the minimum 'sem residential requirements' and course loads you would accept?

Does any one collect data on all new ordinands.

number of grads
average years in first and second calls?
number of years in active ministry?
persons with 'on leave from call status' and reasons why?
number of burnouts?
number of flameouts?
number and costs of parish conflicts,  times the DP was called in?
congregations going from decline to faster decline,  decline to holding steady,  decline to re-invigoration,  decline to growth
congregations going from a loss of confidence in themselves, to regaining confidence
congregations 'happily' going from being on the outer rings of LCMS identity to closer to the LCMS center (it is not an overnight process)
financial re-numeration of the church's servants and general stewardship being strengthened?

my other concern was that in the original stories comments section someone commented that a high number of current SMP students had been in recovery programs....does this pose challenges to the normal way the  LCMS ministerium socializes and what 'lutheran' beverages are acceptable

imo all of us  would do well to pray more often those collects that are part of the Prayer of the Church   ............Protect and defend thy church universal...give it pastors and ministers...etc
and Raise up we pray Thee faithful servants of the gospel....
Best
james
I'm not a pastor.  Please don't call me one.

Timotheus Verinus

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Re: Megadeth Bassist to be an LCMS pastor thanks to SMP
« Reply #71 on: January 22, 2012, 11:08:07 PM »
President Benke,

.... But it is not about winning – it is about the Church.

I do hope that whatever is said or done before and during the next convention on either side of the issue will not primarily appeal to emotions. Rather, the delegates will need to reflect theologically and consider the future shape of the Synod based upon facts and not flashy, well done technological shows. In other words: Wittenberg not Hollywood. I suspect that this will happen and that video wars will not be as productive as some might think. I doubt that the old “if you are not for this or that then you are not missional” line is going to be helpful.

I do wish we had found time to chat when we briefly met in Ft Wayne at the last TAALC convention. Much of what is needed in the conversation, is discussion that does not lend itself to Blogs and papers. Some things that need to be seen and shown, require gentle and open exploration in love. In EVERY case, EVEN difficult decisions by DPs where their "instincts" were reluctance, the conversation brings out the reality that compels pastoral spirits. The historical perspectives, and theological including confessional studies have been done. But more than this, they were examined and openly discussed in small groups, often in circumstances that called for practical answers.

During my time first as a congregational leader, in encouraging faithful responses by the Church, and then being dragged into the processes apart from my own desires, a few realities prevailed. They can not be changed. Because they are real and true. Neither videos, seminars, nor conventions can change those realities.

1. Interestingly enough the very proof that God does what He will whether we get it right or wrong, or use CG methodologies or lock our doors, is where this starts. Those reluctant to support SMP et al, will often make this point theoretically in caution against trying to "be missional."  The proof is tangible and I can take you there. It starts with God doing what He will do. It is not about "being missional." I used to make the statement, "I am only witnessing to you that God is going there. The only question is whether you wish to come along?" That played a bit too harsh but it was true. It starts with one sheep, a few believers gathered in His name, and the miracle of faith among broken and sinful people. You have to start there, because I will continually ask the question, " I don't care how you do it! Send the Sem president, graduate your star student early and send him, find a nearby pastor and ask him if he can make it, send a bus!!! I don't care !!!, but I need to know - Who will you send Friday night at 7 pm to this place? They need an answer, they thirst for His Word and Sacraments. and they are calling you ... not figuratively ... you personally Mr. DP or Sem prof or whoever... if you don't believe it give me your cell number and I will have them call YOU in the next five minutes " and "It's not my job" is no answer at all.

2. The people of God in our pews go out every day in their vocations and cross paths with those who thirst for the Gospel. They witness in their lives and conversation to these simple lost. In our Bible Study today the question was asked why Jesus sat and ate with the sinners. That's where He goes! And our people follow Jesus, just like Matthew did.

3. As has happened for two thousand years, as these encounters occur the lost are brought to the church. They are sent to the congregations, the well trained pastors doing what they are called to do. The Evangelical Lutheran Church without Walls(LCMS) has on average about 17-25 members. They have had in attendance at "worship" as many as 300 on given weekend. Those people are almost all sent to normal "regular" congregations with "sem trained" pastors, to become members . One argument I had with a pastor who was reluctant to support SMP type answers ended with me blurting out, pretty much, "Dear God my friend! do you not know where The XXX family, Mr. YYY, and miss ZZZZ in your congregation came from?!!!! We sent them to you!!!" And then told him more about his members than he knew, because the simple people of God in Item two, crossed paths with those in item one.

