13 so wird eines jeden Werk offenbar werden; der Tag wird es klar machen,
weil es durchs Feuer offenbar wird.
Und welcher Art eines jeden Werk ist, wird das Feuer erproben.
14 Wird jemandes Werk, das er darauf gebaut hat,
bleiben, so wird er Lohn empfangen;
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Elderly Pastor Accepts Call to Wisconsin Lutheran ...":
December 2009 Forward IN Christ:
"The Conference of Presidents eliminated the positions of Pastor Paul Kelm, Parish Assistant consultant, and Pastor Elton Stroh, Parish Assistance administrator, because the Parish Assistance program has been discontinued."
Yes, this is old news, especially to the people on this blog. However, for folks who do not follow these things, they would have no idea that eliminated and discontinued actually means, "We KICKED them to the CURB!"
"A newly appointed committee will bring recommendations to the Conference of Presidents in April 2010 outlining the scope and function of a replacement to Parish Assitance, which may include its own commission with its own director."
I have a suggestion, if that WLC gig doesn't work out for Kelm, he can be the new director. Something tells me Kelm will NOT be on the top of that call list. SP Schroeder should make a recommendation.
from WELS church lady
GJ - I am told that Paul Calvin Kelm and Elton Stroh (German for straw) approached the WELS Kingdom Workers so they could raise Perish Services from the dead, or scrape it off the curb, to use the Church Lady's metaphor.
The COP nixed the idea.
When the Shrinkers ran the conventions, everything passed by the assembly had to be obeyed as canon law, no matter how anti-Biblical it was. They even had to merge the colleges, even though the voting results were flipped. Now that WELS is voting more sensibly, the convention must be ignored and disobeyed, because Kelm, Stroh, and WLC answer to a Higher Power - their Father Below.
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Built of Straw (Stroh)":
Oh, so it is okay for you to make fun of the names of other people, but no one is to make fun of yours?
GJ - I was not making fun of Stroh's name, only making a point about Perish Services being built upon straw - false doctrine. The Biblical citation is clear. I left it in German so the Mequon graduates would not be able to read it.
The anonymous comment came in from Mankato, doubtless during computer lab at BLC.
Professor Weisacre: "Today's lesson is direct from the governing board. If you must make smart-aleck remarks on a blog, keep them anonymous. You do know the IP address can be traced back? You don't?"
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Built of Straw (Stroh)":
The men did not contact Kingdom Workers. Kingdom Workers contacted the synod first but most people externally and internally did not see a good fit nor the right leadership at KW to help.
GJ - Someone sent me the rumor. I was not sure it was true. Now that it is officially denied, we know it is true that Kelm and Stroh went to Kingdom Workers to reinflate their positions.
I also heard that Kingdom Workers dis-invited Jeske to their conference. That was their idea and it came from the laity.
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Built of Straw (Stroh)":
Well, then by your logic you have proven the truth of Universal Objective Justification because you deny it.
"Now that it is officially denied, we know it is true..." -GJ
GJ - Now I know I am dealing with someone trained by WELS. I mean trained the way seals are trained to clap their flippers and bark for more fish. There is a wee bit of difference between denying a fact--typical for WELS Shrinkers--and rejecting false doctrine. Sound doctrine is revealed by the Holy Spirit through the Word, not deduced by logic.
The Shrinkers denied they hired Stetzer for the Church and Change conference. The Conference of Pussycats had already discussed it. I traced the invitation to Stetzer's own blog, twitter, and official schedule, all naming WELS Church and Change. The Shrinkers still denied it, calling their Babtist friend Stetzer a liar. Eventually the COP got them to dis-invite Stetzer.
Ditto the covert hiring of Paul Calvin Kelm as a Perish Assistant.
Thursday, June 2, 2011
From: Elton C. Stroh <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, Jun 1, 2011 at 8:48 PM
Subject: Time for Crossroads?
To: Undisclosed Recipients <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Crossroads Consulting Ministry is directed by Pastor Elton C. Stroh. Pastor Stroh served as a WELS parish pastor for 24 years during which, under God, he launched a new congregation, served as senior pastor in a turnaround congregation, and was privileged to serve in a number of district and synodical positions. Most recently he served as a church consultant and directed WELS Parish Assistance – a consulting ministry that became a blessing to about 500 congregations with the assistance of both full- and part-time lead consultants and well over 100 associate consultants. Pastor Stroh also conducted the Turnaround Churches in the WELS research project.
