Almost five years after the original launch of Set Apart to Serve (SAS), the church work recruitment initiative of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), a new SAS curriculum is almost ready, after an initial pre-launch order period for LCMS schools, for Synodwide distribution and use.
The curriculum — a product of the LCMS Office of Pastoral Education — is a collaborative effort of the LCMS and Concordia Publishing House (CPH). It reflects the contributions of a wide range of stakeholders, including the 35 LCMS districts, the two seminaries, the Concordia universities, LCMS School Ministry, LCMS Youth Ministry and more.
Thanks to a generous gift from Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) and gifts from the six Concordia universities, the curriculum comes at no cost to all LCMS schools, from early childhood through high school.
Kits will also be given to the SAS pilot sites, the Concordia universities and seminaries, Higher Things, LCMS camps, district offices, international regional directors and missionaries, the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, Lutheran Hour Ministries, Lutheran Education Association, home school associations and more. After initial disbursements, the remaining first-run kits will become available upon request while supplies last.
CPH is managing the distribution of the curriculum, which consists of the same units tailored for each student level. These units address what the church is, who our LCMS church workers are, how the church cares for its workers, and how the church creates a culture of church work formation and recruitment.
Each curriculum kit includes:
• A welcome letter;
• Student books for early childhood, grades 1–3, grades 4–6, grades 7–8, high school or adult;
• A booklet about church work titled God’s Calling for Your Life: An Explanation of Church Work;
• A set of five posters about church work; and
• A variety of digital support materials, including leader guides.
Jonathan D. Schultz, president and CEO of CPH, said, “As church workers are joyfully engaged in their vocations, they have a precious opportunity to plant the seed in the hearts and minds of children and youth to consider church work vocations. It is our prayer that the Set Apart to Serve curriculum will help today’s church workers share with a new generation the joy that comes from serving the church.”
The Rev. Bart Day, president and CEO of LCEF, explained LCEF’s support of the curriculum: “LCEF is blessed to support this special effort to provide age-specific curriculum that encourages each child to consider how he or she might serve the church. Cultivating a love for serving, whether as fully engaged laity, or as rostered church workers, is critical to the future life of the church. We at LCEF love to serve and support our Lutheran schools, and we know this curriculum will be a blessing for generations to come.”
The Rev. Dr. James A. Baneck, executive director of the LCMS Office of Pastoral Education, summarized the work of SAS and the goal of the new curriculum: “SAS walks alongside the Synod’s schools and congregations, providing resources for those in the places where church worker formation and recruitment must take place. The most essential influential adults in the formation and recruitment of church workers are pastors, parents, teachers, LCMS commissioned workers and all laity. This curriculum is designed to be used by these influential adults.”
LCMS schools may preorder a curriculum kit at cph.org/set-apart-to-serve.
Learn more about Set Apart to Serve at lcms.org/sas.
Posted Jan. 26, 2024