Lutheran Hour Ministries' mission to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with those hurting individuals is even more urgent now.
Since the onset of COVID-19, webinars and internet video conferencing have become go-to vehicles for organizations and corporations to connect with their constituencies and employees. In August, Lutheran Hour Ministries conducted three Household of Faith webinars to benefit the mission and ministry of the Southeast District of the LCMS. The webinars were featured as part of the district's popular "Thursdays at Noon" webinar series. Each was hosted by Sally Hiller, deaconess in the SE District. Drawing from LHM's three-year partnership with Barna Group, Rev. Dr. Tony Cook, vice president of Global Ministries, and Rev. Dr. Jason Broge, director of design and development for LHM, presented these half-hour webinars. Cook and Broge shared important data points from Barna's second year of research and showed how any household can boost its spiritual vibrancy by taking intentional steps. The term "household" is used often in Scripture, with more than 2,000 examples in the Old Testament, and more than 100 in the New Testament, with many more allusions beyond these. By studying present-day households, Barna's goal was to "observe interactions among practicing Christians who live together and how faith is experienced and transmitted among them," Broge said. The family units examined included nuclear families; single-person, single-parent, and multi-generational households, couples, roommates, or some other configuration. Utilizing the Households of Faith monograph and Don Everts' book, The Spiritually Vibrant Home: The Power of Messy Prayers, Loud Tables, and Open Doors, Cook showed how there are three "pillars" for cultivating a spiritually vibrant home. Each is biblically based; each can be included in the life of any household. These pillars are to apply spiritual disciplines; extend hospitality; and engage in spiritual conversations. Cook said that spiritual coaching is a way of "intentionally nurturing the three vibrancy characteristics within your home." This can be done using an easy-to-remember, three-part method: model (vibrant characteristics), respond (in the moment), and plan (vibrant practices). Research findings indicate that "spiritual vibrancy is not determined by unchangeable characteristics, but by things any Christian can improve." This was welcome news to webinar participants in the SE District. "This has been a wonderful opportunity to be reminded that we really have a calling to help build spiritual vibrancy in our own household. It's not too late wherever you are in that family-or that household-journey. There's plenty of time at this moment for us to take a step forward," Hiller said.
Coming this March is the Better Together kit.
Lutheran Hour Ministries' digital program for the Latin America region, Vivenciar.net, is a bi-lingual platform that reaches Hispanic and Portuguese speaking people in 65 countries worldwide.
Now, 90 years after the first broadcast, the Good News has been carried around the world by radio waves.