Friday, July 10, 2015

Report Regarding Licensed Laymen who Preach and Administer the Sacraments

Task force report addresses the practice of licensed laymen who preach and administer the Sacraments in LCMS congregations (2013 Res. 4-06A).

Report regarding licensed laymen who
preach and administer the Sacraments
Dear friends in Christ,
The Lord be with you.
In 2013, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) convention asked me to appoint a task force to address questions about the practice of licensed laymen who are preaching and administering the Sacraments in LCMS congregations (2013 Resolution 4-06A).
Our Synod has, for over 25 years, struggled with the question of how to provide pastoral care for congregations and missions — typically with small numbers of individuals — facing challenging circumstances, such as geographical isolation, limited financial resources, or when a mission or congregation consists of individuals from an ethnic or linguistic minority. These are genuine practical dilemmas, and the church needs to address them with theological fidelity.
We have struggled because, too often, the theological concern and the practical concern have been put in opposition to each other. We cannot continue on such a course, for it leads not only to disputes and, sadly, rancor, but also suggests that a church has to choose between a focus on sharing the Gospel and theological integrity. I believe we all know that such a false alternative is contrary to the Gospel itself. We have to proclaim the Gospel, and it has to be the true Gospel. Theology and practice must always be inextricably linked!
The task force I appointed has addressed this matter. I believe they have done so in a way that holds together both the church’s mission and its theology. I commend their report to the Synod for study. The executive summary provides a synopsis of the report.

Task Force Report — 2013 Resolution 4-06A >>

Executive Summary — 2013 Resolution 4-06A >>

This is being released a year in advance of our next convention, so that we have time to consider this and discuss it. Reactions to the report are welcomed and can be submitted at My prayer, and that of the task force, is that we would reach a God-pleasing consensus that enables the Synod to move forward in faithfulness to our Lord’s call to share the one true word of hope — the Gospel of life and salvation — with all the nations.
In Christ,
Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison,
President, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
If you have questions about this email or need assistance, please contact the LCMS Church Information Center at 888-THE LCMS (843-5267) or
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
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