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Pre-call meeting

The district president will schedule an in-person meeting with the entire congregation at a time that facilitates maximum participation. At this roughly two-hour meeting he will present a Bible study on the divine call, explain the calling process, and discuss the congregation's particular needs and preferences regarding its next pastor. Everyone in the congregation is invited to fill out a survey before the pre-call meeting. 


Consult with the district president

The congregational president should consult with the district president right away about scheduling the meeting. The lead time will likely be three to six weeks. The district president will arrange and pay for his travel and lodging. He may be able to lead worship and/or preach if the congregation desires.

Consult with your congregation

The congregational leadership should also consult with the congregation to identify a time that facilitates maximum participation. Plan for two hours. Sundays often work well. Part of the meeting could be held during the normal Bible study hour. The congregation should also consider providing a lunch and child care.  

Distribute the survey

As soon as possible, the congregational leadership should distribute the pre-call survey provided by the district president. Everyone should be invited to thoughtfully fill it out before the meeting. Additional notes may be made during the meeting. After the meeting, everyone will be invited to hand theirs in to the district president for his reference as he develops the call list.



Part 1: Bible Study

The district president will present a Bible study on the biblical doctrine of the divine call.

Part 2: The calling process in the WELS

The district president will present and answer questions about the process of calling that is used in the WELS. He will also explain what to expect at the first call meeting. Pastoral care during the vacancy may also be discussed.

Part 3: Discussion of the congregation's needs and preferences

We will have open discussion about the specific opportunities, challenges, and preferences of the congregation to inform the district president as he develops a call list. 

Part 4: Preliminary scheduling of first call meeting

We will discuss some scheduling options for the first call meeting. Lead time of at least two weeks is required. The district president will normally return for the first call meeting. He may designate the circuit pastor or vacancy pastor to represent him if additional call meetings are necessary.

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