Don'ts & Dos for the Orthodox Lutheran Pastor
Thoughts from Thunder Mountain
["Huachuca" - A Chiricahua Apache word meaning "thunder."]
> Don't assume any other Pastor is orthodox just because you roomed with him in prep or college, or he's married to your sister, or related in any way.
Do always "test the spirits" with regard to all other Pastors, near and far.
> Don't expect your members to be 100% orthodox Lutherans.
Do expect and demand that your fellow ministers be 100% orthodox Lutherans.
> Don't judge your ministry by numbers – any numbers.
Do evaluate your ministry according to your faithfulness to the Lutheran Confessions and historic Christianity.
>Don't get into a spitting-match with a skunk – you'll lose every time.
Do stand up and speak out for the truth in every forum.
> Don't try to save the church – leave that to God.
Do inform your congregation, and your fellow Pastors, as to the dangers and problems you see.
> Don't ever resign without a VERY good reason.
Do take your congregation with you if you leave your church body, otherwise they may be left to "wolves."
> Don't expect your church body to always remain orthodox.
Do understand that ALL church bodies become heterodox eventually, and always be prepared to act accordingly, and as your conscience directs.
> Don't ever stop studying, learning, and growing in your faith and knowledge of the Bible and Book of Concord.
Do keep up with what's going on among other Lutherans and other Christians.
> Don't use your congregation as guinea pigs for your liturgical innovations.
Do educate your congregation about historic liturgical practices before you institute them - but DO institute them, don't just talk about it.
> Don't let your congregational or personal ministry records become out-of-date.
Do always be prepared to leave your congregation at any time with all things in good order.
[from vacation on the beach near San Diego]