Our beloved Synod’s future leaders will be chosen by congregational and convention votes later this summer. While only some LCMS members will cast ballots in the July Synod President election or the August convention, all of us can do something to help right now. The nomination deadline is February 28.
As a pastor or concerned lay member of a congregation, it’s crucial to find the letter from Secretary Sias sent out last October 17 right now. You will need information from that letter to nominate leaders for this coming election. If the envelope is misplaced or lost, contact the Office of the Secretary of the Synod (email@example.com or 314-996-1417) to resend it.
Nominating Shows Your Support for Our Synod
The last Synod Convention in Tampa changed some bylaws that affect nominations and elections. By a majority vote (Yes: 677; No: 281), delegates amended aspects of Bylaw 3.12.2 to require five ordained ministers to be nominated for Synod President. In the past, only three individuals made the ballot.
Our new reality is that we need lots of different people nominated for leadership positions. Our bylaws require a slate of five ordained ministers on the ballot for Synod President.
Nominating someone other than the incumbent is not disloyal to Synod. By nominating different names, you are serving our Synod.
In addition to five nominees for Synod President, we require twenty nominees for First Vice President and five nominees for Regional Vice President from each region. That could mean fifty or more ordained ministers would be needed to fill our ballots for elections!
Synod Needs the Best We Have to Offer
We can nominate men to serve in leadership roles who have proven themselves:
- Faithful to God’s Word and our Confessions in word and deed.
- Collaborative leaders who appreciate the full diversity of gifts God has given the Body of Christ and use teamwork to accomplish Christ’s work among us.
- Strategic thinkers who articulate future plans rather than focus on the past or protect the status quo.
- Servants of the congregations of Synod by supporting local ministries and uplifting District efforts instead of seeking national control of ministries.
It’s As Easy As 1-2-3
First, your congregation must determine who will attest the validity of the nomination ballot on your behalf. Two elected congregational officers (not the pastor) will serve as attesting officers. Normally, that would be the President and Secretary of the congregation or their equivalent. Work according to your congregation’s constitution and bylaws to determine the attesting officers who will act on your behalf.
They will need to locate your congregation’s login credentials and report your nominations before February 28, 2023. This is a hard deadline. All nominations will be made online.
Secretary Sias mailed an envelope to your church on October 17 with your church’s login codes. You will need this information to submit your nomination online. The envelope is labeled “LCMS OFFICIAL NOMINATION BALLOT.” Again, if the envelope is misplaced or lost, contact the Office of the Secretary of the Synod (firstname.lastname@example.org or 314-996-1417) to resend it.
Determine the Best Nominees
Next, through your congregation’s normal process, nominate up to two ordained ministers for Synod President, up to two ordained ministers for Synod First Vice President, and up to two ordained ministers from our region for Regional Vice President. Usually, this is done in a congregational meeting or by your Church Council, Board of Directors, or its equivalent.
Each congregation is different. However, we all have the same deadline. Your congregation must act before February 28, 2023.
Looking for suggested leaders to nominate? Our Congregations – Our Synod has assembled some suggestions from district and congregational leaders across the nation. Email us at email@example.com, and we will have a local leader contact you with further information.
Fill Out the Form and Submit It Online
Finally, your two attesting officers (one pastor and one layperson) can use your congregation’s login credentials to enter two nominations for LCMS President, First Vice President, and Regional Vice President. The deadline to submit a nomination is FEBRUARY 28, 2023, at midnight Central Time.
But I’m “Just A Layman”
It’s essential that everyone helps choose leaders for our beloved Synod.
Everyone concerned about the top-down instead of bottom-up leadership, the recent losses of three Concordias, and the increasing control and lack of transparency by Synod’s Board of Directors should act now. Nominate proven leaders who prize collaboration, transparency, faithfulness to God’s Word and our Confessions, and a hopeful future for ministry at the congregational level.
People supporting Rev. Dr. Pat Ferry for Synod President did a great job putting together a sample email you can use to contact your pastor and volunteer to serve as your congregation’s attesting officer for nominations now or elector in July. Use the email as a guide for a hope-filled chat with your pastor.
Your pastor will be grateful for the help. Pastors are always happy to have someone contact them about an issue when they come up with an answer and their willingness to pitch in and help.
God’s Not Done With Us Yet
Fulfilling Jesus’ Great Command and His Great Commission is not a spectator sport. If we want a different outcome for Synod than we’re experiencing, all of us must help provide change.
We’ve got to be more focused on what Jesus thinks is important.
Consequently, we need leaders who are more focused on how we will reach the lost in 2030 than what happened in 1530 (as important as the Augsburg Confession is).
Jesus came to seek and save the lost. That was His business (Luke 19:10). It must be ours, too.
And rather than worry about the decline of Synod in number and its increasing control and authority, we need to concern ourselves with electing leaders who will support our work to do what Jesus commands.
God has placed the LCMS in the great mission field of America. Let’s nominate ordained ministers to serve in Synod leadership who focus on the plentiful harvest around us (Luke 10:2) and what they can do to help us reach the lost.