Rev. Dr. Peter Meier, Assistant to the President for
Recently, the Board of Regents of Concordia University, Irvine, extended a call to me for the position of Executive Director of the Center for US Missions. After humble and prayerful consideration, God has confirmed that I must accept His call to this new area of kingdom service within the LCMS. I will begin my new role on July 1, 2013, working from the Center’s “virtual office” at my home in Mayer, MN.
I assure you that this call is clearly a call “to” new ministry, rather than “from” my current ministry as Assistant to the President for Missions. For the past eight years, I have been privileged to serve in the Minnesota South District in that capacity with a missionally-focused staff. President Seitz set the missional vision, and President Nadasdy continues to focus the clarity of that vision, developing leaders intentionally engaged in God’s mission. I praise God for their missional leadership, and continue to give President Nadasdy and his staff my full support. It is a good time to be intentionally engaged in God’s mission in the Minnesota South District!
As I prepare to leave the District Office, I see much to celebrate now and in the future. The “March Toward 50” new church starts will continue. With God’s blessing and the intentional engagement of our congregations, 50 new starts will only be the beginning. I see at least five new starts this year alone, with the Holy Spirit germinating more and more in future years. Possibilities for new immigrant starts and multi-cultural ministry can be found in nearly every community. New Prison Ministry and Campus Ministries are opportunities for those who can see the harvest potential in their communities. Wherever there are unchurched people, there are opportunities for churches to begin new ministries, and start new worshiping groups. Ongoing mission transformation work in congregations and schools will grow under the leadership of Mike Zimmer and a new Assistant for Mission Transformation in Regions 3 & 4. Join me in praying that God will raise up a great harvest and bless those gospel seeds which are planted by local congregations and Christian people who see themselves as missionaries in their own life contexts!
Each individual Christian can pray for neighbors, friends, co-workers, family members who are not yet connected to Jesus. Look for ways to “BLESS” them in your daily life and routines. This little BLESS acronym may be a helpful tool:
- Begin with Prayer. Ask God to prepare their hearts to be open to Gospel witness. Ask God to bless them, to prepare their hearts to be open to Gospel witness, to use you in that process, and to give you courage to share as the Holy Spirit provides opportunity. Use the District Prayer Page (see accompanying article) to pray daily for our District-supported missions.
- Look for Opportunities. Ask God to open your eyes, giving you the sensitivity to notice the opportunities He gives to ask a question which may lead to a spiritual conversation, to share a prayer, a blessing, a word of encouragement, a Gospel-witness.
- Engage by Listening. You don’t have to know all the answers or do all the talking, simply listen to what others tell you and use that as a starting point for spiritual conversation.
- Serve in Love. How can you demonstrate the Savior’s love and compassion? Look for ways to serve every day. Share a meal, help a neighbor, visit a shut-in, love the members of your family. Use these as opportunities to make Jesus’ love visible.
- Share the Truth. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. We want to share the truth about the brokenness we find in so many places, so many lives, and the Truth who has come to bring healing and help and hope. Speak the good news of Jesus in winsome ways; let the Holy Spirit use your witness to do His work!
This is a great time for God’s mission in Minnesota South District! While I leave this role as your “mission exec,” I will continue to serve our District and congregations and church planters through my new role with the Center for US Missions, centerforusmissions.org. Thank you for your continued prayers for our district, for a new Assistant for Missions, for the Center and for all of God’s people who engage intentionally in God’s mission!