Lutheran churches have many things in common. Each church has its own ceiling shape such as an arch or a triangle shape. They all have a cross hanging from the dossal curtain that is behind the altar. Different colored paraments are hung according to the season of the church year (i.e. blue for Advent). The logo on the church’s sign depends on what synod the church belongs to, such as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America or the Missouri Senate. All Lutheran churches believe that there is two sacraments, Baptism and the Holy Eucharist, a sacrament is a sacred act in which God/Christ is present . Each synod of the Lutheran Church has its own hymnal that is used in its congregations.
Common characteristics are used because Lutheran churches share the same beliefs. They are used to provide a comforting setting in the church so if Lutherans are visiting a town and wish to go to church, they may feel a belonging to in this place of God. Another reason why there are shared characteristics is because all the Lutheran Church’s beliefs come from the doctrines of Martin Luther. Also if a congregation has a sister congregation, they need to have common characteristics to perhaps improve the friendship between the two congregations.
What is Conveyed by the Common Characteristics
Most beliefs are conveyed in the church. Salvation is through faith alone is shown by the cross being very visible in the front of the church. The font is visible so it shows that Baptism is a sacrament. The same hymnals are used in churches so that there is a proper style of worship and to provide hymns that are appropriate for each church season (i.e. joyful hymns are not used during Lent). The beliefs that are visible are shown through the cross, baptismal font, altar, and the pulpit from where the minister preaches.
The size of a Lutheran church varies from region to region because of the amount of Lutherans may vary from area to area. There are few Lutherans in the South U.S. because it is predominantly Baptist, so you will find small Lutheran churches here (i.e. my church only has 300 members). In the north you will find large Lutheran churches on every street like it is with Baptist churches here (i.e. there are 27 ELCA Lutheran churches in Seattle, Washington). Also there may be a change in political values based upon what churches are predominant in regions because your faith may affect what your political opinion is.