• MTC Welcomes New Director

    23.01.2023 | News & Events

    Mission Training Center has a new director! Meet Rev. Jonathan Priest – a former NOW District pastor who recently relocated to San Francisco. Priest took the reins for MTC starting Jan. 1, 2023. “I believe MTC is the perfect program and platform for our whole church body to strengthen our Synod’s missional ‘backbone’ – that is its members. We have rightly invested through our universities and seminaries to train up ‘officers’; by that I mean pastors, teachers, DCEs, DCOs, and deaconesses. And we do a great job! On the other hand, there is a poem by Kipling that says, ‘the backbone of the army is the enlisted man.’ MTC should be the go-to platform and program for our Synod to invest in the men and women of our congregations. We need to build the bench of leaders in every congregation.” Priest knows there are some big tasks ahead of him, but he is energized by the opportunity. In his experiences as a parish pastor, he saw the value of lifting leaders up and encouraging them to develop their gifts. This is exactly the kind of training MTC offers. “My enthusiasm probably comes across as a little over the top, but the most joyful times in my ministry were when we added someone to the bench of leaders in our congregation,” he said. “That happened because members were able to recognize their gifts, develop them into skills through training, and focus them on specific projects for witness, fellowship, and service to one another and to all as they were able. So being named director is a gift to me personally because I get to help congregations grow through training to share the Gospel. I pray that my own experience and skillset, that has been developed by God over the last 20+ years, will be a gift to them as well.” NOW District Director of Ministry Leadership Dust Kunkel, who was part of the selection team, is excited to see what the future of MTC, with Priest at the helm, looks like. “They say, ‘a rising tide lifts all boats,’ and I believe that is exactly what Mission Training Center exists to do. Over the last few decades, we have seen numerous leaders grow through MTC and then go on to become ordained pastors in the LCMS. I can’t wait to see how Jonathan helps MTC take the next steps in ‘just in time’ delivery of training for all our leaders on the ground!”
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  • MTC Myths vs. Reality

    26.05.2022 | News & Events

    MTC Myths vs. Reality

    There are several misnomers floating around about MTC and the part it plays in training lay people. Myth:  MTC is only for people who are training to be licensed as Lay Deacons. Reality:  MTC courses are available to anyone looking to more actively and confidently engage in God's mission in their local congregation and community. A person does not need to be in a formal training program to take an MTC course. Our students have included elders, teachers, youth directors, worship assistants, and church, school, or RSO employees who were not trained in a synodical school, etc. Myth:  I can’t take a class with MTC if my District doesn’t have a training program. Reality:  People from all around the world take MTC classes for all sorts of reasons. Current and former students have joined us from places like China, Turkey, Guatemala, and others. Some take just one class. Some complete a full training program as designed by their congregation, district, or RSO. Myth:  The Licensed Lay Deacon Program was discontinued per the 2016 Synodical Convention. Reality:  It was just tweaked a bit. The demise of the LCMS Licensed Lay Deacon Program is a misnomer that came out of the 2016 Synodical Convention. The actual wording of Resolution 13-02A from that convention contains the following: … be it Resolved, That nothing in this resolution shall be construed as impeding the training, recognition, credentialing or service of deacons who do not publicly preach or administer the sacraments, namely, those who serve in ministries of mercy, education, or visitation, and so forth, or in an outreach role, assisting in evangelism and church planting (but not in public preaching and administration of the sacraments); and be it further Resolved, That district presidents may continue to recruit, train, and credential new deacons for general varieties of service in the church that do not include public preaching and administration of the sacraments… Due to the current and growing shortage of ordained pastors, many pastors are being asked to help the vacant congregations in their areas. This draws ministry away from their own congregations. Many districts are recognizing the value of having well-trained lay people in congregations who are available to assist their pastors for general varieties of service in the church that do not include public preaching and administration of the sacraments. MTC is proud to continue assisting these districts as they train their laity to better assist their pastors. So, as you can see, several myths are alive and well regarding MTC. We hope this information has helped you learn the truth about Mission Training Center and its role in training lay deacons. If you have questions that were not answered here, please feel free to reach out to us at mtc@missiontrainingcenter.com
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  • MTC Has Moved

    09.02.2021 | News & Events

    Following the closure of Concordia University in Portland, Oregon in 2020, and a short stay in the Northwest District, Mission Training Center is now "home"! Our new physical address is: Mission Training Center c/o Pacific Southwest District-LCMS 1540 Concordia Drive East Irvine, CA 92612-3203 Our phone number remains: 971-302-7595
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