God at Work

To title the fifth New Testament book “The Acts of the Apostles” is a bit of a misnomer. However, the book we know as Acts is quite clear in its content that the Lord was the primary “actor” and the One who added to the number of disciples (2:47). Each month, we highlight the work of congregations, schools and missions of the Missouri District. However, these updates are more than just news of how humble saints are serving. These articles are testimonies of the Lord’s work among us as the Holy Spirit calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the Church.

The VOICE of Missouri takes us on a journey through from early childhood centers to campus ministries to congregational ministries among seniors. There are new church plants underway and ministries reaching people from different tribes and nations. But all of these are testimonies of the Holy Spirit working through the Word to give the growth.

The work that God is accomplishing also includes parents passing on the faith to their children. There are also examples of congregations serving and equipping young people. Support for church workers is about putting them in mind of their baptisms, assuring them of God’s abundant grace, and walking alongside them through the ups and downs of ministry. Through all of these, the Holy Spirit is at work.

Even when the numbers are not “trending” in a positive direction the Lord is at work. The ministry that happens at congregations across Missouri as the Gospel is preached and the Sacraments are administered, as shut-ins are visited, as children are catechized, and as we are built up and strengthened in the faith. And God is at work in all these examples.

May God abundantly bless the ministry of your congregation as the Holy Spirit works through the Word of God in your midst.

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. (2002-2015) 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.