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Connection and Community: Reasons Young Adults Stay in the Church

Posted by Adele Werner on July 1, 2020 at 8:00 AM

It’s no secret that in America the Church across denominational lines is shrinking. The LCMS is no different. We, of course, are not without hope. God’s kingdom will have the ultimate victory. That doesn’t mean we say, “Oh, well,” to our young adults leaving and never consider why they’re leaving; we need to examine our retention. A few months ago, I wrote a post which used empirical data from the LCMS young-adults study to offer hypotheticals to explain the departure of many young people. This post will not do the same. Instead, in this post, I’ll take a qualitative approach to the question “Why do some people stay in the LCMS from childhood through their entire lives?”

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Repentance in the Life of a Christian

Posted by Adele Werner on June 10, 2020 at 7:00 AM

A few months ago, I wrote on Luther’s thoughts on three components of the Christian life. I reflected on how it leads us to witness Christ. In doing so, I talked briefly about how living the Christian life leads us to repentance. The life of a believer is one of continual repentance. As such a vital and important part of the Christian life, I’d like to dive a little more into repentance and how through repentance we love our neighbors.

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Spreading the Gospel amidst a Pandemic in Michigan

Posted by Adele Werner on June 3, 2020 at 7:00 AM

If you couldn’t give someone a complete Bible, only a few books of it, what books would you choose? Likely, your answer includes one or more of the Gospels. As the true story of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, the Gospels are of utmost importance in evangelism (and in our own faith). And last month, we looked at how the Psalms are helpful in outreach. We looked at how they help us express a range of emotions that show us that God not only understands but that He is also okay with our feelings. We also talked about how they show community and point us to Christ.  

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Outreach
 

Emotions and Comfort: Outreach Using the Psalms

Posted by Adele Werner on May 20, 2020 at 10:17 AM

We all need Jesus. We always have and always will. Sometimes I think we forget that in our desire for things to be good or normal or best, we’ll always need Jesus. Even now, when we’ve been given more “free time,” maybe you feel as though there are a billion other things to think about or do besides go to Jesus? Maybe you always say  you will later? Or you’re feeling angry. Maybe you feel like you’ve prayed enough. Or you feel like your prayers fell on deaf ears. Could it be that you’ve tossed God to the side in exchange for the scrolling of the news feed or social media profiles?

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Outreach
 

Loving Your Neighbor during a Pandemic

Posted by Adele Werner on April 29, 2020 at 7:00 AM

If I had asked a month ago what loving one’s neighbor looks like, I’d probably have gotten answers such as helping old ladies cross the street or parking further away from the church entrance so others could park closer. A glass-half-full benefit of this current pandemic is that, while we are seeing that such actions are great, ultimately, loving our neighbor extends further than these things and fully invites them into community with us.

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God's Word is at Work in Guatemala

Posted by Adele Werner on April 8, 2020 at 7:55 AM

There are things we can be certain of in these uncertain times. We can be certain that Jesus rose from the dead. We can rest in the knowledge that God is for us. And we know and can trust that God works through His Word.

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Evangelism Challenge: Social Media Edition

Posted by Adele Werner on March 25, 2020 at 11:42 AM

Within a couple of days, our lives have been upended. Events that were supposed to be coming up have been canceled, many of us are working from home for the first time, and even churches have suspended in-person gatherings. It may feel pretty bleak, but a side effect of all this chaos is that people are looking for hope.

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Social Media Evangelism
 

Your Life Is a Witness to Christ

Posted by Adele Werner on March 11, 2020 at 7:09 AM

It was the second day of tennis practice my junior year of high school. I was team captain and ready to begin the season. My coach pulled me aside about halfway through warm-ups and told me that we’d have new person joining. That this person’s family was new in our tiny town. Despite the fact that the new person had never played before, she wanted to try the team so she could make connections before the school year officially started in three weeks.

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Evangelism
 

A Partnership that Introduces the Gospel

Posted by Adele Werner on March 4, 2020 at 7:00 AM

Partnership (noun): the association of two or more people as partners. Partner (noun): a person or group that takes part with another or others in doing something. When the director of Children’s Collective reached out to HOPE LA Lutheran Church, a unique partnership began. A secular preschool and a Lutheran Church? In Los Angeles? That’s an odd combo. However, the team at HOPE LA was invited to come and teach a Bible study or read to the kids during the week. This relationship with Children’s Collective continues to grow. HOPE LA has been able to provide countless opportunities to introduce the Gospel to those who may not have heard it before. This partnership has been aided by generous donations to Concordia Gospel Outreach.

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Literacy Outreach through Arch Books

Posted by Delania Byerley on January 8, 2020 at 9:09 AM

There’s nothing more special than receiving a brand-new book, especially when you live where they are hard to come across. In America, we are fortunate to have a plethora of books to choose from in local libraries or to buy, but for some people in developing countries, that simply isn’t the case. Students at Lutheran High School North here in St. Louis wanted to help send books to Africa to spread the joy of reading to those who might not get the opportunity to have books.

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Arch Books