Our Shepherd has begun a process of self-examination so that we may continue to grow as one family. This survey is a tool to help us capture our members’ current vision of our ministry. God is blessing us with numerical, financial, and spiritual growth. The 10-20 minutes you invest in this survey will help us discern God’s direction for our ministry.
What is a Circuit Visitor?
The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS) is a the second-largest Lutheran church body in North America, with more than 2.2 million members, 6,000 pastors, 15,000 educators and nearly 10,000 congregations. “Synod” roughly translated means, “walking together.” To encourage local congregations to “walk together,” by equipping them, encouraging church workers and keeping congregations connected to the District, the position of Circuit Visitor has been important since Synod’s earliest days.
Circuit Visitors (formerly known as Circuit Counselors) are charged with the oversight and spiritual care of congregations and church workers in their circuit. They meet with workers and congregations, pray and meet with area pastors and assist the District President with concerns, calls and other matters pertaining to their circuit churches. Since, in the LCMS, pastors and congregations are largely autonomous, Circuit Visitors are best understood as advisors, resources, equippers and encouragers of those in their circuit.
Congregations in the Indianapolis West Circuit include:
Christ Lutheran Church, Brownsburg
Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Crawfordsville
Living Christ Lutheran Church, Plainfield
Messiah Lutheran Church, Eagle Creek
Our Shepherd Lutheran Church, Avon
Peace Lutheran Church, Greencastle
Immanuel Lutheran Church, Terre Haute
Advent Lutheran Church, Zionsville (English District Congregation,
participates in Indy West gatherings)
Pastor Lepley has served as Circuit Visitor for the Indianapolis West circuit since October of 2015. As Circuit Visitor, he regularly meets with circuit pastors and facilitates the monthly pastors’ “Winkel” meeting. One responsibility of the Circuit Visitor is to visit the congregations in their circuit. Now that Pastor Matt is acclimated to Our Shepherd, Pastor Lepley will be conducting a circuit visit once every month or two, in fulfillment of his responsibilities as Circuit Visitor.
Our Shepherd is in a unique position within the circuit to assist circuit congregations. She is the only church with multiple pastors on staff. She is also well-resourced by her members, allowing her to be a blessing in many ways to other area churches as host and sponsor of circuit and district events. Please remember to pray for Pastor Lepley and Pastor Matt as they seek to bless other congregations and pastors.
It is good for us to be aware of those near us, with whom we share a common belief and practice. It is also good for us to serve one another for the sake of Christ, His people and Kingdom. As Jesus taught, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25-28 ESV)