According to the constitution of the congregation, the following duties are given.
The duties of the Pastor shall include:
9.02.c 2) seek out and encourage qualified persons to prepare for the ministry of the Gospel; and
The duties of the Church Council shall include:
12.04 i. To seek out and encourage qualified persons to prepare for the ministry of the Gospel.
15When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 A second time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.
The call of Jesus to the ministry of his church is one given to all believers. Working together to care for his people, to feed his lambs, to tend his sheep, is the responsibility of both the ordained and lay people within a church. This call to love his people, both within the congregation of All Saints Lutheran and those who are our neighbors outside our congregation, is what motivates us in our work together in his service. Though we have different jobs to accomplish, what makes us one is the one we serve, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Do you love me more than these? Feed my lambs.
The ministry of the ordained is defined in the confessions of our church as one who preaches the Word of God and administers the sacraments rightly. An ordained minister is set apart only in these two areas, but in our modern world, a pastor also may work with a congregation in other areas.
I celebrate in June each year the two events that set me apart for the ordained ministry within the church of Jesus Christ. Thirty-five years ago on June 13, 1986, I stood with eleven of my seminary classmates as the Central Pennsylvania Synod of the Lutheran Church in America ordained us to the ministry of Word and Sacrament. We had been judged as having a call from God to serve this responsibility. Though the bishop laid hands and prayed for us, that was not the moment that God set me apart for ministry.
On June 30, 1957, that same bishop, while still the pastor of my birth congregation, laid hands on me as I was baptized in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit and I received the gift of the Holy Spirit and was made a child of God. God did His part and it took twenty-nine years for the church to recognize what God had done.
As we bemoan the shortage of pastors today, God has already done his part. It is our responsibility to seek, recognized and support those whom God has chosen. We should be praying and discovering the ones, old and young, male and female, whom God has gifted through His Spirit for ministry. The challenges of ministry seem different today than when I first began my ordained ministry, but in reality, proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ and equipping the saints of Christ is still the same. It is our responsibility to find the ones God has set apart to feed His sheep.