Rev. John A. Frahm III (click to e-mail Pr. Frahm)
5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 4:5-6
Pastor Frahm has served congregations in the Midwest and Colorado prior to accepting the divine call to be pastor of Trinity in Boulder Junction. He is a 1998 graduate of Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, a seminary of Lutheran Church-Canada, a sister synod of the LCMS. Pastor Frahm has served continuously as a parish pastor in the LCMS since ordained in 1998. He is known strongly as a teaching pastor and leading reverent liturgical service rooted firmly in the classic Lutheran understanding (see Augsburg Confession XXIV). Through various situations, he brings valuable depth and variety of wisdom and experience in ministry for a confessional Lutheran church in these testing times, confessing the unchanging truth of the Gospel with tenacity.
Pastor Frahm considers our historic Lutheran doctrinal and liturgical heritage a crucial asset for the mission and life of the church and our identity. The historic liturgy with its ceremonies best conveys the fullness of what we believe, teach, and confess. The Divine Service is not simply a stylistic flavor among contemporary or other options, but is the confession of the historic Christian faith (hence Augsburg Confession, Article XXIV). Stewarding the content and delivery of the Divine Service with its hymnody and ceremonial throughout the Church Year is a chief pastoral duty. Also, he believes in providing solid instruction for youth and adults and preparing congregations to remain steadfast and bold in confessing the faith amid the changing culture. The Bible, catechism and hymnal are key to our identity as church as we reach out to those in the world around us. Sadly, not all Lutherans have maintained that heritage, but Rev. Frahm seeks to maintain that for the sake of the gospel medicine pure and clear.
Augsburg Confession, Article VII, the Church: 1] Also they teach that one holy Church is to continue forever. The Church is the congregation of saints, in which the Gospel is rightly taught and the Sacraments are rightly administered…
Pastor Frahm was born in a Chicago suburb and was raised in a small southern Minnesota town surrounded by corn fields and prairie. His extended family live in Twin Cities area. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Minnesota State University – Mankato and a Master of Divinity from Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada (LC-C seminary affiliated with Brock University). He majored in historical theology in his Master of Divinity studies. During his college years Pastor Frahm was very involved in campus ministry in Mankato and was the first president of Region 4 (MN and Dakotas) of Lutheran Student Fellowship (now LCMS U). He considers himself a product of LCMS campus ministry in many ways. In between college and seminary he was a member at University Lutheran Chapel in Minneapolis, MN and served on the board of elders there. During his college years he was blessed to have heard many excellent theologians and churchmen of the Lutheran church who were influential in his desire to attend seminary. He also counts it a blessing to have been formed pastorally during his seminary years by many fine professors and pastors. His vicarage year was served in a combination campus ministry and parish setting in central Michigan.
He is happily married to Jennifer, a southwestern Michigan native as well as a life-long LCMS member. Jennifer has extended family in southwest Michigan. Jennifer is an instructional designer specializing in online education and holds a graduate degree in education. Jennifer works in the field of instructional design in higher education. They both enjoy visiting and vacationing in the great north woods around Lake Superior and Lake Michigan, the Rocky Mountain west, train travel, reading, and feeding birds in the back yard, etc. Pastor Frahm also enjoys music, watching hockey, bike riding, hiking in the woods, and is something of a railfan and train nerd. Besides family in Minnesota and Michigan, the Frahms have close friends in Minnesota, Indiana, Wyoming, Wisconsin, and Colorado. The Frahms enjoy small town and rural areas but don’t mind a bit of larger areas at times either. They are parents to their only-child, Wyatt, who was stillborn in 2008 when they were living in Colorado. We look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come!
The by divine call Holy Spirit has sent Pastor Frahm to serve challenging small town, rural, and mid-sized city congregations. He has had articles published in The Lutheran Witness; Logia: A Journal of Lutheran Theology; The Bride of Christ liturgical journal, has been a guest on Issues Etc, and has been published on various Lutheran blogs and theological discussion sites (Brothers of John the Steadfast, Gottesdienst blog, and others). He also helped author study guide documents for the ACELC film project – “If Not Now, When?” to address issues in the LCMS (especially on liturgy, the office of the ministry, and eucharistic practice). In the public square, he has also contributed research in the area of religious and civil liberties in the civil realm as well as supporting the cause of human life ethics. Synodically, Pastor Frahm also has served briefly as a circuit visitor, on a district pastors’ conference committee, and was an elected to be a synod convention delegate.
As a strongly teaching pastor, Pastor Frahm has gained a reputation of helping Lutheran congregations regain a clear understanding of their confessional Lutheran identity in teaching and practice, often shepherding through important challenges. While serving diverse parish calls in some challenging situations he has gained a depth of parish experience and diagnostic insights for the benefit of the church and the ministry. He has experience with rural, small town, and suburban settings in addition to campus ministry, hospital visitation, and so forth. Pastor Frahm sees himself as a classical Lutheran pastor centered in the Divine Service, preaching, catechesis (teaching the faith), Bible study, applying God’s Word and prayer in pastoral care, hospital visitation, confession and absolution, and bringing direction to a congregation. Throughout his time in the ministry thus far, Pastor Frahm has typically been very active not only with youth catechesis but also thorough adult catechism courses, as well as campus ministry where he’s had opportunity. Pastor Frahm also strongly supports traditional Lutheran education at all levels. Recently, Pastor Frahm has been appointed to serve on the district pastoral conference committee for the North Wisconsin District, and was the worship coordinator for the various services at our 2022 district conference in Stevens Point.
