A preliminary report to look into the great need the CLC has for teachers and pastors.
“Lord, Jesus, have compassion.” In the Gospel of Mark we read the following account. And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things. (Mark 6:34)
What a Savior! Not only was He busy fulfilling the Law of God in route to Calvary and the great exchange of dying for the sins of the world and imparting His righteousness, but also He was concerned about the individual. These people needed help, a spiritual guide, and Jesus provided that help by teaching them many truths from God’s Holy Word. Incidentally, read on in chapter six and see how the Savior also helped with the physical problem of hunger by miraculously feeding the five thousand. A Savior full of compassion!
We, in the Church of the Lutheran Confession, are likewise in need of that Savior’s compassion. Perhaps you have seen the number of vacancies in the CLC pulpits and classrooms. There are not enough workers to go around. President Eichstadt appointed six individuals for a special committee to take a look at the situation. Here is a preliminary report.
A Look Back
In the past nine years, we have had fourtenn retirements and six resignations (total twenty) from the pastoral ministry. In this time ILC has graduated ten individuals for the pastoral ministry and two (total twelve) were received through colloquy. Obviously we did not keep up with replacing our aging clergy in the past.
A Look Ahead
In the next seven years, we have the potential for eight graduates from the Seminary (four in Seminary and four in pre-theology in college now). On the other end we have sixteen pastors who will be age seventy – seventy nive in seven years. Obviously, we will not be keeping up with replacing our aging clergy in the future.
What can be done? Step one! Approach the Lord Jesus in prayer. In a different event we read a similar reaction by a compassionate and teaching Jesus. Read Matthew 9:35-38.
Jesus invites us to pray for laborers. Step two! Reassess your own opinion of the value of God’s Word.
Perhaps we have these days of shortages so we can reevaluate how very precious God’s Word is so that we will treasure it highly and support its preaching in pulpits and classrooms with our prayers and offerings.
Step three! Support your called worker. That support can be a word of encouragement, an act of kindness, a compassionate ear and heart, and, of course, remembrance in prayer.
Step four! Encourage young people to consider the public ministry.
The committee has contacted recent retirees to see if they can serve as vacancy pastors. The committee plans to reach out to twenty men who left the public ministry to see if there was more that could have been done to support them, and to gather their suggestions. The committee is surveying graduates of Immanuel Lutheran High School who did not continue at Immanuel College to see why they did not pursue the public ministry. Other avenues of keeping the topic before the members of our fellowship are also being explored. (Spokesman, Branches, themes for camp and the like).
Coming in Fall 2019
Finally, a ready–to–use resource has been prepared and made available for pastors to lead their congregations in a Mission and Ministry Worship Service. Look for that sometime in the fall.
The committee recently settled on a name: Committee on Partners in the Public Ministry. The thought behind that name selection is that all of us have been commissioned by the Savior for the spread of the Gospel. We welcome new ideas or suggestions as we seek to serve our fellowship and our Lord.
All of our words and actions will not really solve the problem, but they do reflect the value we place on God’s Word. As we go to the Savior with our plea, we can expect His answer. Lord Jesus, have compassion.
Lord Jesus, send forth laborers into Your harvest.
CPPM Committee Members
Pastor Mark Bernthal (Chairman). Andrew Albrecht, Caleb Meyer, Teacher Andrew Roehl (Secretary), Pastor Rob Sauers and Pastor Paul Tiefel