In Our Own Words

Changing the ‘how’ to better prepare our pastors to succeed

Bob and Ruth Ann Rauscher of Scottsdale, Ariz.

Bob and Ruth Ann Rauscher of Scottsdale, Ariz., are members of the National Campaign Council for Generations: The Campaign for Concordia Seminary.

The Seminary’s Generations Campaign has passed the 86 percent mark toward a goal that many thought could not be achieved. But, thanks to God’s blessings and the inspired generosity of so many friends of the Seminary, we are well on the way to surpassing that goal. The achievement of the campaign’s goal will be a giant step in strengthening the Seminary’s foundation and capability to lead in the education and formation of future leaders of our church.

We would like to reflect on a meeting that Seminary President Dr. Dale A. Meyer called in January 2013 that included pastors, lay people of many backgrounds, faculty, staff and others. The purpose was to talk candidly and openly about the Seminary, its mission, its challenges, its opportunities, its needs and anything else that might affect the future of the institution and its mission, and the success of pastors and congregations.

In short, it was the consensus of the group that we must change the “how” of what we do at the Seminary to better prepare new pastors to meet the needs of congregations in tomorrow’s world.

The goal is not to change what we present doctrinally, but to augment these efforts with other skills that pastors need to be successful as pastors in a changing world.

We believe that sometimes people listen, but do not hear. Not this time. At the conclusion of the session, Dr. Meyer, in his own inimitable way, summarized the work into 12 different areas and assigned deadlines for progress and individuals who would be responsible for leading in each area.

This formed a framework for progress that exists to this day. This framework continues to foster improvements in the “how” of better preparing pastors to succeed in meeting the needs of congregations and community. Expanded field involvement and the curriculum update coming in 2017-18 are just two examples. Also, the Generations Campaign was a result of these considerations.

For too long, many of us have thought of the Seminary as belonging to the Synod and believing it was the Synod’s “job” to take care of it. But the future requires that we adopt the commitment that Concordia Seminary belongs to each and every one of us and we all have a responsibility for its continued success. The Generations Campaign is a key step in that direction.

We are passionate about the importance of Concordia Seminary to our churches and about the Generations Campaign to our future. It is worthy of our support. We thank Dr. Meyer for his strong and inspired leadership of Concordia Seminary at this time and for the future. And, we extend a special thank you to each and every one of you for your support of Concordia Seminary.

May God bless you all.

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