Leadership Thoughts From...
Rev. Daniel May
Some people really like scary movies. Some people just like the thrills of being scared. Or so they say. Actually it is hard to believe anyone really enjoys being really scared! Sitting in a movie with a box of popcorn and a soft drink for a scary movie does not seem scary to me. I don’t go to horror films – not because they would scare me, but because they simply don’t seem real to me and I might fear the person behind me will be so scared that he might spill his coke down my back. People that are truly scared do not enjoy it or find it entertaining. If you are waiting for the “word” from the doctor, skidding on the road, falling from a height, losing a friend or facing a fierce foe you are not having fun! The words of David in Psalm 27 have always been comfort: “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” The uncertainties of life and dangers of the world were all around David, but the “LIGHT”, “SALVATION” and STRONGHOLD” of his life was the Lord! He is our stronghold too! When it comes right down to it – and it will – you need not fear! Yet we do fear. It is all too natural and all too real. Jesus often calmed people with the reminder that they need not fear, “Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. Mat_10:31 He has driven out fear! Even if you like a good horror flick, you know it is fake. May you also know that you need not be scared today or ever.
Outreach & Evangelism
Rev. Geoff Robinson
On Sunday, March 5, the first Sunday in Lent, Jes’ us de Galilea held a special worship service with Patrick Winningham from Lutheran High School, Indianapolis serving as the guest organist. A special children’s message was given in Spanish by Rev. Sam Ruiz. There were 24 children who listened to the message. A luncheon was held after the service in the gymnasium followed by a special program by a Latino policeman, who grew up in Jes’ us de Galilea. The policeman talked to the group about how to be good citizens in Indianapolis or wherever they live. Sixty-eight adults were in attendance as well as the 24 children which was a blessing for Jes’ us de Galilea.
Mr. Ron Bleke
According to a study completed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), a hacker attacks a different computer every 39 seconds. That’s 2,244 attacks every day—2,244 times that someone attempts to steal information, alter computer files or commit other cyber crimes through another person’s system. How does this affect religious institutions? Computers at worship centers commonly contain valuable data, such as financial records, personal information and irreplaceable documents—all very attractive to a cyber criminal. Utilize cyber security in all of your computer-related practices to protect these electronic valuables. Read more on how to protect your church and school from cyber attacks here. Data breach is one of the fastest growing crimes in America. For victims, it’s a painful and costly problem. When information is stolen that compromises identities and financial security, victims can be left wondering what they can do to regain not only their assets, but their peace of mind. Read more on protecting against cyber liability and data breach here. For further reading, read this four page Risk Reporter by Church Mutual Insurance Company about protecting your precious personal information here.
Dr. Jon Mielke
Extracurricular school events are fun to watch. If we have a family member that participates in such an event, that event becomes even more interesting and brings about a heightened sense of interest. Whether that event is an athletic, musical, play, or pageant, each event brings about a sense of individual or collective competitiveness and desire to perform at one’s best. Each one of these events and others necessitate individual or team preparation so as to remain fit to perform at one’s best. Even with the best of preparation though, we are not guaranteed that the outcome of that event will bring victory or success. And, as we take this reality into our classrooms on a daily basis, we must ask ourselves, “Are we preparing appropriately to deliver Christian instruction and ward off the devil each day?” And we should further ask, “Are we attending worship and partaking in the Lord’s Supper frequently?” “Are we regularly attending Bible study?” Are we regularly praying with and for colleagues and students?” “Are we taking time to read and reflect on God’s Word each day?” Like me, the answer to all four questions would most likely be, “No.” The need, interest and desire are certainly there; however, daily schedules often deter our efforts. In times like these, we are forgiven. Jesus performed with perfection! Our performance is riddled with miscues and shortcomings. Jesus overcame every stumbling block as He took our sins to the cross. We succumb to stumbling blocks and return to the Cross for forgiveness. Jesus fulfilled the Law and His Father’s will willingly and perfectly. We, on the other hand, willfully disobey our Heavenly Father succumb to our own selfish nature and interests. Our Lord, Jesus constantly intercedes on our behalf. That grace has to bring relief to you and me. As Peter reminds us, “He himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed (1 Peter 2:24). We can be assured of God’s mercy, grace, and love because of Jesus. We can take comfort knowing our eternal victory is anchored in Jesus’ victory over sin, death, and the devil. As Paul reminds Timothy to repeatedly confess Jesus, we, too, confess Jesus, live that Christian faith and walk and daily receive strength from God’s Spirit that began in us at our Baptisms. You do not fight alone! Dr. Jon Mielke, Superintendent of Lutheran Schools
Rev. Phillip Krupski
We pray to the Lord, asking Him to bless our lives with the outflow of His grace. It all centers in what He has given us in His Son Jesus. From that flows all the other things that enrich our daily experience. So we have prayed for our economy. If you have invested in the stock market, you may very well have had huge gains during the past years. You talk with your tax advisor who advises that if you sell that stock, you will have a big tax bill to pay on the capital gains. It has now become a sizable asset that you will never be “able” to use. What do you do? You could consider a Charitable Gift Annuity with the LCMS Foundation. You “gift” the asset to an LCMS ministry of your choice, such as the Indiana District, your congregation, a seminary, Worship for Shut-Ins, etc. The ministry will pay no tax on the gift. You will receive a charitable deduction for a portion of the gift. And the gift will produce a guaranteed annual income payout to you for life. When the Lord calls you home, the ministry will benefit. As we think about outreach and mission, we can contemplate the gifts of the Lord and put them to use in support of ministry, that generations after us will come to know Jesus for their salvation. If I can help you joyfully manage the Lord’s gifts, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-840-3202.
Mr. Steve Strauch
Budget cuts are never easy but sometimes they are a necessity. How does one decide where to cut and what to leave standing? The choices are often different for a small congregation than for a large one, but here are some budgeting principles that may apply to all: Put “First Things First and Second Things Not at All” In other words, know your mission. Have a clear idea of why God has put you in the place where you are. If you have not thought that through, get some help in doing it now. Once you know that mission then all your resources must be devoted to it, even if it means giving up some things you have done for years. It may even mean giving up a beloved building or even your identity through a merger with another congregation–never for the sake of survival, but for the sake of God’s clear calling you to the mission. Read the rest of the article on what to consider in the face of budget cuts on the Lutheran Church Extension Blog.