Project Wittenberg

The Ministry
Offices, Procedures and Nomenclature

Introduction and Contents

A Report of the
Commission on Theology and Church Relations
of the Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod

September 1981

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This report on "the ministry" has been prepared in response to questions and requests for guidance from many areas of The Lutheran Church -- Missouri Synod. The Commission on Theology and Church Relations has conducted a thorough exegetical investigation of this subject. The results of this study have been discussed in conversations and conferences with District presidents, presidents and representatives of the Synod's teacher colleges, seminary faculties, and other leaders of the church.

The manner in which the church considers issues relating to the doctrine of the ministry is important for the church and also for the men and women whose lives and services are involved. For instance, the church needs to distinguish the office of "the teacher" from the office of "the pastor," and yet to do so while paying full respect and honor to each. This necessitates a consideration of terminology end definitions. Words such as "ministry," "ordination," "installation," Pastor," "teacher," and "call" possess a variety of meanings for various people. These terms have taken on different connotations as they have evolved in our pluralistic, 20th-century society.

Questions concerning ministry must be approached on a number of levels. On certain levels we must speak with the authority of divine revelation. On other levels we speak in awareness that even adiaphora (things indifferent in themselves) may become matters of confession (FC SD, X). on yet a different level we may seek uniformity in the church as we use our freedom in awareness of the influence of our choices upon others. On still another level we must speak with integrity and clarity in our pluralistic society and to governmental agencies whose decisions impinge upon the personnel of the church. We must therefore take into account the following factors in this consideration of the ministry:


This text was converted to ASCII text for Project Wittenberg by Rev. Robert Grothe and Rev. Todd Dittloff and is in the public domain. You may freely distribute, copy or print this text. Please direct any comments or suggestions to:

Rev. Robert E. Smith
Walther Library
Concordia Theological Seminary.

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