4. While that is the vast nature of these acts of God, there are the constant and regular exceptional fringes always in motion. Sometimes it is a weekly gathering in the Fireside Room in the Mega church gathered for God's Word. Sometimes it is at lunch.... A long multi year conversation over sandwiches in the Atrium of GE (let me tell you the story if such a bench at Verizon some day.) The example we used at CWOW is the image of a picnic table and a pitcher of ice water. You pour it on the table. Most of the water and all the ice stays on the surface. That is the regular way. But ALWAYS some of the water falls off the edge or through the cracks in the boards to the ground. That's all we are talking about. And basicly the desire is to return that to the table. Our plea is for the water, the one sheep, on the ground.

I'll stop there because we need to truly sit down in love and just chat theology, practice and Church. Blogs don't lend themselves well to that I am coming to think. But here is my closing.

I don't care how you (the Church or whoever) do it. But I proclaim "you are called to DO IT!!" (send a pastor) I never desired to become a pastor. The blessings of the call have brought joy for sure, but it was never my plan, my desire, my short cut (10 years on top of 35) I am Jonah! I still want to retire and sip martinis on the Med Cruise ship. But God sort of got my attention with the Big Fish. So I said yes.

One warning - the gatherings are usually few - a dozen here, a dozen there, and the pay is almost always near nothing. But I have no problem whatsoever if you can send a in residence trained $100,000 debt laden young man to take the call. If he can do it Praise God! I wish he could.

Now finally, you do not know these men well at all. You probably never will. But I am going to say, while they humbly submit and will not raise their own standard, some things of truth. Here's one example. There is one SMP student with modest educational credentials. That is deceiving. He actually taught MD's how to do heart surgery for a while. I would let him operate on my heart. Some have been saved as he "helped" the surgeon get it right. He ran his own profitable business for decades. Hired and fired "educated men and women." He also was instrumental in the churches of LCMS. Was key in shepherding one congregation from major civil war and disaster to health again, and has raised up a dying mission that was close to shutting down to an envied call today. If you speak with him, about all you get is, "hey, I'm just a challenged dude, who doesn't know much except Jesus loves you." It is the only time I know him to tell a lie. But the truth of the statement overwhelms the lie.

Many of these men, especially when you speak of those in their 60's have degrees and credentials and papers and certifications, They don't have room on the wall for their sem degrees and ordination papers ... except!!! you may never know this, since their walls became so filled that they took them down and replaced them with a simple cross. These are the type men you degrade as unqualified.

Matt 21:23 And when he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority? ... 27 So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

This is easy. Who will you send? "We do not know" is not an answer.

In the words of an old German matriarch in Westcliffe CO, over 100 years ago in letter to Walther - "You will send us a pastor ... thank you." And he did...
That's an answer! It is the only answer.

TV
« Last Edit: January 23, 2012, 12:26:00 AM by Timotheus Verinus »
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Timotheus Verinus

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Re: Megadeth Bassist to be an LCMS pastor thanks to SMP
« Reply #72 on: January 22, 2012, 11:47:26 PM »
Not my fight,... but for those who are opposed to the currant SMP route
what changes would you like to see in it?
What are the minimum 'sem residential requirements' and course loads you would accept?

Does any one collect data on all new ordinands.
....
imo all of us  would do well to pray more often those collects that are part of the Prayer of the Church   ............Protect and defend thy church universal...give it pastors and ministers...etc
and Raise up we pray Thee faithful servants of the gospel....
Best
james

Not my fight either (other than shepherding sheep to faithful LCMS churches on occasion) and I do support (have for over a decade) the "effort" of SMP.

First to your question on data. There is data. But you have to look deep. Shallow will mislead you badly. There are answers to your sample questions.

Secondly as a supporter of the path now seen in SMP, I have said and still do.. it is broken right now, but a lot of good people, including at the sems are working to fix the things broken.

Changes??

