God's Mission: the Means and the Method

Some years ago a brother in the ministry cornered me at a social gathering and told me that the fact that the church that I serve was growing had nothing to do with me. God grows his Church when and where it pleases him. God does this through (and only through) his means. I thanked him for his theological insight, his mastery of the confessions (AC, V,2) and asked him if I had ever given him any other impression.

A few years later. I was sitting in a brainstorming session intended to examine our mission outreach in the WELS. We were trying to determine our objective and mission as a group and also as a church. Someone made the statement that it is our mission to reach the lost by whatever means necessary. I took issue with that statement. The brother quickly acknowledged that he had overstated his intended meaning. But he was trying to move a church body (WELS) that had seemingly lost its desire to be active and aggressive with the gospel. He wanted to restore a focus among us that would drive us to be aggressive in sharing the gospel with as many as possible so that more souls might be won for Christ. He stated that we need to be willing to examine the way that we do things.

Rev. Charles Westra

Charles Westra serves as pastor of Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church in Columbia, TN. In addition to his congregational duties, Pastor Westra serves as the chairman for the WELS Board for Home Missions.

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