Lutheran High Schools Prepare Servants for Service Across Missouri and Even Across the World
This issue of the Missouri District VOICE focuses on our nine Lutheran high schools located throughout the state. Families across Missouri are blessed to be able to have their children receive a Christ-centered education. With combined enrollment of nearly 2000 students, these schools have the opportunity to make disciples of young people through worship and study, co-curricular activities and relationship building. We hope that you will be encouraged and blessed to learn more about these schools.
It is good for us to be reminded why we operate Lutheran schools. There are many differences between our Lutheran schools and public schools. The primary difference always comes down to the goal of our teaching is always that students are brought to and kept in saving faith in Christ and are therefore heirs of eternal life. Additionally, teaching a Christian worldview in our schools prepares young people for lives of service in Christ’s name, both within the Church and out into the world. The Lutheran understanding of vocation helps young people to see how God uses them and the gifts and abilities that they have received from Him to serve God and their neighbor.
While public schools are often enslaved to cultural agendas, our schools teach that children have value based upon God creating them in His own image and that they are all children for whom Christ died. Our schools help students understand service, marriage, family, citizenship, and work from a Christian worldview. Our schools provide a place of refuge where teachers help them to see God’s design for the world and their own lives.
We need Lutheran schools now more than ever before. Our students are well prepared for college and life. Lutheran high school graduates end up being led by God across the globe in countless forms of service. And the lessons that they learn at those Lutheran high schools will last throughout their respective lifetimes as they serve.
In 2004, an international student began her studies at Saint Paul Lutheran High School in Concordia. During the course of the year, after sitting through religion classes and school chapels, she requested to be baptized. The Holy Spirit continued to be at work through the Word of God and she decided to attend college at one of our Concordia Universities. Today, she serves in Asia at one of our International schools. We thank God for all of the students and families that He continues to touch across Missouri and even around the world through our Lutheran high schools. Please support their vital work with your prayers and your gifts. Lastly, encourage families to send their children to one of these schools. It is one of the most important investments that they can make in their children’s lives.
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.