Associate Pastor for Missions, Outreach and Young Adults
Trinity Lutheran, Bloomington, Illinois
Trinity Lutheran has been serving the Bloomington-Normal community since 1863. With such a long standing history and place in the community, we are blessed to be a multigenerational congregation. While the beginnings of Trinity Lutheran are tied to the legacy of German immigrant families settling in the area, the neighborhood of South Hill has evolved over time. Trinity Lutheran is no longer a neighborhood church primarily serving Germans in South Hill. It is a regional church serving a wide variety of people throughout Bloomington-Normal and the surrounding area.
As the neighborhood changed, the congregation missed the opportunity to embrace the new neighbors. In recent years, the people of Trinity Lutheran have worked hard to reestablish a presence in the local neighborhood and launch a thriving international missions program. While international missions efforts have gone very well, the local efforts have not taken off as quickly.
The next pastor that serves in this role will need to support our international efforts with enthusiasm, while leading efforts to create a missional culture at Trinity Lutheran to better share the forgiveness and love of Christ and make disciples locally. There will be a shift in mindset from a siloed group doing mission work to a culture where each Christian understands and responds to Jesus’ sending in John 20:21 saying, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent Me, so I am sending you.”
The demographic of young adults is included in this role because it is largely an unchurched or dechurched group. Serving the young adults who are connected to Trinity means raising them up to be missionaries to their peer group wherever they live, work, and play.
Let’s Be Real
Trinity Lutheran is experiencing a significant season of transition. The senior pastor of 25 years retired February 2019. The congregation is preparing to build a new worship and ministry facility adjacent to our school, transitioning away from the current facility built in 1956. Several staff positions have experienced transitions due to retirements and one due to a death on the team. All of that being said, the next associate pastor will need to be comfortable in an environment of change management and pastoral care to those who are mourning these losses.
With the departure of a loved senior pastor, the next associate pastor will need to be highly relational. There will be a season of building trust and investing in relationships that is essential. As a multi-generational community, this pastor needs to be comfortable relating to all ages.
With a staff team that is strong in ideation and vision, this associate pastor needs to be someone who has the gifts necessary to finish. Through organization and a proactive, self motivated disposition, this associate pastor will need to find joy in seeing efforts to and through the finish line.