"If you can do ministry in Sin City, you can do ministry anywhere!" A pastor in Las Vegas once described his ministry to me in these exact terms. The line was, naturally, part joke and part confession. This pastor was motivated to witness to Jesus Christ within an environment so clearly in need of a word of hope and truth.
So I was excited when I read the Oct. 7 article in the Las Vegas Sun about Kaitlyn Ferguson, one of our students serving her internship in Las Vegas. Kaitlyn has spent all of her 25 years in Minneapolis. She has a passion for congregational ministry, to spread the word of God.
The article from the Sun describes Kaitlyn's first walk down the Las Vegas Strip. It's full of colorful language depicting a not-so-family-friendly environment. But to Kaitlyn, it's just where she needs to be to develop her skills as a preacher and future church leader.
"I don't think I could have chosen a better place if I tried," she told the paper.
Kaitlyn's excitement about ministry in this setting was palpable. She is doing her internship in the hillside community of Anthem, where New Song Church is a growing congregation—1,000 people attend its four weekend services—established by a husband-and-wife team of ordained ministers. This is an ideal community in which to learn all the skill sets for missional leadership. Indeed, if you can do ministry in Sin City, you can do ministry anywhere.
I tell this story about the new leadership emerging from Luther Seminary because that is our mission. Behind all the reports we send out to our supporters, constituents and friends, new leaders like Kaitlyn are being equipped for ministry. And there are also communities like New Song Church who have chosen to walk alongside Luther Seminary to help form these students into leaders for mission.
Pray for Kaitlyn and all our students as they prepare for communities like Las Vegas...and congregations like yours.
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Select.. January 2015