Every other month our CLC Board of Missions updates us with recent news from various mission fields.
Mt. Zion Lutheran Church in Madison Heights, Michigan has been on full mission status since 2005. Over the years, this congregation certainly has seen its ups and downs. Most recently, they endured a pastoral vacancy of more than a year before Pastor Thomas Naumann accepted a call there in April of 2017.
But the Lord has greatly blessed Mt. Zion, especially over the past year. Last September, they hosted the Great Lakes Pastoral Conference—quite an undertaking for a small congregation, but the experience helped to bond the group together through their joint work and preparation. In this past year, they have been blessed with six adult confirmations, two adult baptisms, and one child baptism. Mt. Zion also supports outreach in the Cleveland area as Pastor Naumann holds monthly services at a family residence there. Attendance for these services is about ten.
Mt. Zion has an active outreach committee that meets on a monthly basis. In January, they began advertising on Google, believing a continued increase in online presence to be the most cost-effective way to target the unchurched in their community. And though the COVID-19 pandemic has hindered many of the traditional means of outreach (like evangelism seminars and traditional VBS), this has not stopped Mt. Zion from exploring alternative means of sharing the Gospel message. The congregation already had been posting sermons online, so it was an easy transition to begin providing live-streaming of worship services on their YouTube page.
Recently Mt. Zion took their outreach as step further by producing a virtual vacation Bible school. The outreach committee and many volunteer members came together to produce a three-part series entitled “Jesus Has All Power in Heaven and Earth.” The series is geared especially toward community outreach and basic Bible instruction. Each video is 10-15 minutes in length and contains a Bible story, a craft which can be done with common household items, and a memory verse.
The ultimate goal of our subsidized mission congregations is that they will eventually become self-supporting. In recent years, Mt. Zion has been blessed with increased offerings and find themselves comfortably ahead of budget this year. This has allowed them to make some improvements to their church as they recently approved a plan to replace their air conditioning system.
In the church’s welcome video on their website, Pastor Naumann states, “Mt. Zion Lutheran Church has as its very first priority the preaching and teaching of Jesus Christ as the only Savior of all mankind.” By God’s grace, Mt. Zion has been enabled to carry out this mission. We pray that the Lord would continue to shower His blessings upon this group of faithful believers.
Robert Sauers is pastor of Luther Memorial Church in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, and a member of the CLC Board of Missions