Friday, January 24, 2014
Sabre of Boldness Goes to Rev. Michael Brockman
Rev. Michael Brockman returned from missionary service in Venezuela in the 1990s to serve in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, doing Hispanic outreach. Then, after serving briefly in Iowa, he took a call to serve Christ Lutheran Church in Hutchinson, Kansas. From the beginning of his tenure in Hutchinson, district officials were hostile to traditional Lutheran preaching and practice, attempting to force Church Growth methodology upon Pastor Brockman and his flock. Through the Spirit-inspired preaching and instruction of Pastor Brockman, his flock was able to resist, but twice the district managed to foster and abet the fomenting of open rebellion in the congregation. Still, Pastor Brockman and his little band were able to stand on God's pure Word and endure, but the devastation wrought by the failed coups left the faithful with a Pyrrhic victory, and they were never able fully to recover financially or institutionally. In order to remain preaching in Hutchinson and serving these heroes who stood with him against false doctrine, Pastor Brockman took pay cut after pay cut and part-time jobs. The congregation, to buy some time, eventually sold the parsonage, and the Brockman family moved into a rental. At length, Pastor Brockman's sacrificial service to the saints in Hutchinson cost him his career and his income, and caused terrible mental anguish.
After nearly two decades the congregation was forced to close its doors, and when the Church should have been handing Pastor Brockman a retirement bonus and asking him to teach young pastors in the way, instead he has now been called to an unpaid position at a Lutheran Church in Wichita with a friend and compatriot Pastor Geoff Boyle, with whom he continues humbly and faithfully to proclaim the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the life of the world.
Honored to know Pastor Brockman, the editors of Gottesdienst are pleased to announce him as the recipient of the Sabre of Boldness, and commend his faithful and humble service as an exemplary pattern of a Christian life.