Story Magazine - First Quarter, 2008

Notes from the Mission Field: A Thriving Lutheran Witness in the 21st Century

by Richard H. Bliese, President, Luther Seminary

The environment in which ministry is done today has become more difficult in significant ways. Choices abound. Which way will we go to truly be salt, light and leaven in the world?

Luther Seminary just authorized a strategic plan that is our response to the challenges we see facing our church and world. The pages of the strategic plan, "A Bold and Faithful Witness," are filled with expectation and hope.We see the Spirit at work renewing our church.

"Christ, however, was faithful over God's house as a son, and we are his house if we hold firm the confidence and courage that belongs to hope" (Hebrews 3:6).

This strategic plan commits Luther Seminary to learning and reformation; that is, to teach and model adaptive leadership for the purpose of fulfilling our mission.We recognize that we must learn how to listen, especially to local congregations, so that we can support changing leadership needs across the church--and in your neighborhood. Our objective is to equip leaders driven by the Spirit to live and proclaim a gospel that is genuinely good news in whatever culture or context they find themselves.

The church must hold fast the good news of the crucified and risen Jesus Christ, and it must continue to learn how to share that good news in new ways for new times. This edition of The Story demonstrates some of the innovative ways we are working toward this goal. We believe God is at work in the world and at Luther Seminary.With prayer, humility and the boldness that comes with Christian conviction, we dedicate ourselves to the thriving of the Lutheran witness in the 21st century.

"Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful" (Hebrews 10:23).