September 5, 2021

The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. 

Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore,

to send out the workers into his harvest field.  Luke 10:2

Surprising though it may seem, a time of calling is a time of growing for the congregation.  It may feel like winter at times, without leaves on the trees, but underneath God is at work in the root of congregations in these times.  He’s working in our hearts to prepare us for His next step.

Therefore, this is a time for listening to the Word of God and seeking His will for our harvest field.  It is a time of prayer, so that the Lord’s voice and plans will be the one that counts.  We support each other in this process.

Pray for patience, discernment and clarity in the plans the Lord has established. Pray for those who shepherd congregations in the call process. This includes our District President, our Vacancy Pastor, our Pastors and Deaconess, the Call Committee, and the congregational conversation through Bible Studies, surveys, interviews and meetings.

Question:  Could you explain a “Divine Call” to me?  Is there a biblical reference, or is it a man-made concept?

Answer: Article 14 of the Augsburg Confession (one of the formal Lutheran Confessional writings) says, “It is taught among us that no one should publicly teach or preach or administer the Sacrament in the church without a regular call.” Traditionally in the Lutheran Church this has been described as a “divine call because:

  • It is God who has instituted the pastoral office in order that the Word be preached and the sacraments instituted in an orderly way;

Luke 10:16, Acts 20:28, 1 Peter 5: 1- 2, 1 Timothy 3, Titus 1,Eph 4:11, 14, Col 4:17, 1 Cor 4:1, 1 Cor 14:40, 2 Cor. 2:17

  • It is God who have given congregations the right to call a pastor to carry out this work in their midst and on their behalf;

Matt 28: 18-20, Matt 16: 13-19, Matt 18: 17-20, John 20:22, 23, 1 John 4:1, 1 Peter 2:5-6, 4:11, Acts 6:6, 1 Tim. 3:10, 4:14, 5:17, Titus 1:5, Acts 1:23, Heb 13:17, 1 Thess. 5:12.

The specific process by which a congregation extends a call to a pastor is not set forth in the Scriptures, and so this process may vary from time to time and place to place.

In the interest of doing things “decently and in order” (1 Cor 14:40), however, the various districts of the Synod have established a set of procedures in which is intended to help congregations:

  1. Identify potential candidates for a call
  2. Follow the steps by which the congregation may extend a call to the individual whom they believe would be best suited to the ministry at that place.