Worship and Outreach: A Lutheran Paradigm

This paper was delivered at the 2010 Symposium for Worship and Outreach held at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Mequon, WI.

Worship and outreach are bound together because both of them proclaim Jesus. Therefore, worship and outreach are not mutually exclusive—to be pitted against each other. Nor are they substitutes for each other—as if you could replace worship with outreach or outreach with worship. Statements like ―The Lutheran style of worship doesn‘t connect with the unchurched‖ and ―Outreach has no place in worship,‖ both miss the point that worship and outreach are joined inseparably, because both revolve around the teaching on which the Church stands or falls. Both are centered on the radical act of grace that is the res of Scripture‘s verba.14 So why is there so much debate over whether worship and outreach belong together or not?

Rev. Jonathan E. Schroeder

Jonathan Schroeder is the pastor of Faith Lutheran in Sharpsburg, GA. He serves as the Moderator of the Institute of Worship and Outreach, pastor-at-large on the Synodical Council, and is actively involved in WELS School of Outreach and WELS School of Worship.

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