Luther Seminary's mission is to educate leaders for all sorts of congregations, church agencies and offices, as well as ministry contexts. Our ministry to these communities, however, is not merely to educate leaders but to educate a certain quality of leader for them; namely, a servant leader. Servant leadership is the work done by an evangelical public leader who is prepared to lead the church in apostolic mission. That's our goal. It's a big vision! But what does this kind of leadership really mean for everyday ministry?
Along the hallway to the sanctuary at Luther Memorial Lutheran Church, several framed photographs adorn the walls—black-and-white pictures of men in clerical collars and black suits, dark hair swept to the side, stern expressions. Next to the end of the line of photos, a woman's framed face breaks the trend: short, slightly graying hair, a wry smile playing at her lips and the corners of her eyes.
Pastor Carol Stumme, '82, didn't expect her photo to join those men's on this hallowed hall when she joined Luther Memorial's staff as an interim pastor in 1999.
As a 13-year-old growing up in Ethiopia, Destaye Crawford already felt called to be a missionary.
"At a young age I was so touched, moved and impressed by the missionaries who came to our country to tell us about Christ," said Crawford, a Master of Arts student, of her early desire to attend Bible college and begin mission work. "Many years later, the dream came true. Now I am a missionary both in my
country, Ethiopia, and in the U.S.A."
It's Monday morning in late November at Zion Lutheran Church in Browerville, Minn., and Pastor Nate Loer, '03, is already at church. He's been there a few hours, moving tables into closets and generally cleaning up after the church's annual Lutefisk Dinner that served 200 people on Sunday despite one of the worst ice storms in Minnesota history.
"The clean-up committee doesn't know where the tables go afterwards," said Debby Abrahamson, church secretary and treasurer. "(Pastor Nate) takes care of the little things. He's the one who puts the church back together again."