Walking alongside those who go and grow
Earlier this month, Pastor David Schmidt took up the position of Director of the LCAQD’s Ministry and Mission Department.
‘The term “director” can often be seen in a hierarchical sense’, Pastor David says. ‘I see the position more as a walking alongside, helping Lutheran communities across the LCAQD embrace God’s call on their lives to live love and share the good news.’
Pastor David believes strongly that he was called to the position, explaining that the work encompasses much of what he feels so powerfully about.
‘I have a passion to see the church grow in her understanding of the gospel, and her application of that gospel into the culture in which we live’, he says enthusiastically. ‘Australian culture needs the gospel. We all need to hear with clarity the timeless yet profound promise that God takes our brokenness and our chaos, the mess in which we often find ourselves, and redeems it.
‘This is what makes Christianity stand out from other religions and other philosophical perspectives. God comes to us. It is always about God and what God has done. It is never about what we do. True transformation occurs only as we become increasingly aware of God’s grace in our mess.’
The charter of the Ministry and Mission Department is to ‘Go, Grow and Enable’. It has been developed out of the Lutheran Church of Australia’s strategic direction to have two strategic priorities:
1. Grow as God’s people
2. Go as God’s people.
‘Essentially, the role of the Ministry and Mission Department is to support congregations and other LCAQD communities to be fully engaged in God’s mission and call on their lives’, Pastor David explains. And it is in this very process of going and growing that he finds the most significant reward in his work: ‘My heart dances when I notice God’s transforming love and peace through Jesus’ help; when I see love come to life in the lives of individuals and followers of Jesus living in their communities. The message of God’s redemptive and transforming love takes so much pressure off our human need to be busy and do and conform that it gives what Jesus describes as “abundant life” (John 10:10).’
Despite only being relatively new to the position, Pastor David has been profoundly impressed by the incredible heart and passion of God’s people. ‘I have heard some amazing stories and expressions of God’s grace that are happening within Lutheran churches, colleges and schools, early learning centres, Lutheran Youth of Queensland and through Lutheran Services’, he says. ‘These stories of hope and transformation need to be told, because they inspire hope that God’s creative Word is very present within the LCA.’
Pastor David asks that members of the LCAQD community share with him their own stories of God’s transforming power, so please pass on those stories, as they uplift him in his ministry. He also requests humbly that members pray for him, to grow in wisdom and understanding, and to be constantly aware of God’s transforming love and grace.
To share your stories with Pastor David, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
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