Pastors consolidated-updated

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Pastors consolidated-updated

  1. 1. Drumheller, AB Age: 36 Rev. Curtis Boehm What is your preaching style? I think of my preaching style as abductive, conversational, and focussed on one key thought present in a text. I love to preach in series, developing a theme over 5-6 weeks. I aim to preach for between 15 and 20 minutes. I enjoy using a variety of media to illustrate sermons, including still images, video clips, and songs. I strive to preach toward action, although this is a constant challenge. Most recently I have been trying to make every sermon more Jesus centered, allowing Christ‘s character and message to permeate the message, no matter which book of the Bible I am preaching from. This too is a constant challenge!
  2. 2. Drumheller, AB Age: 36 Rev. Curtis Boehm What concerns would you have if you were in a congregation that enjoys an almost exclusively "current" Christian rock music setting (i.e., we do not use nor own hymnals.)? Not many. I grew up in a setting like the one you describe. While I respect hymnal-based worship, I believe it is a thing of the past. The only concern I might raise is that worship be planned thoughtfully with attention paid to the messages proclaimed through both music and lyrics. Not all worship songs are equal!
  3. 3. Drumheller, AB Age: 36 Rev. Curtis Boehm We do not have a permanent facility (we worship in a movie theatre) and do not have any plans to build. How important do you feel it is to have a permanent, full time structure versus rented space for Sunday service in a Mission Plant congregation? I believe the physical structure of a church building gets in the way of missional effectiveness for many congregations. Therefore, I think there are some great advantages to renting space for worship, especially public space like a movie theatre. I imagine that the lack of a permanent structure provides some challenges for other events, but probably helps you in the long run to be a missional community.
  4. 4. Drumheller, AB Age: 36 Rev. Curtis Boehm Our current facility is time bound which does not allow for a bible study period before or after our service. How would you address the spiritual growth needs outside of the Sunday service? Perhaps in two ways: first by way of home-based small groups, with leaders that I met with on a regular basis, and second by way of evening teaching times, at a location within the community (community center, restaurant, coffee shop).
  5. 5. Drumheller, AB Age: 36 Rev. Curtis Boehm What do you feel is the best way to handle communion in an evangelist / mission plant situation? While I respect our synod‘s official ―closed communion‖ stance, I personally practice a much more open policy. I believe a person must approach the Lord‘s Table in faith, having been baptised into the Christian faith, and with repentance. A communicant must also recognise what he or she is partaking of: the true body and blood of Christ, with the bread and the wine. Beyond this, I do not believe there should be any restriction on who comes to the Lord‘s Table. In practice, I preface the celebration of the sacrament by explaining what we are doing, and inviting all baptized believers to partake, while also allowing for those present who do not wish to commune to come forward for a blessing. We use a printed statement in our worship bulletin that summarizes what we believe about communion, specifically stating that it is the body and blood of Christ that we are receiving.
  6. 6. Drumheller, AB Age: 36 Rev. Curtis Boehm What guidelines would you have for confirmation – age, length of program, materials? I have developed my own materials for confirmation over the 5 years I have been in ministry so far. They are eclectic and often changing, but I generally follow a two year program, with the first year focussing on an overview of the Bible, and the second year teaching the sections of Luther‘s Small Catechism. I believe the best time for this program is between the ages of 12 and 14, though there have been some great students who started a little younger than that. I depend heavily on a video projector when teaching confirmation.
  7. 7. Drumheller, AB Age: 36 Rev. Curtis Boehm Would others view you as a "hands on" leader? Why or why not? I think so—I am a little unsure what you mean by this term, but I think I am perceived as being involved. In fact, sometimes I am too involved in the details and have struggled with the dynamic of being and encouraging leader who empowers those I am leading. I have a really hard time allowing something to fail when I believe I can step in and ―save the day.‖ This has been a leadership weakness, I believe, because it confuses trust and teamwork. I continue to struggle to combine my enthusiasm for almost everything with a recognition of the gifts of those around me, in order to draw out those gifts and develop people.
  8. 8. Drumheller, AB Age: 36 Rev. Curtis Boehm What do you see as barriers to reaching the lost in the traditional Lutheran setting? While the richness of the traditional Lutheran liturgy is undeniable, it is nevertheless simply a humanly devised structure that‘s function is to connect people to Jesus. I believe it fails to do this function when it overwhelms new or potential believers with it‘s complexity and historical grounding. When a person does not understand why they are saying certain things or singing certain things or hearing certain things in worship, then their worship becomes either a thoughtless recitation of words, or even worse, a confusion and frustration with unintelligible structures. I believe the essence of the Lutheran liturgy can still be preserved while using modern pieces. Aside from worship, I also believe many Lutherans have been taught to believe that God does not really need them to do much more than go to church. While salvation certainly doesn‘t depend on anything a believer does, God‘s mission for saving lost people certainly does depend on God‘s people allowing the Holy Spirit to move them into missional effectiveness. I believe that the reluctance of many lifelong Lutherans to do much of anything beyond that which benefits them directly (this spiritual disease is not exclusive to Lutherans!) is a major barrier to reaching the lost.
