Making Disciples for Life

September 2022

Dear Friends in Christ,

This month’s TLO Disciple focus is “Making Disciples for Life.” A great definition for a disciple is a person who follows Jesus Christ and learns from Him.

Barna Research Group founder, George Barna recently wrote, “Our research indicates that churchgoers are more likely to see themselves as Americans, consumers, professionals, parents, and unique individuals than zealous disciples of Jesus Christ. Until that self-image is reoriented, churches will not have the capacity to change their world.”

Former Concordia, St. Paul, Professor Robert Kolb wrote, “What we do as Christians is always secondary to, and a result of, who we are as children of God. Our actions flow from our attitude, an attitude of trust in Jesus Christ.”

There is no other way that I would want to live this life than to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. The Gospel is not about what we do. It is about what God has done for us and continues to do for us and through us. The Gospel changes our attitudes through the forgiveness of sins, and produces peace and joy in knowing that God sent Jesus to bring life and immortality to light through His willing sacrifice on a cross.

You too can have this peace and joy because faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of Christ. You too can be a disciple for life. Check out the resources and links in this month’s TLO Disciple to grow in your faith and to learn what it means to be a Disciple for Life.

Pastor James L. Kroonblawd

Making Disciples for Life is the triennial emphasis of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod and is a partnership between individuals, congregations, districts and the Synod to evangelize the lost, retain the faithful, strengthen congregations, and plant churches and schools. Conferences, grants and a resource center comprise the means by which resources are shared and utilized to benefit the work of the church. Watch this video to learn more about this emphasis.  

From Martin Luther

 “A Christian is a child of the Holy Spirit, an heir of eternal life, a companion to the holy angels, a ruler of the world and a partaker of God’s divine nature. He is a wonder of the world, a terror of Satan, an ornament of the church, a desirable object of heaven with a heart full of supplications and with hands full of good works.”

–Martin Luther

LWML Mites Go Towards Making Life Disciples:

LCMS Life Ministry — $92,000

Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations”.

The sanctity of life created by God, and the family as God designed it, has been under attack by pro-choice organizations who are expanding their movement to reach children of younger ages, to attack chastity and promote promiscuity, and to influence our children causing devaluation of life, marriage, and the family. The continued development of “Life” curricula is one of the most frequent requests by LCMS schools.

With this grant from LWML Mites, LCMS Life Ministry will build a set of developmentally appropriate resources and curriculum for early childhood, young children, and elementary-aged children and their families.

LWML’s Making the Next Generation Disciples for Life mission grant’s goal is for millions of children to understand God formed each of them in their mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5) and that He is the author and creator of life, marriage, and the family.  

Watch the video about this mission grant! 

Making Disciples for Life’ 2022-2023 School Year Theme

Lutheran schools make an eternal difference. This year’s TLO Lutheran School theme is Making Disciples for Life. In our chapel services, classrooms, playground and every school context we will encourage discipleship conversations and actions. Lutheran school disciples also follow Jesus from the school to the home and community. Please pray for the teachers, parents and students of Trinity Lone Oak Lutheran School as we bring the message of the love of Jesus Christ to ‘make disciples of all nations.’”

Making Disciples for Life’ Conference

October 10 - October 12, 2022

People today are influenced by many errant worldviews. The next Making Disciples for Life (MDFL) conference, in St. Louis and online, will focus on providing resources that equip Lutherans to faithfully respond to the challenges and opportunities of proclaiming God’s Word to people who have been deceived by these worldviews of our culture.

The theme for this MDFL gathering is “Let Us Keep Awake,” based on 1 Thessalonians 5:6. Presentations will focus on three main subject areas: awake as witnesses, awake for our slumbering neighbors and confessing Christ in a world asleep.

Click for agenda and registration.

Shepherding Our Strays Workshop

Oct. 15, 2022 Sign up!

Inactive members are those members of the congregation who have voluntarily stopped attending worship services. The reasons that members choose to stop attending worship services (and the other activities of the congregation) vary from becoming busy with other things to experiencing a significant hurt related to the congregation. In most cases, the reasons a person has for being absent are not known by the pastor or other congregational leaders.

Are you concerned about inactive members in our congregation and desire to see them restored to the spiritual life of the congregation? Shepherding Our Strays (SOS) will provide you with practical processes and useful tools for reaching out to inactive members with care and intention.

The expected outcomes of SOS include: A better understanding of and greater compassion for inactive members; A greater awareness of the need to minister to inactive members; A realistic, effective plan for engaging short-term inactive members; A realistic, effective plan for engaging long-term inactive members; and A CARE Team equipped to implement these plans. Click here to register for the SOS Workshop.

