In general these are the steps for calling a pastor, however, each congregation has its own constitution and by-laws to which they must adhere. The District Office and Circuit Visitor desire to be a partner with each congregation to work through this process.
When a congregation experiences the departure of one of its pastors, or desires to expand its pastoral staff, there are people who will share their help and experience with the congregation. Look especially to the following:
The District President
The District president assists the congregation with two special responsibilities.
- Helping the congregation plan well as it seeks to enhance its mission and ministry.
- Supervising the process by which the congregation calls another pastor.
The Circuit Visitor
The Circuit Visitor has been elected by the congregations of your circuit and ratified by the convention of the Florida-Georgia District. He will serve as the District president’s on-the-scene representative and is available to advise you. The District treasury covers his expenses. Specifically, the circuit advisor helps in these ways:
- Helps the call committee to assess the needs and opportunities of the parish, in cooperation with the current pastoral leadership, as appropriate.
- Actively assists the congregation in identifying resources.
- Attends meetings relating to the calling of a pastor as the representative of the District president.
- Attends meetings of the church council and/or voters’ assembly as requested by the District president or as he deems necessary.
- Assists in the arrival and installation of the new pastor, as requested.
Recommended Steps in the Pastoral Call Process
- Establish the Call Committee and Calling Procedure
- Complete necessary documents as supplied by the District Office, which include a congregational profile and self study.
- Receive nominations for the office of Pastor
- Publish the list of nominees to the congregation and forward them to the District President
- Return a list of candidates to the congregation for election
- Gathering additional information
- Publish the call list and establish the date and rules of procedure for the call service.
- Immediately notify the pastor elect of his selection, send the proper call documents and arrange for a post call visit
- After acceptance, plan for arrival, installation and ongoing mutual ministry
Calling a Commissioned Minister of Religion
Please click the link below to download the Congregation Pledge Form.
- You can complete the information directly on the form by typing into it.
- Or you can print the form and complete the information on paper.
- Please return the completed form via email to Laura Zirbel at firstname.lastname@example.org
The LCMS website provides a wealth of resource information to help you organize your church and school structure.
These resources are available for download from the LCMS website and include such things as an Employment Resource Manual, Sample Performance Appraisal Worksheets, Sample Job Descriptions, and a Sample Congregational Constitution and Bylaws Guidelines.
All of these resources can be found on the Church Office Administration Resources page of the LCMS website.
As there are some processes unique to each District, please contact the President’s Office prior to revising your Constitution and Bylaws. Revisions must be approved by the Florida-Georgia District Board of Directors.
Discovering your church’s ministry opportunities has never been easier. MissionInsite provides instant access to community information for your church via The MI System. You’ll get desktop, web-based access to demographic data for a variety of geographic levels. Click the link for an Introduction to MissionInsite.
The MI System provides you with a new way to access demographic information. It moves beyond the static reports you order to a powerful “discovery tool” for exploration and “out of the box” thinking for church ministry, church planting, church growth and outreach.
The system also provides the ability for local churches to locate their church members and others affiliated with their church on your map. This is referred to as Congregant Plot.
So, while there are a few things you need to learn, the system is designed to be user friendly and provides you with additional services not available from other systems. Have fun exploring your mission context and remember there is no possibility of accidentally harming the system or data.
Before getting registered, you are encouraged to explore the documents in the Resource area for the Local Church – especially the Tutorial , Introduction to MissionInsite, Local Church User Guide and How To Create A Report.
**The Mosaic Worksheet is a tool to use with each of the 60 full Mosaic Type Portraits. Churches are finding that the detail in these reports provides a greater insight into the socio-economic realities of residents living within their communities. This insight assists them in reaching these residents.
As part of Lutheran Church Extension Fund’s agreement with MissionInsite, you have free, unlimited access to MissionInsite’s Demographic data.
Download the document for instructions on how to use this system.
Florida-Georgia District congregations have active GriefShare programs at their church. Here’s a quick overview of their ministry:
GriefShare enables your church to offer ongoing weekly support groups for people who have lost a loved one. We help you equip a lay-led team for effective ministry to people in your church and throughout your community. Through GriefShare, you can provide biblical, Christ-centered hope to help hurting people rebuild their lives.
If you don’t have a GriefShare ministry at your church and want to:
- Reach out to one person (below) for their insight and help.
- Read about how you can launch a group after reading stories about people this ministry has transformed.
- Find out how to start a group on the GriefShare website.
- Amazing Grace, The Villages, FL – Peggy Ludwig, email@example.com
- Grace, Naples, FL – Linda Nobili – firstname.lastname@example.org (starts January 2022)
- Hope, Plant City, FL – Rev. Dean Pfeffer – email@example.com
- King of Kings, Jasper, GA – Stephanie Patrick, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Our Redeemer, Lake City, FL – Fran Fisher, email@example.com
- St. Paul, Boca Raton, FL – Rev. Steven Carretto – firstname.lastname@example.org
- St. Paul, Weston, FL – Jane Schmidt, email@example.com
- St. Luke’s, Oviedo, FL – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Trinity, Orlando, FL – Norma Smith, c/o Doug Kallesen, email@example.com
The LCMS Foundation was created in 1958 by the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod to provide Christian estate planning services to LCMS members and help ministries invest or endow the gifts members leave them in their wills or estate plans.
Through Lutheran Counseling Services, the FLGA District provides the Ministerial Assistance Program (MAP).
Where do workers in ministry, and their families, go when they need help?
