My Church, Your Church, God’s Church
A notable characteristic of churches in plateau or decline is the loss of ownership in and energy for the Gospel mission of the church. This is often paired with a loss of connection to the mission field we serve. Statistics show clear evidence of an inability of Christians today to engage the culture around us. We want to be among those churches which foster real spiritual growth, and which regularly see conversions to Christ, but we often fail to have any meaningful relationships with those outside the church. We don’t understand them, and we can’t communicate with them.
In this year’s J-Term, we will equip our pastors and leaders to bridge this gap in order that they might move their churches from a MY CHURCH perspective (inward- and maintenance-focused) to an OUR CHURCH perspective (outward- and mission-minded). At the same time, we aim to help them understand why some people in our culture view the church as YOUR CHURCH (not a place they are welcome) and what it might take for all of us to find our identity and mission in GOD’S CHURCH.
Presentations at this year’s J-Term will begin with an overview of our own CLB history as a disciple-making movement and how a passion for evangelism to lost souls has fueled our church for over 100 years. As we gain a greater sense of God’s work in and through our family of churches, we hope to instill a stronger sense of our theological and missional identity. This, then, will be directed toward an opportunity to learn about the people groups most prevalent and most unreached in our communities: millennials, young families, and immigrants.
The Church of the Lutheran Brethren is a disciple-making movement driven by a passion to see people come to faith in Jesus Christ. This year’s J-Term is aimed at fueling that passion.
2019 J-Term Schedule
MONDAY, JANUARY 21, 2019 (1:00pm - 5:00pm)
Embracing the CLB Identity for Mission (Dr. Eugene Boe)
These opening sessions will explore our missional identity as the Church of the Lutheran Brethren through a brief overview of our evangelistic and missionary labors from our early years until the current decade. Important to this overview will be the consequent identification of our distinct theological and mission convictions. Through these initial sessions, we hope to infuse participants with a greater sense of our unique contribution as a church to the Great Commission, and to instill in them a commitment to make disciples in their immediate context.
Dr. Boe is Research Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology at LB Seminary and is an authority on CLB history, theology, and distinctives.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 22, 2019 (8:00am - 12:00pm)
Ministry to Millennials (Greg Anderson)
These sessions will shed light on the attributes and perspectives of Millennials—those born between the early 1980’s and the early 2000’s—and will offer insights and approaches to help the church understand, communicate with, and embrace Millennial individuals and families in our churches.
Greg is president of Inspiration Point Christian Camp and Retreat Center in Clitherall, MN. He has worked at Inspiration Point with youth and young adults for almost 30 years.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 22, 2019 (1:00pm - 5:00pm)
Ministry to Broken and Blended Families (Dr. Don Mortenson)
In these sessions, we will hear of the changes that are taking place in “typical” North American families today and how we as a church can best serve and minister to families as they are.
Don has a DMin in Marriage and Family (Bethel Seminary) and extensive pastoral and counseling experience with families.
6:30pm Employing LBDI Courses in Your Church (Dr. Allan Bjerkaas)
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 23, 2019 (8:00am - 12:00pm)
Ministry to a Growing Immigrant Population (Roland Wells)
The topic of immigration is certainly a volatile one these days, with opinions covering a variety of perspectives. Yet the reality remains, the number of immigrants living in and around our communities continues to rise. The “nations” are coming to us in America! How can we see and engage these communities? In these sessions, we will receive a theological framework and practical tips for ministering to immigrant peoples in our local communities.
Roland has recently retired from 30 years of parish ministry at St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, where he helped to operate a holistic training ministry named “MissionShift Institute.”