This summer, I was privileged to join more than 3,100 people in Mobile, Ala., for the national Lutheran Women’s Missionary League (LWML) 38th Biennial Convention. Here’s what I learned:
A vibrant church is passionate about the mission of God.
Helping to reach people with the Good News of Jesus is the glue and focus of LWML. The parade of 76 flags representing the countries supported with an LWML grant was met by cheers of joy and praise to God. The passion for God’s mission was palpable and beautiful. The convention bore evidence to God’s promise: “[Christ] died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves…” 2 Cor. 5:15
A vibrant church is intentional, inclusive and empowering.
The LWML embraces a changing world as a gift from God. The convention included scores of Young Women Representatives and Heart to Heart Sisters. These women are intentionally invited, included, and entrusted with leadership; they have voices to help shape the ministry for the future. In addition, the LWML convention includes teens and young children in “Camp Insta Friends,” recognizing that families do not need to be left at home. The young people even got to march in the parade!
A vibrant church is generous.
Since its founding in 1942, the national LWML has collected more than $100 million in mission gifts. These over-and-above offerings have empowered Gospel outreach around the world. A new national mission goal of $2.1 million was adopted. Combined with district mission grants—including the generosity of our Texas District LWML— many millions of dollars are being given freely to advance the Gospel of our Lord and Savior. Gratitude leads to generous sacrifice.
A vibrant church embraces innovation.
A digital society? The LWML has created online giving platforms and has a podcast and app. Global influences? Two representatives from the Lutheran Church of Nigeria were present to inspire, share and teach about effective outreach. Instead of living in fear during changing times, the LWML takes “every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5).
A vibrant church loves one another.
The fruit of the Spirit was evident at the LWML convention. Hard work was accomplished on local and national levels. Decisions were deliberated and discussed in pre-convention meetings. Directions were decided upon. When the group got together in Mobile, they focused not on pursuing personal agendas, but on submitting to one another in love (Eph. 5:21). It is a shining example for the Christian Church.
In October we celebrate LWML Sunday. It is much more than a Sunday recognition. The LWML is being used by God to teach us. Let’s learn, follow, and grow together.
By Rev. Michael Newman
President, LCMS Texas District
Questions for reflection:
Read Gal. 5:22-25.
- How do you see evidence of the fruit of the Spirit in your church and in your life?
Read Eph. 4:11-16.
- Review the five statements about a vibrant church. How is Jesus leading you to grow in maturity and be built up with love as a church and as His follower?
Prayer starter: Read Matt. 5:14-16. Thank Jesus for being the light that shines in a dark world. Ask Him to shine His light through you and your congregation.