Res. 4-06A  — Task Force

Address Questions Regarding Service of Licensed Lay Deacons

Summary

For many decades now, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod has been discussing the use of certified lay deacons in the ministry of the Synod to meet Word and Sacrament needs of the Church.

Concerns have been related to developing proper supervision and oversight of licensed lay deacons, the desire to preserve the divinely instituted Office of the Holy Ministry based on Article V and XIV of the Augsburg Confessions and other related factors.

This resolution identified issues of “concern and controversy” regarding the Office of the Holy Ministry that continue in the Synod. The resolution called for the LCMS Commission on Theology and Church Relations (CTCR) to develop resources on the issue, for the Synod President to promote the study of this issue, and for a task force to be appointed to “resolve questions” about the service of Licensed Lay Deacons in the LCMS.

 Read Resolution Text

Purpose

The task force is to develop a plan anchored in the Word, in consultation with licensed lay deacons and those who supervise and are served by them, to resolve questions about the service of licensed lay deacons serving congregations of the LCMS with the Word and Sacraments of Christ.

Final Report

 

The task force issued its report in July 2015, and the report and an executive summary are available for study.

 Read Task Force Report

 Read Executive Summary

 FAQs on Task Force Report and Recommendations


For more information, please contact Rev. Larry Vogel at larry.vogel@lcms.org or 1-800-248-1930.
 

Related Stories


Res. 4-06A Status Updates RSS Feed
Status Update - 4/25/15

Task force members met in Fort Wayne, Ind., April 24-25. This included meeting with the Council Of Presidents (COP), during which a draft of the task force’s proposed report to Synod was shared with the COP. Following that meeting, task force representatives met with the Rev. Bart Day, executive director of the LCMS Office of National Mission; with representatives from the Commission on Theology and Church Relations; and with representatives from both seminaries to seek guidance regarding the draft report’s theological grounding and its practical recommendations. No substantive theological objections were raised regarding the basis of the report. The Task force met again June 19 and finalized the report. Following the preparation of an executive summary, the report will be made available electronically by the end of July 2015. Printed copies also will be mailed to all members of the Synod as quickly as possible to allow a year for discussion of the report prior to the 2016 convention.

Status Update - 3/31/2015

At a March 31 meeting, Res. 4-06A task force members discussed feedback received from the Council of Presidents, which was considered for further developing the draft report. The task force meets again with the COP April 25 for discussion of recommendations to be presented to the Synod for consideration and study. The report will be distributed in electronic form in July with hard-copies to be mailed out to all Synod members (called workers and congregations) thereafter. The publication schedule will allow a full year for discussion of the task force report prior to the 2016 convention.

Status Update - 1/16/2015

The Res. 4-06A Task Force worked through four drafts prepared as segments of the forthcoming report, Jan. 16, 2015. Recommendations were discussed prior to the initial drafts. Task Force members determined the procedure for combining report sections. The Task Force members’ tentative recommendations and rough draft of their report will be completed, then shared with the Council of Presidents at their February 2015 meeting.

Status Update - 12/10/2014

On Dec. 10, 2014, the Task Force discussed feedback and suggestions from the September meeting with the Council of Presidents. The Task Force decided to seek further input from districts without lay deacons, considered the tentative recommendations to be included in a plan for the Synod, outlined their forthcoming report’s overall approach and assigned drafting responsibilities for sections of the report.

Status Update - 9/19/2014

After surveying the Council of Presidents (COP) regarding the number and responsibilities of Licensed Lay Deacons in their districts, the Task Force met Sept. 19, 2014. Task Force members heard reports from visits to the districts with the most active lay deacons programs, and members began developing a plan to address important theological and ministry concerns that have prolonged discussion and debate. The Task Force also met with the COP on Sept. 20, and task force members listened to responses from the council's members regarding the following three questions:

1. What questions and issues regarding LLD’s do you believe the Task Force must not overlook to accomplish its assigned task?

2. How might the Task Force use this assignment to encourage current and future mission opportunities?

3. Given the resolution of the Synod to the Task Force to present a plan and its implementation, what would you recommend?

The Task Force next meets Dec. 10, 2014.

Status Update - 08/25/2014

To begin their work, the task force surveyed the Council of Presidents regarding the number and responsibilities of Licensed Lay Deacons in their districts.  This survey was previously conducted in 2009 (2007 Res. 5-02).  Using the same survey categories, the district presidents were asked to provide current statistics on how many Licensed Lay Deacons are working in their district, the level of autonomous responsibility that they have in their functioning and the responsibilities they are currently assuming.  Visits with the districts that have the most active programs of licensing lay deacons have also commenced.

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