Pastor Adam Mueller has a smart phone, a sleek laptop and a bells-and-whistles loaded desktop computer, the digital complements of today’s click-and-go world. But when it comes to his ministry, the newly-installed pastor at Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church in Marana’s Continental Ranch prefers front-porch preaching.
“What God asks you to do is to minister to one person at a time,” he said from his office on Silverbell Road. “There is no ministry without the personal face to face.”
Mueller came to Redeemer in late November from Kokomo, Ind., where he led a congregation of about 200 members for 13 years. His younger brother Aaron is associate pastor at Oro Valley’s Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, and baby brother Andy leads a congregation in Las Vegas. Mueller’s father is a Lutheran pastor in his native Wisconsin and his grandfather on his mother’s side is a Lutheran minister.
Mueller inherited Redeemer almost a year after its longtime pastor Philip Koeplin took a call back to Wisconsin. Koeplin had been Redeemer’s pastor for more than 20 years. In the interim, the church was under the care of a vacancy pastor, but the loss of momentum and leadership took its toll on the congregation. The membership dropped from its high of 670 in 2007, to 400 today. Mueller said he knows he has his work cut out for him.
“It’s not as though there’s a right or wrong direction to go, as long as there is direction,” he said. “This is a congregation that needs quite a bit of leadership.”
Mueller’s preferred form of leadership is one-on-one, spent gathering with a small group in a member’s home for weekly Bible study, or shooting baskets with a seventh-grader n the campus’ court, or sitting on the porch sipping iced tea with a shut-in member who can no longer make it to church.
Redeemer is located at 8845 N. Silverbell Road., in Marana. Easter services are at 6, 8 wand 10:30 a.m. on March 31. A continental-style breakfast will be served between services at 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. For details, visit the website at www.redeemertucson.org, or call 572-8136.