This is Pastor Brian's article for the April newsletter.
I will instruct you and teach you about the direction you should go. I’ll advise you and keep my eye on you. – Psalm 32.8
My favorite TV series of all time is The West Wing. When a project or effort has finished, whether it went well or went horribly wrong, President Bartlett would ask his staff, “What’s next?” The work of the Presidency never stops; it moves from one thing onto the next.
We have finally completed our establishment of the ONE in Christ Lutheran Parish. It has been an effort that many of us have spent over a year on. My thanks go to everyone who helped to make it a reality. My hope and prayers are that it will serve the three churches, all of you, and the work of God well.
So, what’s next?
Personally, I want to get through to Easter. I’m going to take the weekend after Easter off and go to the Twin Cities to watch the Tigers play the Twins, and maybe catch a Minnesota United soccer match. I will have another pastor on call in case of an emergency.
But there are a few things on the horizon that I think we – the people of Our Savior’s, Nazareth and Emmanuel – need to think about and work on.
One, we need to take a serious look at the question For Christ’s sake, what are we doing? As the body of Christ, what are we doing for our neighbor? How are we serving our communities and addressing the needs they have? Our service to God is about more than an hour on Sunday morning; it needs to be about serving those in need.
Two, how can we reach out to the un-churched in our midst? What can we do to invite in those who have left the church (include ours) or who have never been in church?
Three, what can we do to meet the changing needs of our members, and others, to make worship more accessible? Let’s be honest. Sunday morning is no longer set aside for attending church. Or if it is, it isn’t every week. This isn’t to dump guilt on anyone. It is a reality. As the weather gets warmer, it becomes more obvious. I’ve had several conversations about an additional service during the summer on some evening. There will be a survey in the Easter bulletins about this. If you won’t be there and you’d like one, let me know.
I know many of you think that I’m trying to change too much too quickly. But I am afraid that we are approaching our Kodak moment.
Did you know Kodak invented the first digital camera? They did, back in 1975. In 1992, when they had 89% of the film sales market, they opted to not pursue digital photography because they thought it would take away from their film sales. They went bankrupt five years ago.
The ONE in Christ parish should provide stability for the three churches for several years. But there is still more work that needs to be done.
I invite you to think about my three top areas to address, and let me know your thoughts. What can we do? How can you help? Is there another concern out there that I’ve missed.
Please tell me, what’s next?
Let us be ONE in Christ,
Pastor Brian Robert Campbell
Pastor Brian's Page
Pastor Brian Robert Campbell has served at Our Savior's and Emmanuel since August 1, 2011, and began serving Nazareth on December 1, 2015.
Pastor Brian is originally from Saginaw, Michigan. He graduated from Alma College with a B.A. in Business Administration, and worked for the Saginaw Public Schools' Community Education Department for 17 years before answering the call to ministry. He graduated with a M. Div. from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg in 2011. ONE in Christ Lutheran Parish is his first call.
He is the only child of Robert and Charlotte Campbell, both who have entered the Church Eternal.
He is accompanied in ministry by his faithful bulldogge Ananias, who regularly writes for our newsletter. His articles are archived here.
He is a fan of sports teams from his native Michigan, especially the Tigers and the Lions. But we tolerate him despite that.
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