Author Topic: LCMS Church Worker Recruitment Decline  (Read 4432 times)

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: LCMS Church Worker Recruitment Decline
« Reply #45 on: August 08, 2021, 06:48:25 PM »
Iím celebrating 30 year as of ordination this summer so i suppose I can only speak to how I was recruited and how our congregation has raised up Pastors. I was recruited by attending Concordia St. Paul, we visited sem on a bus and went down and checked it out. We had 30 some men who then matriculated to the seminary after graduation at CSP.

Whoever wrote that recruitment comes from the local is right, we have raised up at least 6 men for pastoral ministry in the LCMS and at least another 4 for other traditions. Our congregation loves her pastors, respects, them compensates them and holds to high standards. Each student was unique and the recruitment process at seminary was minimal at best.

BTW When was the last time we highlighted anything positive about pastors serving in congregations in the Reporter or Lutheran Witness?  Also I do understand the analogies you used and they are fine, but every analogy breaks down, and the football analogy breaks down when you are scouted by your opponent, he sees you tendencies and stuffs your three straight runs into the center of the line. You have to switch it up when on the grid iron.

I agree -- we do not do a very good of promoting the "average" pastor in our publications.  And it does not help when leaders have derisively spoken of things like "mere maintenance ministry".  The not-so-subtle message is that men serving in such places are somehow less than they should be.  God uses ordinary, everyday things like bread/wine and water; He also uses not-so-spectacular men in not-so-spectacular places to feed His not-so-spectacular sheep.  And we should rejoice in that!  Because that means He uses ME, here, where He has called me, to serve His children with exactly what they need: the Gospel.  But, like the Jews in our recent Gospel lessons, we crave something else.  Something more "exciting".

Thank you.  I needed to hear that.  Today's attendance was abysmal. Felt like we regressed back to last year when we first opened up after the COVID lock down. Not sure where a lot of the people were who normally would be here.  But days like that get to you.  You begin the question the usefulness of it. We crave success and outward progress.  Slogging through the mundane wears on you.  But your words drive home the reason many of us mount our pulpits Sunday in and Sunday out in our little obscure corners of the world:
God uses ordinary, everyday things like bread/wine and water; He also uses not-so-spectacular men in not-so-spectacular places to feed His not-so-spectacular sheep.  And we should rejoice in that!  Because that means He uses ME, here, where He has called me, to serve His children with exactly what they need: the Gospel.


Pretty much what I wrote in my "notes" on John 6:51-58: God takes what is sinful and evil and turns it into something good and salvific. God does it with ordinary bread and wine and mundane actions of chewing and drinking and swallowing. They bring God's salvation to us. If God can do that, then maybe God can also use ordinary and mundane people (like us) to bring Christís saving presence to a sinful world.
"The church Ö had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Steven W Bohler

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Re: LCMS Church Worker Recruitment Decline
« Reply #46 on: August 08, 2021, 07:42:35 PM »
Iím celebrating 30 year as of ordination this summer so i suppose I can only speak to how I was recruited and how our congregation has raised up Pastors. I was recruited by attending Concordia St. Paul, we visited sem on a bus and went down and checked it out. We had 30 some men who then matriculated to the seminary after graduation at CSP.

Whoever wrote that recruitment comes from the local is right, we have raised up at least 6 men for pastoral ministry in the LCMS and at least another 4 for other traditions. Our congregation loves her pastors, respects, them compensates them and holds to high standards. Each student was unique and the recruitment process at seminary was minimal at best.

BTW When was the last time we highlighted anything positive about pastors serving in congregations in the Reporter or Lutheran Witness?  Also I do understand the analogies you used and they are fine, but every analogy breaks down, and the football analogy breaks down when you are scouted by your opponent, he sees you tendencies and stuffs your three straight runs into the center of the line. You have to switch it up when on the grid iron.

