Rev. Adam Mueller
Moving the Needle: What Matters (and What Doesn’t) in Ministry, Rev. Adam Mueller
If you’ve ever driven a performance automobile, you know what happens when you step on the gas. The engine roars, the RPMs surge, and the car speeds off the line with squealing tires. Every needle on the dashboard moves quickly into the red.
Once upon a time it felt like Christianity in American was redlining. Not anymore. Cultural norms are no longer normal. Cultural mores are no longer moral. You worship at your Lutheran parish. The chapel isn’t nearly as full as it used to be. Our congregations are stuck in neutral; we’re revving the engine—we’re preaching the Gospel. Why aren’t we going anywhere?
What moves the needle in a congregation? This breakout will spend time evaluating methods and forms of the past, noting that when it comes to congregational performance we’re not driving grandpa’s Model T. The modern congregation has all the bells and whistles of a Tesla. Maybe that’s the problem. We focus on features like premium sound (worship wars), the backup camera (traditionalism), and platinum trim (institutionalism). But we seem to have forgotten how to put it in gear.
Few topics are more important to Lutheran leaders than congregational health. Whether you think your parish is a jalopy fit for scrap or a timeless classic that needs some TLC, you’ll want to attend. Learn and discuss what ministry and forms of ministry are worth our focus and attention, and which others amount to little more than pious activism. Moving the needle means more than just revving the engine. It means putting it in gear and driving it somewhere.
Rev. Adam Mueller
Adam Mueller is a 1998 graduate of Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary. After tutoring at Michigan Lutheran Seminary for two years, he was assigned to a mission restart in Kokomo, Ind. During his twelve years, he also helped start missions in Lafayette and Greenwood, Ind. In 2012 he accepted a call to serve Redeemer, Tucson, Ariz.
Besides parish ministry, Adam has served in various roles on the district level including evangelism coordinator and circuit pastor. On the synodical level, he has served on translation review teams, Commission on Congregational Counseling, and as Hymnal Introduction Program director. Several times he has presented essays for various synodical gatherings.
Adam has been married to his wife, Amy for twenty-one years. They have three children in elementary school. He enjoys hiking, playing golf, congregational renewal, statistics, big picture ideas, business, and investing.