Many ministry opportunities compete for a congregation’s attention. The local setting has more than enough needs for any single congregation. And yet, Faith Lutheran Church in Prior Lake, MN has worked hard to maintain their perspective on the broader kingdom. In particular, Faith has displayed a special concern for our synod’s Pastor Partners mentoring initiative that is administered through Grow in Grace. Roger Toomy, Congregational Chairman of Faith comments, “The needs of the WELS congregations are ever changing and will become even more so in the future. It’s critical that WELS is providing the training, education, and mentorship to meet those needs.” All on their own, Faith decided to make the Pastor Partners mentoring initiative the focus of their first quarter special mission offerings for 2018.
Faith’s pastor, Stephen Schmiel, has been part of Pastor Partner mentoring in several ways, being mentored himself, serving as a mentor, and now serving as part of the Mentoring Leadership Team that helps oversee the whole initiative. Schmiel shares, “I am very grateful for my first few years under a mentor, and honored now to mentor another Pastor. I know I don’t have all the answers, but having all the answers is not the objective. With burdens shared, and unknowns and insecurities comforted at the cross of Christ, a new pastor is able to preach and teach God’s Word, and establish a strong foundation for the rest of his ministry. As in all things: To God be the Glory!”
Grow in Grace recognizes that it takes a synod to support pastoral ministry. We particularly thank those who remember Grow in Grace through special offerings and congregations, lay people, and pastors who support our work with time and expertise. If you or your congregation has a special passion for some aspect of the work of Grow in Grace, please share with us. We would love to hear about it and partner with you.