  9. 9. Drumheller, AB Age: 36 Rev. Curtis Boehm What do you see as the important characteristics that are needed in a successful mission plant congregation? The basics. A strong, growing, biblical understanding of the gospel and God‘s heart for all people, fed through engaging worship, bold memorable preaching, and Bible study that is integrated in the everyday realities of the people‘s community. I believe strong leadership is also indispensable, specifically a pastor who is willing and capable of creating a team atmosphere and developing the people around him. Finally, a value of receptivity to God‘s Spirit, and an emphasis on cherishing and delighting in the work of the Kingdom, in the sense that the journey is worth it. This last piece I believe is necessary to avoid burn-out and help those involved to be living the full and joyful lives that Jesus promised.
  10. 10. Drumheller, AB Age: 36 Rev. Curtis Boehm What are some things that you have learned about yourself in your ministry? Perhaps some of my above answers have already shed light on what I have learned about myself. In summary, I will start with the good and then tell you what I‘m not so proud of!  I am highly creative and thrive on any creative task, especially when I am working together with a team. I enjoy coming up with ideas and approaches. I also get energised through meeting new people and have been told that I make a really good first impression. I am present in the moment. I have a keen sense of intuition and an ability to get to the heart of a matter quickly. I see the big picture. However, I am fiercely independent and really struggle with accountability. I often believe that my way is best and that I can do a task better, even if I am consciously holding myself back from doing it so that someone else can. I believe this communicates a lack of confidence in those I lead, and prevents trust from building. I have also learned that I struggle with communicating compassion. I tend to compartmentalize and therefore can be callous or simply unaware of a person‘s hurt or emotions. There are likely many more things I have learned about myself during the past 5 years, but perhaps that is sufficient for now.
  11. 11. Drumheller, AB Age: 36 Rev. Curtis Boehm Is there anything that you would like us to know as we consider you for a call? Andrea and I have three young children (4, 2, 4 months) and have also just recently moved into a new home in Drumheller. (We took possession of this home in April). Therefore, we are almost at our maximum as a family in terms of life changes. Also, we are two years into a training program called ―The Pastoral Leadership Institute‖ which our current congregation is sponsoring us to participate in. This is a four year program, and when we began, we recognised that our congregation is graciously investing in us with its support (about $3000/year) over these four years.
  12. 12. Collingwood, ON Age: 43 Rev. Kenneth Maher
  13. 13. Collingwood, ON Age: 43 Rev. Kenneth Maher
  14. 14. Collingwood, ON Age: 43 Rev. Kenneth Maher
  15. 15. Collingwood, ON Age: 43 Rev. Kenneth Maher
  16. 16. Collingwood, ON Age: 43 Rev. Kenneth Maher
  17. 17. Collingwood, ON Age: 43 Rev. Kenneth Maher
  18. 18. Collingwood, ON Age: 43 Rev. Kenneth Maher
  19. 19. What is your preaching style? I usually use a PowerPoint presentation along with my sermons so that visual, as well as auditory learners, can be impacted by the message. I preach both topical and exegetical sermons and I strive to make the message applicable to the lives of those who hear it. Langley, BC Age: 54 Rev. James Paulgaard
  20. 20. What concerns would you have if you were in a congregation that enjoys an almost exclusively "current" Christian rock music setting (i.e., we do not use nor own hymnals.)? I would not have any concerns about not having hymnals or a Christian rock music worship style. Langley, BC Age: 54 Rev. James Paulgaard
  21. 21. We do not have a permanent facility (we worship in a movie theatre) and do not have any plans to build. How important do you feel it is to have a permanent, full time structure versus rented space for Sunday service in a Mission Plant congregation? I don't think that it is necessary to have a permanent, full time structure. A building is a tool for mission and ministry and each congregation has to weigh out whether such a tool (and the costs that go along with it) is needed or not to engage with the mission of Jesus Christ in their community. Langley, BC Age: 54 Rev. James Paulgaard
  22. 22. Our current facility is time bound which does not allow for a bible study period before or after our service. How would you address the spiritual growth needs outside of the Sunday service? I would encourage people in the congregation to start small groups in their homes or at other locations, such as local coffee shops. Langley, BC Age: 54 Rev. James Paulgaard
  23. 23. What do you feel is the best way to handle communion in an evangelist / mission plant situation? Be very clear during the worship service regarding what we believe about Holy Communion and then invite those who share the share belief, the same confession, to come as we gather to receive this sacred meal. This would be done in conjunction with educational programs for youth (confirmation) and new members so that you are building a foundation of people who are well acquainted with the basic teachings of the Christian church. Langley, BC Age: 54 Rev. James Paulgaard
  24. 24. What have you done in your current congregation to grow youth fellowship / connections? In my present congregation, one of my colleagues is responsible for youth fellowship and connections. Langley, BC Age: 54 Rev. James Paulgaard
  25. 25. What guidelines would you have for confirmation -- age, length of program, materials? I would start with what the congregation is presently doing and go from there. But generally speaking, a 2 year program with students who in either grades 7 & 8 or 8 & 9 seems to work well. I would be open to an early communion program if a congregation was interested. Because my colleague is responsible for confirmation, I am not up-to-date on confirmation resources. I know that we have been using ―Faith Inkubators‖ for about 3 years and it seems to work very well. Langley, BC Age: 54 Rev. James Paulgaard
  26. 26. Would others view you as a "hands on" leader? Why or why not? I don't believe so. Whenever I try to function as a "hands on" leader things tend to go sideways for me personally and for whatever ministry I am trying to lead. I have a role to play and it is a very important role, but I believe that I am at my best when I function as a servant leader, that is, lead by serving. Langley, BC Age: 54 Rev. James Paulgaard