Kristen Koepsell - Minister of Worship
David Hochmuth - Minister of Spiritual Growth
Elton Stroh - Pastor/Crossroads Consulting
Randy Hunter - Pastor
Education: B.A. from Northwestern College ('81), M.Div. from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary ('85)
Hobbies: Sailing, raquetball, walking with Karen, reading, writing
Quote: What do churches and snowflakes have in common? It's not the color. It's not always the beauty. It's that both are one-of-a-kind.
If you've visited a few churches you know all about it. The music, style, people, architecture, strengths and weaknesses are different from one to the next. God made it that way...He loves variety. At St. Andrew we're glad for that. It helps keeps "church" from becoming what it should never be: boring.
One thing, though, that never changes: God. He is. He just is. In His Word we find the unchanging solid things for life. It's a place to stand, a place of retreat and a place from which to launch. That, too, keeps church alive.
We invite you to discover both with us: God's changing church and God's changeless truths. We're curious also about your response. See, we've discovered people are like snowflakes, too!
Contact Pastor Hunter
Kristen Koepsell - Minister of Worship
Kristen has been involved in worship ministry since she began singing in church with her Sunday school class at four years old, and greatly enjoys carrying on that part of her family's legacy. She graduated from Wisconsin Lutheran College in 2003 with a B.A. in Psychology and minors in Communication and Theology, and is currently pursuing Staff Ministry certification from Martin Luther College. When she's not writing services or running rehearsals, Kristen spends her time reading (her favorites being science fiction, classic literature and contemporary non-fiction), playing piano, writing music, running, and staying connected with friends and family.
Contact Kristen Koepsell (now working for DP Love Letter Steinbrenner)
Blogger bored said...
What does snow and the Church Growth Movement have in common? Both are made up of flakes.
Did anyone else get the fullness of what Hunter is saying here? According to him, God made churches with their strengths AND weaknesses because God doesn't like to be bored. And here I would've thought sinful man was responsible for the weaknesses in churches. hm...
Randy, I'm remarkably bored by you because you seek to make God from an image of yourself--and call me crazy, but if we're going to remake God according to the strictures of contemporary populism I just don't think you are quite qualified.
By the by: The Latte Lutheran churches aren't just filled with young hipsters who only have themselves to blame if they lose their faith while sipping the double-whip false doctrine of Enthusiasm. I happen to know that in Hunter's congregation there are several cognitively vulnerable children--whose eternal souls are in the hands of Pastor Randy and their idiot parents.
Let us pray for these.
June 2, 2011 7:37 PM
Elton Stroh – Pastor/Crossroads ConsultingAs Executive Director of Crossroads Consulting Ministry, Elton invests much of his time assisting WELS congregations with ministry planning and responding to other requests. Trained and experienced lead consultants (including Pastor Hunter), as well as associate consultants assist with this ministry on a part-time basis. Prior to launching Crossroads, Elton served as a parish pastor and directed WELS Parish Assistance – a consulting ministry that became a blessing to about 500 congregations. He also conducted the Turnaround Churches in the WELS research project.
Elton received a B.A. degree from Northwestern College ('74), a M.Div. degree from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary ('78), and is currently enrolled in a D.Min. program (leadership and ministry management). He is married to Gail, a horticulturist employed at The Bruce Company. Both were raised on farms and enjoy the outdoors. Elton and Gail have two married children, a fantastic daughter- and son-in-law, and eight grandchildren. One family resides in Pewaukee and the other in Wauwatosa, which makes family gatherings fairly convenient.
Contact Pastor Stroh
Visit Crossroads Consulting’s web site
GJ - Elton, babee. I am trying to be hip. I know - it does not work well. The same is true for Lutherans who try to be Babtist.
Here is my problem. You identified two schools you attended as WELS. Next you mentioned a DMin program, Elton. But where is it? Most people name the school instead of hiding it. Fess up.
AC V said...
"Perhaps this would be a good time to begin a conversation."
Undisclosed Recipients: "Why did we get this spam?"
Objective Observers: "Hubris and need for an income."
Undisclosed Recipients: "We wish Crossroads would go away."
Objective Observers: "Perhaps this conversation should take place on the floor of the synod convention this summer."
