A Word About Us
a Christ-centered church of the Great Tradition and the Great Commission
What does it mean to be a “Christ-centered church”? It means that we are all about Christ…worshiping Christ, loving Christ, learning from Christ, following Christ, serving Christ.
Jesus of Nazareth altered human history (and hope!) forever. That is why Western civilization for hundreds of years has described important historical events as relative to the time before Christ and the time after Christ (B.C. and A.D.). Through the birth, life, suffering, death, and glorious resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, God Himself shatters the despair of an exclusively material universe world view, speaking clearly with a human voice of clarity, love and compassion. As Francis A. Schaeffer, one of the most important prophets of the last half of the twentieth century once put it, “He is there, and he is not silent.” Hence, everything about the person of Jesus is both relevant and timeless.
In addition, St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church is a member of LCMC, “Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ.” The “for Christ” part of that association is important. St. John’s exists because of Jesus, around Jesus, and for Jesus. St. John’s exists to experience His life among us, and to share His life with others.
If one believes that Jesus speaks to people today (and we at St. John’s enthusiastically do!),…then, we must grant that He did the same in the past. That means that the witness of followers of Christ through history is an essential component in rightly understanding and applying God’s Word and will today.
This is what it means to be a church of “the Great Tradition”. We believe that the historic Christian faith (i.e., the faith that has been believed “everywhere, always, and by all” – the rule of St. Vincent of Lerins) is “historic” in that not only does the incarnation of Christ affect all of history both before and after His appearance,…but also that God has revealed Himself throughout history, first in the events and persons of the Old Testament scriptures, then in the person of Jesus Christ, and then in and through the body of Christ on earth, the Church, Christ’s followers since then. In this way we are proudly a part of the “catholic” faith and tradition: the historic, universal Christian faith.
St. John’s is a “Lutheran” church in that, in the history of the Church, St. John’s recognizes the values of the Reformation, and in particular the witness and writings of Martin Luther, and those that immediately followed Luther and embraced his teachings.
To say that St. John’s is a church of “the Great Commission” is an explicit reference to Matthew 28:19-20, especially as it describes what we are all about as a group of Jesus’ followers: making disciples. That means learning to live as Jesus has taught us, learning to do what Jesus wants us to do. Water baptism is a part of that, but practically speaking a small part. Essentially, it means entering into a relationship with Christ and other Christ-followers…to learn the faith, to live the faith, and to share the faith with others.
LCMC is an association “in Mission for Christ.” The “in Mission” is real and not theoretical! We have a task to do, a job to perform. Life has purpose. Christ-followers have been redeemed for a reason, and that is not just their own salvation. It is to be “a light on a hill” and “salt to earth”, just as Jesus describes. As one has put it, “To reach the lost at any cost, because people last forever!”
I invite you to join us in this journey of purpose, of joy, of service, and of hope!
“Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.”
If you are seeking, and not yet a believer (or aren’t sure), know that you are in good company! The Bible is filled with individuals known as “seekers”. The God of the Bible longs and desires that we “seek” for Him. (see Psalm 14:2, Psalm 63:1) Moreover, those who earnestly seek God are promised that they will be rewarded. (see Deuteronomy 4:29, Isaiah 55:6, Jeremiah 29:13)
Jesus reaffirms this when he tells us, “Seek and you will find.” (see Matthew 6:33; 7:7, Luke 11:9-10)
To be a “seeker” is one of the first signs of divine life. It is, in fact, a sign of God’s DNA in you, the seed of His own heart and life. From Genesis (3:9), to Jesus in Luke (19:10), God is continually seeking us. When we turn to begin to seek God, know that God is coming out to meet you. (see Luke 15:20)
So, know that in your search, you are responding to the promptings of the Spirit of the God of the Bible.
Know that you are not alone in your search.
And know that God Himself is longing to meet you, and is anxious for you to know His greeting and experience His welcome.
Like, however, the song by Waylon Jennings, “Lookin’ For Love” says, you can spend a lot of time “looking for love in all the wrong places.”
What, then, is the right place…to find and know the love of God through Christ?
First, look in Holy Scripture. Martin Luther said that Holy Scripture is “the manger in which the Christ child is laid.”
Countless pilgrims the past 2000 years have given testimony to meeting God while hearing or reading Holy Scripture. The Bible itself speaks of the link between hearing and faith in Romans 10:17.
Secondly, look where God’s people gather. Jesus repeatedly promises a special manifestation of Himself when two or more are gathered together in Him. (see Matthew 18:20)
Historically, here we are speaking of the Church. The Church is NOT a building. Rather, the Church is the body of Christ, believers,…composed of all races and languages, throughout history,…that have gathered together to worship Jesus Christ*, to celebrate the sacraments**, to hear God’s Word, and to present offerings of prayer, praise (in song), and a percentage of their income for the work of this ministry.
Thirdly, look to meet God in the faces and persons of those in the greatest need around you.
Jesus both clearly taught and consistently modeled that it is in obeying His word that we meet Him and experience His presence. Passages like John 14:15-18, John 14:21, and others clearly indicate that Jesus promises a very personal and powerful experience of His presence…within us…as we trust and follow His teachings. In addition, in passages like Matthew 25:31-40, Jesus tells us that it is in helping others (acts of love and compassion) that we really meet and encounter Him!
There are many reasons for this. But one reason is because love and compassion are primary in heart of God. And loving and caring for others in the name of His Son helps us as individuals connect with the heart and spirit of God in a very real and experiential way!
This is why many believers, past and present, have taught that the most important place to seek and find God…is at the foot of the cross. In other words,…reflecting on, meditating on, contemplating…the motivations in the heart and mind of God the Father…that prompted Him to send His only Son, Jesus,…to suffer the shame and suffering of crucifixion on a cross (when He walked this earth in Palestine 2000 years ago),…so that we might have and know the forgiveness of our sins.
Friend,…fellow “seeker” after Truth,…be encouraged! Jesus tells us, “Seek and you will find.”
Know…that your seeking…will not be in vain.
Join us…in seeking Him…together.
17701 Cameron Rd, Pflugerville, TX 78660, USA