In his third and final monthly video message supporting the Synod’s What a Way initiative, LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison urges pastors, teachers and other rostered LCMS church workers to use that initiative’s resources for their well-being.
What a Way fosters recruitment and retention of LCMS church workers.
To watch that third video, titled “Embrace,”. Each of the three What a Way videos with Harrison is less than six minutes long.
In the new “Embrace” video message, Harrison tells church workers that he prays they “will be able to take advantage of a number of the different things that are offered or suggested on the What a Way website for your own [academic, spiritual and physical] well-being.”
The two earlier videos, titled “Encourage” and “Explore,” also are posted at that Web address.
In the “Encourage” video, Harrison asks pastors, teachers and others to encourage potential church workers; and in the “Explore” video, he speaks personally and directly to young people about their vocation as baptized children of God and invites them to consider serving in a church-work vocation.
“I know church work … can be challenging business,” Harrison says at the beginning of the new “Embrace” video, adding that church work has its “ups and … downs, … joys and … sorrows.”
He says this reminds him of a passage from the Book of Concord that states, “God determines in advance those specific afflictions by which we are conformed to the image of His Son. And therefore, all things work together for good.”
He recalls his own experience as a young pastor, when he would return to the seminary in the summer for a few weeks’ study, which he says he “found [to be] so refreshing. It was great to be around other colleagues — other [seminarians and pastors] who were studying at the seminary.”
“I used to tell my people I was going to the seminary to do some study to find ‘a new string to thump,’ ” he says, quoting Martin Luther.
“We have many resources in our church for you,” Harrison continues, “to help you, to come alongside of you in our life together, to hold one another up so that you can have more joy in this task — this wonderful task of service to Christ and His church.”
He says he’s also reminded of 1 Cor. 15:58, which he translates from the Greek text as follows:
“So, therefore my brothers, my beloved ones, be steadfast, immovable, abounding in the work of the Lord always, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
“And indeed, it is not,” Harrison adds.
Harrison ends the “Embrace” video with this blessing — “May the Lord grant you steadfastness, faithfulness and also a little clarity and an opportunity to think about ways that you can sharpen your sword and be taken care of, all to be a blessing to many others. May the Lord bless you and keep you.”
“We are very grateful for the significant effort President Harrison dedicated to recording these three videos for What a Way,” said the Rev. Dr. Glen Thomas, executive director of pastoral education and a member of the What a Way steering committee. “We hope that these videos will serve to keep recruitment and retention of church workers high on the list of the Synod’s priorities.”
Posted Nov. 3, 2011