Poll

Who Should Be Nominated For LCMS Synodical President?

David Adams
0 (0%)
David Benke
9 (16.1%)
William Diekelman
0 (0%)
Carl Fickenscher II
1 (1.8%)
Daniel Gard
4 (7.1%)
Randall Golter
0 (0%)
Matthew Harrison
30 (53.6%)
Herbert Mueller, Jr
0 (0%)
Wallace Schulz
1 (1.8%)
Dean Wenthe
0 (0%)
Someone else (please provide a specific candidate)
3 (5.4%)
Who cares? Throw a dart at the roster directory.
8 (14.3%)

Total Members Voted: 38

Author Topic: Who Should Be Nominated For LCMS Synodical President?  (Read 8847 times)

Buckeye Deaconess

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Re: Who Should Be Nominated For LCMS Synodical President?
« Reply #75 on: January 23, 2013, 11:25:01 PM »
Scott,

Thanks for the info. That happened before I came on so it wasn't on my radar screen. My experience, though, is that there is significant "belt tightening" across the IC to focus the effort on Synod's mission priorities with maximal bang for the buck. Sadly RIF has been part of that.

As I recall, no other department had comparable reductions.  I can no longer find the exact data, though I remember it was made known at the time.

And as I recall, mission also underwent some of the most dramatic restructuring going from LCMS World Mission to Departments of National and International Mission.

You imply that the disparity between departmental reductions was avoidable.  I tend to disagree.  You, of course, are closer to mission administration.  Do you believe it was avoidable given the Blue Ribbon mandates?

Mike

Let's put it all into proper perspective financially.  Before the restructuring, in FY10/11 under Program Boards, the Missions Board had a budget of over $32 million (including Fan into Flame) compared to these other board's budgets:

Pastoral Education - $3.4 million
University Education - $5.4 million
District and Congregational Services - $3.1 million
Youth Gathering - $6.9 million
Communications - $2.1 million
Human Care - $7.7 million
National Housing program - $1.6 million
Black Ministry - $.7 million

Total program boards - $63 million

Considering the Mission Board's budget is nearly 50% of the total program boards' budget, it's pretty clear why the RIF would hit their area the hardest.  I believe some of their positions were even integrated into the new Office of National Mission so as to minimize the number of positions cut.

http://www.lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=1569
(Page 6)
« Last Edit: January 23, 2013, 11:27:00 PM by Buckeye Deaconess »

Mike Gehlhausen

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Re: Who Should Be Nominated For LCMS Synodical President?
« Reply #76 on: January 24, 2013, 08:09:50 AM »
Scott,

Thanks for the info. That happened before I came on so it wasn't on my radar screen. My experience, though, is that there is significant "belt tightening" across the IC to focus the effort on Synod's mission priorities with maximal bang for the buck. Sadly RIF has been part of that.

As I recall, no other department had comparable reductions.  I can no longer find the exact data, though I remember it was made known at the time.

And as I recall, mission also underwent some of the most dramatic restructuring going from LCMS World Mission to Departments of National and International Mission.

You imply that the disparity between departmental reductions was avoidable.  I tend to disagree.  You, of course, are closer to mission administration.  Do you believe it was avoidable given the Blue Ribbon mandates?

Mike

Let's put it all into proper perspective financially.  Before the restructuring, in FY10/11 under Program Boards, the Missions Board had a budget of over $32 million (including Fan into Flame) compared to these other board's budgets:

Pastoral Education - $3.4 million
University Education - $5.4 million
District and Congregational Services - $3.1 million
Youth Gathering - $6.9 million
Communications - $2.1 million
Human Care - $7.7 million
National Housing program - $1.6 million
Black Ministry - $.7 million

Total program boards - $63 million

Considering the Mission Board's budget is nearly 50% of the total program boards' budget, it's pretty clear why the RIF would hit their area the hardest.  I believe some of their positions were even integrated into the new Office of National Mission so as to minimize the number of positions cut.

http://www.lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=1569
(Page 6)

Thanks for the analysis.  I'll chew over these numbers.

