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
(CCL) home area and Bishop of the Southwest California 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 Southwest California Synod and CCL
staff. Other assignments of responsibility will be made by the Synod
Bishop and Senior Director, Congregational Vitality, Training & Development.
The position will be based in the Southwest California Synod
and will serve as a living representation of the interdependent
nature of the ELCA. This is a full-time, term-specified 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
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
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
7. (When necessary) With the bishop and in consultation with CCL,
allocates no more than 25% FTE to Stewardship and Mission Support if
another synod staff leader does not have that responsibility in the
8. Other duties as required.
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.
Some travel. 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 (depending on the geography of the synod).
Occasional overnight stays may be required. Valid driver’s license required.
About the synod
Southwest California Synod is comprised of 106 congregations
stretching from Long Beach to Atascadero. We are the home of Universal
Studios and Cesar Chavez, of Rodney King and Kobe Bryant. While our
reputation suggests great personal wealth from the entertainment
industry and aerospace, 26.5% of households in the synod have a yearly
income below $50,000. 48% of the people of the synod are Latinx or
Hispanic descent, 7% Black, 1% American Indian, 13% Asian, 22% Other
Race, and 5% Two or More Races. The synod has one of the greatest
concentrations of Arab/Middle Eastern people in the ELCA. We have
African Descent women who self-identify as "Third-generation
Swedish Lutheran" and migrant workers who found Lutheranism in a
worship service held out of the back of a pickup truck.
LGBTQ+ rights, immigrant rights, disability and neurodivergent
rights… California wishes to be at the forefront of all these things.
A "one size fits all" strategy will not be sufficient.
Relationship-building, context-comprehension and joyful spiritual
engagement will be critical requirements for this job. Technical
capability and creativity are essential. Bishop Brenda Bos is creating
a team of coaches and entrepreneurs, a staff where individualized care
plans, experimentation and collaboration will be essential. Spanish or
Mandarin language speakers encouraged to apply.
To learn more about the Southwest California Synod, go to: www.socalsynod.org.