Surviving a District Convention

By Paul Koch


The district conventions of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod are spectacles to behold. These regional meetings scattered across the country this time of year allow for an up close and personal encounter with the glory of church politics.

Now if you have managed to steer clear of church politics, you have been truly blessed. For many years I too was able to remain ignorant of such proceedings but no longer. However, chances are you’ve sat through your share of council meetings or board of directors meetings or even voters meetings in the church and felt the uncomfortable tension when business affairs and proclamation seem to be at odds. It is in that tension where the real politicking gets going.

LCMS Cross Burgundy with words

The rhetoric revs up, and all the factions within the visible church come forward to sway the herd. They are passionate and pandering and depressing. We are greeted with stats and visions and celebrities (yes, even the church has her superstars). We hear resolutions filled with a bunch of “whereas…” and “let it be resolved…” statements, and we are reminded how terribly important it all is.

But here’s the truth: if these conventions weren’t held in hotels or retreat centers with a bar nearby, it would all be unbearable.

lobby bar

In the face of this spectacle I have done my best throughout the years to have a good time, regardless. In fact as I was laughing during a break with a couple of colleagues at the last convention, a member of the board of directors commented, “You sure have a lot of fun.” To which I replied, “I have to have fun or we will begin to think that all this shit really matters.” I’m not sure if she approved of my statement, but she couldn’t deny that I was making the best of the convention.

We here at The Jagged Word know that many of our readers will be found at conventions this summer. So we have put our minds together to help you survive the ordeal. We want to inject your convention with a little bit of fun and a touch of anarchy. We give to you “Buzzword Bingo.”

Buzzword Bingo

All you need to do is download and print a copy of this Buzzword Bingo card to play any time that the convention is in session. You play just like any other bingo game, scratching out your squares as you hear the buzzwords. The buzzwords must come from those on stage addressing the convention. However, to claim your “Bingo” is a little more difficult. After all, it is a convention and you can’t just jump up and shout. No, you need to get to a microphone.

That’s right, step up to the microphone and speak to whatever motion the assembly is droning on about. You can speak in favor or against it, but you must us the phrase “Bag of Bacon” in your speech. Options may include, “This motion is as pleasant as a bag of bacon,” or, “I haven’t been this upset at something since my bag of bacon was stolen.” You get the idea. Be as creative as you want. Once the phrase is uttered, everyone in the room who is playing along will know that you have just called “Bingo!” Consequently, they will gasp in awe of your heroics.


In order to claim your prize for winning, The Jagged Word will need proof. Simply submit a photo of your completed Bingo card and a video of your victory at the microphone. Just hand your phone to a person nearby and have them record you. Or if you’re really brave, do it selfie-style while at the microphone. You can send these to us via Facebook, Twitter or Our victors will be greatly rewarded.

Have fun my friends, and you’re welcome!