First. I lobbied for "Specific 'Context' Pastor" SCP. SMP sort of got its own momentum as a name as decisions raised to levels beyond us minions' pay grade (ie. $0) in LCMS. That is one of the things broken. It is broken theologically because it is functionally focused, and suffers in discussions from that distortion. I will only say everyone seems to sort of know this and the struggle is to get the Office framed correctly. Good work is happening here. I like to think they will say, "hey, we should of called it specific context" but that's just a private musing.

Secondly in light of the reality of context - the cost-means arrangement is alien to the context it seeks to meet. That's a bit complicated but it killed DELTO, and except for the things learned in DELTO, would jeopardize SMP. I don't think LCMS is ready to deal with that yet but I think every one knows it. Fundamentally here's the thing. The first framework is currently unusable for the very core contexts in which SMP would flourish. Note: that's why you see the heavy presence of "Mega Church" usage. Wrong target, moves the actual solution context down to the congregations that can make it work where it is needed. in the context.

Thirdly - Give them a break! They are only in the first wave, and a lot of lessons learned need to be plowed back in. The hope of course is that the process is not killed before the corrections can be made.

The Gospel - God is doing some marvelous things even with broken pots.

TV
« Last Edit: January 23, 2012, 12:34:14 AM by Timotheus Verinus »
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Timotheus Verinus

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Re: Megadeth Bassist to be an LCMS pastor thanks to SMP
« Reply #73 on: January 23, 2012, 12:15:40 AM »
...
my other concern was that in the original stories comments section someone commented that a high number of current SMP students had been in recovery programs....does this pose challenges to the normal way the  LCMS  socializes and what 'lutheran' beverages are acceptable
...
Best
james

I think you meant this as a joke but I will answer this one also. One example: A gentleman is not in SMP, but has been educated in the district systems, still takes classes with absolutely no promises made to him. He studies with the admonition, "The church will never ordain you as a pastor, and I'm not sure if anything can be offered." His answer is simply, " I understand, but can I take this class anyway, God is telling me that I need to take this class." He has done that for more than "one class." the next one is simply, "I need to take this class if that's ok."

I know this man well. He is a skilled Stephen Minister and active in his church. You would be hard pressed to find a man with a more well founded pastoral spirit, and interpersonal skills. He still needs the academics, but is used by God every day. When we get together, I drink beer, and he has a coke, and rostered, in residence trained LCMS pastors with MDiv's STM's, and DDiv's from Ft Wayne and St Louis, drink with him and have as good a late nite pizza conversations as any sem dorm.

His comment, "God used Paul, maybe He'll find something for me. I can wait on the Lord." He'll never be an LCMS Pastor, but I bet he gets called as a missionary somewhere ... In other words, not a problem. Sit down have a beer, and learn a thing or two from a broken sinner, redeemed.

TV
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mariemeyer

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Re: Megadeth Bassist to be an LCMS pastor thanks to SMP
« Reply #74 on: January 23, 2012, 05:13:40 PM »
Interesting discussion, but one that ignors a signifcant change from the time men like John Hannah, Dave Benke and my husband began preparing for the ministry. 

One obvious reason why future LCMS pastors do not begin an extensive pre-sem training at the age of 14 is that we now longer have a prep school system. Another is that the ministry is no longer a highly regarded vocation/career. For what ever the reason young men are not encouraged to consider the ministry at the early age they once were. Subsequently, they do not complete most of their seminary training before marriage.  It was a lot easier to move men from the Jr. College to the Sr, College, to the seminiary, to a vicarage assigment, back to the seminary and to a first call when they were single or newly married without children. Bill and I were not the exception in spending five years writing letters before getting married. 

There is no going back to the former LCMS system and seminary control over the personal lives of future pastors.  Thus, the need for change, both in encouraging high school and college students to consider the ministry and in making long distance learning an option for second career men that duplicates the standards that prevailed when men spent 4 years in prep school learning Greek and Latin, 2 years of the same in Jr. college, 2 at the Sr. college with Hebrew added and finally the seminary.

We can't turn the clock back, but it is possible to work toward the best possible way to prepare future pastors when the number of young men who prepare for the ministry prior to marriage continues to decline.

Marie Meyer