Mike

mariemeyer

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Re: Who Should Be Nominated For LCMS Synodical President?
« Reply #77 on: January 24, 2013, 11:42:14 AM »
Scott,

Thanks for the info. That happened before I came on so it wasn't on my radar screen. My experience, though, is that there is significant "belt tightening" across the IC to focus the effort on Synod's mission priorities with maximal bang for the buck. Sadly RIF has been part of that.

As I recall, no other department had comparable reductions.  I can no longer find the exact data, though I remember it was made known at the time.

And as I recall, mission also underwent some of the most dramatic restructuring going from LCMS World Mission to Departments of National and International Mission.

You imply that the disparity between departmental reductions was avoidable.  I tend to disagree.  You, of course, are closer to mission administration.  Do you believe it was avoidable given the Blue Ribbon mandates?

Mike

Let's put it all into proper perspective financially.  Before the restructuring, in FY10/11 under Program Boards, the Missions Board had a budget of over $32 million (including Fan into Flame) compared to these other board's budgets:

Pastoral Education - $3.4 million
University Education - $5.4 million
District and Congregational Services - $3.1 million
Youth Gathering - $6.9 million
Communications - $2.1 million
Human Care - $7.7 million
National Housing program - $1.6 million
Black Ministry - $.7 million

Total program boards - $63 million

Considering the Mission Board's budget is nearly 50% of the total program boards' budget, it's pretty clear why the RIF would hit their area the hardest.  I believe some of their positions were even integrated into the new Office of National Mission so as to minimize the number of positions cut.

http://www.lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=1569
(Page 6)

Kim:

In regard to money:  Consistent with the LCMS history of foreign missions, the fact that support of a world wide mission effort involved a high percentage of funding was unavoidable.  When compared with the mission efforts of local congregations within each of the Districts and District support of "missionaries at large" such as my husband was, the number seems quite reasonable.

Also, I suspect that what the government paid for the many LCMS VA chaplains, active and part time military chaplains and Civil Air Patrol  chaplains (all missionaries in their own right) exceeded the LCMS budget for full time foreign missionaries.

Which leaves us with the concern that reorganization seems to have resulted in the moving on of some of our more experienced career foreign missionaries.   

Daniel L. Gard

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Re: Who Should Be Nominated For LCMS Synodical President?
« Reply #78 on: January 24, 2013, 01:50:13 PM »
Regarding the appointment of a retired Army chaplain to head Missions, I will of course grant that his experience is not the same as a missionary to Ghana or, for that matter, a missionary to Podunk, NE. But the experience of a former missionary to Ghana or Pobunk, NE does not encompass institutional missionary work either. And the guy from Ghana does not have experience in Podunk, NE nor does the Podunk guy understand Ghana. An experienced missionary from any of those arenas (military, international, national) who can administer a complex program is as well qualified as one from another area of mission work. So I think the current appointment is excellent and represents the missionary force quite well and is as solid as a person who spent 25 years in foreign or home missions.

As far as the appointment of individuals to administrative posts in the Synod, President Harrison did not ask for the restructuring plan that the convention passed. As a matter of fact, he opposed it but President Kieschnick's appointed Blue Ribbon Task Force won the day and got much of their agenda passed by the 2010 convention. It was mandated by the convention and, upon his election, it has fallen on MH to implement it. No matter who was elected president, jobs were going to be cut. As positions are moved and filled, it is the perogative of every president to appoint those that he believes to be best qualified. Every president has done so - including Jerry Kieschnick. That includes not only paid positions as they open up but also appointments to various non-paid roles. JK put his people in. MH put his people in. Eventually there will be another president and he will put his people in.

scott8

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Re: Who Should Be Nominated For LCMS Synodical President?
« Reply #79 on: January 24, 2013, 02:11:54 PM »
Regarding the appointment of a retired Army chaplain to head Missions, I will of course grant that his experience is not the same as a missionary to Ghana or, for that matter, a missionary to Podunk, NE. But the experience of a former missionary to Ghana or Pobunk, NE does not encompass institutional missionary work either. And the guy from Ghana does not have experience in Podunk, NE nor does the Podunk guy understand Ghana. An experienced missionary from any of those arenas (military, international, national) who can administer a complex program is as well qualified as one from another area of mission work. So I think the current appointment is excellent and represents the missionary force quite well and is as solid as a person who spent 25 years in foreign or home missions.