  27. 27. What do you like about your current congregation’s culture and what have you done / would like to do to improve it? I think that our congregation is very warm and welcoming and also very mission- minded. One of our challenges has been in the area of governance and a committee that I served on developed a new governance model which the congregation is considering adopting. Langley, BC Age: 54 Rev. James Paulgaard
  28. 28. What do you see as barriers to reaching the lost in the traditional Lutheran setting? I think that this is a cultural issue, that is, the traditional Lutheran setting has a particular culture which is much different that the surrounding culture. This creates an additional barrier for someone from the outside who is considering following Jesus. In my opinion we should be keeping the cultural barriers as low as possible while being very clear about what it means to follow Jesus. For a non-believer that is still a barrier, but I believe that that is a barrier that we must keep. Langley, BC Age: 54 Rev. James Paulgaard
  29. 29. What do you see as the important characteristics that are needed in a successful mission plant congregation? I do not have any experience in a church planting situation, but it might be helpful to think of planting the Gospel in a community instead of planting a church in a community. What does it look like for Cross Pointe to plant the Gospel in SE Calgary? How can you build bridges into your community? These are questions not only for a church plant but also for an established congregation. I think that it would be very important for a mission plant congregation to have a very clear vision that the people of the congregation share along with a game plan for moving towards that mission. Langley, BC Age: 54 Rev. James Paulgaard
  30. 30. What are some things that you have learned about yourself in your ministry? Less is more. It is very important for me to take good care of myself so that I can serve others properly. It is also very important for me to stay close to Jesus, faithfully serve his people and leave the results up to him. Langley, BC Age: 54 Rev. James Paulgaard
  31. 31. Is there anything that you would like us to know as we consider you for a call? I and my family are very happy where I am presently serving. Langley, BC Age: 54 Rev. James Paulgaard
  32. 32. What is your preaching style? I would have to say that I really don‘t have a style. I preach from the Pulpit but quite often come down to preach among the people. My sermons are very laid back and I try to get the people involved in the message by asking questions in a discussion style message. I rarely use a manuscript. I am very energetic and passionate when preaching. I can adapt to the needs of the congregation. Windsor, ON Age: 43 Rev. Gregory R. Lutz
  33. 33. Windsor, ON Age: 43 Rev. Gregory R. Lutz What concerns would you have if you were in a congregation that enjoys an almost exclusively "current" Christian rock music setting (i.e., we do not use nor own hymnals.)? The only concerns that I would have, is that the music used is doctrinally sound. As long as the music is done in good order and is not in conflict with the Scriptures I do not have a problem with it.
  34. 34. Windsor, ON Age: 43 Rev. Gregory R. Lutz We do not have a permanent facility (we worship in a movie theatre) and do not have any plans to build. How important do you feel it is to have a permanent, full time structure versus rented space for Sunday service in a Mission Plant congregation? Too much of a Congregation‘s budget go toward a building. Much of that funding can be used toward outreach and in reach. However, it is always a good idea to have some sort of permanent space so there is a face to the ministry. That could be a storefront office or a room out of a house. I would work with the congregation on any of these areas. Not having a building really is not an issue for ministry.
  35. 35. Windsor, ON Age: 43 Rev. Gregory R. Lutz Our current facility is time bound which does not allow for a bible study period before or after our service. How would you address the spiritual growth needs outside of the Sunday service? Presently we hold Bible Studies in members homes rather than in the Church. It helps to bring outsiders in when it is outside of the Church building. Bible studies can be held in restaurants, libraries among other places that are visible to the community. We have held spiritual retreats, some have even been a ``Spiritual Retreat Cruise`` in Florida. We have even hosted a Passion Play Tour in Germany.
  36. 36. Windsor, ON Age: 43 Rev. Gregory R. Lutz What do you feel is the best way to handle communion in an evangelist / mission plant situation? As long as the individual believes and understands what we teach and believe about the Lord`s Supper they should be allowed at the Table. A simple note in the bulletin such as the following works well, ``Today we celebrate the Lord`s Supper. Scripture teaches . . . . . . If you are in agreement with this teaching please join us at the Lord`s Table. If you plan on joining us on a regular basis please speak to the Pastor so we can make arrangements to accommodate you.``
  37. 37. Windsor, ON Age: 43 Rev. Gregory R. Lutz What have you done in your current congregation to grow youth fellowship / connections? My present congregation is down the street from one of the City`s high schools. We have opened up our building for youth to have a safe place over lunch. I have volunteered as the school swim coach, and assisted the school counsellor. I found that the best way to build youth relationships is to have a relationship with each of them. We have made the youth part of the service and Sunday School and by doing that they have created an ownership in their Church. I have been on the planning committee for our regional youth conference for the last 4 years. The best way I learned to do youth work is to listen to the youth.
  38. 38. Windsor, ON Age: 43 Rev. Gregory R. Lutz What guidelines would you have for confirmation -- age, length of program, materials? Presently I have a 2 year rotating confirmation curriculum. We start at grade 7 and both grade 7 and 8 are combined. 1 year for the catechism instruction and the next on applying that faith. I do this by using videos, field trips, and having members talk to the class about their faith and what it means to them. I have written my own material. I would be able to adapt to whatever the congregation feels comfortable with after discussion with the elders.
