Page 13 of this month’s The Lutheran magazine features an advertisement for a 9-day trip to the Rose Parade, Las Vegas, and Laughlin, NV – starting at $899. Your tour guide? A Lutheran pastor.
Previously on this blog I’ve wondered about pastors who use their title and office for questionable purposes. Las Vegas tour? This seems a stretch of any definition of the Ministry of Word and Sacrament. Holy Lands tours? Sure. Tours of European churches? Fine. But when the only reference to things religious on this trip are “Lutheran Services provided by Pastor Bauman for those in the group who wish to participate,” and “optional sightseeing tours including the Glory of Christmas at the Crystal Cathedral,” I have a hard time categorizing this trip as an extension of Word and Sacrament ministry.
If this pastor likes to lead tours, that’s fine. But when he does so, perhaps he should leave his pastoral title at home.