I agree -- we do not do a very good of promoting the "average" pastor in our publications.  And it does not help when leaders have derisively spoken of things like "mere maintenance ministry".  The not-so-subtle message is that men serving in such places are somehow less than they should be.  God uses ordinary, everyday things like bread/wine and water; He also uses not-so-spectacular men in not-so-spectacular places to feed His not-so-spectacular sheep.  And we should rejoice in that!  Because that means He uses ME, here, where He has called me, to serve His children with exactly what they need: the Gospel.  But, like the Jews in our recent Gospel lessons, we crave something else.  Something more "exciting".

Thank you.  I needed to hear that.  Today's attendance was abysmal. Felt like we regressed back to last year when we first opened up after the COVID lock down. Not sure where a lot of the people were who normally would be here.  But days like that get to you.  You begin the question the usefulness of it. We crave success and outward progress.  Slogging through the mundane wears on you.  But your words drive home the reason many of us mount our pulpits Sunday in and Sunday out in our little obscure corners of the world:
God uses ordinary, everyday things like bread/wine and water; He also uses not-so-spectacular men in not-so-spectacular places to feed His not-so-spectacular sheep.  And we should rejoice in that!  Because that means He uses ME, here, where He has called me, to serve His children with exactly what they need: the Gospel.


Pretty much what I wrote in my "notes" on John 6:51-58: God takes what is sinful and evil and turns it into something good and salvific. God does it with ordinary bread and wine and mundane actions of chewing and drinking and swallowing. They bring God's salvation to us. If God can do that, then maybe God can also use ordinary and mundane people (like us) to bring Christís saving presence to a sinful world.

Um, so bread and wine, chewing and drinking and swallowing are "sinful and evil"?  No, that is NOT pretty much what I wrote. 

PrTim15

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Re: LCMS Church Worker Recruitment Decline
« Reply #47 on: August 08, 2021, 10:01:13 PM »
Great Commentary Pastor Bohler, thereís no average pastor who has served through the Pandemic. Now our generation has led through the ďGreat RecessionĒ and the Great Pandemic. Iím not sure what a pastor who hasnít led through a parish through those two events has to say to any pastor with courage in his heart and fatigue in his eyes. All that we have done while our institutions are dying and our leadership is doing something else all together. Thank God for our colleagues and brother pastors who are gutting it out right now. Maybe the younger guys will see the sacrifices made by their home pastors and seek to do a ďnoble task.Ē

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: LCMS Church Worker Recruitment Decline
« Reply #48 on: August 09, 2021, 01:25:16 AM »
Iím celebrating 30 year as of ordination this summer so i suppose I can only speak to how I was recruited and how our congregation has raised up Pastors. I was recruited by attending Concordia St. Paul, we visited sem on a bus and went down and checked it out. We had 30 some men who then matriculated to the seminary after graduation at CSP.

Whoever wrote that recruitment comes from the local is right, we have raised up at least 6 men for pastoral ministry in the LCMS and at least another 4 for other traditions. Our congregation loves her pastors, respects, them compensates them and holds to high standards. Each student was unique and the recruitment process at seminary was minimal at best.

BTW When was the last time we highlighted anything positive about pastors serving in congregations in the Reporter or Lutheran Witness?  Also I do understand the analogies you used and they are fine, but every analogy breaks down, and the football analogy breaks down when you are scouted by your opponent, he sees you tendencies and stuffs your three straight runs into the center of the line. You have to switch it up when on the grid iron.

I agree -- we do not do a very good of promoting the "average" pastor in our publications.  And it does not help when leaders have derisively spoken of things like "mere maintenance ministry".  The not-so-subtle message is that men serving in such places are somehow less than they should be.  God uses ordinary, everyday things like bread/wine and water; He also uses not-so-spectacular men in not-so-spectacular places to feed His not-so-spectacular sheep.  And we should rejoice in that!  Because that means He uses ME, here, where He has called me, to serve His children with exactly what they need: the Gospel.  But, like the Jews in our recent Gospel lessons, we crave something else.  Something more "exciting".

