Set Apart to Serve - Church Workers

Set Apart to Serve

LCMS Church Work Recruitment

God gives His church pastors and church workers for the sake of the Gospel. Pastors proclaim Christ and administer the Sacraments, means through which people receive Christ’s saving work. Church workers assist the pastoral office in service to the Word, witnessing to Christ daily in various roles. Christ’s church will continue until He returns, and that church will continue to need workers.

Parents/grandparents, pastors, professional church workers, Sunday school teachers and others in your congregation help influence children to consider serving the church in these sacred and joyful vocations. Set Apart to Serve (SAS) is an initiative of the LCMS to recruit church workers. Since church work is rooted in Baptism and a lifetime of hearing the Word, SAS encourages young people to consider church work vocations primarily through their continued and faithful involvement with their congregation.

Additional information

FAQs for Pastors and Leaders       Bulletin Insert (Color and B&W)

Click the links below to learn more about professional church work vocations within the LCMS:


Pastors serve in the Office of the Holy Ministry, the one sacred office given by God for the sake of the church. They proclaim forgiveness, preach and teach God’s Word, administer God’s life-giving Sacraments and provide faithful pastoral care to His people.

Lutheran school teachers

Lutheran school teachers provide quality academic and Lutheran education rooted in God’s Word to the children in their care. Currently, Lutheran schools serve over 140,000 students in the Synod’s 1,914 early childhood, elementary and high schools as they support the Office of the Holy Ministry to assist and strengthen Christian fathers and mothers in their God-given responsibility to bring up their children in the nurture and instruction of the Lord.

Directors of Christian education (DCEs)

DCEs serve as lifespan (“cradle to grave”) Christian educators, who typically serve within congregations and their ministries. Through their leadership and service, they teach the faith to children, youth and adults.

Directors of Christian outreach (DCOs)

DCOs focus on witness and outreach. Through their expertise and guidance, they help congregations witness to those outside of the church to share the Gospel in a relational and evangelical way so that people may have saving faith through Jesus Christ.

Directors of family life ministries (DFLM)

DFLMs work to nurture the church’s families and family life according to the Holy Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions. Trained in family life studies including the biblical theology of marriage, sexuality, ethics and parenting, they work within congregations to strengthen and equip Christian homes to live and serve God and their neighbor.

Directors of parish music (DPM)

Directors of parish music teach, foster and edify the church’s worship with their biblical and confessional musical leadership and direction. They assist with worship planning, provide musical education, and direct choirs, ensembles and musicians for services in God’s house.

Directors of church ministries (DCM)

DCMs serve congregations by overseeing the administrative life of the congregation. They are often involved in developing and leading congregational ministries such as Bible studies, community outreach and mercy work.


Deaconesses are women who share the Gospel and serve God’s people through works of mercy, spiritual care and teaching the Christian faith. They serve in congregations, on the national and international mission field, and in a variety of other settings and service organizations particularly to women, children and God’s people with special needs.

Find out more about church work vocations


Reporter Articles

Collection of articles on church work vocations and recruitment. View all the articles

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‘Too joyous not to share’: News from ‘Set Apart to Serve’
The Rev. Dr. James Baneck, executive director of the LCMS Office of Pastoral Education, provides an update on the church work re...

‘Set Apart to Serve’ launches pilot program
In the coming months, each participating site will use SAS resources to discuss full-time church work with their youth and devel...

‘The harvest is plentiful’: Set Apart to Serve gains Synodwide support
Many across the LCMS are collaborating on the initiative to form and recruit new church workers.

This feed has 10 articles on 4 pages << < 1 2 3 4 > >>


KFUO Radio Interviews

Listen to this series of interviews on church work vocations and recruitment on KFUO's The Coffee Hour. View all the interviews

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The Coffee Hour — Set Apart To Serve: From Military to Ministry, Transitioning from Career to Seminary
Andy talks with Pastor Bryan Roberts of Zion Lutheran Church, Pevely, Missouri about his years of service in the military and th...

The Coffee Hour — Set Apart To Serve: Pilot Project in Oveido, FL
Andy and Jordan talk with Rev. Sam Shick, pastor of St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Oviedo, Florida.

The Coffee Hour — Set Apart To Serve: From Nazareth to South Dakota in Second Career Ministry
Andy and Jordan talk with Rev. Dr. Nabil Nour, Senior Pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Hartford, South Dakota, and 4th Vice ...

This feed has 10 articles on 4 pages << < 1 2 3 4 > >>


Life Together News Digest — October 2021

In this Life Together Digest, the Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, president of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, speaks with the Rev. Dr. James Baneck, executive director of LCMS Pastoral Education, about Set Apart to Serve, the Synod’s new long-term church work recruitment initiative.

View video


Understanding “Set Apart to Serve”

The LCMS has embarked on an aggressive, comprehensive Church Worker Recruitment Initiative. The initiative seeks to form pastors and church workers to hand over the saving faith to God’s people, passing on the Christian faith from one generation to the next until our Savior’s return.

Read Reporter article   Read Lutheran Witness article


Celebrate Church Worker Appreciation Month

Congregations and school communities are encouraged to use the month of October to demonstrate appreciation not only for their pastors, but for all workers in the parish and schools.

Read article    Ideas and resources

Resources and Best Practices

Set Apart to Serve - Church Workers



For Congregations — PowerPoint presentation for pastors to use to teach their congregations about the importance of church work vocations.

Download presentation    Download talking points

For Teachers — PowerPoint presentation for pastors or administrators to use to teach teachers about the importance of church work vocations.

Download presentation    Download talking points


Related Articles

Ready to learn more?

Set Apart to Serve - Church Workers

Answering God's call

Set Apart to Serve - Videos

View videos

These church workers are vital in our Christian faith and life, each according to their vocation. — Rev. Dr. James Baneck


Contact us

  Rev. Dr. James Baneck
Executive director, Pastoral Education

  Glenn Rollins
Manager, Set Apart to Serve

  Robyn Armbrust
Administrative coordinator, Pastoral Education

 888-843-5267 (THE LCMS)


Annual Report 2022

Learn more about Set Apart to Serve and the growing collaboration across the Synod to encourage young people to consider church work vocations.

Download annual report


Support this initiative

Make an online contribution to support the efforts of the "Set Apart to Serve".

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    To ask questions or to make a contribution using your credit/debit card : Call 888-930-4438

    Donate by Mail
    Make check payable to “The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod” or “LCMS” and write Set Apart to Serve (A20612-23112) on the memo line.

    For personal or organizational (congregation, LWML, family foundation, etc.) checks, please mail to: The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod PO Box 66861 St. Louis, MO 63166-6861

    When giving from an IRA Qualified Charitable Distribution or a Donor Advised Fund (DAF)**, please have the trustee mail to: The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod Attn: Anna Lockwood, Mission Advancement 1333 S. Kirkwood Rd St. Louis, MO 63122

    **We encourage donors to contact Mission Advancement by phone or email ahead of giving an IRA-Qualified Charitable Distribution or Donor Advised Fund gift to ensure we are prepared to handle the donation correctly when arrives.

    If you have additional questions about this effort, please call 888-930-4438 or email


Receive email updates

Sign up to receive email updates from “Set Apart to Serve.” You will receive updates, resources and ways to get involved.

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