A dear friend who is contemplating continuing education in order to serve the Church was counseled to gather his disparate coursework that was scattered over several synodical colleges/universities. This took a lot of sleuthing as he had to go back at least a decade to gather transcripts, visit at least one seminary to find out all the flaming hoops to plan and map out his future coursework and in the case of one college, have a glaring correction made that would allow him to navigate past a entry level course and be allowed to proceed to the next level.
It took a long, long time, but he has infinite patience.
Along the way he had to care for an ailing spouse, lose an opportunity to start the next level of his education due to scheduling snafu's, put everything on hold because of COVID, watch his beloved of 50 years' marriage pass from this vale of tears into the glorious heaven above, and then care for and comfort his family, and still do his work for his beloved congregation.
Talk about going through some terrific challenges and heartbreaks. Then, when he wanted to restart this process, he got bumped back to almost square one. At this point, I am tempted to counsel him to just forget it, but we have such a pastor shortage and the Lord may be using this string of disappointments, sorrows and frustrations to not only prove his faith, test his resolve and make him into one who is uniquely positioned to understand others who themselves face seeming insurmountable challenges. And the Lord may be testing us as a congregation and as a circuit to see another path to getting assistance in our circuit. We shall see.
Some of you may know who I describe, but he will go nameless at this point. Keep this nameless saint in your prayers.
Ephesians 4:11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ...
ALMIGHTY AND GRACIOUS GOD, You commanded us to pray that You would send workers into Your harvest. Today we pray that You would continue to give us ministers of Your Word. Open our hearts to speak words of encouragement and give personal support to those who hear the calling to serve You in special ministries. Bless our Concordia colleges and universities as they provide higher education within a Christian context, but particularly in the teaching and preaching vocations. Bless our seminaries as they prepare workers for the preaching and deaconess callings. Bless the teaching of Your Word and increase our examples of Christian living for all to see and imitate. Praise be to You, to Jesus Christ our Savior and the Holy Spirit; one God, world without end. Amen