  39. 39. Windsor, ON Age: 43 Rev. Gregory R. Lutz Would others view you as a "hands on" leader? Why or why not? Yes and No. I feel it is important that the congregation take the lead in many programmes. I delegate leadership and let the individuals develop and grow programmes. I would always be there to guide, support and work. For example, we have youth leaders at our Church. I let them run the programme and I support and guide then as needed. I try to make it to all the youth events and be part of them.
  40. 40. Windsor, ON Age: 43 Rev. Gregory R. Lutz What do you like about your current congregation’s culture and what have you done / would like to do to improve it? My current congregation has many different cultures represented on a Sunday morning. The one culture that I have developed and we are known for, is that we have a feeling of family within our Congregation. This congregation is one large family that welcomes and care about each other. Many have commented that they feel warmed and welcomed their first time through the doors.
  41. 41. Windsor, ON Age: 43 Rev. Gregory R. Lutz What do you see as barriers to reaching the lost in the traditional Lutheran setting? A traditional Lutheran setting can be very exclusive. The language used and the form can be very overwhelming for new comers. We managed to overcome that barrier in my present congregation by having the services projected onto TV screens. Sometimes the means becomes more important than the message. The main focus of any setting should be the proclamation of the Gospel.
  42. 42. Windsor, ON Age: 43 Rev. Gregory R. Lutz What do you see as the important characteristics that are needed in a successful mission plant congregation? The lay people need to be part of the ministry. A mission plant can‘t succeed if the lay people are not involved and believe in the mission. Our motivation must be from the cross. If we want a congregation to succeed everyone must be ready and willing to live the Gospel and answer the call from the cross.
  43. 43. Windsor, ON Age: 43 Rev. Gregory R. Lutz What are some things that you have learned about yourself in your ministry? I have learned patience and a greater understanding and love for God‘s people. I have come to know that Pastoral love is more important than Synodical guidelines. I have learned that God‘s people have a great many talents and often I just need to get out of the way and let God‘s Word speak.
  44. 44. Windsor, ON Age: 43 Rev. Gregory R. Lutz Is there anything that you would like us to know as we consider you for a call? I believe that your congregation has truly been blessed by God. You are in a unique and exciting situation where you are able to share the Word of God with many who don‘t know Him. I feel honoured and privileged to be considered as your Pastor. Whatever His plan is for Cross Pointe I pray that His Will be done. Know that you are in my prayers. If you have any further questions that you would like answered please do not hesitate to contact me anytime. God‘s Blessings to you all.
  45. 45. What is your preaching style? Depends on the congregation and where I am. I prepare my message but am open to the Holy Spirit changing things at the last minute. I am not much good with preparing sermon notes or using a power point. I feel it limits the Spirit from moving me where He wants especially if it is not on power point. My preaching style varies depending on the place and situation. As a Missionary serving in Ukraine for 12 years I have had to preach at a great variety of venues and in different areas with different people groups. I always ask for God‘s wisdom as I have opportunity to share His message with people. Sometimes it might be very formal other times it may take a more creative approach. The question is ―Where is the Spirit leading and What is the best way to communicate what God wants me to communicate‖. Here at Holy Cross I may preach from the pulpit or I may preach from the center of the church at the front. I sometimes preach from my script and other times I will preach without my script. Sometimes I have even taken on a character and preached ―e.g.. as a shepherd‖. I hope that helps. For me it is important that one understands that this is not performance or acting… I truly want to be freed in God‘s spirit to preach the way He directs. I need the congregations prayerful support as I seek God‘s wisdom and guidance. I often can get lost in the preaching (meaning I am so into it that I forget the congregation) and when the congregation gets lost in the preaching but is soaking in God‘s word then all are blessed. Kitchener, Ontario Age: 55 Rev. Roland Syens
  46. 46. What concerns would you have if you were in a congregation that enjoys an almost exclusively "current" Christian rock music setting (i.e., we do not use nor own hymnals.)? What is important is Worship that truly strives to Worship the Triune God and not pastor or worship leaders or congregation. I do think that God has gifted musicians through all generations and that all music can be used to worship God. To only stick to hymns or contemporary or new music limits the vast resources that God has provided. I believe worship is about God! It‘s like when someone invites friends to a birthday party and the guests are so self-absorbed that they forget it is not their birthday they are coming to but the person who has invited them then they have lost perspective. We live in a culture that is all about self. Fast food drive thru, drive thru banking, instant information on the internet and instant communications on cell phones so that you never have to deal with patience, then there is attention span that is becoming smaller and smaller so that even when the Prime Minister of Canada has important information to share it is reduced to a 30 second or less clip on the news. So I have a concern about making sure that we realize that worship is about God. We have the privilege to enter into worship that seriously looks at how we can worship God. Lutheran worship in is basic form fits the human condition in a most excellent way. How we do it needs to be examined and adapted from culture to culture. In Africa the Lutheran Church recognizes the need for people to dance and for offerings to be more than money as sometimes they are animals, eggs, chickens or a song or poem. In Ukraine some of the services were two to three hours in length and often people would stand for the whole service but they all wanted to be there to worship God and learn from the preaching of His word. I helped to develop and serve as LCC missionary a group of students who were not able to fit into a post-communist church. They wanted more modern music and a different style of worship so we helped to develop the Alpha and Omega Christian Education of Youth Association. We met on a Sunday afternoon for two reasons.. Sunday afternoon was when there were no church services and Sunday afternoon was when youth were just starting to function after sleeping in on Sunday morning. We were not a church but an entrance to the church. Because we were not a church we had a different type of worship style as the youth grew in their love for God and understanding how to grow in Worship and what was important. I believe the church is God‘s church and that His Spirit moves in wonderful, mysterious ways that go beyond my fathoming (Praise the LORD). These youth who did not know the LORD because Christian as they responded in faith when the Gospel was preached. They did not come to faith through the contemporary music although the music drew them in and sometimes even kept them coming as they struggled with the message. I believe that God had given wonderful gifts of music throughout the ages and even today. There are some wonderful cutting edge contemporary songs that we should be using in our churches. Kitchener, Ontario Age: 55 Rev. Roland Syens
