And [Jesus] said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” Luke 10:2
The Lord has richly blessed our congregations and schools with generations of faithful pastors and teachers. Many of us can look back and remember how God used a pastor or Director of Christian Education to encourage us during adolescence. Those of us who attended Lutheran schools can recall with great fondness beloved teachers who were blessings in our lives. It is always good for us to take time to give thank to God for such servants in the Church.
However, it is also good for us to pray that God would raise up the next generation of church workers. During the month of August, we want to highlight church vocations in the hopes that you will identify and encourage young people to consider service in a Lutheran church or school. This issue of The VOICE highlights those who are serving or preparing for service in a number of areas of church work. As you will see, many of them went into full-time church work in response to the encouragement of another church worker.
The other thing that we are doing during August is encouraging congregations, schools and donors to support our Missouri District Church Worker Scholarship Endowment Fund, which provides assistance for those studying at Concordia Universities and Seminaries in preparation for service as rostered workers in the Synod. In particular, we are inviting congregation to consider receiving a door-offering on Sunday, August 29 for the District Scholarship Endowment Fund. We invite you to join with us in praying for and supporting “Tomorrow’s Teachers and Preachers.”
Please join me in giving thanks to God for all of the servants whom our Lord has used to be a blessing to our congregations and schools and to pray that He would use us to encourage the next generation of servants.
Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan
Rev. Dr. R. Lee Hagan was elected as the fifth president of the Missouri District-LCMS in 2015. He is a 1992 graduate of Concordia College (now University), Seward, Nebraska. He graduated from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis with a Master of Divinity in 1996 and Doctor of Ministry in 2011. Dr. Hagan served as associate pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Evansville, Indiana from 1996-2002. In 2002, he was called to serve as senior pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Concordia, Missouri until he was elected district president. Additionally, he served as the Interim Director of LCMS Rural and Small Town Mission from 2011-2012. He has previously served as Missouri District first vice-president from 2012-2015, fourth vice-president from 2011-2012, and chairman of the Board for Congregational Services from 2006-2011. He has presented workshops and retreats on a host of ministry topics including elders, rural ministry, outreach and ministry to inactives. He has written articles for Lutheran Witness, Concordia Historical Quarterly and Missio Apostolica. He has led mission trips to Cambodia, China, Guatemala and the Bahamas. Dr. Hagan is married to Jill (nee Johnson), who works as a speech-language pathologist. They have two children, Caroline and Jack.