National Magazine of the Lutheran Church of Australia

50 years from now

October 2016

We asked six Lutheran young people what they thought the LCA/NZ could look like in 50 years, and what it would take to get there.

MATT SCHUBERT, 20, WA

I hope that in 50 years our church is zealous for God’s glory, obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit, abounding in our use of the spiritual gifts, mentoring the young, and taking ministry risks for the sake of the gospel.

What will it take to get there?

The gospel prompts us to reach every demographic, so we need to carefully listen to what our young people are saying and to train them up to effectively lead other young people to Christ. This may require radical new approaches to ministry and questioning if our practices are bound by our interpretations of Scripture or by tradition. I hope that we continue to stand on the authority of God’s word. Young people don’t want watered-down teaching that makes us feel comfortable; we want to be challenged by the life-transforming commands of Jesus Christ.


ZACH STORM, 23, ACT

From what I have seen, there won’t be a Lutheran church in 50 years. Youth and young adults are not only leaving Lutheran churches but many are leaving their faith because there is no example or challenge to develop their relationship with Jesus. Churches are structured, not relational. There is little or no teaching on how a teenager can live a Christian life in this world, which leads to so much compromise and confusion in their Christian journey.

What will it take to change this?

We need to teach people how to read their own Bible and discover the promises of God for themselves. Then teach them how to speak those promises over their own lives and step into the life God wants for them. With all the liturgy, we’re spoon-feeding them baby food and wondering why there is no growth. We need to progress to getting people to feed themselves solid food to start producing genuine mature Christians.


Alaina Brinkmann, 20, Qld

I would like our church to still be alive, and full of people who are passionate about being there – and these people would be from different nationalities and backgrounds, with different life stories. I would like to see us being not just a church building but a known safe place for people to come and be immersed in the unconditional love that comes from God.

What will it take to get there?

We need to start doing things! We can keep on talking about what we can achieve until the cows come home – but it is action that will keep passion alive and bring other people into our community of faith. We need to reach out our hands into our surrounding communities; even when they slap it back.


ASHLEE SCHULTZ, 22, VIC

I want to see a church that is more a family than community – a family that is honest about where it’s at, no matter how bad it’s mucked up – and a place where it feels safe enough to share that truth.

What will it take to get there?

My vision of the kingdom of heaven on earth isn’t that it’s perfect but that it’s honest – honest about the flaws we have and the struggles we face. As a church we need to be more vulnerable about our faith journeys and our personal issues. Old and young, I think the key to being empowered people and to being a closer, more forgiving family of God is just being vulnerable.


KATE McLAUGHLIN, 22, SA

I hope that in 50 years our church will be very different – because society will be very different.
I pray that we can find the courage to live out a more uncomfortable, diverse, genuine and active faith every day.

What will it take to get there?

I could make all kinds of recommendations for song choices and program structure etc, but there is just one thing we need to do to survive and thrive: people need to be able to look to the church and find Jesus. They need to walk through those doors and find rich, deep community – not gossip and politics. They need to meet you on the street and find acceptance and healing – not indifference or judgement. Church shouldn’t be far away from the rest of society. We need to get to know the people and the culture outside of our church; we need to meet people where they are and bring them to Jesus.


JESSE SPIKE, 17, VIC

In 50 years I want to see our church evangelising and growing, sharing Jesus’ message and love through our actions. I do not want to see the Lutheran Church divided over various social issues.

What will it take to get there?

We need to make use of everything available to us to communicate what we believe and clarify this for people who cannot understand why we believe. We need to put Christ above what the world is trying to enforce on us, and we need to never sacrifice Scripture and doctrine in order to be more accepted. Society will be incapable of respecting us and our beliefs if we forfeit what we stand for in order to deflect negative attention away from ourselves.