  47. 47. What concerns would you have if you were in a congregation that enjoys an almost exclusively "current" Christian rock music setting (i.e., we do not use nor own hymnals.)? (CONTINUED) However, I believe that Worship should be able to use the resources of all generations and that in doing so we learn to appreciate the communion of saints. There are hymns that speak right into our hearts and draw from us incredible sense of God‘s presence. There is contemporary music that speaks right to the heart as it connects us with the living God. So for me it is not one type of music or another but rather not to exclude the wonderful music that God has blessed us with. I have also noticed there can be problems with singing just current Christian music in that the bands always want to sing the newest and the problem is that the bands practice and practice and practice and so when they finally share it with the congregation the band is tired of the song and the congregation hardly knows it and no body sings or most of the guys don‘t and then they move on to a new current piece. Is this spirit lead? Or the band cannot play hymns or older contemporary worship songs or things that for some reason this will not resonate with people. Once people have been trained to identify worship as being what pleases God then they will not mind what they sing. I have been to many community churches where all the focus in on the band and worship leaders up front and the speakers are turned up and every musician has their moment of praise but when I look around me hardly anyone is singing. Then when a hymn is played and maybe modernized or given different syncopation then everyone sings and they feel they have worshiped. There are lots of issues that need to be thought through to make sure it is all about God and worshiping Him in spirit and truth. We are not there to worship the worship team or have them entertain us. In saying all of this I am not opposed to any style as long as we think through why we are doing what we are doing and who is it glorifying. I do this too when I wear my clerical collar or robes. Is it helpful is it communicating is it helping people feel at ease is it helping people to identify very quickly who the pastor is.. Like a police officer wearing his uniform. Hope that helps. Kitchener, Ontario Age: 55 Rev. Roland Syens
  48. 48. We do not have a permanent facility (we worship in a movie theatre) and do not have any plans to build. How important do you feel it is to have a permanent, full time structure versus rented space for Sunday service in a Mission Plant congregation? Whatever works best for the culture and people that you are serving is fine with me. In terms of where one worships and who you are trying to reach out too I think that a building is not important and that a theatre can truly help to reduce a barrier that a church building could be. It certainly would be less threating for some to go to a theatre than a church. I have no problem with this.. Actually it seems quite exciting as I have used theatre‘s in Ukraine for large speaking venues. However, it is also important to have a physical presence in the community in which God has called us to serve. Where do people go to meet with pastor or have office for mail to come to or even counseling or gathering place. In 1990 I started my first congregation without a building or church or anything. We would meet in the gym of a school. We finally saw the need to rent office space and then eventually the congregation bought a nursery (flower nursery) and developed that in out a congregation where they now meet as Walnut Grove Lutheran Church. The question of physical presence will naturally arise as the congregation grows and what will help them be more effective in reaching out. This is an area where it is important that one does not make a decision either way but rather waits on the Holy Spirit for guidance and direction and be willing to move where the Spirit of God moves. I think today‘s generation is not into buildings so much as they are into being responsible citizens in helping being good stewards of the environment and caring for others. A big building might be a hindrance. Kitchener, Ontario Age: 55 Rev. Roland Syens
  49. 49. Our current facility is time bound which does not allow for a bible study period before or after our service. How would you address the spiritual growth needs outside of the Sunday service? Small groups are key to growth and strong facilitators of the small groups are very important. I think one of the most important ministries of any church would be small groups. The key to being a caring church is small group ministry. So as soon as people feel lead by God to be part of the church then we need to get them into a small group so that their ministry needs can be met. The key to small groups is have good group facilitators who meet to talk about leadership. They all need to be in support of the ministry team.. Kitchener, Ontario Age: 55 Rev. Roland Syens
  50. 50. What do you feel is the best way to handle communion in an evangelist / mission plant situation? It would be good to know what your current practice is first of all and work with that. However, I could see having communion during the week for the members. I think the best way to deal with communion in an evangelistic situation is to have it not during prime time! In other words communion should be done in small groups or perhaps a weekday evening gathering which has as its main focus the sacrament of Holy Communion. So we would move this from Sunday to a time when the faithful make it a purpose and choice to come together as the pastor gives them communion. Kitchener, Ontario Age: 55 Rev. Roland Syens
