Report 2: Data and Experience of Supervised Lay Preachers Helping Grow Churches (Rev. Dan Kunkel Offers “20-Year Summary Snapshot” of Growing Churches in Ghana, West Africa)

ghan-mmap-md“…To the best of my knowledge the increases (over two decades) can be summarized as follows:  from 1 to 13 congregations; from 0 to 19 teaching posts/ preaching stations; from 1 to 6 worship languages; from 25 to 610 baptized members; from 45 to 770 pre-baptism learners; from 7 to 49 new leaders-in-training; from 3 to 23 teaching elders; from 4 to 23 women leaders; from 0 to 6 evangelists; from 0 to 4 seminary students; and from 0 to 2 pastors.”

This report “snapshot” is provided by Rev. Dan Kunkel, missionary emeritus, Ghana, West Africa.

Rev. Kunkel’s Service as An LCMS Missionary:

  • 1973-1994 — Evangelistic Missionary, LCMS World Mission, Ghana, W. Africa, among 7-plus language groups, church planting, school planting, and leadership training and community development.

Why do we share reports like the one by Rev. Kunkel accessible below?

IN A PREVIOUS POST ON THIS SITE we offered (already publicized by the SE District on their website) answers by all three candidates for Synod president, one answer being specifically about the use and function of Licensed Lay Deacons.  President Harrison noted in his comment that “…I have come to realize that the LLD issue raises other perhaps even more fundamental issues. Some are convinced that our seminaries and the manner of training our pastors in residence is completely outmoded and should be replaced with a 100%, in-context training by local mentors. I have noted elsewhere that this model had been tried for decades on the mission field and has failed spectacularly to grow churches.”

As a follow-up to that post, this site welcomes a response from LCMS missionaries on the following:

  1.  Data and experience from the mission field either supporting or reversing the assertion that extending the Office of the Ministry through a variety of auxiliary functions or offices under supervision has been “a spectacular failure in growing churches,” (President Harrison), and,
  2.  Theological perspectives on this approach on the global mission field.

The “snapshot” of two-decades of ministry below was provided as a response to this request.

Of interest is the “farm system” approach that allowed a flexible AND responsible (supervised, mentored, regular training provided) response to the needs of a growing mission field.  Here is another excerpt from Rev. Dan Kunkel’s report:

“The Lord of the harvest greatly blessed and multiplied the Office of Ministry through this team ministry of missionaries and pastors serving together with local languages-proficient disciples, teaching elders, and evangelists.”

Click Here to Read Rev. Dan Kunkel’s Mission Field “Snapshot” of Lay Leaders Responsibly Extending the Office of the Ministry to Grow Churches