|Maybe they needed more Driscoll and less Stanley.|
Eight years of Tim Glende seemed to knock the ambition out of the congregation.
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By now the vote is in, and one wonders whether Glende's old church got the up or down vote.
The church is (was?) on the south edge of town with open country (farmers' fields) to three sides. The WELS likes to plant churches, for some reason, where few people live and can walk to, I think because the land is cheap in those locations. But it's cheap for a reason since businesses don't want to locate far away from their customer base. By the locations they choose, it seems the WELS wants only to cater to the car culture, and they seem to think that people who want to actually walk to church can remain heterodox, since they don't show enough commitment. (BTW, public transportation usually doesn't run on Sunday mornings and in the evenings in most cities.) It's the WELS CG version of Schuler's drive-thru church, where if people wanted to attend without a car, they were just out of luck. It's like the health insurance companies who locate their offices on the second floor of buildings without elevators in order to attract only the healthy.
I've heard of WELS churches failing in a large metropolitan area when two or more WELS churches were close by, but the nearest WELS church to Glende's church was 51 miles away in Normal, IL, according to the WELS church locator. Evidently the CG services were so bad, the WELS members there drove 51 miles to get away from it, or turned to local LCMS churches:
|Or more Stanley and less Driscoll.|
GJ - WELS financial savvy does not compute. St. Peter's in Freedom had $250,000 to spend before the The CORE even got started. One can only guess how much has been spent since then, just to have an evening service a few blocks away from another WELS congregation.
The latest venue was especially strange, sharing a former WELS church building with ANOTHER emergent church (entertainment style, generic, afraid of a confessional label - like "Lutheran").
Or - Kudu Don Patterson has money for African safaris, for $40,000 to pay for fund-raises to start a new church, but a mission has nothing. And yet, Kudu Don gets a free vicar every single year.
There are WELS pastors who cannot buy food when they need medicine, but WELS has enough money to own two office buildings at once.
Oh yes - one long-time WELS member, later a pastor, told me how they pushed old the old crew-cut guys out of the Love Shack to make room for cool guys like Wayne Mueller and Paul Kelm.