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Congregation Ministry Solutions Agency

Renewing Faith and Future: St. John Lutheran Church Finds Ministry Clarity with LCEF


In the fall of 2022, St. John Lutheran Church in Seward, Neb., engaged with Lutheran Church Extension Fund’s (LCEF) Ministry Clarity process. The goal of their process was to clearly express their congregation’s unique vision of the Mission of God followed by the development of a three- t0 five-year ministry plan, true to the vision, that would meet their most urgent needs and build a strong relationship to the Seward community and Concordia University, Nebraska, Seward, Neb.  

Senior Pastor Scott Bruick expressed his joy to be a part of this family of faith that gathers to be fed with the gifts of God in Word and Sacrament. St. John has been a congregation blessed by God since 1877. Pastor Bruick wrote, “Over these 146 years, much has changed—the realities of the day, the size and composition of the community and the lives of families. …one thing has remained constant—the need in everyone’s life for the love of God in Christ that brings the assurance of eternal life.”  

The strengths of the Ministry Clarity process include:  

  • Assignment of a consultant that assists the congregation;  
  • Intentional involvement through survey and in-person reflection by the entire congregation and; 
  • Formation of intergenerational visioning and strategic planning teams that often result in the development of new lay leaders, increased communication and planned celebration of God’s guidance and the ministry plan.  

With the leadership of Associate Pastor Nathan Scheck, the vision team prayed and deliberated to create the guiding statement: “We are His for All.” True to Jesus’ Great Commission, it has a clear sense of identity as people belonging to Christ with both an inward and outward focus of life in Him.  

The targets of St. John’s ministry plan became clear in the early stages of the process. Of first importance was the development of a more effective model of governance for St. John to empower more effective utilization of financial and people resources, communication and ongoing strategic planning. A second target was to authorize a facilities team to lead the creation of spaces that are welcoming and supporting of a growing ministry, as well as address the need to renovate a portion of their school that was built in 1929. The third target was to develop a discipleship process to intentionally guide people into deeper relationships with Jesus, one another and their ministry. They decided to hire an engagement coordinator to facilitate the process. Their fourth target was to hire a youth director for 7th-12th grade youth to recruit, equip, train and support youth leaders and volunteers to intentionally guide them into Christian adulthood.  

You can again hear Pastor Bruick’s joy in his letter, introducing the ministry plan to St. John Lutheran Church, “Now is the time to celebrate! Now is the time to give thanks! Now is the time to embark on this mission, praying that God will guide us in this journey as He has done in the past.”  

Connect with LCEF to hear more about the Ministry Clarity process.