Pastors and Key Men,
The Annual Gathering was held earlier this week. Part of the Gathering each year is the annual meeting of Lutheran Men and the election of officers for the new year. It is my privilege to serve as the President of Lutheran Men for this coming year.
As the new president, I wanted to provide all of you a quick overview of the annual meeting and also to outline some thoughts and goals for the coming year.
First, I’d like to thank Keith Aho who has served as our president for the past several years. Keith is having some medical issues, so I would ask all of you to keep him in your thoughts and prayers.
We have two primary goals in Lutheran Men…first, to get men involved in the work of the church and also to praise God through the loan fun and the gift fund.
Those two funds are ways the men of the church can help congregations across the church to grow and flourish.
The loan fund provides no interest loans to mission congregations for building purposes. If you have ever been involved in planting or growing a new church, this is always one of the major challenges. It is funded by the Buck-A-Month Club…$1.00 per month or $12.00 per year…something virtually every man in LCMC can afford. Unfortunately, during 2019, only 65 individuals and 7 churches contributed. The fund currently has $155,517.98 in it. That will not allow us to help very many mission congregations.
The gift fund provides outright gifts to mission congregations. These can be used for a wide range of needs. The gift fund is funded by the Committee of 100…$100.00 per year. That is a bit more difficult than the Buck-A-Month Club, but still affordable for most. In 2019, we only had 20 individuals and 4 churches contribute. The fund currently has $53,225.37 in the account. We provided one of these grants during 2019 to St. John Lutheran in Athol, Kansas for $5000.00 to upgrade their restrooms for handicap access.
The point man for all of our activities is the Congregational “Key Man.” This is simply a man in the congregation we can contact, and who can provide information to the men of the church. It doesn’t entail a great deal of time. Sadly, although we have 765 congregations across the US, we only have 174 key men. There is no requirement to head up the men’s organization in the church, simply to be our point of contact. I’m asking each pastor to help us find a man in their congregation who can serve as our Key Man.
One of my goals for 2020 is to get a key man in every congregation. My second goal is to average 25 men from congregations across LCMC to be members of our two clubs. Many of our congregations may not have 25 men, but we also have very large
congregations that have hundreds. Certainly, we can average 25. Another goal, is to be sure congregations across LCMC know about Lutheran Men and the fact that we have these funds to support mission congregations. We have money to give, we want to give it out, and I ask for each of you to help us pass the word.
All too often, men do not get involved in the work of the church. They may hold an office on the council, but they don’t really get involved. Hopefully, we can help congregations get their men more involved.
Pastor Wilson Metz is our pastor advisor. Wilson has over 40 years of experience in men’s ministry. He is always available to provide information and answer questions. He’s a great resource, so please don’t hesitate to contact him. Connect with him about getting on the list as a “Key Man”.
I plan to begin a quarterly Lutheran Men’s Newsletter. Part of it will be to keep everyone informed, but it will hopefully provide a mechanism of sharing information. One of the great lessons I learned in the Army was the value of after-action reports. If you want to do something, I’ll bet someone else has done it. Why not learn from their experience, so please send me information on events you plan to do or those you have done. Include pictures. Those help make the newsletter much more interesting. Working together, we can make Lutheran Men a great resource in each congregation and across LCMC.
Here is a short prayer for each man to have the courage to get involved.
Lord God, You have called Your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, and through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that Your hand is leading us and Your love supporting us: through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord. Amen.
Charles R. Hunsaker
President, Lutheran Men