Thank you.  I needed to hear that.  Today's attendance was abysmal. Felt like we regressed back to last year when we first opened up after the COVID lock down. Not sure where a lot of the people were who normally would be here.  But days like that get to you.  You begin the question the usefulness of it. We crave success and outward progress.  Slogging through the mundane wears on you.  But your words drive home the reason many of us mount our pulpits Sunday in and Sunday out in our little obscure corners of the world:
God uses ordinary, everyday things like bread/wine and water; He also uses not-so-spectacular men in not-so-spectacular places to feed His not-so-spectacular sheep.  And we should rejoice in that!  Because that means He uses ME, here, where He has called me, to serve His children with exactly what they need: the Gospel.


Pretty much what I wrote in my "notes" on John 6:51-58: God takes what is sinful and evil and turns it into something good and salvific. God does it with ordinary bread and wine and mundane actions of chewing and drinking and swallowing. They bring God's salvation to us. If God can do that, then maybe God can also use ordinary and mundane people (like us) to bring Christís saving presence to a sinful world.

Um, so bread and wine, chewing and drinking and swallowing are "sinful and evil"?  No, that is NOT pretty much what I wrote.


I called them "ordinary" and "mundane actions." We don't have to use specialized wafers that neither look nor taste like ordinary bread. We don't have to let flour and water melt in our mouth (as one lady was taught). We can chew the bread (that should look like a loaf of bread.)
"The church Ö had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Steven W Bohler

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Re: LCMS Church Worker Recruitment Decline
« Reply #49 on: August 09, 2021, 07:45:22 AM »
Iím celebrating 30 year as of ordination this summer so i suppose I can only speak to how I was recruited and how our congregation has raised up Pastors. I was recruited by attending Concordia St. Paul, we visited sem on a bus and went down and checked it out. We had 30 some men who then matriculated to the seminary after graduation at CSP.

Whoever wrote that recruitment comes from the local is right, we have raised up at least 6 men for pastoral ministry in the LCMS and at least another 4 for other traditions. Our congregation loves her pastors, respects, them compensates them and holds to high standards. Each student was unique and the recruitment process at seminary was minimal at best.

BTW When was the last time we highlighted anything positive about pastors serving in congregations in the Reporter or Lutheran Witness?  Also I do understand the analogies you used and they are fine, but every analogy breaks down, and the football analogy breaks down when you are scouted by your opponent, he sees you tendencies and stuffs your three straight runs into the center of the line. You have to switch it up when on the grid iron.

I agree -- we do not do a very good of promoting the "average" pastor in our publications.  And it does not help when leaders have derisively spoken of things like "mere maintenance ministry".  The not-so-subtle message is that men serving in such places are somehow less than they should be.  God uses ordinary, everyday things like bread/wine and water; He also uses not-so-spectacular men in not-so-spectacular places to feed His not-so-spectacular sheep.  And we should rejoice in that!  Because that means He uses ME, here, where He has called me, to serve His children with exactly what they need: the Gospel.  But, like the Jews in our recent Gospel lessons, we crave something else.  Something more "exciting".

Thank you.  I needed to hear that.  Today's attendance was abysmal. Felt like we regressed back to last year when we first opened up after the COVID lock down. Not sure where a lot of the people were who normally would be here.  But days like that get to you.  You begin the question the usefulness of it. We crave success and outward progress.  Slogging through the mundane wears on you.  But your words drive home the reason many of us mount our pulpits Sunday in and Sunday out in our little obscure corners of the world:
God uses ordinary, everyday things like bread/wine and water; He also uses not-so-spectacular men in not-so-spectacular places to feed His not-so-spectacular sheep.  And we should rejoice in that!  Because that means He uses ME, here, where He has called me, to serve His children with exactly what they need: the Gospel.


