Posts tagged Regional Directors
On Thursday and Friday (March 5-6), Concordia Publishing House hosted the new missionary orientation and the regional directors meeting for the Office of International Mission. The missionary orientation begins and ends each day with worship, and then is followed by a series of lectures on both theological and practical topics. Pastor David Preus, pictured above, said,”This week of missionary orientation is one of the most exciting events in my professional career.” Preus is working to complete his dissertation and will serve as a theological educator and congregational pastor in Latin America.
Dr. Bruce Kintz welcomed the new missionaries to CPH. He spoke how CPH desires to produce materials the missionaries can use to help spread and proclaim the Gospel around the world. Kintz mentioned CPH’s offering of multi-lingual products along with the invitation for missionaries to write and to translate works that can assist their mission work. He also mentioned how CPH tries to assist missionaries with the International Mission Gift Registry which seeks to get books and materials to missionaries in the field.
Dr. Detlev Schulz, former missionary to Botswana and Director of Missiology Department at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, introduced the missionaries to the field of missiology. He and his wife also described for the new missionaries what they could expect in the first year or two of life as a missionary in a foreign country in small group sessions. The missiological instruction provided by Dr. Schulz in the missionary orientation is just the beginning of study for the new missionaries, who will continue toward earning a Certificate in Missiology by taking online modules with Dr. Schulz for 48 weeks. In the near future, nearly all new LCMS missionaries should receive a certificate of missiology in the first year or two of service.
The Regional Directors of the five world regions (Asia, East Africa, West Africa, Eurasia, Latin America) meet with the new missionaries during the orientation and get to know them during both formal and informal sessions. The Regional Directors also met for ongoing work to the OIM strategic plan and for additional training. The missiology Module 3: Missionary Preparation and Service in Perspective for this regional directors meeting was designed by Dr. Schulz and presented by Dr. Collver. It focused on the care of missionaries and the causes of attrition. An important recognition was that attrition in and of itself is a normal process that happens because, 1. Unpreventable Reasons such as normal retirement, political crisis, death, or a change in job; 2. Marriage and family reasons; 3. Personal Reasons such as immaturity, health problems, inadequate commitment, personal concerns, inability to adapt to a new culture and immorality; 4. Organizational Reasons such as home support (real or perceived lack of support), disagreement with the organization, or theological reasons; 5. Team Reasons such as interpersonal conflicts or problems with partner church leadership. Some of these items are not preventable while others are preventable through better training and mentoring. The regional directors and International Center staff developed a plan to better address the causes for missionary attrition. Part of this plan includes the tracking of attrition. International business organizations who deploy people and missionary organizations routinely report a yearly attrition rate of 30%. The Office of International Mission is glad to report that the attrition rate for 2014-2015 has been around 5%, well below the average of many mission organizations. The Office of International Mission and the Regional Directors are committed to continuing to improve the care that missionaries receive in the field. As the number of missionaries increases by God’s grace, missionary care and retention will be a significant effort of the mission leadership staff. In the near future, we will present more on this topic.
With week one completed of new missionary orientation, we look forward to the second week.
— Rev. Dr. Albert Collver, Director of Church Relations / Regional Operations
Pictured (left to right): Rev. Tony Booker — Eurasia Regional Director, Deaconess Grace Rao — Director of Deaconess Ministry, Rev. Andris Kraulins — Board Member from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia, and Rev. Dr. Albert B. Collver — Director of Church Relations / Regional Operations.
During the Regional Directors’ meeting held at Concordia Publishing House, Rev. Andris Kraulins visited from Latvia and met with the regional directors, in particular Rev. Tony Booker, Eurasia Regional Director.
Rev. Andris Kraulins a board member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia, an LCMS partner church, and dean (circuit counselor) of the district of Jurmala visiting LCMS international center, St. Louis, January 25-27. Rev. Kraulins, who studied theology at Luther Academy, gave a presentation at IC, discussed the conservative church of Latvia in times of challenge. The presentation was informative and interesting and the audience received it well. At IC he was able to meet and have a brief talk with Rev. Bart Day, interim chief missions officer, Rev. Dr. Ray Hartwig, secretary of the synod, Rev. Larry Vogel of CTCR, associated executive director of CTCR. Later he was interviewed by KFUO, followed by a visit to CPH, where he was invited by Rev. Dr. Albert Collver, director of church relations, and assistant to the president to meet all the regional directors of office of international mission. Here too, Rev. Kraulins talked about the Latvian church its structure and the challenges. Also, he brought the greetings from Archbishop, and the congregation at large.
