You are currently viewing Faithfully serving you

Faithfully serving you

This June, two men who have served faithfully as district presidents will conclude their time in that office. Jon Buchholz, president of the Arizona-California District, has decided not to stand for reelection. John Steinbrenner, president of the Pacific Northwest District, has accepted a call to serve as a parish pastor in another district. These two men, along with the other ten district presidents, serve a vital role in our synod—service for which we can thank God every day.

Delegates elect and call district presidents every two years at the district conventions. One good practice that our synod has historically followed is that district presidents remain in their congregations as parish pastors, enabling them to continue to have the blessing of serving as shepherds to people in a congregational setting. This practice not only uses their God-given gifts as pastors, preachers, and counselors, but it also helps them have a firsthand view of congregational life and ministry in an ever-changing world. The synod does provide an associate pastor to the district president’s congregation because of the time-consuming nature of the office.

A district president has many duties, but one is more important than all the others. A district president oversees the doctrine and practice in his district, ensuring that the called workers and congregations of his district remain faithful to the teachings of Scripture and that those teachings are properly and evangelically applied. If there is a departure from the true teaching of Scripture, the district president will work to correct the error, and if necessary, carry out discipline if a called worker or congregation does not listen to his admonition.

Another important responsibility is helping congregations extend calls when a pastoral, teaching, or staff ministry position is vacant. The district president will meet with the congregation to determine its ministry needs. Based on the information he gathers at that meeting, he then will provide a list of candidates who, in his judgment, have the gifts and abilities to serve in that congregation. With the current called worker shortage, the task of providing call lists to congregations has become much more challenging and time consuming.

In a role similar to that of the synod president, the district president plans and presides over the district conventions, which are held every two years. Along with his two vice presidents, he determines what business will come before the convention and appoints floor committees to address agenda items.

The district president also encourages the congregations in his district to be faithful and generous in their support of the work of the synod. Circuit pastors assist him in this role.

Along with the synod president, the two synod vice presidents, and the synod recording secretary, district presidents are members of the Conference of Presidents. The Conference of Presidents meets three times each year (and holds special meetings when necessary) to discuss important issues, provide advice and counsel to one another, and strive for consistency in how policies are applied. The Conference of Presidents also serves as the synod’s Assignment Committee. That committee meets in May to assign pastor, teacher, and staff ministry candidates who have completed their education at Martin Luther College, New Ulm, Minn., and Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Mequon, Wis.

We thank God for these faithful servants. We thank them for their work. And we pray that God would continue to give them wisdom and strength as they serve.

Author: Mark Schroeder
Volume 111, Number 06
Issue: June 2024

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry is part 1 of 52 in the series presidents message

Facebook comments