“Brothers and sisters, pray for us” (1 Thessalonians 5:25). With these words, the apostle Paul concluded his first letter to the Christians in Thessalonica. They would be separated from him by miles, but Paul recognized that their prayers for their spiritual leader and pastor were vital.
Our synod has two main leadership groups: the Synodical Council and the Conference of Presidents. The men who serve as a part of those groups have been entrusted by the members of the synod with some important responsibilities. Like Paul, they recognize the importance of your prayers as they carry out their roles, and they deeply appreciate it when you ask God to give them strength, wisdom, and guidance as they make their decisions.
As you offer your prayers to God on their behalf, it’s important that you know what they do.
The Synodical Council is composed of 22 voting members. Twelve are lay representatives, one elected by each district of the synod. Two pastors at-large and one teacher at-large are elected by the synod convention. Three district presidents represent the Conference of Presidents. Three are the chairmen of the Boards for Home Missions, World Missions, and Ministerial Education. The synod president serves as the chairman. Twelve representatives from areas of the synod’s work serve as non-voting advisors.
Here are the areas for which the Synodical Council is responsible:
- Manages all legal and property matters of the synod.
- Ensures that the financial affairs of the synod are managed in a fiscally sound way.
- Creates the ministry financial plan (budget) and presents it to the synod convention for approval.
- Oversees the synod’s subsidiaries (WELS Church Extension Fund, WELS Investment Funds, WELS Foundation, Northwestern Publishing House) and affiliate (WELS Benefit Plans).
- Coordinates the work of the areas of ministry (Home Missions, World Missions, Ministerial Education, Congregational Services) and ensures that the areas are supported financially in a way that meets the goals and objectives of the synod.
- Carries out long-range strategic planning.
The Conference of Presidents is composed of the synod president, the first and second synod vice presidents, and the 12 district presidents. The synod secretary is an advisory member.
The responsibilities of the Conference of Presidents include the following:
- Oversees doctrine (what is taught) and practice (how doctrine is applied and carried out).
- Provides assistance and counsel to called workers.
- Carries out evangelical discipline for called workers and congregations when needed.
- Provides call lists for vacant positions and serves as the Assignment Committee.
- Encourages congregations to provide financial support through Congregation Mission Offerings.
- Plans the synod convention.
These two groups take their responsibilities seriously and carry them out faithfully. Both groups work together with brotherly cooperation and mutual support. I am honored to serve with them.
As these men serve their Lord and you, they ask for your prayers, confident that the Lord will answer those prayers for the good of his church.
Author: Mark Schroeder
Volume 109, Number 02
Issue: February 2022