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Thursday, May 08, 2008 

What Are The Numbers?

Last weekend Mollie Ziegler Hemingway blogging over at Augsburg 1530 sadly reported that World Mission has decided to cease employing Reverend James May as a missionary in West Africa. Rev. May writes;

World Mission has been pressuring me to move on and inform you as soon as possible. One reason is that I would be without a paycheck and insurance soon after we have a baby due in July. We hope that by the grace of God we could have another call in place when my salary and benefits terminate at the end of August 2008.

The decision leaves three newly planted churches in Burkina Faso without a theologically trained leader and also the Lutheran Church of Togo without a missionary which they had been awaiting for six years. Please keep all these people involved in your prayers.

Now I first heard about a large number of missionaries being recalled back in 2002 or 2003 while visiting Concordia Theological Seminary up in Fort Wayne, Indiana. A member of the staff that I was having dinner with made a comment that the way synodical bureaucrats had decided to pay for all the brochures, pamphlets and marketing consultants associated with the Ablaze! program was to cut back in world missions. That’s right; to reach those lost sheep that we say we are so worried about we had stop doing so much work in the field to reach more people though Madison Avenue style marketing.

The one thing I’ve never seen is the raw data on how many pastors and church workers are in the field now (as in actually in the field, not behind a desk at a district or synodical office. The debate on the increase of synod and district staff is another post) versus the number in the field in 2000. I’ve looked for this data and come up short.

Has anybody seen or have access to those numbers? If so please comment or send me an email.

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  • I'm Frank Gillespie
  • From The Haut South
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