Date: Tue, Jul 21, 2009 at 12:58 PM
Subject: [church_and_change] Comeback Churches - Media Clips
To: Church & Change Listserve
Brothers and Sisters in Mission:
I encourage you to view and perhaps pass on to others the following media clips (if you agree they have value). The six headings are:
1. Introductions, The State of the Church in the U.S, Re-Focusing on the Lost (9:26)
2. The Bridge to What God Desires, The Keys to Change (6:06)
3. The First 100 Days of Change (7:15)
4. The Role of Leadership/Teamwork (8:44)
5. Mistakes to Avoid (7:33)
6. A Word to Denominational Leaders - Making it About the Mission, Not the Machine (10:58)
Dr. Ed Stetzer (currently President of Lifeway Research and author of “Comeback churches” and many others) is being interviewed by a couple of denominational leaders in the Illinois District of the Assemblies of God. Of course, we would have much more to say about the gospel, means of grace, faithfulness to the Word, etc. if we were participating in the interview. But still, these media clips have some excellent content, the likes of which we need to be talking about in WELS.
Pastor Elton C. Stroh, Director
WELS Parish Assistance
251 Luther Drive, Sun Prairie, WI 53590
Date: Tue, Jul 21, 2009 at 1:34 PM
Subject: Re: [church_and_change] Comeback Churches - Media Clips
Thanks. This kind of stuff is invaluable, even when it comes from heterodox sources.
Kenn Kremer - Editor, WELS Parents Crosslink.
GJ - This is what I mean, readers, about WELS Conventional Wisdom. Plenty of exposure got Stetzer dis-invited from the November 2009 Church and Change Conference. However, shortly after that, the secretive sect is promoting Stetzer as invaluable and excellent. Who is promoting this? Team Kelm - two synod staff members, Stroh and his Amen Corner - Kremer.
A Right Strawy Epistle from Stroh
The Parish Assistance consulting ministry was authorized by the synod in convention in 1991, at which time an increasing number of congregations were seeking personalized onsite assistance with a variety of issues. Today our churches—mostly struggling ones, but some stable and even growing—continue to request the services of Parish Assistance, which focuses on “Assisting God’s people with pursuing his mission.”
We believe that, under God, as we help churches become healthier, we will also help our synod become a healthier church body. This, in turn, will position our synod to expand and support our ministry efforts at home and abroad, to train and send out more workers, and to increase our potential to be a greater blessing to God’s kingdom.
Our core four-phase consulting service involves helping congregations accurately analyze current reality, create a compelling vision for future ministry, prioritize and reorganize for action, and then pursue their preferred future with trust in the Lord to bless their efforts. Leaders are especially appreciative as we help them see with clarity
what must never change (God’s message and mission),
what may change (methodology), and
what must change (anything that gets in the way of proclaiming the gospel message and pursuing Christ’s make-disciples mission).
For the past several years, but especially more recently, vacancies within Parish Assistance have presented challenges. Both full- and part-time lead consultants, in love for their Lord and for the congregations of our synod, overextended themselves to serve additional churches. Still, service to some congregations needed to be delayed, and now congregations are being told, "We want to serve you, but we don’t know when we will be able to because of our staffing shortage." This unfortunate situation has caused some leaders, who intended to request our services, to back away or to look for help elsewhere.
A pastor serving one of our client congregations recently sent this note: "I wanted to sincerely thank you for the long hours and dedicated, cheerful service you gave the Lord and his people here . . . I am certain the Lord will work many blessings from it! I will continue to hold you in my prayers that God will . . . enable you to continue to bring more blessings to more congregations! Thanks for the fruitful and enjoyable weekend." Bringing more blessings to more congregations is also our prayer, and we are planning for this to happen.
At this time Parish Assistance has two full-time consultants in place and two full-time vacancies. One of the two vacant positions was defunded a few years ago. The other position has funding, and we are continuing to call with confidence that the Lord will lead us to the person he has chosen. Meanwhile, plans are in place to increase our number of part-time lead consultants and to begin their formal training during the 2008 Summer Quarter at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary. Our active part-time lead consultants will also participate in this week-long training event.
Additional consulting services
In addition to Parish Assistance’s core four-phase service, special consulting services have been provided over the years. Some examples of these services include team building, conflict transformation, staffing level evaluation, leadership development, mentoring, coaching, merging ministries, and change management. It is now our intention to increase the availability of these and other services. To accomplish this, we are seeking the assistance of Dr. Ronald Heins (the former Parish Assistance director) and our part-time lead consultants—who by their previous ministry experiences and training are qualified to provide specialized assistance.