9 For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. 11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:9-11
Since gaining a variety of significant experience in the ministry since ordination in 1998, he helped congregations solidify their foundation in Christ by classical pastoral care and oversight in Word and Sacrament ministry, thorough catechesis and sound liturgical practice. He firmly believes in moving congregations to see themselves as examples of faithfulness in both doctrine and mission, exemplified by reverent and joyful liturgical worship while being attentive to the task of outreach in one’s daily vocations with faithfulness and integrity. With an eye to our changing context, he also teaches to move established congregations further in their understanding of sound teaching and practice in order to stand firm in our increasingly anti-Christian cultural and civil arena.
Since the ministry is not a chosen “career” as such, but a divine call through the church, Pastor Frahm has been characteristically willing to go by the Lord’s call into sometimes unusually difficult situations to bring Word and Sacrament ministry and focused remediating congregational instruction into play to bear fruit as the Holy Spirit wills. He has been involved with church building projects, remodels, and has had periods of teaching frequent adult catechesis classes. The foundation of Jesus Christ and God’s prophetic and apostolic Word is always the basis for everything the church and the ministry is called to be faithful to in both teaching and practice. Therefore we learn to see the ministry in that light. We cannot bring anything more relevant to the table than the eternal things revealed in God’s Word. Therefore the Scriptures and our Lutheran Confessions are indispensable for the life of the church and help troubleshoot the challenges of the church. For we take what we have received from Holy Scripture and confess it boldly for the church and for the life of the world. The office is an instrument of that Word. And the Lord puts His ministers to deliver the Word and Sacraments for when and where He pleases.
…So shall My Word be that goes out from My mouth;
it shall not return to Me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11
In these times especially, it is important to be prepared to confess the truth and give an answer to those who ask us for a reason for the hope within us. Personalities, fads, programs, and such come and go but the Word of the Lord endures forever. Congregations are not built upon the chaff of personalities or programs but upon the foundation of the apostles and the prophets with Jesus Christ Himself as the cornerstone. Where possible, the support of solidly Lutheran schools (at various levels) also bolsters faith and equips Christians for serving in this life as servants of God in their particular vocations. In our vexing culture it is important that congregations are deeply rooted in the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3). In this way we may stand by God’s grace in the oncoming storm confident in our Lord who has won the victory and will return in glory on the Last Day. The Lord’s accomplishment of salvation of sinners in the crucified and risen Messiah is no fall-back plan but was something of the heart of God in eternity in love and mercy. For we are not merely broken, but spiritual blind and dead without saving faith in Christ and we need spiritual and physical resurrection. Therefore nothing is so central as the spoken and sacramental Gospel of Christ that deliver to us in the here and now the benefits and blessings of Good Friday and Easter and indeed Christ Himself as the Holy Spirit enlivens us.
“And they continued steadfastly in the Apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, the breaking of the bread and in the prayers.” (Acts 2:42)
Almighty God, grant to Your church Your Holy Spirit and the wisdom which comes down from heaven, that Your Word may not be bound, but have free course and be preached to the joy and edifying of Christ’s holy people. In steadfast faith, we may serve You and in the confession of Your name, abide to the end through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Some of Pastor Frahm’s Theological Writings for the Church at Large:
Pastor Frahm’s Matins Homily from Oct.4.22 – North Wisconsin District Pastors’ Conference (PDF)
Various writings by Pastor Frahm on the Brothers of John the Steadfast web page (click here to reach that external selection)
The Divine Service: Its History and Theology Bible study – video discussion of Pastor Frahm’s study guide
Divine Service Study (full page version) – 2014 copy (PDF)
Restoring and Paying Forward the Lutheran Chorales by Rev. John A. Frahm III
LSB One Year vs. Three Year Lectionary – a brief summary
On Eucharistic Practice in a Pandemic: Consecration of the Holy Supper, the Office, and Local Fellowship in Dispersion: Why live-stream consecrations are dubious and out of bounds.
A Safer Sacrament? Pastoral Cautions on Alterations to Eucharistic Practice in the Name of Health Fears (PDF – 2022)
“Reclaiming An Early Church Diaconate for Lutheran Parishes Today”
“Give Attention to the Public Reading of Scripture: I Timothy 4:13: Lectors, Pastoral Stewardship, and Gender Considerations: Not Just About Getting the Text Read”
“Give Attention to the Public Reading of Scripture: I Timothy 4:13: Lectors, Pastoral Stewardship, and Gender Considerations” posted at Gottesdienst blog.
“The Vocation of Music in the Divine Service”: Setting Music to the Theology
A tract on the weekly celebration of the Lord’s Supper
Comments on the Dangers of Replacing ‘Sin’ with ‘Broken’: Avoid Confusion Between Suffering Effects of Sin and Being Contrite
A tract on the Lutheran practice of Private Confession and Absolution
Review of Through the Church the Song Goes On – published in Logia: A Journal of Lutheran Theology.
A tract on the Lutheran use of the Sign of the Cross
Liturgical Chant: Vestment for the Voice
A collection of Lutheran quotations on the use of traditional vestments
Lutheran Reflections on The Benedict Option by Rod Dreher
Monergism of the Third Article and Evangelism Methods
On Lutheran Schools and Education
May Absolution Be Referred to as a Sacrament by Lutherans?
Is It Wrong for the Pastor to “Commune Himself” in the Divine Service?
SOME OF PASTOR FRAHM’S FAVORITE SITES BELOW:
LOGIA: A Journal of Lutheran Theology
Brothers of John the Steadfast
Consortium for Classical Lutheran Education
The Cranach Institute – Dr. Gene Edward Veith
Luther Classical College – Casper, Wyoming (commencing soon)
Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana
Christ For US – Rev. Rolf Preus
Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary, St. Catharines, Ontario
Gottesdienst: The Journal of Lutheran Liturgy
Ad Crucem – Lutheran Liturgical Arts suppliers