“Building Up the Body: Worker-to-Worker” is a series of church worker wellness devotions. Visit lcms.org/wellness for more resources.
By Art Eichhorn, pastor and doctorate
Increasing in learning
“Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance, to understand a proverb and a saying, the words of the wise and their riddles.” (Prov. 1:5–6)
Professional church workers have college degrees — some of us have numerous college degrees.
Most of us participate in in-service training — pastors and teachers conferences, circuit meetings, chaplains training events, seminars and workshops.
Ordained and commissioned ministers in The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod are well trained. We have learned a lot.
The Hebrew word for “learning” is lequach. This word literally means “to take.”
We take things away from our classes, our conferences, our training events, seminars, and workshops.
We take away knowledge and skills that we can use in our work, tools that we can use to help people.
We utilize these tools when we are working with people who are sick or distressed.
We bring God’s Good News by sharing the Law and the Gospel with people.
We do this in churches, in classrooms, in hospitals, in prisons, in nursing homes and many other places.
We are constantly putting our learning to use.
Jesus talked about learning. He said:
“Take my yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matt. 11:29)
The tools we use in our vocation are important. But most important are the things that we learn from Jesus.
Jesus teaches us about who He is and what He has done for us. He was gentle and lowly as He came to earth as God incarnate — human being and God almighty.
In His state of humiliation He died for us. He took our sins upon Himself and took our punishment for them. And when the mission was completed, He said, “It is finished.”
Because of Jesus we have rest for our souls. We have “peace beyond all understanding.”
We have the peace of knowing that we are forgiven and saved and the joy of sharing that Good News with others.
And in His state of exultation we know that He now rules over all things in heaven and on earth. He is with us as we live our vocations, as we go about His work.
I believe that as professional church workers in the LCMS, it is important for us to be skilled — to be the best we can be for the people we serve.
But we always keep in mind that true wisdom is knowledge to be learned and a relationship to be trusted in Jesus Christ.
The most important thing we share is God’s love and forgiveness.
Saint Paul wrote this to a young church worker, and he says it to us today also, whether we are new at church work or seasoned professionals:
“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it.” (2 Tim. 3:14)
Lord, guide our minds, hearts and hands to share Your love in all things today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
“Building Up the Body: Worker-to-Worker” devotions and prayers will be released Monday mornings on the LCMS Facebook and Twitter pages. Church Worker Wellness devotions will also be archived online.
LCMS church workers and their families are invited to offer encouragement to other workers and families by submitting a 500-word devotion for the Synod’s worker-to-worker wellness devotion series. Email questions and submissions to email@example.com.