The Conference of Presidents (COP) held its quarterly face-to-face meeting last week. Here’s a recap of the most important matters discussed.
One of the most important roles of the COP is to oversee doctrine (what we believe and teach) and practice (what we do in applying our beliefs). When it met, the COP had a lengthy discussion about the importance of retaining our unity in both areas.
Some congregations, in a desire to reach as many people as possible with the gospel, have been considering some new and different approaches and methods, especially in the areas of worship and outreach. Cautions and concerns have been voiced about some of these trends. Expressing the commitment to maintain our synod’s faithfulness to the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions, the COP concluded that “the underpinnings of ‘non-traditional’ type of worship cannot be ignored” and that we need to be careful to “walk the ‘narrow Lutheran road’ between legalism—and ignoring and failing to admonish where practices are contrary to or dangerous to the principles of gospel proclamation and the efficacy of the means of grace.”
As a result of this concern, the COP resolved that “an ad hoc committee be convened in consultation with the [COP] doctrine committee that can . . . address this issue and produce a study document that can be shared with circuits and also congregations for study and careful evaluation of practices in worship, sacraments, outreach, organization, music selection, etc.”
I Say, let’s pray for our leaders –
Father above, guide our Pastors and Leaders as they address this difficult issue; starting with the selection of participants. Father, help us to locate a fair cross-section – those who are enamored with history, doctrine and traditions, and those who are open minded and realize that You are amazingly still inspiring song writers today. Help us to discern the differences between “traditions”, which are good, and “traditionalism” which can be bad. Help us to use today’s marvelous technology which you have inspired, to your glory. Help us to see that you are a great and expansive God and that you do not always have to be worshiped through a “narrow lens” while still holding fastly to Your Word. Keep our worship bound by “spirit and truth.” Father, guide us, guide our thoughts, deeds and actions. Help us to honor and glorify you through our worship approaches. We thank you for the gifts of music, for creativity, Christian heritage and our Christian freedom. Father, may Your will be done, not ours. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.