The Ministerial Assistance Program (MAP) of Lutheran Counseling Services, Inc. is designed to help clergy, church workers, educators, etc., and their families cope with church life and work challenges and demands. Because of the MAP program, these workers and their families receive up to 3 free counseling sessions; sessions are offered via phone, video, and in-person.
Examples of concerns/problems that are appropriate for intervention by the Ministerial Assistance Program are:
• Assessment, referral, and/or therapy for an individual, marriage, or family concern
• A pastoral care congregational, staff, church school, or church governance issue
• A vocational crisis redirection
• Help with a church worker or parishioner grievance
The expert staff of Lutheran Counseling Services can provide help, hope, and healing through quality and confidential assistance.
Click here to learn more.
The Lutheran Legal League is made up of actively practicing attorneys who regularly attend worship in a Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Simply stated, they are a unique organization of Christ-filled attorneys who desire to assist our Synodical churches, schools, ministries, missions, and LCMS members with their legal needs.
LLL is NOT a referral company, but rather their goal is to serve God by helping their brothers and sisters within the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Click here to learn more.
Lutheran Services Florida (LSF) helps communities build healthier, happier, and hope-filled tomorrows by impacting the lives of 1 in 50 Floridians through various services offered across the state. We seek to bring healing, hope, and help to people in need from all walks of life, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and identity.
LSF is a non-profit organization transforming lives by ensuring safe children, strong families, and vibrant communities. Founded in 1982, LSF currently touches the lives of 1 in 50 Floridians annually through various programs, including early education, youth shelters, foster care, refugee and resettlement services, substance abuse mental health services, and adult guardianship. Headquartered in Tampa, Florida, LSF has more than 60 programs throughout Florida and approximately 1,200 dedicated employees.
Sexual abuse of children is a “quiet” epidemic that comes to light when a sensational news story hits the press. The reality is that 1 in every 4 girls and 1 in every 6 boys in the United States are sexually molested before the age of eighteen. Sadly, we all know that neither the Lutheran church nor Lutheran schools are necessarily safe havens for children.
To better educate and equip workers in our churches and schools to recognize the signs of child sexual abuse, the LCMS Office of National Mission has partnered with MinistrySafe — to help our ministries better understand the tendencies of sexual predators — all at no cost to our churches and schools. We take the safety of children seriously!
Our prayer and goal is that every staff person and every volunteer in every church and school in the District will commit to helping protect the children and ministries entrusted to your care.
Click here for more information & resources.
Rev. Dr. Victor Belton has authored these resources for our pastors to use. As Ash Wednesday is a day of repentance and reflection, these resources are most appropriately used on this day. However, we also encourage your consideration and use of these prayers, either in midweek services or weekend services throughout the season of Lent.
Because we serve in a multicultural district filled with people from “all tribes and races,” we have many opportunities to reach many different people with the love of Jesus. May these resources not only make us more aware but help God’s people become more Christ-like in all we do.
You will find a Bible Study, a litany for worship and some coloring resources with notes for conversation with children, and within each document are additional links for online resources. These resources are also available in Spanish. The need for repentance is an ongoing one, even in the Church!
- 2021 Devotional by FLGA Racism Task Force
- 1994 Racism and the Church from the CTCR
- Is it Really Black and White? Gospel in the Face of Chaos and Division
- Michigan District LCMS “Heart Issues are Hard Issues”
For more information, visit the Multicultural and Diversity Resource Webpage.
“The Multicultural Church Award” is meant to be a “fun” approach to realizing some of the Multicultural and Ethnic Diversity Task Force goals by inviting congregations to compete for the designation as a multicultural church. The inspiration for the idea is the All-American Cities Award, where annually municipalities across the country vie for recognition by the National Civic League as a city that successfully addresses local issues.
Similarly, the MEDTF seeks to present the Multicultural Church Award to a FLGA District congregation that demonstrates a multicultural approach to mission and ministry in the following aspects in in-reach and outreach:
The award winner will receive a trophy, a $500 cash prize, mention in district-wide publications, and distinction as a model, inspiration, and resource to other congregations aspiring to be multicultural ministries.
Visit the Multicultural Church Award webpage to learn more and begin the submission process!
In 2007, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod’s Ministry to the Armed Forces launched Operation Barnabas. Through this program — the only one of its kind in the U.S. — together with our congregations, we accomplish three key goals:
1. Care for Reserve chaplains and their families and congregations.
2. Train and assist local congregations in the care, support, and outreach to all military-connected people in their congregations and their communities.
3. Serve as a resource to other organizations that provide care to military-connected people.
Our desire is to enable our congregations to lead their communities in welcoming these military families back home. They have borne the weight of repeated deployments, and we can prepare to receive them home in concert with local chambers of commerce, schools, and medical facilities.
Rev7:9 prays and labors to create a sense of urgency and hope as they build coalitions of ministries to inspire and equip pastors, leaders, and congregations to reach ethnic groups beyond their own. They provide resources and coaching to ensure the advance of God’s Kingdom on earth. Their prayer is congregations will be inspired to connect with REV7:9 to receive encouragement and equipping so that they begin reaching out in ways that will compel the Kingdom vision of a great, diverse multitude from all nations to become a reality in their local congregation.
Simple Bible Study is a resource providing everything a leader needs to facilitate a short Bible study and discussion. Although it is created with youth in mind, the videos can also be used with adult groups.
Check back for updated videos or search through the bank of previous studies for various topics that can be used throughout the year.
It’s just not a book to read. It’s a way to immerse yourself in God’s Word, it’s a way of connecting you and others to Jesus.
Pastors have been given the opportunity to purchase this book for their congregation to participate.