Story Magazine - Third Quarter, 2008
Notes from the Mission Field:
Marked for Mission
by Richard H. Bliese, President, Luther Seminary
Student Michael Vinson, Master of Divinity junior, proudly displays the Luther Seminary logo tattooed on his arm.
Luther Seminary's strategic plan is a response to the challenges that face our church and world. It's that important! Our focus is on educating evangelical public leaders who are capable of providing a hungry and needy world with a spirit-driven apostolic witness. This high calling entails three important dimensions:
We are called to be servants of evangelical renewal;
We are called to be heralds of hope;
We are called to be catalysts for change and mission.
To help us communicate this important message, we recently hired a consultant to assist in building a stronger public identity. At a presentation on how to effectively communicate our vision, the consultant showed us a picture of a young man with a Harley-Davidson tattoo on his arm. The consultant quipped, "You will know when your message is being embraced when people put your logo as a tattoo on their arms!"
Suddenly, and to everyone's amazement, one of the committee members around the table, a first-year M.Div. student at Luther Seminary, Michael Vinson, raised his hand. "In fact," he responded, "I do have a tattoo of Luther Seminary's logo on my arm!" Michael lifted his shirt sleeve and showed the Luther emblem proudly. There it was! He was marked!
This moment revealed the depth of God's call on all our lives as Christians. The Book of Revelation states that we have been marked by the cross of Christ. This mark or seal witnesses to ownership. God's Word of Promise marks us as being owned by the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And yes, others may claim ownership of our lives, as Revelation warns. But the Trinity's mark is permanent; it goes right to the heart of our lives, and it calls us to be bold and faithful witnesses of Jesus Christ.
As you read about the exciting emphasis on stewardship at Luther in these pages, remember that we are all called to be "servants of Christ and stewards of God's One of those mysteries is God's call to be light, salt and leaven in the world.
We've been marked for mission.
Help us steward this call!
Richard H. Bliese
Richard H. Bliese, President, Luther Seminary