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.

Professional church work vocations within the LCMS include:


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

Set Apart to Serve - Church Workers


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.

Listen to KFUO Radio interview

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

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Set Apart to Serve - Church Workers

Answering God's call

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


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  Rev. Dr. James Baneck,
executive director, Pastoral Education

  Robyn Armbrust,
administrative coordinator, Pastoral Education

 888-843-5267 (THE LCMS)


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