Would you consider a civilian (no military experience whatsoever) a good candidate to run the chaplain programs?  In the military, is this even possible?

Also, and correct me if I'm wrong on this, LCMS-WM has very little to no control over the military's chaplaincy program, right?  I.e., LCMS-WM may call chaplains but that's about the breadth and depth of their involvement; they don't try to direct the chaplains where to go or assign them specific duties because this program is overseen by the military and not LCMS-WM, correct?
« Last Edit: January 24, 2013, 02:13:58 PM by Scott Yakimow »

Daniel L. Gard

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Re: Who Should Be Nominated For LCMS Synodical President?
« Reply #80 on: January 24, 2013, 02:30:49 PM »
Regarding the appointment of a retired Army chaplain to head Missions, I will of course grant that his experience is not the same as a missionary to Ghana or, for that matter, a missionary to Podunk, NE. But the experience of a former missionary to Ghana or Pobunk, NE does not encompass institutional missionary work either. And the guy from Ghana does not have experience in Podunk, NE nor does the Podunk guy understand Ghana. An experienced missionary from any of those arenas (military, international, national) who can administer a complex program is as well qualified as one from another area of mission work. So I think the current appointment is excellent and represents the missionary force quite well and is as solid as a person who spent 25 years in foreign or home missions.

Would you consider a civilian (no military experience whatsoever) a good candidate to run the chaplain programs?  In the military, is this even possible?

Also, and correct me if I'm wrong on this, LCMS-WM has very little to no control over the military's chaplaincy program, right?  I.e., LCMS-WM may call chaplains but that's about the breadth and depth of their involvement; they don't try to direct the chaplains where to go or assign them specific duties because this program is overseen by the military and not LCMS-WM, correct?

First, no problem with that. Each faith group that sends chaplains has what is called an "Endorsing Agent". That is exercised by the Ministry to the Armed Forces Director in the LCMS. His job is to evaluate and endorse chaplains. Once a chaplain is commissioned, he remains under ecclesiastical endorsement and must meet all the requirements of his faith group in order to keep his endorsement. If the LCMS MAF pulled my endorsement (which is separate from a call document - it is a military document, not a churchly one) then I am out of the Navy. The LCMS-WM is very much involved with our chaplains from the begiining of their missionary work to the end.

As far as where the chaplain serves, that is a decision of the military institution. Our MAF agrees to allow the military to send our chaplains where they are needed. We send men to the Navy, Army, Air Force and VA. The military then specifies their location and duties within that organization.

Military chaplains are NOT independent of LCMS-WM.

Buckeye Deaconess

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Re: Who Should Be Nominated For LCMS Synodical President?
« Reply #81 on: January 24, 2013, 02:38:52 PM »
Learn more about the Chief Mission Officer here:
http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=8QWrJDyfQW0&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D8QWrJDyfQW0

And here:
http://mo.lcms.org/Index.asp?PageID=&Function=News&NewsID=15695&CategoryID=4250

He served in overseas commands and is tasked with BOTH domestic AND international missions oversight in his role (both the ONM and the OIM are under his leadership).  I think his qualifications are impeccable. 

As for lost missions leadership, it was inevitable given the vote at the last convention.  Surely that was foreseen by those who voted for the restructuring, especially in light of the ratio of resources attributed to that area.

scott8

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Re: Who Should Be Nominated For LCMS Synodical President?
« Reply #82 on: January 24, 2013, 02:52:29 PM »
Would you consider a civilian (no military experience whatsoever) a good candidate to run the chaplain programs?  In the military, is this even possible?

Also, and correct me if I'm wrong on this, LCMS-WM has very little to no control over the military's chaplaincy program, right?  I.e., LCMS-WM may call chaplains but that's about the breadth and depth of their involvement; they don't try to direct the chaplains where to go or assign them specific duties because this program is overseen by the military and not LCMS-WM, correct?

