Revitalizing Our Mission and Ministry
Dr. James Dobson wrote in the November 1990 issue of Focus on the Family magazine titled Children at Risk: The Battle for the Hearts and Minds of Our Kids that “A modern-day battle is being fought, not with guns and grenades, but with ideas. Our children and future generations will be the prize to the winner.” He called it “The Second Great Civil War.” These statements were taken from a book by the same title that he and Gary Bauer wrote that year.
He also stated in this article that “The humanistic system of values has now become the predominant way of thinking in most of the power centers of society. It has outstripped Judeo-Christian precepts in the universities, in the news media, in the entertainment industry, in the judiciary, in the federal bureaucracy, in business, medicine, law, psychology and sociology, the arts, in many public schools, and to be sure, in the halls of Congress.” Fast forward to 31 years later and these words are truer than ever!
Can we stem this tide and begin to regain lost ground? I believe we can, but we must act and act now with boldness and confidence. First and foremost, we need to center our thoughts not on what we can do but what our God can do. “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 ESV).
Focusing on the power of our God and His Word needs to be the first step. Then, we should pray that the Lord works in a powerful way to bring about a revival and renewal of the hearts and minds of people and turn them to His ways and will. We also need to commit or re-commit ourselves to the operation and maintenance of the Lutheran school centered around the teaching of the faith in everything it does and to partner with families in the Christian training of their children.
Consider the following quotes as to the importance of the Lutheran school:
“…schools must be second in importance only to the church.” Martin Luther in the final section of his treatise “On Councils and the Church”
“Therefore I beg you all in the name of God and our neglected youth not to think of this subject lightly, as many do who see not what the Prince of this world intends. For the right instruction of youth is a matter in which Christ and all the world are concerned.” Martin Luther
“May God preserve unto our Lutheran Church the gem of the Christian parish-school! For, indeed, humanly speaking, the future of our Church in America depends on the parish-school.” Dr. C. F. W. Walther
“The roots of our power lie in the parochial school.” J.C.W. Lindemann, first director of the Addison Teachers’ Seminary
“The schools are frequented by so many children of parents not belonging to the congregations that in most cases the children of strangers outnumber the children of the congregation…. May the congregations consider more and more the important mission-work done through our schools among our unbelieving German countrymen, and may they realize that the Lord has entrusted especially the dear children to our care!” F.C.D. Wyneken in a presidential report to Synod in 1857
“I want to express it publicly as the conviction of my heart that the gracious God has given our Synod a precious gift in the parochial school, a means whereby thousands and hundred thousands of children learned to know and love their Savior and thus not only grow up as true Christians, but also led others to the salvation that had come to them. I therefore call upon Synod: ‘Hold that fast which thou has.’” Prof. Otto Hattstaedt, 1928, in a history of the South Wisconsin District
Now is the time for everyone to recall and recommit to our ministry and mission to children and their families.