Board for International Mission
By Pamela J. Nielsen
In addition to hearing reports from the Synod’s president, chief mission officer (CMO), executive director of the Office of International Mission (OIM), and Lutheran Hour Ministries, the LCMS Board for International Mission (BIM), meeting in St. Louis May 30–31, also welcomed and heard from several visiting members of the Board of Managers of Hong Kong International School (HKIS).
This latter visit enabled the BIM to learn more about the school and its educational strategy and operation.
“Our international schools, not only in Hong Kong but also in Shanghai and Hanoi,” said CMO Rev. Kevin D. Robson, “are seeking a strategy that marries their vision and operations to the Synod’s Office of International Mission work in the Asia region, where they can mutually support one another.”
In other matters, the BIM reviewed policy, appointed three career and five short-term missionaries, and extended calls for military chaplains, one each for the Navy and Air Force and two for the Army. It also spent time reviewing OIM regional strategy in light of BIM policies.
The Rev. John Fale, outgoing OIM executive director, was thanked and honored as he concludes 15 years of service to the Synod — first in LCMS World Relief and Human Care and later in the OIM. His board chairman, the Rev. Bernhard Seter, said, “John has always been a model and exemplar of a person who brings the Gospel. … God bless you, whatever you do, and keep up the fight.” Fale will end his tenure with the OIM following the Missionary Sending Service on Aug. 3.
Meanwhile, the Rev. Daniel McMiller has accepted the Synod’s call to serve as the new executive director of the OIM. McMiller’s considerable experience as a foreign and domestic missionary and church planter, along with his work in recent years as the OIM’s associate executive director overseeing regional operations across the world, “make him uniquely suited to serve as the executive director,” said Robson.
Board for National Mission
By Cheryl Magness
Meeting in St. Louis June 14–15, the LCMS Board for National Mission welcomed new Office of National Mission executive director Rev. Robert Zagore.
Introducing Zagore to the board, LCMS Chief Mission Officer Rev. Kevin D. Robson said that Zagore “brings a wonderful sense of Gospel-centered patience and a judicious pastoral approach to decision-making” to his new role, adding, “I am looking forward to working with my brother in Christ.”
Zagore said that his first weeks in the office had been spent studying and learning about National Mission ministry areas and meeting the directors of those areas. “The folks I’ve met … are among the highest quality people I’ve known in the Synod. [We are] deeply privileged with the gifts the Lord has given us here.”
Robson brought greetings from LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison and reported on the Synod’s current financial situation, the recently passed fiscal year 2019 budget, and the expansion of LCMS relationships with church partners around the world.
The board heard a presentation from the Rev. Dr. Steve Schave, director of both Urban & Inner City Mission and Church Planting, who highlighted the Synod’s efforts to “put the engine back into church planting.”
Key to that effort, said Schave, is breaking out of certain mindsets, such as thinking of the church as synonymous with an existing building, or approaching the mission field with an “us” and “them” mindset. “The Body of Christ [in any place] will, by definition, reflect the community that is around it,” Schave said.
In other business, the board continued the process of reviewing and editing its self-governance policies as part of the ongoing desire to monitor the way it fulfills its responsibilities under Synod Bylaw 1.2.1(m)(1).
Posted July 3, 2018