Dr. Walt Kallestad
Senior Pastor—Assigned to a tiny Lutheran congregation in Glendale, Arizona in 1978, Walt Kallestad quickly learned humility and value of strong communications: Within the first few months, the congregation had dropped , by 50 percent and the young idealist was faced with the challenge of rebuilding constituency or finding a new profession.
The challenge has obviously been met. Today, under Walt's direction, Community Church of Joy supports nearly 8,000 participants. Walt is a graduate of Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, and Luther-Northwestern Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, and received his [drive-by] doctorate at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. He spends his leisure time with Mary, his wife and best friend, their grown children and grandchildren, pursuing interests in writing, music and golf. email@example.com.
GJ - Nota bene: fear and desperation drove Kallestad to Fuller Seminary, its crafts and assaults. During the same years, WELS began to dread the future, wondering how their stand-offish sect would fare once the feminists began stirring and the young people fleeing.
WELS, Missouri, and the ELS began a steady decline, pushed down the slope by an increasing mob of Fuller and Willow Creek graduates, their own pastoral colleagues. They would not tell the truth about their new-found passion, and usually lied when asked directly. Waldo Werning (LCMS), David Valleskey (WELS), and Frosty Bivens (WELS) all denied the obvious when I talked to them (Matthew 18). Werning admitted it the first time, denied it the second time, and waxed furious when I quoted him from my pocket Day-Timer. Paul Schneider (ELS) laughed and said to me, "What did you say to Werning to get him running you down?"
Not long ago, Werning got an award for promoting Fuller Seminary methods.
David Valleskey admitted to David Koenig (CLC - sic) that he did go to Fuller. Bivens admitted his attendance in front of the Midland Circuit, but denied it later.
The Calvinists are afraid. They are afraid the Word of God is not adequate to make them look good. They are afraid the liturgy will scare away prospects. They are afraid Lutheran hymns are dirge-like and not zippy enough.
General Patton said, "Never take counsel of your fears." He had plenty of faults, as his admirers will admit today, but the Nazis worried about Patton the most and altered their plans whenever he visited a new location.
Apostasy from Biblical doctrine may draw crowds - it often does not. But the absence of the Word does not mean victory for the Kingdom of God. Satan does not fear the Church Growth Movement, the Emerging Church, the Contagious Church, or the Purpose-Driven Church. They serve his needs admirably.
Walt Kallestad, DMin, Fuller Seminary