From the President's Desk:

Behind the Scenes

Most congregation members only see what happens in congregations on Sunday mornings. They are blessed by the Divine Service, preaching, hymns and Lord’s Supper. They do not always think about the work of the altar guild, organist, secretary, ushers, and elders. There are prayer lists and hymn choices that all are done in advance of the service. However, there is so much more than is happening to as part of the organization and work of the Congregations. The electric and gas bills are paid so that there are lights and heat or air conditioning. Copy machines are serviced. Church buildings are maintained. There is a lot of work that is done by church volunteers and staff behind the scenes that support the primary work of preaching the Gospel.

This issue of The VOICE addresses some of the topics related to how congregations work and function behind the scenes. Congregations regularly reach out to the district office to look for assistance in managing finances or properties. We receive questions regarding everything from cemeteries to school lunch programs. Our work is also behind the scenes. Like treasurers and altar guild members, we support congregations so that the primary work of proclaiming Christ can happen in the Divine Service, but also out in our communities through our individual and corporate witnessing.

Congregations should be attentive to the importance of training and equipping those who are given responsibilities of leadership in congregations. The Missouri District offers training through our E2 (Encourage and Equip) Conferences, but also through individual consultations. Our prayer is that your congregation has the support and resources that you need so that the behind-the-scenes work of finances, properties, human resources and many other areas can function well to support mission and ministry. If your congregation ever needs assistance in any area, please contact us in the Missouri District office so that we can support your kingdom work.

Rev. Dr. R. Lee Hagan was born in Birmingham, Ala., and graduated from Concordia, Seward, Neb., in 1992. He holds both a Master of Divinity Degree (1996) and Doctorate of Ministry (2011) from Concordia Seminary. Hagan served as Senior Pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran in Concordia, Mo. (1996-2015) and was previously an Associate Pastor at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Evansville, Ind. (1996-2002). He has been President of The Missouri District of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod since June 2015. Hagan also served as Interim Director, LCMS Rural and Small Town Mission (2011-12), on numerous District Boards both in Missouri and Indiana, and during multiple Synodical Conventions as a delegate and on Floor Committees. He is married to Jill and they have two children.