My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected. If not, visit
http://burrintheburgh.com
and update your bookmarks.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Give Me Your Ideas

I want you to give me your ideas for how to recruit more excellent students for the seminary. I have lots of ideas we're working on, and this recent conference in Indy really got some juices flowing. What do you suggest?

Sphere: Related Content

9 comments:

D. Engebretson said...

I believe that some of the best recruitment comes from the parish where the young men are, and that the local pastor ideally should be a source of inspiration for men to consider the Office. Having said that, I realize that this assumes a parish where the Office is respected and honored, and where the pastor has a deep commitment to his Call and vocation. I suspect that encouraging current pastors in their vocation goes hand-in-hand, to some degree, with their effectiveness in recruiting men to follow in their footsteps.

Perhaps there is a way for the seminary to help parish pastors identify young men who best demonstrate those qualities one looks for in prospective students, and once identified, how best to encourage them on their journey. Certainly one wants to paint a realistic picture of the ministry, yet having done so, how do we avoid painting that picture with too dark a color, considering the often wide-spread disrespect of the Office in some areas today?

I am committed to encouraging young men to the ministry, and have a couple in mind (quite young at present!), but would be pleased to know from others what they think I should be looking for at this point, and if I find interest how to nurture it.

Rob Olson (aka Tim) said...

More excellent students? IMO, I would say that there isn't a college that produces finer graduates than Hillsdale, which is only an hour or so north of you. I have been regularly impressed by many of them who worship with us up here in Marshall, Michigan. There also seems to be increasing numbers of confessional Lutheran students at the school. Three of them were immensely helpful to me during our 'Higher Things' retreat last month. In recent years there has been a group of them that drives down for special services at the seminary during the school year, like the Advent choral service this coming weekend. I would suggest getting to know some of these kids.

Blessings.

Rob Olson

Ps. I would NOT invite them to the sem's Veggie Tales, Santa, Polar Express party! During Advent? At first I thought this was a joke. Yikes!

Anonymous said...

Here's a couple of thoughts, Scott:

1. Find a way to challenge the best and the brightest to consider the ministry. I'm not saying that the ministry is only for the best and the brightest. But how many talented young men become doctors, lawyers, financial gurus, engineers, etc., and never consider service in the church Perhaps expand your Christ Academy program in the summertime or take Christ Academy on the road to campus ministries, CUS, and high schools?

2. Develop mission opportunities for potential recruits. It's great the seminary is sending men to Madagascar, etc., now. I believe a mission trip has the potential be a very effective tool to demonstrate in the life of possible seminarian the challenge, the importance, and also the joy of the Gospel ministry. I'm hoping to go to Sudan in August with Bishop Andrew...I'm hoping it will be an experience that will reinvigorate and reorient my focus on the holy calling I have received and the holy office I now serve in. You can do this in partnership with any number of organizations (LHF, LHM, FOM/LCMSWR)

Just some thoughts for now. I have more ideas. Maybe I'll share them with you privately.

I will say the more seminary education gets dumbed down in the LCMS the more difficulty you will have in recruiting highly qualified men for the ministry. Of course, that's just my opinion though.

God bless your work!

Dan Grams+

poor miserable sinner said...

Perhaps you could take a page from the military. Send "recruiters" to the campuses of our schools, especially the elementary schools. Sending a pastoral ministry and a deaconess studies recruiter would be a boon to both.

poor miserable sinner said...

Perhaps you could take a page from the military. Send "recruiters" to the campuses of our schools, especially the elementary schools. Sending a pastoral ministry and a deaconess studies recruiter would be a boon to both.

VirginiaLutherans said...

I have seen it before that seeking to become a Pastor should be only when there isn't something else you can do. You can always do something other than being a Pastor. I don't think these type of comments are terribly helpful to anyone looking at the ministry.

I am also uncomfortable with the whole concept of actively recruiting. It brings to mind "Uncle Sam wants You!" and job fairs. This isn't a quota-driven occupation (or at least shouldn't be). If you mean active in the sense of helping men in their decision, that's one thing. It is something else to suggest that they become Pastors on a regular basis. Sometimes they are not meant for the role and/or will do it flippantly. It sounds too much like a "Hey we need to get XX new pastors..." and too little like "God will provide the Pastors. He knows we need XX new Pators..." (Not saying that is true, but that is my perception.)

What I think would be helpful is to provide guidance. How does one decide to go to seminary? Why have the Pastors before gone to the seminary? Just saying "God called me" wraps all of the emotions, prayers, and soul searching into essentially a 3 word sentence that doesn't have any of the meat behind it. Put the stuff behind the decision together with a discussion of how God calls Pastors today (based on Scripture and the Confessions), how they come to understand this call, and how they get started. Then support the current Pastors out there by providing them guidance with laymen (young and old) who are interested. The only other thing I would think needs to be done is to put it in God's hands. Let Him call who He calls. Help those who inquire, and leave the result to God.

Rev. K.R. Schaaf said...

Thanks for the invite Scott!
I believe one simple way would be to have admissions staff in the pulpits of the churches they are visiting. If they can make the rounds to circuit winkels or even bring along a real live seminarian with them on a trip now and then that wouldn't be too bad. My people did not know much about the Fort till I told Tom Zimmerman he wasn't allowed to come to my church unless it was Sunday morning and he taught and preached for us. It really opened up the congregation's eyes not only to look around for future pastors but also to help in training new ones. Just a thought, but I think the best place a recruiter can be doing his work is on Sundays with Christ's people.

Paul, in Bethel Park said...

Hello, Pastor!

Two suggestions...

Soon to be college grads -

Do not present it as a "career" choice. I believe that puts the call to the ministry on a level with anything else these men may do. The ministry, as you know, has very unique and special challenges.

Men with other life experience -

Help them to examine what it is in their lives that has led them to believe they are suited for the call to the ministry.

For all men -

At the conferences held at the seminary periodically, have sessions for each of these groups, specifically. I believe the considerations of each are different...direct from college, single, etc. versus existing career, married, children, etc.

Merry Christmas.

Paul, in Bethel Park (formerly S. Park)

Paul, in Bethel Park said...

Hello, Pastor!

Two suggestions...

Soon to be college grads -

Do not present it as a "career" choice. I believe that puts the call to the ministry on a level with anything else these men may do. The ministry, as you know, has very unique and special challenges.

Men with other life experience -

Help them to examine what it is in their lives that has led them to believe they are suited for the call to the ministry.

For all men -

At the conferences held at the seminary periodically, have sessions for each of these groups, specifically. I believe the considerations of each are different...direct from college, single, etc. versus existing career, married, children, etc.

Merry Christmas.

Paul, in Bethel Park (formerly S. Park)

New Curriculum at Concordia Theological Seminary