August 31, 2020

Following an extensive review period of more than 18 months, LCEF has made the decision to discontinue the Laborers For Christ (LFC) program, effective June 30, 2021. This was a difficult decision, for many reasons, and not one that was made lightly nor quickly. Analysis, discussion, debate, and much prayer went into the process, and because of the many facets of the LFC program, each item along the way was revisited numerous times.

It would be expedient to focus exclusively on the financial aspects of this decision as the reason for concluding LFC operations. A steady decline in opportunities over the years, ever-increasing regulatory and legal requirements, and an ongoing and increasing logistical challenge in staffing projects effectively, are all real-world issues that translate into expense. Some costs are direct costs, and some are indirect, but they are costs, nonetheless. However, focusing on the money aspect only does a disservice to the spirit of LCEF, the long tradition and ministry of Laborers For Christ, and the work of Ministry Support with the church, today and on into the future.

In looking toward tomorrow, the priority is to be good stewards of the resources entrusted to us. This means looking for ways to impact the most people, the greatest number of church workers, and the greatest number of communities. Toward this end, Ministry Support has evolved over the past decade, slowly moving away from stand-alone services and toward integrated consultation services that reach dozens and dozens of ministries across the church each year. By repurposing resources that have historically been needed to support the ministry of Laborers, LCEF can impact an even greater number of congregations, investing in their operational health and well-being.

Tomorrow will see us moving in a different direction as we look to meet the needs of the LCMS and its affiliated ministries. Laborers For Christ has lived an amazing life and impacted hundreds of ministries over the past 40 years, but its season is coming to an end. This is not unique to Laborers as the scriptures remind us there is a season and a time for everything. It is my prayer that you will join me in celebrating the blessings of Laborers For Christ and its work over the years, while knowing that the work of LCEF and Ministry Support to serve the Lord through the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod will continue, to His glory!

There are several current/pending LFC projects that have been contracted. LCEF will complete these projects:

· Beautiful Savior, Olathe, Kan.

· King of Kings, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

· St. Jakobi, Shawano, Wis.

· Camp Luther, Schuyler, Neb.

· Zion, Imperial, Neb. (potential project)

We will need laborers to complete these projects, and I encourage you to sign up for one last project and help Laborers For Christ finish strong.

A few words from the LCEF president – “The church has been blessed through the faithful work of Laborers For Christ for decades,” said Rev. Bart Day, LCEF president and CEO. “We remember and celebrate the men and women who used their gifts and abilities to expand the footprint of the church. As the work now comes to an end, we thank God for all that has been accomplished. LCEF will consider new opportunities to serve the church in the future. As opportunities change, so must LCEF and the services we provide. We will honor the past and build the future, always growing ministry opportunities.”

Thank you all for your service to Laborers For Christ. Your dedication to the church, the ministry of LFC, and your love of our Lord has been a blessing to so many, and it has left an indelible mark upon the mission and ministry of the LCMS.

Heavenly Father, we thank you for the work and ministry of Laborers For Christ for the last 40 years and for the many lives and communities that their service has blessed and continues to bless. We ask that you bless the laborers as they finish their work and that you would continue to bless the ministry of LCEF. Amen.

Ryan M. McIvor

Senior Vice President – Ministry Support