Jen Phillips in New Lay Mission Developer Role

You already know me as the Director of Ministry for the past four years. In that role, I have been the administrator of the church’s ministries, overseeing our operations, communications, financial reporting and supporting the outreach ministries of the pastors and mission leaders. This summer, I was invited to take on a new role—the mission leader for our outreach ministries across all of our Concordia Place and Concordia Day locations.

Since assuming the role as Lay Mission Developer, I have attended the annual Mission Developer training in Seattle, attended multiple discernment/training conversations with Synod staff, completed applications and aptitude tests, written essays and completed paperwork aplenty. I’ve also taken several clinics that will assist me in my new role as Lay Mission Developer. I await a standardized interview at the ELCA headquarter offices to formalize my new role and hope to have that complete this spring.

Mission Leaders Needed

In the coming months, our focus shifts to solidifying and re-energizing the Mission Team, equipping members of the Mission Team for our work at all of the Concordia sites, and starting to plan 2019 activities and opportunities that support all our families and those we serve in their own faith journeys. We are calling these ‘pop-up church’ events, and we anticipate they will vary in topic and tone; the unifying characteristic of these events will be that they offer an opportunity to share faith resources with others. In addition, we will continue to co-host events with Concordia Place and offer ‘friend-raising’ opportunities in the community that raises our profile.  In March 2019, several of our Mission Team members have been invited to attend a Coaching clinic to become certified in coaching.  In the fall of 2019, I’ll attend a CPE class that will assist me in a lay pastoral care role.

Pop Up Church

We hope to complete a survey, given to stakeholders in the community, in the coming months that will help hone our focus and energy at each site and to understand better how we can add value to those we serve through the faith resources we provide.  What faith community activities will best support the different communities we now serve?  Worship services, Children’s church, small group study and Bible classes, Vacation Bible School in summer, Family Faith nights, Collaborative events offered with Concordia Place and Concordia Day like a community Thanksgiving Service, Valentine’s celebration, Mardi Gras or a Summer concert.  We are also putting the final touches on a CRM tracking system (built in house) that will allow us to track and capture data that helps inform, not only our strategy as we move forward with our mission expansion plans, but also helps up provide metrics for our granting partners.

Here is a brief summary of what our Mission Expansion initiative has entailed since July 2018.  The church co-hosted several events with Concordia Place, Concordia Day and the Avondale Neighborhood Association this past fall and winter. We’ve met families in lobby meet n greets.  We organized and coordinated the first food drive across all of Concordia’s four sites, and we’ve spent time building relationships with key stakeholders in our community to help form a cohesive Concordia Ministries culture. Throughout this time we have continually lifted up the ‘why’ of our mission expansion initiative – we are bringing the witness of God’s love and grace to those in our communities with an intentional focus and, at the same time, an invitational manner.

There is much work to be done; however, we believe it is work that is certainly worth doing. May our daily joy be rooted in sharing what God’s love has done for each of us.  If you have questions about our Mission Expansion or if you’d like to be a part of walking with others in their faith journeys, I invite you to connect with me at