“One of the greatest blessings that our Lord Jesus gives to the Church is the blessing of our full-time church workers,” said the Rev. Bart Day, LCMS interim chief mission officer. “These people give their lives to the Lord and to the Church. This is the greatest resource and asset the Church has in bringing the Gospel to the ends of the earth — the faithful men and women who give their lives in service to the Church.”
Day acknowledged the importance of specialized training for pastors and other rostered workers, including practical and theological training provided via the Concordia University System and by the Synod’s two seminaries. He said such training is especially important, given the myriad roles church workers serve in.
“Most everyone knows of the work of pastors in the LCMS, but we have a whole host of other full-time, rostered, trained, professional workers who serve the Gospel and the teaching of faith,” said Day. “We have directors of Christian education, directors of Christian outreach and directors of parish music. We also have rostered, certified lay ministers, parish assistants, deaconesses and, of course, all of our Lutheran educators.”
Promoting care for church workers is also an area of emphasis for the month. LCMS ministries being highlighted in October include Veterans and Soldiers of the Cross. Soldiers of the Cross provides emergency support and pastoral care for active LCMS church workers based on financial need. Veterans of the Cross helps retired LCMS church workers and their spouses in financial crisis. The program supplements low or inadequate pensions of retired pastors or their widowed spouses to help them afford the cost of necessities such as medication, food and household utilities.
But one month isn’t really time enough to give thanks for our church workers and all they accomplish; we express our gratitude for their gifts and service throughout the year. Please join us in extending our thanks to all who employ their gifts for the Church.