The Ablaze! Movement is all about growing the Church. Proponents believe that the church can be grown better and faster by using "contemporary methods" geared towards "seekers" than can traditional liturgy, pure doctrine, and closed communion.
Is it working?
Since Dr. Kieschnick's ascendency, millions of dollars have been pumped into consultants, public relations, fund-raising, conferences, web sites and publications. A big push has brought about a growing number of participants in the Ablaze! movement even while the number of members in LCMS congregations dwindles. Or it may be his belief that he is championing a cause by which the church shrinks more slowly than it did when we stood together with formal worship and pure doctrine, dismissing such congregations as "grandfather's church."
Is it working?
Is the membership of The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod growing now that Dr. Kieschnick has been having his way? Have membership numbers increased? Have financial statistics been getting better?
In fact, the numbers are shrinking -- and on the verge of declining all the more quickly with the dissension he creates by demeaning congregations which promote formal worship and pure doctrine while claiming that churches which don't even use the name "Lutheran" in public and squander thousands for dubious billboards are hailed as churches which are following "best practices."
Perhaps Dr. Kieschnick thinks that churches that are 80+ years old are just too much decaying baggage and that bigger mega-churches need to have more votes (and that they will make the synod even better) -- as is being proposed in his new plans for the restructuring of the LCMS. Perhaps he feels that the synod can afford to lose congregations which are adamantly opposed to his Ablaze! movement. Maybe he thinks that after such congregations are jettisoned, the LCMS will be free to grow faster and bigger like never before.
But if the Ablaze! movement ends up bankrupting the LCMS theologically and financially, who will hold him accountable?