“District Presidents usually have an interesting perspective on things.  When I first came to North Dakota Rev. Alwin Reimnitz was the president and he held an orientation for the new guys in the District.  By that time he had served at Zion in Bismarck almost twenty years.  He would go on to serve for another seven, become the full time District President and serve in that position until 1991.  When he did the orientation that I attended he was a full time Pastor and District President.  His perspective was focused that day on “waiting on the Lord”.  Just before His ascension according to Luke 24 – Jesus, spoke to his disciples and said –

“These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, 47and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48“You are witnesses of these things. 49“And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”

Reimnitz point was that it took the resurrection and 40 days of more teaching from Jesus before the silly and rather dull band of disciples “got it” and once the got it they wanted to do something with it.  The were on fire and wanted to go and share it with the world and they are told to wait.  10 days later the Spirit was poured out on Pentecost and the great missionary work began.  All the training and the lessons before Jesus died on the cross; more training and lessons after His resurrection and 10 days of waiting before the Spirit is poured out; that is a lot of training.  He told us rather bluntly that we thought we were pretty hot stuff and that we came out to the prairie to preach the Gospel and enlighten the poor benighted souls.  We proudly displayed our Nestlé’s Greek New Testament and if we were really smart our Hebrew Bible.  We would probably look smugly upon the old timers in our midst who spent their entire ministries in small congregations out in the middle of no where while we imagined that we came to North Dakota to serve our time until some large church in California called us.  “Chances are” he said, “you will try and change everything at your new congregation from the constitution to the way they serve communion, because after all, they have been doing it wrong out here on the prairie for about 100 years and need the new brilliant theologian from the seminary to straighten them out”.

He told us that we would have a lot of windshield time out on the road and that we should use that as time to wait and think and pray.  Ultimately nothing would happen if God did not bless.  He said we would see some neat things out there in God’s creation and he was right.