Register for Workshop

Discipleship, part 1

Dr. Walt Stuenkel 

The right to discipleship was earned for us by the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The kingdom of God is not the development of forces latent in humankind and in history but it comes by way of a direct intervention of God in history. 

What is a disciple? A disciple is a learner. A disciple always involved a relationship to a person, not just a relationship to a book or a teaching.

A disciple is always chosen by Jesus Christ, the Teacher.

Within rabbinic circles, the disciples “followed” their master and the initiative lay with the disciple to “take to yourself a teacher.” The call of Jesus was much different in this regard. “You did not choose Me, but I chose you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last” (John 15:16).

Read entire compelling article

Discipleship, part 2

Dr. Walt Stuenkel 

A disciple is an active student of God’s Word and builds one’s life on the person and Word of Jesus Christ.

Jesus, in John’s Gospel, identified two marks of a disciple: (1) “If you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free…he who belongs to God hears what God says” (John 8:31-32, 47); and (2) “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35)

Disciples are members of Christ’s body, each with just the right spiritual gift(s) to serve the others. “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10).

The basic reality is that the church is a living organism, with Jesus Christ Himself functioning as the Head. A living organism can have only one head and the function of the head can never be delegated to another part of the body.  

Click here to dig deeper


S.A.G.E.S. (Saints Alive! Growing, Ever Serving), the older adult ministry of the MN South District, is offering a mini gathering on Sept 20, 2022 at Camp Omega in Waterville. The theme is "COURAGE for Today + HOPE for Tomorrow." Check out the Registration for Mini Gatherings for cost and registration information. Also, you are invited to use this flyer to invite a friend. For more information on S.A.G.E.S., contact

From God's Word

They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green. Psalm 94:14 (ESV)

Movie review: ‘Paul, Apostle of Christ’

The new film “Paul, Apostle of Christ” (2018) — starring, from right, James Faulkner as St. Paul and Jim Caviezel as St. Luke — is “clunky in spots and at times a little overacted,” but “shines brightly where it needs to and, in the end, is a remarkable film” with “a strong presentation of forgiveness, grace and mercy,” writes reviewer Rev. Ted Giese.

Is this a family film? Mature Christians and interested individuals will get a lot from “Paul, Apostle of Christ,” but be forewarned: the film is rather bleak, unfolding slowly as it builds patiently to its conclusion. Not all viewers will embrace the pacing and grim nature of some scenes nor find them appropriate for small children. Teenagers will likely have less trouble with the blood and persecution than with the slow pacing.

But parents don’t have to worry about their children seeing gory scenes of wild animals attacking and eating Christians in the Coliseum. While these are talked about, and Christians are shown entering the Coliseum, Hyatt doesn’t include graphic depictions. That said, the film does show Nero’s human torches, and that may be too much for sensitive viewers.      

Read the entire review

TLO Youth and Family Ministry

This year TLO has a new TLO Youth and Family Ministry Handbook to help parents and congregation and community members to learn about the ways children, youth and families can grow in knowledge, understanding and wisdom in what is means to be a disciple of Jesus. For a copy contact the Church Office.  

Discipleship In The Lutheran Tradition

Robert Kolb

The Dynamic Equivalent of Discipleship in Luther’s Thought

The first element of Luther’s understanding of discipleship focused on the communicating God and the trust that defines human life by defining him as the source of all good and a refuge in every time of need—the ultimate source of our core sense of identity, security, and meaning. On the basis of this redefinition of what a Christian is—a hearer of God’s Word, one who trusts in him through Christ, and who lives a life as a joyful child of God in Christ—Luther also transformed the word “fromm” “upright,” the kind of person you want for a neighbor, into a word which carried the connotation of a faith-based life of new obedience—“pious” in the best sense of the word.

Today’s hearers also need what Lutherans have not needed in most of their cultural settings previously: aid within God-forsaking societies to raise up their children in the ways that they are to go, in the footsteps of Christ, when the culture no longer helps point the way but designs detours through life that derail and disorient. For them the gospel of the forgiveness of sins, which they must finally hear, can be prefaced by the good news of God’s justifying those whom the world de-dignifies and renders unworthy for any number of reasons. For Christ died and rose to give life and deliverance also from all that others do to us to make us victims of their sins.

Read full article

God's Word is with you.

Tens of millions of people are using the Bible App™ to make God's Word a part of their daily lives. Download the free app and access your bookmarks, notes, and reading plans from anywhere. Enjoy hundreds of versions, including audio, all on your mobile device.

Soli Deo gloria
Trinity Lone Oak Lutheran
2950 Highway 55
Eagan, MN 55121