Position Opening

Open Position - Synod Minister for Equipping Congregation Leaders, Rostered Ministers, Youth, and Families


“And God’s gifts were given…. to equip the saints for the work of ministry for building up the body of Christ.” (Ephesians 2).

This has been a time of change in the Southwestern Minnesota Synod staff. Since the fall of 2023 we have grieved the passing of Synod Minister Pr. Naomi Mahler. Shortly after, Youth Ministry Coordinator Pr. Nikoli Falenschek moved to Iowa. We were blessed by their ministries.

Recognizing the changes before us, a staffing model study team was formed to assess the current model and consider the shape of congregational needs in the future. The team included Roseann Nagel and Pr. Jon Dahl (Personnel Committee), Pr. Chris Richards (Synod Council), and Bp. Dee Pederson. The team met on Dec. 7, Dec. 14, and Jan.4. They reviewed the position descriptions for the two open positions – Synod Minister for Engaging Congregation Leaders, and Youth Ministry Coordinator, discussed language changes for clarity, considered the synod’s financial ability to maintain positions, and how change could occur to better serve the present situation and synod needs. To meet those needs a new position has been created.

This position unites into one position many of the responsibilities of the Synod Minister and Synod Youth Ministry Coordinator and redistributes other duties. This reorganization ensures a focus on the synod connecting with congregations and leaders. It ensures that all congregations have support to work with youth and families. Current and anticipated congregational giving for Mission Support will not sustain staffing in the ways we were accustomed to pre-pandemic, and present needs have changed as well. But, there are new opportunities in this time when we read our current context authentically.

Development of the position:

  1. There is an expressed need in congregations for greater support of youth & family ministries and the staff who lead them. The function of youth & family ministry needs to remain a high priority. This ministry is not done hands-on by a synod staff member; rather, the synod staff equips the people who do this ministry in the congregation.
  2. Call process and relationships with 5 Conferences needs to be the responsibility of one pastoral Synod Minister. There are 10 Conferences; each Synod Minister will work with 5 Conferences.
  3. The LYO Board continues to lift-up the need for greater time and resources given to youth & family ministry.
  4. During the last 6 months, synod financial management responsibilities and related committee connections have shifted to the bishop and administrative staff, with excellent partnership with the Council Treasurer. This is an important shift that needed to take place.
  5. Interim Minister support has shifted to Pr. Heather, who works with Equipping Leaders – a logical shift.
  6. We can bring greater visibility to the importance of Youth & Family Ministries in congregations through the presence of a Synod Minister who is preaching and present in congregations. By preaching and leading forums/discussions the Synod Minister will provide important support for the staff (paid & non-paid) who do the work of Youth & Family Ministries in our churches.

Click here to read the position description.
Rostered Ministers applying for this position must submit an updated RMP, cover letter, and resume to Tammy Schacher – [email protected]. Interviews with prospective candidates will take place during March, with the Synod Minister beginning to serve by mid-May.

Please prayerfully consider encouraging someone you know, or you yourself, to discern a match of gifts, strengths, passion, skills, faith, and call for this vital position. For questions or conversation, contact Bp. Dee Pederson, [email protected] or Tammy Schacher, [email protected].

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