The Path to Ministry: How Trey Dille Went from Lutheran Youth to Future Pastor
Growing up in a Lutheran family, Trey Dille always had a solid faith foundation. He attended Lutheran schools from elementary to high school, and his family faithfully attended their church in St. Louis. Although his parents were not church workers, they ensured that Dille and his sister were raised in the faith and encouraged in their vocations.
“I went to church when I was younger because my parents made me go,” Dille said, laughing. “And God the Holy Spirit worked. I’m so thankful for what my parents did.”
How the seed was planted
Now a fourth-year seminarian at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Dille can look back and see God’s hand throughout his formative years, shaping him into the future pastor that he is today.
“I went to Lutheran High School in St. Peters, Mo., and played football and tennis, and was active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes,” Dille said. “I found myself in lots of leadership roles, and our campus pastor, Rev. Clausing, noticed and said to me, ‘Trey, I think you might be good as a pastor.’”
The seed was planted like that, and Dille kept his campus pastor’s comment in mind as others continued to support and encourage him along the way.
“I think that Pastor Clausing saw in me a mix between being active in leadership and wanting to learn theology,” shared Dille. “I was always asking questions; I took more theology classes than needed to graduate. Then I went to college at Concordia University, Chicago, to play football.”
With our Lord’s hand still guiding him, Dille’s path took a turn.
A change in plans
An illness resulted in Dille switching from football to tennis, and he had more time to focus on spiritual life activities. Now, more than ever, Dille felt that he might go on to seminary after college.
“There were times in college when I had doubts and thought I might want to go a different way, but everyone helped me stay focused and see how God was working,” Dille said.
His aptitude for leadership would lead him to spend two summers as an intern for Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF). This up-close-and-personal perspective of LCEF helped Dille envision how he might be able to partner with LCEF someday when serving as a parish pastor.
“They are people who truly care about individuals and the church and the mission Christ sets forth for us,” Dille said. “They use your investments to support the church—enabling the church to help others while they also help you. During my vicarage at Christ the King Lutheran in Lake Ozark, Mo., the church was in the process of doing mission and vision planning with LCEF. I could foresee myself using those programs as a pastor, and I also plan to set up an emergency fund savings account and home loan when I’m a called worker.”
Dille and his wife, Katie, look forward to what’s next as they prepare to leave the seminary in the spring of 2024. That solid faith foundation that his family laid with the encouragement of those pastors and teachers throughout his childhood will make a difference in Christ’s church for generations to come, even into eternity.
“I want to help people,” Dille said. “And there is no better way than to help them spend eternal life with Jesus and the saints who have gone before.”