Director for Evangelical Mission-West Virginia-Western Maryland Synod

    • Job Tracking ID: 512830-718024
    • Job Location: West Virginia-Western Maryland, WV
    • Job Level: Any
    • Level of Education: Any
    • Job Type: Part-Time/Regular
    • Date Updated: January 10, 2020
    • Years of Experience: Any
    • Starting Date: ASAP
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Job Description:


This position represents the Domestic Mission (DM) unit in the territory of the West Virginia-Western Maryland Synod, and is responsible for engaging synodical leaders, structures, and strategies in the formation and development of Congregational Vitality: "Communities of Jesus that nurture life-changing relationships with God, one another and the world," and reflects the purposes, principles, and commitments of the synod, DM, and the ELCA as a whole. This position will coordinate and staff the education of all evangelical mission, mission support, and stewardship ministry in the synod through the formation and coordination of three synodical initiatives, mindful of the central Appalachian context:

1. mission support and/or stewardship

2. congregational vitality; and

3. alignment with Future Directions 2025 (


The person in this position is expected to fully participate in the life and ministry as the synod staff, synod initiatives, and is responsible for implementing and building upon ELCA commitments to ethnic-specific communities, communities of color, 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 West Virginia-Western Maryland Synod and DM staff. Other assignments of responsibility will be made by the Synod Bishop and Director, DEM Relationships. The position will be based in the West Virginia-Western Maryland Synod and will serve as a living representation of the interdependent nature of the ELCA. This position is half-time (.50 FTE).


1. Responsible for the development and formation of a mission support/stewardship table. This table will create a mechanism for synodical mission support that includes stewardship education, mission interpretation, convenes mission support conversations, strengthens synodical and congregational generosity and promotes asset thinking and planning. DEM supports the ELCA Comprehensive Mission Support Strategy in the synod.

2.Responsible for the formation and coordination of a synod mission table that identifies potential fields and resources for the vitality of existing congregations and new mission development of evangelizing congregations in the synod, including area ministry strategies, congregational mission plans, and congregational vitality.

3. Responsible for the development and coordination of synod mission strategy including building and developing key relationships with missional leaders who will form the synod mission strategy table. This position and table pays particular attention to the implementation of ELCA commitments to be in ministry among ethnic, multicultural and emergent communities; as well as ministry among people living in poverty. Emergent communities on the territory include those associated with the natural gas industry, prison industry (including the incarcerated), those affected by the opioid epidemic, collapsing families (including the rise of grandparenting), and communities experiencing depopulation and the flight of young adults (especially those with potential for upward socio-economic mobility).

4. Responsible for the administration of partnership support for the synod’s Congregational Vitality portfolio.

5. Responsible for identifying and recruiting of leaders for synod tables as well participating in the behavioral interview process to raise leaders who can also serve as mission developers and redevelopers.

6. Responsible for being a public voice on behalf of the churchwide organization and synod including preaching, share learnings and other leadership opportunities. Provides a visible witness to the interdependent nature of the church and communicates our shared mission and vision.

7. Responsible for participation in quarterly Relator conference calls which are scheduled for intentional conversation.


Must be willing to travel frequently via automobile and air (for ELCA Staff meetings, consultation, and training, estimated to be less than 10% of total travel). Travel within the synod can usually be accomplished within the same day, but scheduling of meetings may indicate that it is more frugal to make an overnight stay or even prudent as matter of safety. Overnight stay may be required. Road travel can be extensive and challenging. There are no major airports on the territory of the synod.

Physical Effort

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.

Experience and Skills:

1. Effective grounding in Lutheran community life and theology, missional theology, the theories and practice of mission development, the Missional Church Movement, and in the biblical and Lutheran understanding of stewardship that responds to God’s grace in Jesus Christ.

2. Effective communicator in preaching, sharing learnings, writing and evangelical outreach.

3. Demonstrated ability working with leaders in adaptive ways and facilitating group processes as well as knowledge, experience and/or willingness to learn, listen, and utilize the arts of community organizing in growing leaders and building tables.

4. Extensive knowledge of the organizational structure of the ELCA and its congregations.

5. Ability to utilize congregational trend reports and demographic data in the process of the development of congregational vitality for new and existing congregations.

6. Experience with missional strategies for the vitality of new and existing congregations and exploration of outpost ministry.

7. Proven effective time-management and administrative experience and ability to meet deadlines.

8. Exceptional interpersonal, organizational, analytical and communication skills and the ability to work in partnership with peers, other DM unit staff, synod and regional staff.

9. Demonstrated (or ability to develop) competency among communities of color and with people and communities experiencing poverty. Ability to relate and communicate well in diverse cultural, ethnic and socio-economic situations. Ability to navigate diverse civic and cultural politics.

10. Active participation in a Lutheran congregation and God’s mission.

11. Ability to seek out additional resources and persons who can expand the capacity of the unit in doing God’s mission. Ability to speak from an explicitly Lutheran doctrinal tradition. Demonstrated (or willingness to develop) competency in closing congregations with graciousness, assistance in legacy planning, and an eye to developing Gospel ministry in its wake.


Synod Information

WV-WMD numbers 59 congregations in central Appalachia, settings ranging from an urban center with a population just under 50,000 to intensely rural. Roughly 75% of the congregations are in small town and rural settings. Nearly 40% of these congregations are in multiple-point parishes. Sunday attendance ranges from 188 to 5. ELCA baptized membership represents roughly 0.5% of the territory’s population, but 65.4% is "unclaimed" by any religious. Congregational mission support is 9.8%, remaining in the top tier of the ELCA despite being in the bottom tier for median family income. The land is magnificent, offering ample opportunities for recreation. For more information, visit (or visit our homepage and look for the DEM link).