Forward with Lutheran Schools
Forward with Lutheran Schools is a major ministry within Parish Assistance and is designed to assist congregations with starting new and strengthening existing daycares, preschools, Lutheran elementary schools, and high schools. Our Forward with Lutheran Schools consultant, who began his full-time service in July 2007, is Teacher Greg Schmill. He continues to serve congregations as they work through the process of analyzing the opportunities and challenges of opening new preschools and Lutheran elementary schools. In addition, he is now piloting Second Wind, a streamlined school-strengthening process. As with our entire Parish Assistance consulting ministry, Forward with Lutheran Schools emphasizes the use of programs within the church for outreach as well as nurture.
Parish Assistance had an opportunity in April to share information about its philosophy of ministry—why we do what we do the way we do it—with our Conference of Presidents. We appreciated their interest in and support of what Parish Assistance is striving to accomplish.
A future major project being undertaken by Parish Assistance, with funding from a Thrivent grant, will be a study of turnaround churches in WELS. Turnaround churches are defined as congregations between the years 1980 and 2007 that have declined at least 20 percent in worship attendance and then, by God’s grace and blessing, rebounded and rose above the original status (before the decline started) by at least 20 percent. In other words, turnaround churches experienced at least a 40 percent increase in worship attendance from the lowest point of decline.
An example of an imaginary turnaround congregation is provided in this graph.
The goal of this project is first to identify and categorize turnaround congregations—by setting, size, and age—and then study some of them in depth and discover what factor the Lord commonly blessed among them. It is hoped that these findings will help inform and better enable our WELS consulting ministry to assist additional congregations with pursuing turnaround.
Potentially, the discovered factors could be presented at our ministerial training college and seminary and at regional seminars and district conferences. At the same time, we anticipate that the findings will be helpful not only to congregations that need and desire turnaround, but also to more stable congregations that desire improved health for the sake of having greater spiritual impact among their members and in their communities.
Continuing to declare his praises
As we thank our Lord for his benevolent blessings on Parish Assistance, we also entrust our challenges to him. Confident that he is in control, we will continue to work tirelessly for the benefit of his kingdom and, with all our brothers and sisters in WELS, declare his praises!
For additional information, contact Rev. Elton Stroh, 608-837-3819 or email@example.com.
Rev. Elton Stroh, reporter
GJ - Wisconsin Lutheran College (nickname - Our Valpo) spawned Charis, and Charis begat Church and Change.
And lo, darkness spread across the land.
Church and Change members joined hooves to create stealth Church Growth missions across WELS.
Church and Change members divert synodical offering money for their own salaries and their wild hair projects.
And there was weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth.
Church and Change members study and worship with false teachers, then conspire to have Lutherans listen to their favorite theologians:
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Charis->Church and Change->Parish Services WELS":
Could you please not publish this, yet answer a question? I haven't seen your explanation of "babtist"? Is there an inside joke I'm missing? Why the second "b" and not a "p"?
Sorry...I'm a EE, not a M.Div. or PHD.
Thank you in advance sir.
GJ - I did answer this before, but I don't expect people to read every single post and memorize them as well. Lately I have been using the search function to find stuff I wrote.
I was at the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College when the director made a distinction between Baptists and Ba-a-a-abtists. I laughed. The Baptists and the Ba-a-abtists did not.
Southern Baptists often say they are Ba-a-a-abtists. Northern Baptists are more liberal and do not affect the Southern accent.
I have been everywhere and heard the major Protestant and Catholic speakers, many of them now passed away. That, combined with doctoral studies in comparative dogmatics has given me a good perspective on what is happening. Unlike the Church and Changers, I can spell comparative.
The WELS Church and Changers think my doctoral work gives them permission to study at Fuller Seminary and Willow Creek. But I disagree.
I was in the LCA until 1987. WELS said, "Oh, unionism is so bad. People should not even study at those bad institutions." John Seifert (now DP) made a point of wrinkling his nose in disgust whenever Missouri was mentioned. Even now it is impossible to have a conversation with a WELS pastor without the typical We-are-so-superior-to-Missouri tale being shopped.
WELS talked a big story against unionism, but the clergy have been more unionistic than ELCA and completely dishonest about it. The Wisconsin Synod is listed at Trinity Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois, as one of its corporate sponsors - in two different areas, including Parish Assistance. Connections? A Church and Changer runs PS which hires Parish Assistants like Paul Kelm.
