President Harrison has not only proven himself a faithful and worthy leader of the Synod, but has demonstrated in numerous ways that he is a remarkable theologian, and we believe that this asset in particular is of great value in the carrying out of the duties of this office…
Given these perilous times in which godlessness increasingly infects our culture, and as Satan intensifies his attacks on the Holy Church, we are all the more eager to see the kind of clarity, conviction, and compassion that Matthew C. Harrison brings to the office of the presidency. He needs your vote, and so does the Lutheran Liturgy.
If you’re a Delegate, be sure to download Today’s Business and start reading, even before your print copy shows up in the mail. If you’re not a Delegate, you can still read the Resolutions and send in your comments on them to the various Chairmen of the Floor Committees. Information on all of this is found in Today’s Business and in the Convention Workbook.
Voting is coming up: June 22-25, 2019. We encourage a vote for reelecting Rev. Matthew Harrison. If you’re not your congregation’s voter, please encourage whomever that is to vote for President Harrison!
Q: Other than the Bible and the Book of Concord, what book has had the greatest influence on your pastoral ministry? Why?
Walther’s Law and Gospel. One only becomes the pastor God intends, learning to properly apply Law and Gospel (2 Tim. 2:15), through prayer, meditation on God’s Word and trials (Heb. 13:12–13; 2 Cor. 12:6–7). And it’s the cross and trials that bring it all home. “We have this treasure in jars of clay” (2 Cor. 4:7). “We are beggars. This is true” (Luther).
I love to read and have read so many good books. The Barna Institute’s “The State of Pastors” is a fascinating study on current clergy life and attitudes. The Call by Os Guiness speaks of how God calls us to Himself and to vocation. Anxious for Nothing by Max Lucado has made a huge impact on my heart in making me calm and hopeful — the most influential book I received at a conference in St. Louis. I was tired, frustrated and afraid. Jill Briscoe’s book Faith Enough to Finish led me through the ministry of the prophet Jeremiah. He had frustration and disappointment, but the Lord never failed him. He put His Word in Jeremiah’s mouth, put the right people on Jeremiah’s team and put His hope in Jeremiah’s heart. This book had great pieces of Scripture organized in a way that fed my soul at a critical time.
Maybe Evangelism in the Early Church by Michael Green. It takes the reader through the Book of Acts and beyond, focusing on how the Church in the first 200 years after Pentecost did evangelism in a hostile world. “Christians” recognized themselves as “nobodies” and yet “missionaries.” “Neither the strategy nor the tactics of the first Christians were particularly remarkable. What was remarkable was their conviction, their passion and their determination to act as Christ’s embassy to a rebel world, whatever the consequences.” Their Christology and new ecclesiology (no longer synagogue-centered) changed the world.
I cannot thank God enough for the colleagues I’ve served with as Synod president. Herb has been a standout among many excellent and gifted servants of Christ. The Lord has blessed him with guilelessness. The Lord has blessed him with a work ethic unparalleled. The Lord has blessed him with a profound grasp of the Bible and the Lutheran Confessions. The Lord has blessed him with deep humility and compassion. The Lord has blessed him with tremendous experience. The Lord has blessed him with wisdom, compassion, honesty and love. I’m a much better man and Synod president for knowing him and serving with him. Herb is in robust health otherwise; he’s had to be to keep up with his intense schedule of service to the church. For three terms we have maintained a vigorous visitation of all 35 districts (per the LCMS Constitution) to listen, learn and encourage. Herb has overseen the directive of the 2016 convention that we colloquize qualified licensed lay deacons into the Office of the Ministry. He’s carried out that herculean task with fidelity and kindness. And we agree that, according to the Bible (Rom. 10) and the Lutheran Confessions (AC XIV), if a man is regularly performing the duties of the pastoral office, he should be placed in the pastoral office (call and ordination).
The first step in being better than you are is to be who you are. Every day that I wake up as Synod president, I resolve to do what’s right. When I was called to be head of LCMS World Relief and Human Care, I met with Dr. Barry to get his advice. (Little did I know that he would die just a few weeks later.) His advice to me was very simple: “Every day, walk across the road and pick up a stone and carry it to the other side. Pretty soon, you’ll notice that you’ve moved quite a pile.” He gave me that advice not 10 feet from where I’m writing right now. Folksy, but true.
The LCMS has plenty of warts and imperfections. That’s always true of the Church on this earth (see Paul’s letters to Galatia and Corinth). But she’s the best thing going. When I say we ought to be who we are, I’m not saying don’t innovate, think outside the box, try something new, take a risk for the sake of the Gospel mission. I’m saying, in all these things we cannot and must not lose our fundamental, biblical, confessional and (above all) Gospel bearings.
The 2019 LCMS Convention in Tampa, FL is almost upon us. In just under three months delegates from across the nation will gather to conduct the business of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod.
We hope this site will again be a valuable resource for all the delegates as they elect leaders and board members, consider many resolutions, sing and pray together, and especially rejoice in the fellowship we have in the Lord Jesus Christ.
You can receive all of our updates via email. Just sign-up using the “Receive Updates Via Email” form at the top of the right-hand column of the site.
Soon we will be providing some helpful articles and overviews of noteworthy leadership candidates. Once the first issue of Today’s Business is published, we will provide overviews of Resolutions and other important matters.
In the meantime, we encourage you to download the Convention Workbook and the Biographical Synopses to see what business has been proposed, what the initial Synod reports say, and just who has been nominated to serve in the LCMS.