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Pastors and people: together in missions

September 21, 2010 No Comment

Rev. Dr. Leonardo Neitzel

WATERLOO, Ont. – How do we as Lutherans engage the world in outreach? What issues are we up against? What do the Scriptures and the Confessions say about these things? And what is each person’s individual role? The Series Four Doctrinal Unity Conference addressed these questions, beginning with what we have in common as Lutherans and exploring the fundamental reason the church exists: to bring Christ to the world. The conclusion: We have not only permission but a mandate to share Christ with others, each in our roles as parents, associates and neighbours.

Forty-one people attended the April 15 conference at Redeemer Lutheran Church, led by Rev. Dr. Leonardo Neitzel, LCC’s mission executive. (He held a repeat conference at St. Luke Lutheran Church in Ottawa the following day.) Dr. Neitzel acknowledged and provided some explanation for the challenges facing LCC outreach today—challenges that represent opportunities because they show the variety of needs and concerns in the people around us. We can connect to people in the middle of those needs and concerns, he said.

Dr. Neitzel gave an engaging review of the Biblical and confessional basis for local and international missionary work. He discussed past and present approaches to missions in LCC’s environment as well as current efforts to support sister churches around the world. He filled his presentation with helpful quotes from Luther, C.F.W. Walther and the Confessions, touching on the Catechism and statements by other Christians on missions.

Pointing out how some accuse Martin Luther of having no concern for missions, he showed how both these men spoke regarding sharing Christ to save souls and build up the church. Luther and Walther agree that the urge to share Christ with those we encounter daily is an essential part of living faith.

In Dr. Neitzel’s friendly and thought-provoking seminars, participants dealt with the scriptural and confessional mandate to encourage each other in bringing the good news about Jesus Christ to the world—locally, regionally, globally.

Presentations from eight study groups concluded the conference. View all the day’s sessions at www.lutheranchurch.ca/videonet  under the title Outreach Basics.

Rev. Joe Das,
District Communications Committee

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