More than 50 LCMS leaders, including 10 parish pastors and five school principals, met in St. Louis Jan. 20-22 to explore ways to advance the vision for the Synod summarized in the words “One Mission, One Message, One People.”
Synod President Gerald Kieschnick called the first-ever “President’s Leadership Summit.” In his letter inviting the participants, he cited a three-fold purpose:
- “To look for ways of making the vision of ‘One Mission–One Message–One People’ a reality throughout the LCMS.
- “To discover how we can improve the work of the International Center in service to LCMS congregations, schools, institutions, entities, auxiliaries, etc.
- “To listen and learn from those who are on the front lines of ministry.”
When last year’s Synod convention endorsed “One Mission, One Message, One People,” it noted that Kieschnick had used the “One” theme to encourage “a stronger zeal for mission outreach, evangelical confession, and efforts to achieve peace and concord in our midst.”
Kieschnick told last month’s summit that he is “trying to communicate … a response to God’s love in Jesus Christ.”
Much of the summit was spent in small-group discussion sessions and in reports to the larger body. Topics included interpreting the vision, improving service to the Synod, and priorities for the president and Synod executives.
Kieschnick told the gathering that his staff will analyze the input, share it with Synod executives, and “implement it to the greatest extent possible.”
“What’s important to us is not that we just analyze the input but that we do something with it,” Kieschnick’s senior assistant, Rev. Jon Braunersreuther, told Reporter.
In addition to the pastors and principals, those attending the summit included Synod executives; executives from the LCMS Foundation, Lutheran Church Extension Fund, and Concordia Publishing House; representatives of the two seminaries and the Concordia University System; full-time Synod officers; and leaders of the Synod’s auxiliaries.
“It is clear to me that leaders such as those gathered for this summit are excited about helping the Synod make a difference in the lives of people by sharing with them God’s love in Jesus Christ,” Kieschnick told Reporter.
The summit was funded by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.
Posted Jan. 27, 2005