Our agency processes can be divided into three categories:
Our agency processes reflect our commitment to defining the possibilities God lays before your ministries, designing solutions that work for you, and aligning the resources that God provides. While each of our processes are based on years of experience in The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), all are flexible and built for customization to meet your individual ministry needs. We do not offer a cookie-cutter approach; instead we truly live out our commitment to be your ministry partner.
All LCMS ministry organizations are unique and require custom solutions to achieve their goals. We at LCEF designed the Discovery process to define possibilities and design solutions that will move your ministry forward according to God’s plan. We believe, to be your ministry partner, we can’t simply apply cookie-cutter solutions, so this first step of Discovery is critical.
You understand what LCEF offers as your ministry partner.
Our Ministry Clarity consultant works with your Executive Director and staff through tours and listening sessions to better understand your vision/purpose/mission, your ministry structure and the way in which the ministry is executed.
Your leaders see the larger ministry picture, any gaps in that picture, and what steps need to be taken to expand and enhance the ministries.
An LCEF partner consultant works with your Executive Director and staff to analyze your ministry’s governance, administration and execution of ministries.
Your leaders have a report on governance strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (a S.W.O.T. analysis) with detailed recommendations for any changes (if warranted).
Our Development consultant works with your staff to evaluate your development processes and practices. This includes an assessment of your donor database, tracking software, development calendar, lead measures and lag measures. Gaps and insufficiencies, if any, will be identified.
Your leaders see what improvements can be made and prepare to begin developing a new strategy to connect partners to your ministries.
Our consultant team presents a comprehensive discovery report to your Board of Directors. This report contains all findings, prescriptions and a proposal for a continued partnership with LCEF.
Your board understands the opportunities God has placed before your ministry and is confident in the path forward with LCEF as a ministry partner.
Click here to download the application
Click here to download the application
Click here to download the application for organizations
Click here to download the application for individuals
Greg joined LCEF’s Grace Place Wellness in Fall of 2022. He now oversees all aspects of Grace Place Wellness Ministries, which is a part of Ministry Solutions at LCEF. Having served for 13 years as the district president of the Florida-Georgia District, he has a commitment to assisting church workers in the LCMS excel in their callings throughout their entire careers. In his role, he will work to integrate wellness into other areas of LCEF to identify, coordinate and share resources that positively impact the lives of professional church workers and ministries in the LCMS.
Walton has spent most of his life on the East Coast, having grown up in the Mid-Hudson Valley of New York. He attended Concordia College, which was in Bronxville, NY, where he met his wife, Edith. He graduated with his Master of Divinity from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, in 1987 and served 22 years as a parish pastor in Toccoa, Georgia, and Marietta, Georgia, before being elected to the office of District President for the Florida-Georgia District. In his parish years Greg was deeply involved in community ventures, served as a circuit visitor and then a district vice president.
An ardent supporter of church worker wellness and Grace Place Wellness and as district president he sponsored a number of retreats in the FLGA district, assisting and encouraging workers in their personal wellbeing. Supporting and advocating for church workers and their family has long been a passion for Greg.
As his term-limited time as district president came to an end in August 2022, Walton joined LCEF and Grace Place Wellness to replace retiring director, Darrell Zimmerman, who was instrumental in developing wellness retreats for couples, ministry staffs and congregations. Greg will pick up the mantle, try to fit into the large shoes vacated by Darrell and explore new areas of ministry for Grace Place Wellness as we look to the future.
Greg and Edith live in Woodstock, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta, and are in close proximity to their two children and six grandchildren. He is excited to serve the church in this new role.
Dr. Eckrich founded Grace Place Wellness Ministries in 1999. He’s also the author of several books on wellness, ministry and Christian living.
Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, John attended Lutheran schools as a child, graduating from Lutheran High School South. He graduated from Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Missouri School of Medicine in Columbia, Missouri. He finished his medical training at the University of Chicago as a fellow in gastroenterology and hepatology.
Dr. John served the St. Louis community for over 40 years as a practicing internist and gastroenterologist. He had the unique opportunity to care for hundreds of Lutheran church workers and their families, including seminary professors, students and many leaders at the LCMS International Center.
During his early career, John observed the effects of stress and challenges of ministry on personal and family life. He gathered other professionals to examine and develop health skills and strategies to proactively address the rising tide of church worker burnout and ill-health.
Their findings led John to found Grace Place Wellness Ministries, now having served over 10,000 church workers and families through Grace Place Wellness retreats.
His books include:
John lives in the St. Louis area with his wife, Kathy. They have three grown children and two grandchildren. Dr. John spends as much time with his grandkids as possible.
Darrell oversaw all aspects of Grace Place Wellness Ministries from the fall of 2012 until June 2023. His passion remains helping ministry workers across the entire spectrum of Christianity excel in their callings for their whole careers.
A native of Portland, Oregon, Darrell graduated with his Master of Divinity from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, in 1982. He served 30 years as a parish pastor in St. Louis, Missouri, and Saginaw, Michigan. He is a trained intentional interim minister in the LCMS.
He and his wife, Carol, attended the first Grace Place Wellness retreat in the fall of 2000, then began leading retreats in Grace Place Wellness’ earlier years. He also earned his Doctor of Ministry in 2006. He was instrumental in developing the Ministry Team Wellness Retreat. In December 2019, he became interim president and CEO and served until the acquisition by LCEF, when he took on the role of vice president of Ministry Solutions, director of Grace Place Wellness. After almost 11 wonderful years leading Grace Place Wellness, Darrell retired in June 2023.
Darrell and Carol live just a few short miles from their three children and four grandchildren in the St. Louis area. In retirement, he looks forward to spending time with them, woodworking and playing lots of golf. We are grateful for his contribution to Grace Place Wellness.
Coaching professional church workers in creating their sabbatical experience is one of the most rewarding things I do. My coaching training was through Valwood Certified Coaches (2002- 2008). George Bullard, Jane Creswell, and Linda Miller, along with other coaches, conducted this training. In addition to coaching pastors in planning sabbaticals, I also coach church workers who are in transition or conflict situations.
My journey in ministry is an interesting one. In college, I studied Advertising and Sales Management at Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio, and received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. During my summers in college, I sold Electrolux vacuum cleaners door to door, which was also an educational experience.
The influence of my campus pastor led me to consider seminary training and I graduated from Concordia Theological Seminary in Springfield, Ill., in 1971. My first call was to begin a mission congregation in Fort Myers, Fla. I pastored there until 1979 and assisted in two building campaigns and self-support status for the congregation.
From 1979 to 1985, I served as senior pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church and School in Delray Beach, Fla., and from 1986 to 1993, I was senior pastor at Ascension Lutheran Church and School in Charlotte, N.C.
In 1993, I joined the staff of the Southeastern District of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod as a Mission and Ministry Facilitator deployed to work with congregations in North and South Carolina. I helped direct mission partnerships and served as a conflict consultant to the District President.
Since 2002, I have continued ministry as a consultant to congregations and pastors. I participate in conflict intervention, peacemaking and coaching professional church workers in times of change and conflict. As a Staff Associate for Wheat Ridge Ministries (now We Raise Foundation), I managed its Sabbatical Resource Center, which became this website in 2018.
Click here to download the application for ministries
Click here to download the application for businesses
We thank you for your patience as we’re experiencing unprecedented call volumes and investment processing delays. Learn more about our new term note here.