Pretty much what I wrote in my "notes" on John 6:51-58: God takes what is sinful and evil and turns it into something good and salvific. God does it with ordinary bread and wine and mundane actions of chewing and drinking and swallowing. They bring God's salvation to us. If God can do that, then maybe God can also use ordinary and mundane people (like us) to bring Christís saving presence to a sinful world.

Um, so bread and wine, chewing and drinking and swallowing are "sinful and evil"?  No, that is NOT pretty much what I wrote.


I called them "ordinary" and "mundane actions." We don't have to use specialized wafers that neither look nor taste like ordinary bread. We don't have to let flour and water melt in our mouth (as one lady was taught). We can chew the bread (that should look like a loaf of bread.)

The first sentence of your "notes" makes an assertion (that God takes the sinful and evil and turns them into something good and salvific).  The second sentence in your "notes" then gives as an example of this (when you write "God does it...", which clearly suggest an identification between these two sentences) the bread/wine and the eating/drinking/swallowing.

Dave Benke

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Re: LCMS Church Worker Recruitment Decline
« Reply #50 on: August 09, 2021, 09:54:32 AM »
Here's an interesting op-ed from this morning's New York Times on "not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together" - https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/08/opinion/covid-church-livestream.html.

Even as we kind of stick with what we've been sticking with in the time of being stuck, there do need to be encouragements like this toward the Table and Font as specific spatial locations going forward, especially if and as the pandemic threatens to pull us back apart this winter.   The article does point out something about the way the service of the Word is received online, stating that the megas and the famous preachers have pulled away from the minis and less flamboyant preachers.  I don't think that's necessarily so.  It's very possible that the opposite is also taking place, which is an opportunity for Gospel preaching over against "how-to" and law-based proclamation.  Word and prayer in our context also produce a hunger and thirst for righteousness in the reception of forgiveness at the altar.

We had a member confab at our home last night and one of the later-comers, who brought some incredible ribs, had a conversation with me about the need to emphasize love and forgiveness through God's grace, because that's what has been missing in the national scene and even in many online church services.  His complaint was that the kids, being raised on their phones, have no way to converse and make peace through interpersonal relationships.  They just bang away at one another and then give up with hate emojis.
 Of course that was the Epistle lesson for yesterday - why be kind an tenderhearted?  Because you will be imitating God who has treated you in exactly that way in the sacrificial fragrant gift of Jesus.

Dave Benke

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: LCMS Church Worker Recruitment Decline
« Reply #51 on: August 09, 2021, 06:52:46 PM »
Pretty much what I wrote in my "notes" on John 6:51-58: God takes what is sinful and evil and turns it into something good and salvific. God does it with ordinary bread and wine and mundane actions of chewing and drinking and swallowing. They bring God's salvation to us. If God can do that, then maybe God can also use ordinary and mundane people (like us) to bring Christís saving presence to a sinful world.

Quote
Um, so bread and wine, chewing and drinking and swallowing are "sinful and evil"?  No, that is NOT pretty much what I wrote.

Quote
Quote
I called them "ordinary" and "mundane actions." We don't have to use specialized wafers that neither look nor taste like ordinary bread. We don't have to let flour and water melt in our mouth (as one lady was taught). We can chew the bread (that should look like a loaf of bread.)


Quote
The first sentence of your "notes" makes an assertion (that God takes the sinful and evil and turns them into something good and salvific).  The second sentence in your "notes" then gives as an example of this (when you write "God does it...", which clearly suggest an identification between these two sentences) the bread/wine and the eating/drinking/swallowing.



Or the "it" could refer only to "turns it into something salvific."
In which case "it" refers to the "sinful and evil" in the first example (something expounded on more in the notes).
"It" refers to "ordinary bread and wine" in a second example.
"It" refers to "mundane actions of chewing and drinking and swallowing" in a third example.
In a fourth example, "it" is "ordinary and mundane people (like us)".


God can use all four unlikely things to bring salvation to the world.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2021, 06:55:38 PM by Brian Stoffregen »
"The church Ö had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]