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Creative CallingsI hope you have enjoyed the “Creative Calling” pieces during these past months. Thank you to the congregations and pastors who have submitted their stories. We hope to continue this as a monthly communication. Submissions are still needed and encouraged. These ideas serve as a forum for brainstorming creative staffing solution. They also serve as an encouragement to be bold and creative.

The statistics have not changed. Within many denominations and associations, certainly including LCMC, there is a persistent forecast of a “clergy shortage.” It is always debated as to whether that is the accurate term to use or not. There are no shortages in God’s Kingdom and work. The priesthood of believers is abundant. It is the case that the number of retiring pastors does not equal the number of new pastors. It is also true that smaller congregations find it harder to call full-time pastors. Some call this a crisis. I see it as an opportunity.

In order to prepare for this reality, we would like to hear from you. The Augustana District exists to serve LCMC congregations in whatever ways God calls us and equips us to serve. All of us are a part of this calling and service. With this particular “Creative Calling” piece comes a request.

As we contemplate the realities before us that will challenge congregational life, what are the priorities on which the district should focus? Is it mentoring young or new pastors? Is it training lay leaders (in areas such as worship, preaching and/or pastoral care)? Are there educational resources or Bible study resources that would be helpful? Are there consulting services that might help steer a new ministry model in the right way?

These are just some of the questions leaders of the Augustana District wonder about. It would be helpful to hear from you. Through e-mail or the website, please take the time to let us know your thoughts and how you would be willing to serve in the great opportunity we have before us for “Creative Callings”!

Pastor Becky Hand
Augustana District Council Chair

Do you know of a church that has implemented a Creative Calling? Please let us know about it so that we can share your ideas by contacting Randy Freund.

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