Event explores challenges facing Lutheran church

According to Dr. Roland Martinson, professor of children, youth and family ministry at Luther Seminary, the church faces a multi-dimensional challenge.

“In our time, all primary relationships—the family, parenting, singleness, gender, and old age—are being reinvented,” he said. “Consequently, people feel a great sense of dislocation.”

His research shows two-thirds of 16- to 19-year-olds baptized as Lutherans leave the church, and only half of those who leave return by age 35.

To address this crisis, pastors and lay leaders must, in part, learn to speak a new language. Martinson has developed five degree programs and four new initiatives that prepare pastors and lay leaders to read contemporary culture and to minister to youth and their families in that context.

Martinson is also writing a trilogy of books about parenting from a theological perspective, and is conducting studies to develop new models for nurturing faith among people between 16 and 30 years of age.

Saturday, May 19, Trinity Lutheran Church, 200 N. First St., Rockford, will host three workshops presented by Dr. Roland Martinson. To begin the day, Dr. Martinson will be the guest speaker for a special Men’s Ministry Breakfast at 8 a.m., in Anderson Hall. He will explore the identity and spirituality of young men based on his co-authored book, Coming of Age. The book documents 11 themes of young men’s spirituality and what young men across America had to say about how to reach them on a spiritual level.

Following the Men’s Ministry Breakfast, all are invited to attend Dr. Martinson’s three-session workshop, which is based on the Exemplary Youth Ministry Study Funded by the Lilly Endowment, for which he was project director. To download copies of the Exemplary Youth Ministry Study, go to www.Exemplary.com. Following are the session times for May 19:

Session One—10:30 a.m.-noon

Session Two—1-2:45 p.m.

Session Three—3-4:45 p.m.

The evening will end with a pizza dinner, and Dr. Martinson will gather with parents to present and discuss parenting/sharing faith in the home. Parents of local congregations are encouraged to attend. The dinner is scheduled for 5-8 p.m., May 19.

The cost for this day with Martinson is $25 per person. Or, attend just those opportunities that interest you. The Men’s Ministry Breakfast is $5, the morning and afternoon workshops are $15, and the evening pizza and discussion is $5.

Call Kevin Rehfeldt at 1-815-963-4446, ext. 245, to register or for more information.

from the May 16-22, 2007, issue

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!