God has given His Church a beautiful gift for the salvation of men. The gift is His own Son — Jesus Christ preached into our ears, poured over us in Baptism, placed upon our lips in the Lord’s Supper.
Just as surely as our heavenly Father has located Himself and His gifts in tangible elements like water, bread and wine, so He locates His saving Word in the preaching and spiritual care of called and ordained servants of the Word in the Office of the Holy Ministry.
For Rom. 10:14 says, “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?”
In a world where the culture of the day assaults every value we hold as children of God, it is imperative to our witness and mercy work that we have well-equipped pastors. These men of God bear His living, forgiving Word to us from pulpits, podiums and on our porches.
Well-prepared pastors, deeply rooted in God’s Word and our Lutheran Confessions, preach and teach in ways that bring Christ fully into the midst of our broken lives.
Being fortified with Word and Sacrament, we are then equipped to go into the world and speak the Word of God that has been spoken to us. We bear the mercy of Christ that has been shown to us. And in all of it, the Holy Spirit creates repentance and faith where and when He chooses.
This is how it works in the Lord’s Church. This why we invest so deeply in training pastors and caring for them. It’s also why our global partners’ chief request is for the LCMS to provide theological education and seminary training for their pastors and other church workers.
This issue of Lutherans Engage the World focuses largely on theological education and the service of pastors and missionaries as they bring God’s Word to the world.
Pamela J. Nielsen
Associate Executive Director,