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[LCMSNews]Synod started 84 churches last year
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Fri, 1 Aug 2003 21:21:52 -0500
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August 1, 2003 ....................... LCMSNews -- No. 86
Good news: Synod started
84 congregations in 2004
By Paula Schlueter Ross
The Lutheran ChurchMissouri Synod started 84 congregations in
2002 a dramatic increase over the average of 52 per year during the
past decade, according to Dr. Robert Scudieri, associate executive
director for North America with LCMS World Mission.
Scudieri, who, along with dozens of other Synod mission leaders,
has been working and praying for a church-planting movement to take
root, calls the 84 new missions an answer to prayer and a turning
point in the Synod its dramatic.
Even though the number of new church plants is up, it still
falls short of the 180 needed each year for the Missouri Synod to grow.
But its a start, Scudieri says, and certainly good news.
Its not unusual that most of those new starts were among
non-white, non-English-speaking groups only 21 were among white
Anglos a trend that began some five years ago, he said.
What is unusual is that, for the first time, a single non-white
group represents the largest number of new missions. In the past year,
23 Asian missions were started, along with 20 Hispanic and a handful of
African American, African immigrant, Arabic and Caribbean churches.
The Asian figure includes Asian Indian, Chinese, Hmong and Korean
The Texas District reported the largest number of mission starts
11 and 10 of them are among non-Anglo groups.
The greatest mission opportunities that God has given the
congregations in North America are opportunities among new immigrant
groups, says Scudieri. And the LCMS ought to know how to [reach them]
because we were born out of an immigrant movement God has prepared us
for this time.
The best way to start a mission is at the local, congregational
level, according to Scudieri, and he attributes the growth of the
Synods mission starts to several factors, including prayer and the fact
that LCMS congregations are under the influence of the spirit of Jesus
and are, by their very nature, missional the Gospel impels people to
share the Good News.
The Synods Pentecost 2000 and Pentecost 2000+ emphases also
have built awareness of cross-cultural ministries, he said. And the
Center for U.S. Missions on the campus of Concordia University, Irvine,
Calif., has trained dozens of congregational representatives at its
Although the Synods North America mission numbers are up,
Lutheran churches are still 96 percent white.
That means Lutheran congregations have a long way to go, says
Heaven is not going to be a room full of white people, he
said. God wants all people there.
If you have questions or comments about this LCMSNews release,
contact Joe Isenhower Jr. at firstname.lastname@example.org or (314) 996-1231,
or Paula Schlueter Ross at email@example.com or (314) 996-1230.
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