Helping Congregations Discern Their Calling

The NOW District’s Kris Kunkel recently accepted a role as Vice President of Ministry Solutions at LCEF. So what exactly does this mean? As VP of Ministry Solutions for the West Coast districts, he helps pastors, church leaders, and congregations by guiding them through Ministry Clarity (guiding statement and 5-year ministry plan) and Ministry Expansion Campaigns (“capitol campaigns”).

“I currently cover all the states in the Northwest District, CNH District, PSD District, and Rocky Mountain District. Yes, it’s a large area — and that is why it’s critical I work very closely with the LCEF District VP (DVPs) in each district along with the mission/ministry executives to identify churches that can utilize our services,” Kunkel said.

Kunkel has served two congregations in Washington: Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Spokane as vicar, and Mt. Olive Lutheran Church in Shelton as pastor. He most recently worked in corporate business development and sales for six years. Now he is ready for a new challenge with LCEF. He has a passion for communicating with people of all cultures through active listening, which has given him the skills to serve across great distances. His initial goal for this year is to develop and form strong partnerships with district leaders and identify congregations and pastors that would benefit from LCEF’s Ministry Solutions – while also communicating clearly what LCEF does and how they can help. He is looking forward to having these important conversations with leaders.

“I enjoy meeting and engaging with church leaders that are asking the tough questions about future goals, planning, ministry planning, and, above all, an outward focus towards their communities and neighborhoods to spread the Gospel,” he said.

There are many things LCEF does to help to help congregations (watch this video or read an overview for more info). LCEF’s Ministry Solutions page offers a good summary of the three areas of focus – Define/Design/Align. All of these elements factor into the day-to-day work on Kunkel’s desk. And while some of these tasks sound similar to coaching, he actually supports leaders in a slightly different way.

“I serve as more of a facilitator, guide, and consultant. But I do incorporate coaching techniques as I walk alongside pastors and church leaders to draw out of them what their passion for ministry is in their context,” he said.

He also works closely with NOW LCEF District Vice President Mike Madison to assist congregations and leaders. Their strong relationship is a vital part of this. As Kunkel explained: “Everything I do within the district is in connection and collaboration with the LCEF DVP in the district and the district executive team. While Mike Madison’s role (DVP) is focused on investments and loans, mine is in the area of ministry discovery and solution seeking with leaders and churches,” he said. “But this goes hand-in-hand. Typically, as congregations set a path forward, there is an aspect of engaging that requires funds both invested by church members and funds for expansion – and that is where the DVP excels.”

As he looks ahead to what’s in front of him, Kunkel is very excited about the future. He sees a lot of opportunity for congregations and leaders in the NOW District – and all West Coast districts – to build bridges in their community.

“I know it can be depressing to look around and see/hear how churches are closing or on the edge of closing, but the good news is God is still in control and the Gospel is still Good News,” he said. “And there are abundant opportunities in every neighborhood, town, and city to step into places where people are in desperate need of hope and love. Many churches are doing this or beginning the process of engaging in these conversations – and I would like the church leaders and congregations to know LCEF is here for you to help navigate the journey ahead.”

For more about LCEF and how they can serve your ministry needs, please contact Kris Kunkel or Mike Madison.

Also be sure to check out these pages on the NOW District website:
Ministry Clarity and Starting New
Leadership Services and Coaching

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