About the ELCA
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with nearly 3.3 million members in more than 8,900 worshiping communities across the 50 states, Caribbean, and U.S. Virgin Islands. With a vision to live in a world experiencing the difference God’s grace and love in Christ makes for all people and creation, the ELCA strives to be a welcoming, thriving, and connected church that introduces people to Jesus so they can discover community, justice, and love.
The Lutheran Center (national office) is located in Chicago, Illinois. A staff of 400, under the leadership of the Presiding Bishop, serve as administrators, advisors, conveners, partners, and resource people for the ELCA and its ministries. Staff lead the work of national, domestic, and global ministries and programs including Lutheran Disaster Response, ELCA World Hunger, Service & Justice, Christian Community and Leadership, and Innovation. We are also home to five of our separately incorporated ministries: The Mission Investment Fund of the ELCA, Women of the ELCA, Lutheran Men in Mission, the ELCA Foundation and the ELCA Federal Credit Union.
About the position
This position represents the ELCA through the Christian Community and Leadership (CCL) home area in the Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod and is responsible for the development of Congregational Vitality (CV): “Communities of Jesus that nurture new life-changing relationships with God, one another and the world,” and reflects the purposes, principles and commitments of the synod, CCL and the ELCA as a whole.
This position will coordinate and facilitate the education of synod staff and others in the synod through the formation and coordination of strategies designed to help congregations engage so that more people know the way of Jesus and discover community, justice and love.
The person in this position is expected to fully participate in the life and ministry of the synod on the synod staff with synod initiatives and is responsible for implementing and building upon ELCA commitments to ethnic-specific communities, people with disabilities, the young-adult population; as well as people and communities experiencing poverty. This person participates in resourcing the synod mission strategy with an emphasis on congregational vitality and leadership.
This position will be co-terminus with the synod bishop and supervised jointly by both the Bishop of the Synod and CCL staff. Other assignments of responsibility will be made by the Synod Bishop and Director, CV Training & Development. The position will be based in the Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod and will serve as a living representation of the interdependent nature of the ELCA. This position is full-time, jointly serving as churchwide staff and as synod staff.
This position is full-time, term-contract (position is co-terminus with the synod bishop), exempt, remote position. The person in this role is expected to live in the geographic territory of the synod ( NEPA Synod – Evangelical Lutheran Church in America ).
1. Responsible for the formation and coordination of at least one synod team that organizes the vitality of existing congregations and new mission development in the synod (including area ministry strategies, congregational mission plans, and congregational vitality.)
2. Responsible for the administration of the portfolio of supported ministries including the process of application and evaluation of grants through the ELCA Grantmaker (EGM) System. Provides supervision, monitors development and evaluates progress of funded ministries.
3. Responsible for identifying, recruiting and training leaders for the work of the church including those who can serve as mission developers and rostered ministers.
4. Responsible for establishing short- and long-term priorities and sharing learnings with the synod and across the ELCA. Provides a visible witness to the interdependent nature of the church and communicates our shared mission and vision.
5. Other duties as assigned.
About the synod
The Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod of the ELCA is composed of 247 congregations and 3 worshiping communities in the 14 counties in eastern Pennsylvania north of the metropolitan Philadelphia area. These congregations and SAWCs report having 99,369 baptized members. The territory of the synod has a total population of approximately 2.4 million people. According to the Association of Religion Data Archives, over 1 million of those people claim no religious affiliation. Over 600,000 are Roman Catholics. The ELCA is the largest protestant denomination in the region, with the bulk of the members attending congregations in the southern three counties of Berks, Lehigh, and Northampton. The synod’s congregations are organized into 9 mission districts (conferences) and are served by approximately 170 active ministers of Word and Sacrament, a dozen active ministers of Word and Service, a dozen ordained pastors from full-communion partner denominations, and a dozen lay pastoral care providers or synod authorized lay ministers. Fifty percent of the congregations have 350 or fewer baptized members. Fifty-seven percent of the congregations have a weekly worship attendance of 75 or fewer people. In most congregations, the membership is overwhelmingly white and skews older than the general population.
Synod Mission Emphases
The NEPS currently has three complementary emphases for mission – which we call “VITAL SIGN GOALS.” Each goal has a staff point-person assigned to guide:
· Growing Young – becoming a Jesus-centered community that equips diverse leaders, so that faithful young people can change our world. Our Growing Young Coordinator works with congregations, campus ministries, Bear Creek Camp (our outdoor ministry), and the Youth, Young Adult and Family Ministry team to implement the principles of the Growing Young project of Fuller Youth Institute.
· Gaining Strength – helping and encouraging every leader and every congregation to find partners that can share resources and combine strengths, while also encouraging new worshipping and ministry-specific communities to form and grow. “Partners” is an expansive vision that encompasses ecumenical, interfaith, and secular organizations and communities. Our D.E.M. works with our Witness and Service Ministry Team on several concurrent processes designed to promote and support the vitality of our existing congregations and SAWCs, as well as to develop new ones. This Vital Sign Goal particularly acknowledges our need and call towards greater diversity, inclusion, and justice for BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ communities, individuals, and leaders on our synod territory and beyond.
· Going Beyond (Death to Life) – helping every congregation to understand and embrace their situation and their purpose, so that they can live well and serve well, and be better ready when the time comes, to end well – leaving a lasting, faithful, purposeful legacy. Our Director for Congregational Legacy and Purpose works with congregations to provide data, diagnostics, helpful directions, and pastoral care, especially as they near the end of their active life in ministry.
With these Vital Sign Goals, along the way of Jesus we strive to love our neighbors by actively engaging in these VITAL SIGNS FOR NOW: Healing the Hurt; Loving the Land; and Engaging the Stranger.
More information about each of these emphases is available on the synod website, www.godslove.org.
1. 5+ years of experience effectively leading an effort that helped bring people to faith. Grounding in Christian faith and familiarity with Lutheran theology, evangelism, discipleship and the theories and practice of mission development that responds to God’s grace in Jesus Christ.
2. Effective communicator in preaching, teaching, writing and evangelical outreach.
3. Demonstrated ability working with leaders in agile, adaptive innovation and facilitating group processes as well as knowledge, experience and/or willingness to learn, listen and utilize the ELCA Coaching Ministry in growing leaders and building tables.
4. Experience using Microsoft Office suite of applications, web-based communication platforms (Zoom, Microsoft Teams, etc.). Ability to learn new software and systems.
5. Ability to utilize metrics, congregational trend reports and demographic data in the process of the development of congregational vitality for new and existing congregations.
6. Proven effective time-management and administrative experience and ability to meet deadlines and attention to details.
7. Exceptional interpersonal, organizational, analytical and communication skills and the ability to work in partnership with peers, other CCL staff, synod and regional staff.
8. Demonstrated competency among communities of color; and well as with people and communities experiencing poverty. Ability to relate and communicate well in diverse cultural, ethnic and socio-economic situations.
9. Active participation in a Christian congregation and God’s mission.
While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk and hear, use of hands and fingers to operate a computer and telephone. This position requires sitting for long periods of time. Reasonable accommodations can be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential function.
Must be willing to travel frequently via automobile and air (approximately 20-30%). Travel within the synod can usually be accomplished within the same day. Overnight stay may be required. Valid driver’s license required.
Commensurate with qualifications and experience. Minimum: $66,206.
The ELCA offers a competitive benefits package for eligible employees, including employer paid health premiums for employees, health and dependent care FSA’s, a health savings account (HSA) with an employer contribution, life insurance, and a substantial employer contribution to 403b retirement plan (no match required). We also offer a generous paid time-off policy including 11 paid holidays. All benefits commence on your start date.