By Megan Mertz
As various boards and commissions of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) and its entities gathered in St. Louis for their first meetings after the LCMS convention in July, they also came together to attend the President’s Leadership Meeting on Sept. 13. The theme of the event was “Into the Future: A New Triennium.”
During that meeting, Synod President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison spoke about the challenges and blessings facing the LCMS today. He encouraged attendees to find what their organizations are passionate about and what they are good at doing and push each other toward excellence.
“We have our differences in the Synod, and we always will. … We will always have sin. But we have a remarkably united mission,” he said.
“What we can be best at in the world is Lutherans involved in witness, mercy and life together,” Harrison continued. “Whether it be sharing it on a street corner or sharing it in a seminary class, there’s nobody better than the LCMS at sharing it specifically from a confessional Lutheran viewpoint.”
Dr. Leo S. Mackay Jr. — current vice-president of Ethics and Sustainability for Lockheed Martin Corporation and a member of the board of regents for Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind. — spoke on the topic of “Excellence into the Future.” He is a former deputy secretary of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs and former chairman of the LCMS National Housing Support Corporation.
Mackay encouraged listeners to strive for fidelity, quality, credibility, sustainability and stability in their work as leaders in the Lutheran church. He also addressed his own approach to business life and leadership, reminding listeners to be honest, fair and thorough, among other qualities.
“Lead on. Be bold. And when you do that, you will attract faithful people,” Mackay told the audience.
The President’s Leadership Meeting concluded with two panel discussions that identified some of the tough questions facing LCMS organizations and entities today — such as visitation, changing demographics, Lutheran education and finances. The discussion also opened up dialogue about ways these ministries can collaborate better in the future.
Panelists represented the LCMS Offices of National and International Mission; Concordia Seminary, St. Louis; Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind.; various LCMS boards; Concordia Publishing House; Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF); Concordia Plan Services; Concordia University System; LCMS Foundation; Lutheran Women’s Missionary League; and Lutheran Hour Ministries.
“We are all here solely to support the LCMS,” said Rich Robertson, president of LCEF, during one of the panel discussions. “I would encourage you, if you’re an LCMS member, you need to use all the various agencies at your disposal so we can perpetuate what we do.”
Megan Mertz is a staff writer with LCMS Communications.