Peter Kelm – Diffrences On A Mission Field – Forming missionaries.
Three and a half years ago I received an email with a special invitation.
Peter Kelm was one of our outstanding district mission executives. It was a great loss when Peter went home to be with the Lord in September, 2017. He had been the mission executive for the South Wisconsin District of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. The email he sent was to tell me about six Missionaries to America called from many parts of the world who had come to Milwaukee. After eceiving the email I went to Milwaukee, met with President John Wille and Rev. Kelm, and had the blessing to hear the stories of these six missionaries. Their stories appeared in this blog over the course of several months.
After I had spoken with the six missionaries (I hope you had a chance to see their videos) I had the opportunity to sit with Peter to discuss the differences between pastors and missionaries. The eight minute video can be accessed by clicking the link below. In America we have not been exposed to the work of missionaries; this was, after all, a Christian country. But Christianity has been declining, and as it has declined countries where American missionaries had gone years ago have been sending missionaries to America. They have come out of a deep concern for the state of Christianity in America, and because of disruption in their lives in their home countries. In both cases the Lord has used these faithful Christians to strengthen the church here.
Frankly, some of the new missionaries, having arrived from countries where it was obvious they were on a “missin field, understand effective missionary work better than most American pastors. This is not a surprise since most pastors were trained to be just that, pastors. But there is a difference between missionary work and the work of a pastor. American overseas missionaries taught the local people to be good pastors and only sometimes were they formed as missionaries. That is why the question I posed to Peter Kelm is so important: “What is the difference between pastors and missionaries?” Peter was a wise and dedicated mission leader. The ideas he shares in the videohave stayed with me.
After you watch my ten minute conversation with Rev. Kelm, I would be interested in your thoughts on how missionaries are different from pastors, and teachers, and deacons. Send me a video and I will put it on the Mission Nation Publishing website. This is a conversation the church in America needs to have; the sooner the better.
Bob Scudieri, President and Publisher, Mission Nation Publishing.