Lutheran Witness: January 2019

Start to finish, readers of LW‘s January issue on missions and evangelism will encounter faith, courage and conviction — and the reality that, as the Rev. Dr. Victor Raj reminds us, “In the Church, ministry and mission always go together.”



  • Theodore Naether — Heather C. Smith
  • Evangelism — Mark A. Wood
  • Come and see — an interview with Adam DeGroot
  • Light for all nations — Victor A. Raj
  • Lutheran and unashamed — Matthew J. Garnett
  • Sharing the Gospel with our children — Wayne Palmer


  • world views: A monthly news column from Gene Edward Veith
  • searching scriptures: Let your light shine — Kent Schaaf
  • bene+diction: A rugged old cross — Erin Mackenzie

From the editor

The unprecedented and potentially catastrophic decline of religion in America has so completely dominated the “God beat” in recent years that many Christian journalists (including this one) are frankly getting tired of talking about it.

Yes, we know that churches are struggling. Yes, we know that many worthy institutions are on the brink of collapse. Yes, we know that young people are more secular now than ever. No, we have no idea how to get “Nones” to show up on Sunday morning. Sorry. Can we please change the subject now?

This innate desire to change the subject may sound like cowardice or escapism (and maybe it is a little). But it’s also a candid acknowledgement that churches do their best work when they shift their focus away from their own immediate troubles and frustrations and keep their eyes firmly fixed on eternal essentials: Word and Sacrament, God and neighbor, cross and mission.

Here, then, is what you won’t find in the feature articles of our January issue on witness, missions and evangelism: Navel gazing. Hand wringing. Angsty “woe is us” doom-and-gloom laments.

Here’s what you will find: Faith. Conviction. Perseverance. Courage. Hope. Marching orders.

Happy New Year. Now, as President Harrison likes to say: “Let’s go!”

Rachel Bomberger
Managing Editor, 
The Lutheran Witness 

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