The people you serve are blessed by your ministry! In these days of Lent, your duties heavy, I pray upon your own personal devotion an abundant measure of God’s Spirit for your continuing growth in sanctification and joy in service.
Let me share with you some readings I’m finding helpful. Like many of you, our busy schedules make it difficult to devote large amounts of time to reading. Most of the following can be read wholly or in part in short sittings.
Digitized: Spiritual Implications of Technology by Bernard Bull of Concordia University Wisconsin, Mequon (Concordia Publishing House, CPH). I’m thoroughly enjoying this book. Three chapter titles are typical of the insights Dr. Bull offers: “Information Overload and Information Addiction,” “‘Cat’s in the Cradle’ Goes Digital” and “We Build the Tools and then They Build Us.”
CPH also has published Myth of the Millennial by our alum Ted Doering (2014) and his wife, Chelsea. Their work carries weight with me because they are millennials; it’s not baby boomers writing and fretting over the ways of millennials. Like Digitized, it’s full of ideas for ministry and both could easily be used in small groups.
Lest we stop with millennials, Barna’s new Gen Z: The Culture, Beliefs and Motivations Shaping the Next Generation presents more challenges/opportunities. For example, “Half say happiness is their ultimate goal in life.” “More than half of teens use screen media four or more hours per day.” “Out of 69 million children and teens in Gen Z, just 4% have a biblical worldview.” Wow! Let’s raise up the next generation of pastors, church workers and laity who personally know and can witness in their context.
Last summer’s issue of Concordia Journal with articles on faith and science has drawn many reactions. Posts on concordiatheology.org offer informed reading. Underlying faith/science issues is also our Lutheran understanding of Scripture. See Tim Saleska’s recent article “The Gospel-Centered Christian” in which he looks at Gospel reductionism, biblicism and our Lutheran approach. That also is posted on concordiatheology.org. Two Commission on Theology and Church Relations (CTCR) publications can help us reflect on the content and our conduct as we talk about issues of science and faith: In Christ All Things Hold Together and Public Rebuke for Public Sin. They are available from CPH.
Back to where we started. May your Lenten labors enrich you as you give of yourself to others. God bless your works of ministry and your devotion. Jesus is our confidence!
Dr. Dale A. Meyer, President
Concordia Seminary, St. Louis