Martin Luther: Art and the Reformation

In honor of the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation, the Minneapolis Institute of Art recently held an exhibit titled Martin Luther: Art of the Reformation. The exhibit featured over 400 pieces of history and art from Luther’s time, many of which traveled outside of Germany for the first time ever to be included in this exhibit. It was a once-in-a-lifetime collection that will not tour in any other museums of America.


The exhibit had record attendance, to the extent that even those who were able to attend were challenged to view the pieces because of the crowds. In addition, the exhibit didn’t go into depth about the theology of Martin Luther. It therefore seems appropriate to share two videos related to the exhibit – an overview of the exhibit and a lecture on the exhibit held recently at Martin Luther College –  as well as Sallie’s personal photos from the exhibit for all to benefit from. These resources may be appropriate for sharing in various presentations and studies about the Reformation, especially in this year of the 500th anniversary.

Related resources

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Productivity Tips from

Now that we’ve arrived at another new year, it’s appropriate to highlight an excellent blog that not only provides productivity focused articles, but from a ministry perspective. You can find it at

During my time in the ministry and now consulting with many other pastors and teachers about productivity, it is clear to me that one of a called worker’s primary administrative challenges is time and task management. Within minutes their day can be turned upside down with a simple phone call, email, or after church/school conversation. They need to juggle hundreds of tasks and projects, all with real deadlines, and then be able to put everything on hold to address the many urgencies that ministry presents. As a result, they need a good productivity discipline that makes sense for them and their work.

I’ve been following Tim Challies for some time and found many of his articles helpful, if not productivity game changers. I’d say that nothing he writes on productivity (he writes about many other things as well) is “new” in the productivity world. You can see themes from people like David Allen who wrote “Getting Things Done,” and other sources. But he packages these ideas in meaningful bites and weaves them together that somebody in ministry can chew on and digest.

Here are some relevant links from his site:

If you are looking for a good place to start thinking about, or rethinking your productivity habits in 2017, you might want to start with a series of articles he wrote back in 2014 entitled How To Get Things Done. They are excellent.

One of my favorite productivity entries in the series is Using Your Calendar Effectively. He goes into some detail talking about what should and shouldn’t go on your calendar – an appropriate topic as you look at your 2017. Tim also clarifies the difference between three vital productivity tools: 1) Information Management, 2) Task Management, and 3) Calendar/Schedule Management. He makes a great case for three distinct tools and then walks through relevant examples of what goes where. Very helpful.

Related resources

Disclaimer: Ministry Resources identified on WELSTech do not all come from Lutheran sources or always adhere to WELS confessional statements. They are presented as resources that may provide value for your ministry, but assume appropriate and discerning usage.

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478 – 2017: Focus on Ministry Resources

WELSTech starts the new year with a resolution — more and better ministry resources! We kick of the new year with a Bible reading plan and morning routine resources. Join us for 2017 as we find intersections between technology and ministry.

The discussion:

WELSTechversary – Martin and Sallie discuss the milestone 9th anniversary of the weekly WELSTech podcast and share plans for in-depth Ministry Resource posts in 2017.

The interview:

Sphero, my hero – Mark Meyer, Technology Director at Immanuel Lutheran Church and School in Greenvile, WI, shares his experience introducing coding at the grade school level using and Sphero, a small robot which lets students have a ball!

WELS now:

New Interactive Faith webcasts start February 1 at 6 pm and 8 pm CST

  • Led by Rev. Randy Hunter from St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Madison, WI
  • A study on enriching marriages. Couples will have the opportunity to build their marriage on the gospel of Jesus through the study entitled “Mysterious Marriage.” This study will examine how the gospel gives you the power to be married and how marriage gives you a way to show the gospel.

Picks of the week:

Ministry resources:

Featured video:

Watch Immanuel is a Thankful Church!, shared by Mark Meyer and the newest addition to the WELSTech “Likes” list on Vimeo.

Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 479 – Martin and Sallie take a deep dive into using YouTube for ministry. Release date: Wednesday, December 11.

Get involved:

The Miracle Morning

The start of a new year and hanging of a pristine new calendar, often stirs in us a desire to review our plans, goals, and personal productivity. Hal Elrod’s book, The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM), details one approach to invigorating and accelerating the goals you’ve adopted. The approach is simple … discipline yourself to wake up one hour earlier and use the time for focused concentration on important areas of your life. While Elrod’s motivation may be different than some, this short read can serve as a springboard to adopting a healthy early-morning habit.


This book and the concept of starting your day with Bible study, prayer, exercise, journaling, reading and planning are something everyone can consider. As Christians, we are called to work while it is day at the tasks the Lord has prepared for us. Many WELSTech-ers have calls in the public ministry while many others are dedicated volunteers and leaders in their congregations and schools. Why not consider adding an early morning routine to your day to find out if it helps you as you carry out your public and personal ministry.

Related resources

There’s no shortage of self-help/personal productivity books on the market. Elrod himself advocates for reading other authors during your designated 10 minute reading time and adapting your “Miracle Morning” regime based on things you uncover during your reading. Here are just a few possibilities to get you started.

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Reformation Reading Plan on YouVersion

As we begin the new year, it is the perfect time to review the available resources for Bible reading plans. Add to that the fact that we will be celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation, and it makes sense to consider plans that identify readings throughout the year that were influential in the life and work of the early reformers. The 365 Day Reading Plan offering from YouVersion entitled “Reformation Reading Plan” is described this way:

We celebrate the Reformation’s 500th Anniversary with a call to the Word. This plan, as did the Reformers, accents:

  • The Word alone — Sola Scriptura
  • A “gospel” order (the Bible organized according to which books most influenced the Reformers)
  • Some grace each week
  • The use of the latest communication technology (from Gutenberg to YouVersion!)

This reading plan was assembled by the Michigan District of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS).


The reading plans contributed to YouVersion take different shapes and sizes. Some take you through the entire Bible, others focus on different themes. Some offer devotional thoughts, others just raw listings of Bible passages. The Reformation Reading Plan in simply a collection of Bible readings without commentary, but are specific to key chapters in the Bible that God used to clarify for theologians like Martin Luther the truth about law, gospel, grace, justification and sanctification.

YouVersion makes these plans available via their website at, but also on all their apps including iOS, Android, Amazon, etc. Each offers an easy way to check off read selections, enable reminder notifications/emails, as well as integrated solutions for highlighting, note-taking and even sharing with others. Their social features make it fun to share thoughts and also words of encouragement.

Related resources

If you are interested in other Bible reading plans you may want to consider:

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