From my limited viewpoint, it seems like the LCMS has tried to maintain the Biblical integrity of the Office of the Ministry while at the same time work within the various legal boundaries that have developed over the past century and a half. The entire system of education in our country evolved drastically over this time period. Lutheran schools have grown and adapted with the changes, often with some legal battles to fight over the nature of their schools and teachers. Many Lutheran schools were started with the goal of teaching young people to read and write so that they could be confirmed. Some schools were started with more far reaching social goals. In any case, the German Immigrant Lutherans valued a religious education.
We should always be careful not develop a theology based on modern titles and terminology, but instead always go back to the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions for clarity. Synod and congregational constitutions always root everything in these norms. Legal details, titles, and terminology will change from time to time, but the theological realities will remain. No matter how many “ministries” a Lutheran congregation pursues, the primary ministry of a Lutheran congregation is always The Ministry: the proclamation of the Word and the administration of the Sacraments.
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