Growing in Christ

The winter and spring seasons of the liturgical calendar are marked by Sundays and festivals that focus on Jesus, His coming, birth, suffering, resurrection, and ascension. The summer season of the calendar focuses on the growth of the Church. This theme also fits for the life of congregations and church workers. While many congregations host Vacation Bible school or other adult education opportunities, the summer is often a time for continuing education for pastors, teachers and other church workers. Our seminaries host continuing education courses across the country to help pastors and other servants continue to sharpen their skills and grow as theologians. Many of our Lutheran school teachers are busy in the summer working on graduate programs as well.

Our hope is that the congregations and schools of the Missouri District would value and support the ongoing growth of our servants. Our world continues to spiral out-of-control at an alarming rate. While our theology does not change, the questions that are being asked and the issues that we are facing are different today than they were when many of our church workers were preparing for their service. We need pastors and teachers who are well-equipped to teach and apply God’s Word to children and adults in these turbulent times.

The summer also provides a time for Sabbath rest for many of our church workers to spend time with their families. That time is also important time for growth as church workers tend to their vocations within the homes. Please pray for all of our church workers as they grow in all of their respective callings that the summer would be a blessing for them whether at work or rest.

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.