Prior to his visit, he was at CTSFW who participated at the Lenten workshop, and the exegetical symposia, Jan. 18-21. At the seminary he had an opportunity to meet Rev. Dr. Timothy Quill, Rev. Dr. Masaki and Rev. Dr. Detlev Shulz. Subsequently, he was invited by ONM to attend the Life Ministry Conference and participated in March for Life at Washington DC, Jan.21-24.
Rev. Kraulins is here to strengthen the church partnership and is interested in building the theological educational needs for pastors, and diaconal workers. LCMS welcomes Rev. Kraulins and looks forward to support and assist our Latvian partner church to reach out in mercy and compassion to those in need, motivated by Christ and His Gospel according to the Lutheran confession of the faith.
On Wednesday 28 January, the Regional Directors’ meeting concluded with budget and strategic planning. After the conclusion of the Regional Directors’ meeting, the RDs along with OIM staff attended the ALMA Conference on Thursday and Friday.
Concordia Publishing House hosted the Regional Directors’ meeting. A special thanks to Dr. Bruce Kintz and the staff of CPH for providing the Regional Directors with one of the most productive and peaceful from hustle and bustle meetings that they have had in recent memory. The close relationships that the Regional Directors have forged with CPH and the partnership between CPH and OIM have been and continues to be a blessing for the international mission efforts of the church. We are looking forward to many other joint ventures in the future for the benefit of the mission field.
Rev. Dr. Klaus Detlev Schultz Teaching “Biblical and Theological Foundations for Mission”
Saint Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House
January 26-28, 2015
The Regional Directors, representing Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America, gathered at Concordia Publishing House’s Gerber Room for continuing education on missiology with Rev. Dr. Klaus Detlev Schultz, Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Missions from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne. Dr. Schultz serves as the Dean of the Graduate School and Director of the Ph.D. in Missiology program at the Fort Wayne Seminary. The Office of International Mission (OIM) and Concordia Theological Seminary have formed a partnership to provide advanced missiology training to LCMS missionaries. The initial pilot program began with the Regional Directors, even allowing them to take the classes for credit toward the Ph.D. in missiology. After the completion of the pilot project, LCMS missionaries will be able to take seven classes toward a “certificate in missiology.” Dr. Lawrence Rast, President of Concordia Theological Seminary, noted, “The partnership between the Office of International Mission (OIM) and Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, has been a model of collaboration for missionary training. OIM has significant human resources and missionary experience. CTSFW’s expertise in missiology is undergirded by one of the premier Ph.D. programs in missiology in the world. Together, they are able to resource the church and its mission in ways beyond what either could do on its own.”
At CPH, the Regional Directors are taking Module 2: Biblical and Theological Foundations for Mission. This particular course explores the historical genius and the theological discussion on the concept of missio Dei, the Lutheran contribution to that concept, the overall missiological direction of theology, and the relationship of church / congregation and mission.” A significant portion of the class focused on the relationship between church and congregations (modalities) and mission societies (sodalities). The class also examined and critiqued Alan Hirsch’s apostolicity model (that apostolic leadership needs to be revived today in the church) from Ephesians 4:3. A portion of the class also discussed the relatively recent use of the term “missional” and how Lutheran theologians can contribute to the discussion. Dr. Schultz said of the class, “Coming together around the table as theologians and as missionaries, and then interacting with one another on theology and field experiences is how we can best further our mission for the future. We cannot forego reflection on mission just as much as we cannot abstain from practicing it.”
Rev. Theodore Krey, Regional Director for Latin America, remarked, “Dr. Schultz’s engaging lectures are challenging OIM’s Regional directors to think through missiology and its centrality in the theology of the church. The goal of missions is through the Lord’s Word to incorporate people into the body of Christ, which is to bring people into a worshiping community where they can receive the Lord’s saving gifts.” President Matthew Harrison joined the class for a time to see how the missionaries were receiving continuing education. President Harrison said to the Regional Directors, “I am proud of the work you are doing. Now is a unique moment in time for mission.”
Dr. Bruce Kintz, President of Concordia Publishing House, also joined the sessions. He attended the first missiology class that Dr. Schultz taught in the Dominican Republic in October 2014. Dr. Kintz said, “I have heard many times how CPH resources remain long after LCMS missionaries move on to a new area. Getting to know the missionaries in the field has helped CPH create the resources missionaries need.” Over the past year, the collaboration between OIM and CPH has increased dramatically. Kintz said, “Having been to one Regional Directors’ meeting in the Dominican Republic, I felt compelled to invite the Regional Directors to CPH for their next meeting. They will be able to see first hand our materials, to see how our associates work together to create them and gain valuable input into the creation of additional resources.”
In addition to the missiological continuing education, the Regional Directors will work on OIM’s strategic plan and budgeting for the next year. The week concludes with the Regional Directors attending the ALMA meeting and the BIM meeting on Friday and Saturday.
(The Course Syllabus)