“I truly believe that... a pastor today must seek ways to be of service, utilize the electronic age, and have a non-traditional worship service, in order that we may reach out to the community”
Pastor Art Miller
Central Lutheran Seminary
How the work of the church has changed
Pastor Art Miller
Joyful Beginnings Lutheran Church
Having been in ministry 60 years, I am now attempting to start a mission congregation in Tyler, Texas. The work of the pastor has changed drastically. The pastoral purpose in my ministry has been twofold: to nourish the members of the church and to share the Good News of the Gospel with others.
I have gone through five building programs during my ministry. Two were in a Kansas City suburb, Raytown, Mo.; one was in Loveland, Colo.; and two were in Pueblo, Colo.
The method to reach others has changed drastically. During the first half of my ministry, it was relatively easy to reach persons who were not members of a congregation. One could canvass an area, advertise in the local newspaper, and the message could be shared rather easily. Today, our culture has drastically changed people’s needs and desires.
My wife, Meg, and I are presently living in Tyler, with a population of 100,000, primarily Baptist. It is difficult to find ways and means to share the message of a newly formed Lutheran church. We have tried many different methods, but I am still searching for the best way to attract people to our worship services. Many are naturally leaning to a Baptist church.
In this day and age, young people are not turned on to denominationalism for their spiritual needs. A local Cowboy Church is making great strides in reaching others. I ask myself, is it because young people just want to be entertained? Is our culture causing them to find comfort in materialism? Is our emphasis on recreation and the electronic age changing their needs? I also wonder if we should delete the word “Lutheran” in our name.
I am seeking and exploring ways and means to share the Gospel. Our church, Joyful Beginnings Lutheran Church, which has been going for two years, has limited funds, and does not have seasoned Christians to rely on to do evangelistic work.
We have found that a traditional type of worship service no longer attracts people. It seems that what helps is to create an atmosphere of friendliness in a caring congregation.
I truly believe that, in this area of the country, a pastor today must seek ways to be of service, utilize the electronic age, and have a non-traditional worship service, in order that we may reach out to the community.
Yes, the work of the church has changed drastically. It is a challenge and I love it. Here I am, 87 years of age and still working. My prayer is that God will help me to share the message of the Gospel and to have a viable congregation here is Tyler, Texas.
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