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
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.
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.
President’s Circle: Acts of Grace
The President’s Circle is a ministry of the Florida-Georgia District that provides resources our District President needs in order to respond to emergencies in the lives of our District church workers and ministries in their most urgent times of need.
Since the early days of the church, God’s people have worked together to further the spread of the Gospel. Throughout the centuries, Christians have shared resources with one another especially in times of distress. For decades the Florida-Georgia district has assisted ministries and church workers by providing special support and assistance with resources gathered by churches in the district.
The President’s Circle strives to build on this ministry of the district, to work within the structure of the district to bring Acts of Grace to people and ministries in times of specific need with special resources gathered for this purpose. The Circle’s resources are only used to care specifically for ministries and workers during times of extreme need.
Acts of Grace
It seems that when times are difficult, needs are at their greatest. Every day in our district church workers and ministries are struggling because of unforeseen trials and disasters. Often times the needs are known by our District President and his staff, but are not able to be met – the funds and resources to help are no longer there.
Through the cooperative effort of the Circle, directed by the President, support and resources can be distributed where they are needed when times are most difficult.
Please support President’s Circle and provide Acts of Grace by using this link.
Transitional Interim Ministry (TIM) Pastors are called LCMS pastors who have additional training and credentialing to guide a congregation through a season of transition. TIM Pastors typically serve a congregation for 12-24 months and may not be called as that congregation’s settled pastor. Besides Word and Sacrament ministry, TIM practitioners’ primary work is to prepare a congregation for its next chapter of ministry, often to receive its next settled pastor. TIM Practitioners work with congregational leaders toward spiritual, organizational, and missional unity and vitality, with clarity around what is needed in the next pastoral leader.