April 2023 (NALC VISION Part 3)

Greetings, Brothers and Sisters in Christ!

Spring is here, and we have had good weather and seen many out in the community around us. I am thankful for our Holy Week and Easter activities. We are also grateful for all the volunteers who help make everything possible. We are also thankful for all those who gave to support the Easter Egg hunt. The families that participated were very grateful, and the kids enjoyed their time.

In the last two months, we have focused in this letter on NALC’s 2020 vision which is NALC’s hope that, as a congregation, we can adapt our vision for the church’s future. We have discussed “Grow” and “Renew” for the last two months. This month we will focus on “Serve.”

The NALC recognizes that we, as a church, have a call to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. As a disciple, we must serve Christ and His Gospel message of salvation. In serving, we also recognize that we are all called differently in many vocations. Some are called to serve the local community, others to serve the church as Pastors and Deacons, and others to serve the Global church. One crucial part of NALC’s vision to serve is a need to raise future pastors and leaders in the church. Maybe God is calling you or your child to become a pastor, or maybe your spouse is called. We hope that God will lead individuals into ministry as pastors.

There is a shortage of pastors in the church. The truth is there are not enough individuals going into seminary, and a generational gap is almost completely missing. Just this past Monday, the NALC announced that there are over 74 congregations looking for a pastor, 45 are looking for full-time pastors, and 16 are looking for part-time, and some are not ready to call a pastor. So, the church calls for individuals to pray, seek, and discern if they are called to become a pastor. Once individuals accept the call, they need to be educated with the NALS or partner seminaries working to educate future pastors.

Of course, not all are called to become pastors, but we are all called to serve in the local church. Many churches struggle to fund volunteers to help in many roles in the church. Some of you may be called to serve as missionaries overseas to the unreached peoples in the world. However, God is calling you to serve, Serve.

In summary, as an NALC congregation, we need the vision to serve. As your pastor, I hope we see this vision and make it our own.

In Christ, Pastor Tom +