  51. 51. What have you done in your current congregation to grow youth fellowship / connections? I have worked to get youth to go on mission trips and try to show a purposed focus on the youth. A lot depends on the ―cool‖ factor with youth. Some years it is great and others not so great. We struggle with youth ministry as youth tend to be so friend-focused. You can have a great program but if youth are coming because of their friends then when the friends are not coming then the youth don‘t want to come either. The other problem with youth ministry is the parents. If the parents have this as a key focus for them then the youth will be there.. The youth depend on parents to get them to youth functions. This is an area where we need a good youth leader and perhaps if funds are available a paid youth staff leader would be great. I have been working at getting the youth involved in missions. So since I have been here I have lead youth mission trips to: New Orleans (helping to clean up after hurricane Katrina), Ukraine, we do a VBS in downtown Toronto with our youth teaching the children that come, there has also been a trip to Nicaragua. I think it is important to get serving as a key focus for youth as well as learning that God‘s word what keeps us with the right world view. Kitchener, Ontario Age: 55 Rev. Roland Syens
  52. 52. What guidelines would you have for confirmation -- age, length of program, materials? I think confirmation is very important and two years is a good time to go through the major teachings of the faith. Remember that after their instruction they need to make their faith their own and they need to have enough teaching to do this. By the time a person reaches the age of 18 years old they will have been exposed to 60,000 hours of media, 11,000 hours of school and a mere 2,000 hours in quality conversation with his or her parents. Now if that child came to church and heard a 20 minute message once a week every year then by the time that child is 18 years old they would have had about 300 hours of God‘s word. Everyone has a world view and the predominant world view that children are being taught in school is that of evolutionary development, naturalism where there is no God and we are all just higher forms of animals. It is a view if taken to its natural conclusion would be survival of the fittest. It is an eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth world view of tooth and claw. So if humans kill one another what is the big deal it is all part of our natural tendency as animals. This is not the Biblical World view that would say we are all sinners and in need of a savior.. God in His love sent Christ to die for our sins and gives to us a sense of right and wrong, justice and injustice a sense of destiny. That is not being taught in school and often it is not taught at home. So confirmation is very important. I think that confirmation should be taught when kids begin their teen years and the program should be two years with two hours a week. Lutheran Church Canada has a wonderful tradition of confirmation. This is envied by almost all other churches they do not have this tradition that encourages youth to learn and reinforce the Biblical World view. If we truly were serious about this and had this as a great focus then we might be able to start to un-d0 all the damage that is being done through the naturalist-evolution world view. Materials for confirmation will depend on the teacher. If using audio visual resources are helpful then use them but I find that my teaching style lends itself to animation enough… However, if I noticed they were losing attention then I would change my style of teaching. I think having a lay person teach is great too. Kitchener, Ontario Age: 55 Rev. Roland Syens
  53. 53. Would others view you as a "hands on" leader? Why or why not? I see myself as a leader who leads as necessary. God has directed my ministry in such a way that I have always been in a team situation. I don‘t mind being the Aaron who holds up Moses hands to keep the battle winning. However, if there is no Moses then I don‘t mind being the leader either. I enjoy working with a team and love to serve. It what little I know about your situation I would think a team is very important. A ministry team and leadership team are important to have when reaching out into a new area of ministry. Kitchener, Ontario Age: 55 Rev. Roland Syens
  54. 54. What do you like about your current congregation’s culture and what have you done / would like to do to improve it? I like the fact that the congregation has a heart for missions. Each year they make it possible for my wife and I to return to Ukraine and continue with the ministry there. So we go for the month of August where I teach at a summer camp for 10 days. I have tried to promote outreach both within our congregation, our community and the world. I have tried to make sure that we make a difference in our community by reaching out by caring.. I have been trying to help the congregation realize that we should not be an entity in ourself. We need to understand that God has called us to serve by reaching out to our own membership, our community and the world. This is not one focus and not the other so that in order to truly be God‘s people we need to see where is it that God is calling us and be prepared to use all our gifts and talents and abilities and then to realize that God will equip us with abilities we thought we never had if we are willing to trust in Him and step out in faith. Here at Holy Cross is a very established congregation where we worship with about 350 each weekend. This is very middle to upper class congregation with lots of resources. It is wonderful that we have all the resources but I constantly ask God to move people‘s hearts to step out in faith. I would love for this congregation to embrace the world as its mission field and free it‘s pastors to serve where ever God calls as an extension of the church. Kitchener, Ontario Age: 55 Rev. Roland Syens
  55. 55. What do you see as barriers to reaching the lost in the traditional Lutheran setting? The traditional setting can be very foreign to some people. However this will be decided more with the culture that you are in. If you are in a predominantly Catholic area then traditional liturgy can be very helpful. It really depends on who you are reaching out too. A lot of our way of doing worship can be caught up in tradition that no longer has meaning today. However, one also wants to remember that God is Holy other! Moralist therapeutic Deism is the term that has been coined to reflect a culture that wants a God who is their friend, who never says ‗no‖ to them and they can use to make them feel good. We do need to realize that Worship is about Worshiping a Holy Triune God and not a God is my friend. The liturgy helps do that but it can also be a barrier if we do not help educate people and encourage them to see that we need. Kitchener, Ontario Age: 55 Rev. Roland Syens