Going back, it is easy to track where this came from. Ron Roth was the first openly Church Growther in WELS. Kelm, Valleskey, Bivens, Hartman, and Olson followed. The second wave of Growthers came with Wisconsin Lutheran College creating Charis, which created Church and Change, which sponsored even more of the above.
In the power structure it was Wayne Mueller at the center, with Parish Services (Bruce Becker) overlapping Church and Change. Love Shack employees are Church and Changers promoting Love Shack programs and eating up synodical offerings to pay for them.
So everyone should be laughing at how the Church and Change leaders (like VP Don Patterson and his circle) run off to see Babtist Ed Stetzer. Meanwhile, other key Church and Change leaders (Parlow and Ski) fawn and worship at Andy Stanley's Babtist church.
Have Your Brain Washed by Elton Stroh, Full of Straw and Strawmen.
Lead Pastor in Latte Church Failure.
Bad Metrics or Bad Coffee?
Elton Looking for Work
Lookee Who Shows Up To Lead a Kelm Conference
This Is Obviously Made Up - But Still Shockingly Funny
Elton Stroh at Word - Or, Picking Up a Paycheck for Metrics
Sessions 2A and 3B
Building a Strategic Ministry Plan
For ministry planning to be most productive it must be comprehensive (so it is well-informed and grounded in reality), engaging (so it has widespread ownership and participation),compelling (so it generates energy and enthusiasm), and cyclical (so both short- and long-term ministry goals are apt within an ever-changing context). Strategic planners will want to:
Do Metrics Belong in the Church?
This question is likely to raise some eyebrows and create some tensions. Some ministry leaders could not imagine functioning within a church without discernible metrics. Metrics and related words (e.g. measurables, scorecards, and outcomes) are mentioned routinely in their weekly staff or monthly elected leaders’ meetings. Other ministry leaders balk at the use of such terms in the church.
Monday, February 22, 2010
The following paragraph is from a WELS Kingdom Worker letter dated "February 2010" which was received today.
"Another historic development in 2010 will be the consideration of a new WKW program, The Center for Parish Renewal. If adopted, a call will be extended to Rev. Elton Stroh [Fuller alum, Church Growth] to serve as an administrator. WKW will be working with the WELS Conference of Presidents' Parish Assistance committee chaired by First Vice President Jim Huebner [Fuller alum, Church Growth] to assure complementary non-duplicating resources are available to congregations. Designated gifts to support this new program may be sent to WKW apart from mission project gifts."
WKW is going to grow by one staff member. Interesting when one considers the same letter also included the following:
"Due to the current economy and financial losses suffered by the Schwan Foundation, matching funds for national [WKW] projects will not be available in 2010. The generosity of the Foundation still provides for the operation of WKW. In 2009 WKW full-time staff salaries were reduced by 20%. Salaries are restored in 2010."
GJ - The WELS convention eviscerated Perish Services. Stroh and Kelm [Fuller alum, Church Growth] became unemployed at the end of December. Doubtless they got a few months of severance pay. They already have their new jobs lined up.
Remember when someone heatedly denied that Kelm and Stroh hit up Kingdom Workers for money?
What do the three men named here have in common? - Fuller alumni, Church Growth.
I am sure the ELS/WELS boards of doctrine will jump on this like hobos on a hot-dog.
No, not to thwart it - to support it.
PS - I heard that WELS started to grow for a few weeks, while Kelm and Stroh were unemployed.
Monday, December 5, 2011
AC V has left a new comment on your post "Divinely Called by Whom":
I'm sure they're lining up:
Dear brother in Christ:
I’m anxious to announce that, beginning in 2012, Crossroads Consulting will offer another ministry planning option and begin using an all-inclusive planning tool which (sic) I recently designed.
Ministry Planning Options: Congregations now have the opportunity to consider which ministry planning approach (i.e. Comprehensive, Modified, or Basic) would be most helpful.
New Planning Tool: This unique instrument will be utilized with all three ministry planning approaches and will help congregations accomplish both long- and short-range planning at the same time, and a lot more.
I welcome you to browse the Crossroads web site where you’ll have access to recently posted materials.
As the New Year begins, you and your leaders may be discussing your congregation’s gospel ministry challenges and opportunities. If you would like to add a consultant’s perspective to your discussions, please let me know.
Assisting God’s people with pursuing his (GJ - whose? - Elton's or God's?) mission,
Pastor Elton C. Stroh
Executive Director | Crossroads Consulting Ministry
608-837-3819 | firstname.lastname@example.org | timeforcrossroads.com