Thanks to everyone who submitted scenarios for our future together!  The LIFT Task Force continues to use the information in these scenarios to guide us as we craft our report and recommendations.  A total of forty-five scenarios were submitted to the task force.

Scenarios will be posted on this web page each week.  They are offered without comment or edit.  The names of authors are not included.

We hope they will inspire, challenge, and encourage everyone in the eco-system to use their evangelical missional imagination for the renewal of our church.

LIFT Scenarios 1-10 (PDF)

LIFT Scenarios 11-20 (PDF)

LIFT Scenarios 21-30 (PDF)

LIFT Scenarios 31-40 (PDF)


9 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Roy Gulliford on November 2, 2010 at 11:55 am

    I urge you to look past Assembly decisions as a major cause of problems. Uthe’s letter should be explored closely. Structure of ELCA must be looked at. Too much focus of power and resources on Chicago at expense of Synods. Candidate process is even centralized. Trust and give opportunities for ministry at Synodical level-let them control candidates and get committee focus off bedroom concerns.
    Synod assemblies should be reduced in size and set free of quotas,[and weight of Chicago’s created programs] and focus on relational issues that build bonds between congregations. Let locals decide on ministry in their territory-then you get ownership!
    Train clergy to be pastors-not managers- and empower Bishops to lead. Perhaps if Bishops had real power,you might find more qualified and assertive leaders. Seminaries [of which there are too many–even Fry knew that] should turn away from PC and local fads and focus on preparing people for ministry.
    People just don’t see the ELCA as relevant and see congregations as outposts of bureaucrats. We have to get back to being ‘God’s people in this place’


  2. Posted by Pr. Robert Myallis on November 22, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    Many good thoughts and ideas were put forward in the responses to the scenarios.

    My take is perhaps a bit more simple and more drastic. The ELCA has embraced the vision of big-tent, one that holds a variety of pieties, ministries and liturgies. The consequence of this diversity is less loyalty to the institution.

    If I would change the ELCA, I would do away entirely with the churchwide organization. I mean this seriously. If any national Lutheran institution wants to be viable, let individual congregations decide to give to them. World Hunger, LDR and LWR function in many ways like this. This way the minsitry done would not simply be done on behalf of the congregations, but done with and through them. As a pastor, it is challenging to get my people excited about the ELCA by taking a brochure and talking about some ministry far far away that my people never heard of before. How much more exciting is it when we have our Global Mission missionary come and talk to us.

    I would also return to the core of where Christian revivial has always come from: Passionate leaders! The current seminary system is untenable. Not only does it cost too much (consider — for three years of education, the average person spends nearly $45,000 on health care, food and lodging alone) but is not accountable to the congregations that need the pastors. I think the money should not go through Chicago, but is anything, only through Bishops offices directly to the Seminaries. I think more congregational involvement in selection of professors and direction of curriculum is needed.


  3. Posted by Keith Meyer on November 29, 2010 at 12:20 am

    I agree that there is much too much power in Chicago, and I sense a fear from local synods to speak their mind and lead in the direction that is best for the local congregations.

    Bishops hold a much better feel of the pulse of individual congregations and parishoners and their needs. Bishops need to be empowered to make decisions that are in the best interests of the congregations in their synod. I believe that Bishops are forced to carry out decisions that come down from Chicago, an entity that I believe is out of touch with the grass roots of the ELCA.

    It is impossible to make the best decisions for us, the parishoners, unless you live among us and our Bishops truly do live among us. Those who serve in Chicago should be in a support role only, which is what our local synod does for us. They support and advise. That is what we need from Chicago – support and advice.


  4. Posted by John on December 20, 2010 at 10:49 am

    Can you post scenarios in Word or rtf rather than only pdf? Pdf files often are a huge waste of paper–lots of blank space and often fonts much larger than needed.



  5. Posted by Peter Kruse on December 23, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    It has been a long time since the last posting of scenarios. Can we have some more, please?


  6. Posted by Peter Kruse on March 11, 2011 at 8:07 am

    Hi ya’ll. I wonder if the last 5 scenarios could be put up . . .

    I have enjoyed the ones so far.


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