  56. 56. What do you see as the important characteristics that are needed in a successful mission plant congregation? I think a prayerful team is very important for unless the Lord builds the Church the labour is in vain. So a mission plant needs to be spirit led. The leadership team (Elders, or congregational leaders) need to truly be behind and supportive of all leaders. United we stand and divided we fall. There needs to be a heart and love for people and outreach. People need to be open to the Spirit‘s leading and be prepared to move out of their comfort zones and also to be willing to be used in areas where you do not think you are gifted. Yes! Gifting is important and using the gifts that God gives you is absolutely necessary. However, when you do not feel particularly gifted in an area and God calls you to that area then that gives you an opportunity to decrease and watch how God will increase and give you what you need for such a time. That means truly being open to being led by the Holy Spirit. Kitchener, Ontario Age: 55 Rev. Roland Syens
  57. 57. What are some things that you have learned about yourself in your ministry? I have learned that I am weak and He is strong. I have learned that it is not by might or power but by God‘s Spirit and in His timing that things get done. I have learned that I truly am an instrument in the hand of God and that with God nothing is impossible but with me I can do nothing without His strength in His forgiveness. It‘s all about Jesus and loving others. Kitchener, Ontario Age: 55 Rev. Roland Syens
  58. 58. Is there anything that you would like us to know as we consider you for a call? At this time I feel I am still needed very much here at Holy Cross. We have a new Senior Pastor who is now in his third year with us and we are just now developing a good team ministry. I am open to a call but I certainly feel the call to continue serving here. Kitchener, Ontario Age: 55 Rev. Roland Syens
  59. 59. What is your preaching style? I follow the periscope system. I write out my sermons in full, and usually use a little humor as I relate to the congregation in real life down to earth terms. Eustis, Florida Age: 38 Rev. Eric Eichinger
  60. 60. What concerns would you have if you were in a congregation that enjoys an almost exclusively "current" Christian rock music setting (i.e., we do not use nor own hymnals.)? It would be a challenge for me. I certainly like mainstream rock... U2, Coldplay, the Killers, etc... but I have little appreciation for "Christian Rock." I love the liturgy, hymnody and the chanting heritage of our Lutheran Church. Eustis, Florida Age: 38 Rev. Eric Eichinger
  61. 61. We do not have a permanent facility (we worship in a movie theatre) and do not have any plans to build. How important do you feel it is to have a permanent, full time structure versus rented space for Sunday service in a Mission Plant congregation? I think it is fine temporarily, but ultimately we are at someone else' mercy until we own our own space... It can also add some identity and legitimacy to a congregation in the communities perspective. I would probably seek to move in that direction eventually. Eustis, Florida Age: 38 Rev. Eric Eichinger
  62. 62. Our current facility is time bound which does not allow for a bible study period before or after our service. How would you address the spiritual growth needs outside of the Sunday service? THis issue is symptomatic and relates to how I answered the pervious question... a lot of shuffling, that would most likely ware on a congregation, or individuals. I do lead a monthly Men's Bible study in a Pub here in Florida. Usually have about 20 attend... as an example. I would imagine different members homes would be good. too much rotation makes for a lot of intricate communication... How does the saying go? Variety is the spice of life, but routine is the sustenance... Eustis, Florida Age: 38 Rev. Eric Eichinger
  63. 63. What do you feel is the best way to handle communion in an evangelist / mission plant situation? The same way the Lutheran church as agreed to handle it. Close Communion. It grows unity of Church by Confession of faith if taught carefully and thoughtfully. Eustis, Florida Age: 38 Rev. Eric Eichinger
  64. 64. What have you done in your current congregation to grow youth fellowship / connections? I am very big on youth mission trips, and as a matter of fact just got back last week with 16 high school kids serving in New York City at a Lutheran congregation in need and re-launching... the kids need opportunity to put the "theories" they have learned into practice to see how their faith impacts their community and world. Eustis, Florida Age: 38 Rev. Eric Eichinger
  65. 65. What guidelines would you have for confirmation – age, length of program, materials? I teach our 7th grade school children the catechism, and our adult instruction class, and currently I am working with Lutheran Hour MInistries on a new catechism video series. I like the monthly meeting model for 5-6 yours 6-8th grade. but I also like the weekly model as well for an hour or two of time. Eustis, Florida Age: 38 Rev. Eric Eichinger
  66. 66. Would others view you as a "hands on" leader? Why or why not? I am not a micro-manager, I see myself as an equipper, not someone who "has to lead" I lead when I must and when useful, not out of an insatiable desire to have control and power. I trust the congregational leaders to fulfill their tasks, unless there is an issue or they seek guidance. Eustis, Florida Age: 38 Rev. Eric Eichinger
  67. 67. What do you like about your current congregation’s culture and what have you done / would like to do to improve it? Its appreciation of the historical past of Christianity and Lutheranism and sharing that unique perspective in our community. Eustis, Florida Age: 38 Rev. Eric Eichinger
  68. 68. What do you see as barriers to reaching the lost in the traditional Lutheran setting? There are barriers? I don't. God's proclaimed Word works, no matter the packaging. Eustis, Florida Age: 38 Rev. Eric Eichinger
  69. 69. What do you see as the important characteristics that are needed in a successful mission plant congregation? Confident Leader with a vision, skilled Music leader(s), Strong Youth program. Eustis, Florida Age: 38 Rev. Eric Eichinger
  70. 70. What are some things that you have learned about yourself in your ministry? I have a lot of patience given I can see some progress towards a goal, no matter how far away it is... Eustis, Florida Age: 38 Rev. Eric Eichinger
  71. 71. Is there anything that you would like us to know as we consider you for a call? I play guitar, write, and am working on producing a major motion picture that I wrote (www.absolutesurrendermovie.com) However, I am probably not the pastor you are seeking. I have strong love and skill with classical Lutheran worship. I would probably be frustrated if there was none of that available, or interest towards learning about it, especially if it is viewed as a barrier to reaching the lost. I happen to teach that it is a very powerful and effective tool we have to teach about Christ's work in our life and what sets us apart from the similarities of the world's culture and evangelical churches... Eustis, Florida Age: 38 Rev. Eric Eichinger
