A new book was brought to my attention the other day concerning the many pastors in the LCMS who are on “candidate status”. BJS has long tried to address the issue of pastors who are sinfully removed from their calls, and this book may help give some insight into that practice and also the mess that follows for the pastor and his family. If you belong to congregation considering removing a man from the pastorate for unbiblical reasons (read: sinful reasons), you may want to look at this. If you have been a part of such a thing in the past, repent and see what you can do now to help. If you don’t think much of these situations or their aftermath, consider reading this post.
THE ORIGINAL PRESS RELEASE FOR THE BOOK:
The Reverend Alan Kornacki, Jr., currently serving as Pastor of St. Peter Lutheran Church in Campbell Hill, Illinois, has released a book entitled Lutheran Purgatory: Pastors Without Calls. From the book’s Amazon description:
The Office of the Holy Ministry within the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod is in crisis. It is under attack from pastors who act like corporate executives and arrogant overlords, from bureaucrats who believe a pastor is a failure if he doesn’t act like a corporate executive or a used car salesman, and from congregations who believe pastors are merely employees to be hired, evaluated, and fired. Too many pastors have fallen prey to these attitudes and the actions which follow. We call them Candidates, but these men and their families are our brothers and sisters in Christ, and they are suffering. These Candidates, pastors without congregations, suffer in the closest thing Lutherans have to purgatory. These are their stories. Lord willing, we can end their suffering.
The book is available in print and Kindle editions through Amazon, and a free PDF file is also available from Kornacki’s blog, Epistles from Exile, at this link.
Rev. Kornacki was a pastor without a congregation for over four and a half years. In this book he shares his own experiences as well as those of other pastors who have experienced similar circumstances in their life. Lutheran Purgatory: Pastors Without Calls takes readers through the whole story: how pastors become Candidates (which is another name for pastors without congregations), what happens right after they lose their positions, the day to day struggles they face with their families, and the long and hard road they face to return to parish ministry. We also see the difficulties they face once they do return to parish ministry—for the scars remain. Finally, he offers suggestions for steps the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod can take to minimize the problem.
Kornacki will make no money from this project. In addition to the free PDF download of this document, any money that comes in from those who buy this book beyond production costs and Amazon’s share of the royalties will be donated to either the Augustana Ministerium, which has handed out over $172,000 in aid directly to pastors and their families in their need, or to Soldiers of the Cross, a program of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod which works through district offices to provide for pastors in need.