our work // president's office
There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
The office of the District president performs the duties laid out by Synod. He is to serve the congregations of his District by providing the mission and vision for the District’s ministry. His work is to be carried out in a brotherly and evangelical manner of visitation with the congregations and rostered workers. This office is also responsible for maintaining accurate records for both congregations and workers who are members of the LCMS.
I consider it a great honor and privilege to serve the Lord and our MN South District. There are tremendous opportunities for us to go about loving the Lord, loving people, and loving our Lutheran theology here in our District. Read my vision for our District by clicking here.
Pastor Wismar assists the president in his administrative responsibilities and provides counsel and guidance to congregations and church staff in times of transition, conflict or crisis. He works closely with new workers in the District, in particular new pastors in their first years of ministry.
President Woodford’s reading recommendations:
2 Samuel: Concordia Commentary by Andrew Steinmann
The MN South District staff gathers for Bible study each Monday morning. We are currently making our way through 2 Samuel. The Concordia Commentaries are a good resource that help us dive deeper into the text and the context of 2 Samuel.
The Care of Souls: Cultivating a Pastor’s Heart by Harold Senkbeil
“Pastors care for a soul in the way a doctor cares for a body. In a time when many churches have lost sight of the real purpose of the church, The Care of Souls invites a new generation of pastors to form the godly habits and practical wisdom needed to minister to the hearts and souls of those committed to their care.”
Hearers and Doers: A Pastor’s Guide to Making Disciples through Scripture and Doctrine by Kevin J. Vanhoozer
“The value of sound doctrine is often misunderstood by the modern church. . . . Scriptural doctrine is vital to the life of the church, and local pastor-theologians should be the ones delivering it to their communities. . . . Vanhoozer addresses the most pressing problems in the modern church with one answer: teach sound, scriptural doctrine to make disciples.”
The Gospel-Driven Church: Uniting Church Growth Dreams with the Metrics of Grace by Jared Wilson
“To cultivate a spiritually healthy church, we need a shift in our metrics—a ‘grace-shift’ that prioritizes the work of God in the lives of people over numbers and dollars. . . . [T]hriving, grace-focused churches are driven by a commitment to the Gospel, allowing the Gospel to inform and shape the worship service and the various ministries of the church.”
Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory by Tod Bolsinger
“Explorers Lewis and Clark had to adapt. While they had prepared to find a waterway to the Pacific Ocean, instead they found themselves in the Rocky Mountains. You too may feel that you are leading in a cultural context you were not expecting. You may even feel that your training holds you back more often than it carries you along. . . . If you're going to scale the mountains of ministry, you need to leave behind canoes and find new navigational tools.”
Procrastinate on Purpose: Five Permissions to Multiply Your Time by Rory Vaden
“The most nagging problem in our professional lives: stalled productivity. Whether we’re overworked, organizationally challenged, or have a motivation issue that’s holding us back, millions of us are struggling to get things done. . . . Anyone seeking to up their game, do meaningful work, and ditch the stress of looming deadlines and too many tasks on the front burner will embrace this smart, insightful guide.”
“With all the ups and downs in our lives, balancing ministry, family, and community duties, maintaining a robust spiritual life of prayer and thanksgiving doesn’t come easy. The devil, the world, and our own sinful nature press against us, deceive us, mislead us, and attack us on all sides. . . . That’s why the practices of personal piety are so central to faithful ministry—even when we don’t feel like it.”
“In the hurried lives we live, pausing to take in the awe of Ascension Day is done best together in community. This “togetherness” of the Christian community is important for every worshiping congregation in our age of rampant individualism, but it’s absolutely essential for pastors. It’s crucial that you are in community with brother pastors.”
“To be sure, Satan will do all he can to lead us into temptation. But make no mistake: God tempts no one. Jesus leads us not into temptation but through temptation. He guards and keeps us in every temptation that comes our way. . . . Thus, our prayer is the prayer of Jesus: “Lead us not into temptation.” His lips spoke it. His heart prayed it. His life leads us through it. Jesus leads us to the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.”
“Dear brother, your help is in the Name of the Lord. Your worth is not measured in statistics but in His sacred body given into death for you and His most holy blood poured out for you. Your consolation lies not in your achievements but in Him who loves you without reservation. Your hope is not in working harder or longer or smarter but in doing His work among the people and community He entrusted to your care.”
“When we weave thanksgiving into our prayer life and faith life, it has a profound effect upon how we interact with others. This is especially true when it comes to how pastors interact with pastors. Giving thanks for each other and the faith God has given us can turn a hermeneutic of suspicion into a spirit of appreciation. My hope is to lead all of you with a spirit of appreciation that’s rooted in Christ.”
“As a called and ordained servant of the Word, the more you exercise Christ’s authority among the lost and found (in preaching and sacramental administration) for the forgiveness of sins, the more authority you have. In a real sense, the more you give away, the more authority you gain. We pastors have nothing to give to others that we have not received for ourselves. We forgive because we have been forgiven. We love because Christ first loved us.”