First, no problem with that. Each faith group that sends chaplains has what is called an "Endorsing Agent". That is exercised by the Ministry to the Armed Forces Director in the LCMS. His job is to evaluate and endorse chaplains. Once a chaplain is commissioned, he remains under ecclesiastical endorsement and must meet all the requirements of his faith group in order to keep his endorsement. If the LCMS MAF pulled my endorsement (which is separate from a call document - it is a military document, not a churchly one) then I am out of the Navy. The LCMS-WM is very much involved with our chaplains from the begiining of their missionary work to the end.

As far as where the chaplain serves, that is a decision of the military institution. Our MAF agrees to allow the military to send our chaplains where they are needed. We send men to the Navy, Army, Air Force and VA. The military then specifies their location and duties within that organization.

Military chaplains are NOT independent of LCMS-WM.

For the sake of precision, however, what you're saying is that the responsibility of the LCMS extends to endorsing candidates via a military document that they meet the requirements of the faith group.  I.e., the LCMS testifies that said chaplain properly represents their faith.

However, the LCMS has no direct oversight of the chaplain in terms of their deployment or their day-to-day activities nor does the LCMS-WM work with the chaplains to raise their own funds but rather chaplains are paid by the US military.  Further, their support structure is also part of the military and not LCMS-WM (e.g., when obtaining shots, those shots are not dictated by LCMS-WM nor paid for by them but by the military; when obtaining passports or other documentation necessary for foreign deployments, such documents are obtained by the military and not the LCMS; etc.)

This is quite different than the role LCMS-WM plays in developing strategies for people involved in foreign mission fields, supporting them, developing funds for them, deploying them, etc and etc.

Which is also why I asked my question about whether or not a civilian should or even could be in charge of the military's chaplaincy program.  The way each works is quite different.

Both are incredibly important and valuable fields.  However, the skills developed in one do not necessarily transfer well to the other.

scott8

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Re: Who Should Be Nominated For LCMS Synodical President?
« Reply #83 on: January 24, 2013, 02:54:24 PM »
Learn more about the Chief Mission Officer here:
http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=8QWrJDyfQW0&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D8QWrJDyfQW0

And here:
http://mo.lcms.org/Index.asp?PageID=&Function=News&NewsID=15695&CategoryID=4250

He served in overseas commands and is tasked with BOTH domestic AND international missions oversight in his role (both the ONM and the OIM are under his leadership).  I think his qualifications are impeccable. 

As for lost missions leadership, it was inevitable given the vote at the last convention.  Surely that was foreseen by those who voted for the restructuring, especially in light of the ratio of resources attributed to that area.

Best I know, I have never mentioned any particular individual.  Rather, I was speaking in general about people from the chaplaincy program leading WM in concrete oversight or people from WM leading the military's chaplaincy program in concrete oversight.  I don't think the skills transfer well from one to the other, though any given individual may be better or worse at making the jump.

And btw, I have met the new CMO and am aware of his qualifications, but my points were not made in reference to him but rather to the crossover I mention above.

John_Hannah

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Re: Who Should Be Nominated For LCMS Synodical President?
« Reply #84 on: January 24, 2013, 03:56:48 PM »
Scott makes a valid point. No, it would not be best or even prudent for a civilian to supervise the ministry of a chaplain. It does happen and ultimately our Commander-in-Chief is always a civilian because of the constitution. In the case of the LCMS, it also true that the new head of international missions has little to no experience in international missions. One might think that somewhere up the chain of command or supervision, it would be better to have that experience.


Peace, JOHN
Chaplain (Colonel-Retired), U.S. Army
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

Daniel L. Gard

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Re: Who Should Be Nominated For LCMS Synodical President?
« Reply #85 on: January 24, 2013, 05:31:00 PM »
At that level, I just do not think experience in one particular mission arena is superior to experience in another. More important is: does the individual shares the elected president's vision of what mission should be? Along with that, can he lead? Can he manage complex programs and budgets? Subject matter experts should be up and down the lines of accountability to advise and counsel the executive. That is where people with long experience in other mission fields should be to augment to experience of the guy at the top. I also happen to have great trust in MH's judgment and priorities - those who do not have that trust are going to question the appointments he made.

scott8

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Re: Who Should Be Nominated For LCMS Synodical President?
« Reply #86 on: January 24, 2013, 06:57:17 PM »
At that level, I just do not think experience in one particular mission arena is superior to experience in another.