  72. 72. What is your preaching style? I preach on the basis of the Word of God, trying to make each message as clear and interesting as God enables. Billings, Montana Age: 59 Rev. Tim Richholt
  73. 73. What concerns would you have if you were in a congregation that enjoys an almost exclusively "current" Christian rock music setting (i.e., we do not use nor own hymnals.)? I enjoy the wide variety of music the Lord makes available these days and I hope your congregation would be eclectic in its taste of worship music, so that it wouldn‘t be restrictive to only the kind of music you mention. Hymnal music and more ―current‖ music I enjoy and can worship through. Billings, Montana Age: 59 Rev. Tim Richholt
  74. 74. We do not have a permanent facility (we worship in a movie theatre) and do not have any plans to build. How important do you feel it is to have a permanent, full time structure versus rented space for Sunday service in a Mission Plant congregation? I would hope that congregational families would be open to providing space for small group studies and fellowship in their homes (or at some other location where the church family could meet) in the meantime as the church aims for a more permanent space. Billings, Montana Age: 59 Rev. Tim Richholt
  75. 75. Our current facility is time bound which does not allow for a bible study period before or after our service. How would you address the spiritual growth needs outside of the Sunday service? THis issue is symptomatic and relates to how I answered the pervious question... a lot of shuffling, that would most likely ware on a congregation, or individuals. I do lead a monthly Men's Bible study in a Pub here in Florida. Usually have about 20 attend... as an example. I would imagine different members homes would be good. too much rotation makes for a lot of intricate communication... How does the saying go? Variety is the spice of life, but routine is the sustenance... Billings, Montana Age: 59 Rev. Tim Richholt
  76. 76. What do you feel is the best way to handle communion in an evangelist / mission plant situation? Our LCC/LCMS view has always been to serve those who can receive it to their spiritual good and refrain from serving those who would receive it to their harm. In a mission plant situation the aim would be the same – to ascertain whether each person to whom we minister takes to heart what the Scriptures say and serve them accordingly. Billings, Montana Age: 59 Rev. Tim Richholt
  77. 77. What have you done in your current congregation to grow youth fellowship / connections? We have a full-time DCE where I serve who does the bulk of the youth ministry and connections, but as a pastor I try to be connected to them nonetheless. We seek to grow all, including the youth, in their faith in Christ. Where there is no full-time worker in the youth area, our aim would be to cultivate some parents and others willing to serve to help the youth grow. Billings, Montana Age: 59 Rev. Tim Richholt
  78. 78. What guidelines would you have for confirmation – age, length of program, materials? Perhaps you are familiar with Family Confirmation. I had the privilege of using that while in Rocky Mountain House in its early years of use and still prefer that method of Confirmation instruction to this day. It involves the whole family for an intensive one year of instruction as the kids and their parent(s) meet once a week for 90 minutes with lessons done at home with the parents. Billings, Montana Age: 59 Rev. Tim Richholt
  79. 79. Would others view you as a "hands on" leader? Why or why not? I am only guessing of course, but I do believe others would view me as a ―hands on‖ leader because I seek to provide oversight as a shepherd. However, I do value the gifts that the Lord gives to each person and trust as they are led by the Spirit that they would use those gifts as we serve together as pastor and people in service to Christ. I do not seek to be ―in charge‖ but rather to serve together with others – each of us – in the roles God gives. Billings, Montana Age: 59 Rev. Tim Richholt
  80. 80. What do you like about your current congregation’s culture and what have you done / would like to do to improve it? The congregation I serve is a large family with a very established history in this community. It continues to grow due to the way the Lord blesses this family as He works through Word and Sacrament ministry. I am a part of a large ministry staff and each of us has our part in which to serve. I value much the gifts that each ministry staff person and each of our congregational members and friends bring to bear for the sake of the Gospel‘s spread where we live and serve. I seek daily to serve with them and fulfill the pastoral part God gives me, and I trust along the way that the Lord will continue to make His church grow as He works through us together. Billings, Montana Age: 59 Rev. Tim Richholt
  81. 81. What do you see as barriers to reaching the lost in the traditional Lutheran setting? People have different tastes with regard to forms of worship and since the form can also vary from one location to the next, the traditional can sometimes be a barrier because of lack of familiarity or lack of appreciation of that form. Yet, because both traditional and alternate forms can also be a blessing to people, I have come to see the need to understand where people are coming from and then provide forms which are useful to the worship life of the people I serve. The aim is to provide the essentials of worship even though the form of worship may vary. Billings, Montana Age: 59 Rev. Tim Richholt
  82. 82. What do you see as the important characteristics that are needed in a successful mission plant congregation? That would clearly mean God‘s people moved by the Spirit with a heart for others who need what Christ offers, that coupled with the Word of God to share. Billings, Montana Age: 59 Rev. Tim Richholt
  83. 83. What are some things that you have learned about yourself in your ministry? That I am absolutely dependent upon God‘s grace daily to accomplish what the Lord calls me to do together with the fact that the older I get the more I realize how much we each need to trust the Lord in everything. Billings, Montana Age: 59 Rev. Tim Richholt
  84. 84. Is there anything that you would like us to know as we consider you for a call? That I trust the Lord will lead you to decide whom He wants you to call. Billings, Montana Age: 59 Rev. Tim Richholt

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