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
The Director for Evangelical Mission (DEM) is the person in each synod who has primary responsibility for helping the church engage new people, inviting them to follow the way of Jesus and discover community, justice, and love. New people will include those who are younger more diverse than our current membership. Diversity means ethnic, economic and among LGBTQIA+ communities.
In close collaboration with the Christian Community and Leadership home area and Bishop of the Northeastern Iowa Synod, this position is accountable for strategically stewarding and aligning the resources of this church. This role is mission outcome-focused and ministry data-guided in ways that allow this church to invest for equity and growth.
This position is co-terminus with the synod bishop and supervised jointly by both the Bishop of the Northeastern Iowa Synod and CCL staff. Other assignments of responsibility will be made by the Synod Bishop and Senior Director, CV Training & Development. The position will be based in the Northeastern Iowa Synod and will serve as a living representation of the interdependent nature of the ELCA.
This is a full-time, term-contract position.
1. Work with a Team: Establishes and maintains at least one synod team to develop strategies and priorities for the work of reaching a million new people. This will be done through existing congregations and the development of new ministries. Raise leaders for synod teams and those who have potential to serve the larger church as mission developers.
2. Set Goals: Relates to appointed Regional DEM Deans and in partnership with synod bishop and CCL leadership, as accountability partners to establish measurements, outcomes, OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) and other evaluation methods with synod ministries and leaders. Key indicators include the number of active participants in a ministry, the number of people discipled in the faith, the number of baptisms conducted, the numbers of people engaged who would recommend the ministry to a friend. These goals which will be identified as objectives and key results will be used to evaluate the outcomes.
3. Measure Progress: Collects and shares with CCL, data and stories that will together inform decisions about continuing strategies and funding.
4. Manage the Process: Manages the process of application, reception, and evaluation of grants through the ELCA GrantMaker (EGM) System.
5. Recruits, trains, encourages, and coaches those lay and rostered leaders who lead ministries supported by grants, those trying to activate others to reach new people.
6. Learns and uses tools and theories of innovation to provide process and produce outcomes for the DEM work in collaboration with peers, CCL, synod and churchwide staff as a visible witness to the interdependent nature of the church. Help create an environment where the best ideas are shared, tested, and implemented and other duties as assigned.
7. Other duties as required.
Physical Effort: While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk and hear, use hands and fingers to operate a computer and telephone. This position requires sitting for long periods of time. Employee will occasionally need to lift boxes or materials up to 15 pounds. Reasonable accommodations can be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
Travel: Position requires some travel including occasional overnight travel within the synod and throughout the continental U.S. Travel will most often be by car but could include travel by train or plane. A valid driver’s license is required.
Most large churchwide sponsored meetings and events have shifted to online and digital formats. In-person travel will be minimal for those events. Travel to in-person meetings and events within the synod will be necessary and can usually be accomplished within the same day. Travel has been minimal during the pandemic.
About the synod
The Northeastern Iowa Synod has been an incubator for church leadership and now seeks to grow on that foundation. A seminary, two church colleges, and two outdoor ministry centers join our congregations in regularly raising up rostered and lay leaders for the whole church and the world. Building on this solid foundation, the Director of Evangelical Mission (DEM) will be engaged with the youth and young adults of the Synod to explore creative ways of being the Body of Christ in the world. We also need help seeing and celebrating the diversity at our doorstep. Ethnic, gender, and economic diversity is frequently hidden from our view which leads us to think it isn’t present. The DEM will creatively challenge the Synod to recognize changing demographics, celebrate our differences, and address issues of injustice, inequity and inclusion. A newly forming relationship with a Liberian worshiping community, potential resettlement of Afghan refugees, two Synod Authorized Worshiping Communities (SAWCs) and a multitude of economic-based ministries provide an active starting point for this work.
To foster congregational vitality the right person will be comfortable with all sizes of congregations, from those worshiping less than 50 to those worshiping more than 500 every week. We serve congregations in open rural communities, small towns, and small cities (regional centers). You will be joining a team dedicated to care for the people we serve and to be the love and grace of Jesus in the world.
For more information, please visit: www.neiasynod.org.
2. Working knowledge of evangelism, discipleship, and the church’s efforts to reach new, young, and more diverse people.
3. Familiarity of how objective and subjective data is collected and used to make decisions.
4. Ability to build trust, raise up and work with leaders in agile, innovative ways through group process facilitation.
5. Ability to learn and demonstrate extensive knowledge of the organizational structure of the ELCA, synods, congregations, and Future Church priorities.
6. Ability to demonstrate effective grounding in Lutheran community life and theology, missional theology, the theories and practice of mission development, and the spiritual Christian practices of prayer, proclamation and witness that responds to God’s grace in Jesus Christ.
7. Proven effective use of technology, including Microsoft Office suite and willingness to learn and use new systems, time-management, and administrative experience; exceptional interpersonal, organizational, analytical and communication skills.
8. Ability to maintain a high level of confidentiality.