FWIW, I'm not saying that one experience is superior to another.  I'm simply saying that they are different, and that the skills learned in one do not necessarily well translate into the other.

Daniel L. Gard

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Re: Who Should Be Nominated For LCMS Synodical President?
« Reply #87 on: January 24, 2013, 07:18:55 PM »
At that level, I just do not think experience in one particular mission arena is superior to experience in another.

FWIW, I'm not saying that one experience is superior to another.  I'm simply saying that they are different, and that the skills learned in one do not necessarily well translate into the other.

Ideally, the head of missions would have 20 years experience in Bongobongo, 20 in mission development in Podunk, NE and 20 years of military chaplaincy (preferably Navy, of course). Then all the bases are covered. Unfortunately, he also would be close to 90 years old.

So, again:

1. Does the individual shares the elected president's vision of what mission should be?
2. Along with that, can he lead?
3. Can he manage complex programs and budgets?
4. Will there people with experience in other mission fields also on the staff?

Frankly, I have no idea why any pastor would want such a job. Unless he went to seminary with the hope of becoming a Synodocrat.

scott8

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Re: Who Should Be Nominated For LCMS Synodical President?
« Reply #88 on: January 24, 2013, 07:36:58 PM »
At that level, I just do not think experience in one particular mission arena is superior to experience in another.

FWIW, I'm not saying that one experience is superior to another.  I'm simply saying that they are different, and that the skills learned in one do not necessarily well translate into the other.

Ideally, the head of missions would have 20 years experience in Bongobongo, 20 in mission development in Podunk, NE and 20 years of military chaplaincy (preferably Navy, of course). Then all the bases are covered. Unfortunately, he also would be close to 90 years old.

Nobody's expecting this.  For one, we have already established that the mission department does very little to oversee chaplains outside of endorsing them as being of their faith tradition.  There is no day-to-day supervision required or any strategizing because that's taken care of by the military, so chaplain experience would not be necessary for the position.  What would be of value is the experience in Word and Sacrament ministry, however.

Also, ministry experience in Podunk, ND, would also be fine, but ministry in Bongobongo would be quite different than Podunk, and so again overseeing overseas missions would be best done by those who understand what it means to transition cultures fully.


So, again:

1. Does the individual shares the elected president's vision of what mission should be?

Why is this a qualification?  Do we shift mission directors at the whim of the president?  Is this to be a fully politicized position?  Shouldn't he rather share the vision of the synod by being certified for ministry by her and within the bounds of her belief and practice rather than merely by agreeing with the views of a person who happens to be the president of the day?  Further, I thought that he was chosen by a board and not directly by the president, though perhaps I'm mistaken.  But why is this particular criterion important?

2. Along with that, can he lead?

Part of leading is understanding your followers and what their experiences are.  So while it's certainly possible for this knowledge to be gained, just because one is a good, say, senior VP of a medical devices company does not necessarily mean that they would be able to be, say, academic dean of a liberal arts college.  What is key, however, is willingness to learn.  If this is present, then leadership is certainly a possibility.

3. Can he manage complex programs and budgets?

Ok.

4. Will there people with experience in other mission fields also on the staff?

As long as they are present and actually have impactful input, then their presence can certainly help train the new leader in the way he should go -- but there will be a considerable learning curve in running an organization that does something you have never experienced directly at a lower level.  Again, the example of rising through the ranks to being a senior VP of a corporation and then transitioning immediately to the role of an academic dean would be jolting and involve a steep learning curve, to say the least.

Oh, I forgot to add: You jerk.  ;D
« Last Edit: January 24, 2013, 07:43:34 PM by Scott Yakimow »

Daniel L. Gard

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Re: Who Should Be Nominated For LCMS Synodical President?
« Reply #89 on: January 24, 2013, 07:45:30 PM »