When your vision is clear, plans are developing, and members and your community partners are preparing, you must align your resources.
To move forward your ministry may need assistance with financial plans, stewardship education and a capital campaign.
You can choose to partner with LCEF knowing that your ministry support resources are rooted in our Lutheran faith and embrace the LCMS. LCEF offers resources to help your members which will help your members thrive in giving and move you closer to achieving your ministry goals.
Your ministry members have a deep desire to grow the faith. LCEF's Capital Funding Services (CFS) consultants help inspire generosity because they bring a distinctive set of assumptions and practices to bear upon your ministry's campaign.
The goal is never about dollars raised, but the joy and stewardship that comes from a ministry that knows how God intends for its people to serve.
Our experience indicates that achieving this success requires three careful and comprehensive steps:
Allow people to grow spiritually through giving.
Invite as many as possible to share your vision and actively take a role in making it a reality.
Raise the highest dollar amount possible by ensuring that members stay focused on the goal for the full three-year giving period.
Each campaign is designed for your ministry's unique circumstances and is based on God's Word. Our consultants will design a program that is Christ-centered, Gospel-motivated and theologically sound. We serve the LCMS exclusively because we know you — we are you.
Your consultant is onsite as needed during the first four months of the campaign, seeking 100% involvement of your members. Not only will your CFS consultant continue to guide your ministry throughout the campaign, our support staff at the national LCEF office can answer your questions and provide tools and resources.
Online samples will assist those producing communication and creative pieces. This continuous service helps keep the campaign momentum steady and invites new members to see the vision and become a part of it.
To schedule an onsite visit or to learn more, contact LCEF Ministry Support at 314-885-6444.
All Saints Lutheran Church
Goal: Additions; organ; renovations Other Services Used: Architects
Goal: Facility improvements to accommodate staff and enhance experience for campers
Other Services Used: Laborers For Christ
Christ Lutheran Church
Goal: Renovation of 1924 school building to enhance the Helping Hands Child Care ministry; construct a new youth ministry facility Other Services Used: Architects
Concordia Lutheran Church
Goal: Debt reduction and Child Development Center expansion
Hampton Lutheran School
Goal: New Building
Holy Cross Lutheran Church
Goal: Complete the building-out of school; double the size of the gymnasium for recreation and worship Other Services Used: CFS (Capital Campaign – this is their second capital campaign with CFS)
Immanuel Lutheran Church
Crystal Lake, IL
Goal: Debt reduction and new sanctuary Other Services Used: CFS (Pastor Coach and Capital Campaign)
Lamb of God
Goal: Debt reduction; facility improvements including lighting, parking, office, sanctuary and sports fields Other Services Used: CFS (VisionPath)
Lamb of God Lutheran Church
Goal: Ministry Advancement, debt reduction
Other Services Used: CFS (Consecrated Stewards, Capital Campaign – this is the second campaign with CFS), Architects
Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church
Goal: Debt reduction Other Services Used: CFS (Consecrated Stewards, Capital Campaign - this is the third campaign with CFS.)
North Valley Christian Academy
Goal: New school campus
Our Father Lutheran Church
Goal: Debt reduction Other Services Used: CFS (VisionPath)
Philadelphia Lutheran Ministries
Goal: Sustainable funding process for the development of new congregations in the city of Philadelphia
Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church
Goal: Debt reduction
St. John Lutheran Church
Goal: Renovation and expansion of the parish hall. Other Services Used: Architects
St. John Lutheran Church
Goal: Classroom expansion Other Services Used: CFS (Consecrated Stewards and Strategic Planning for Ministry)
St. John Lutheran Church
Goal: Build new fellowship hall, kitchen, offices, and classrooms. Demolish old school buildings and make repairs to parking lot.
St. John’s Lutheran Church
Goal: New construction of worship and education space; fellowship hall
St. Paul's Ev. Lutheran Church
Goal: Eliminate debt; renovation of current structure; additional staff Other Services Used: CFS (Consecrated Stewards, Strategic Planning for Ministry, VisionPath)
Trinity Lutheran Church
Goal: Building renovations to church and school, school scholarships, and Latino ministry with the congregation Other Services Used: CFS (Consecrated Stewards), Laborers For Christ
Valley Lutheran High School
Cedar Falls, IA
Goal: Debt Reduction/Facility Enhancement Other Services Used: CFS (Feasibility Study & Capital Campaign)
Zion Lutheran Church
Goal: Expansion of sanctuary and school facilities
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod defines Christian stewardship as the free and joyous activity management of life and life's resources for God's purposes. Stewardship is not just a matter of money, but also a sharing of the Good News of Jesus, using our time and talents for ministry, and taking care of God's creation and our own bodies.
For a whole-congregation approach to stewardship, LCEF offers the Consecrated Stewards program. To target smaller groups through Bible study, consider ordering the six-week Bible study called "Journey of Discovery."
Consecrated Stewards is designed to energize your members in their on-going giving. It is not tied to the church budget but to the need of the giver to give. Most congregations that participate report increases in annual commitments of 15% to 35%.*
Ties the commitment process to the Sunday morning act of worship.
Does not have members asking other members one-on-one for a financial commitment.
Can be used any time during the year.
Going beyond the New Consecration Sunday Stewardship Program, it provides:
Solid Lutheran Bible study materials and sermon outlines.
Guidance for stewardship witness talks.
A process to celebrate congregation ministries.
Publicity and communication aids.
An optional workshop for leaders.
An LCEF trained and certified Guest Leader.
To learn more how Consecrated Stewards can energize your members, contact LCEF Ministry Support at 314-885-6444.
* Individual results vary. Increases in amounts committed to annual envelope giving typically range between 15% and 35%. A congregation's results could be more or less. LCEF cannot guarantee results in a Consecrated Stewards program or the fulfillment of the commitments. Success depends upon the cooperation and participation of congregation members.
"Journey of Discovery" Bible Study
"Journey of Discovery" is based on a travel theme, with the ultimate destination of a deeper spiritual understanding of God's intentions. Participants are encouraged as they make their prayerful decisions about the financial offerings given to the Lord through their church.
This stewardship journey through Bible study is designed for a small group setting, discussion and prayerful consideration, your congregation members will grow closer to each other and Jesus.
The five-session study takes participants through different "gates" of giving and sharing as they seek to answer the question, "What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits to me?"
Materials include a leader's guide, 10 student workbooks, a DVD and CD-ROM, promotional posters and bulletin inserts, luggage tags and traveler's checks.
The complete kit (item no. S00322WEB, cost $59.99) may be ordered online at cph.org/discovery or by calling 800-325-3040.
Tools for Tithing and Tuition
Joyful Response® Program
LCEF offers e-tithing and e-tuition payments through its Joyful Response program, a free stewardship service for congregations, schools and ministry service organizations. LCMS congregations should use the Joyful Response Electronic Offering Program so members...
Give offerings consistently.
Fulfill their stewardship commitments.
Share their financial blessings efficiently and predictably.
To learn more about the Joyful Response Program, contact LCEF at 800-843-5233.
Rev. Dr. Tom Ahlersmeyer Consultant
Tom Ahlersmeyer's passion is helping LCMS congregations and educational agencies realize and reach their God-given potential. Tom feels Capital Funding Services (CFS) offers support and planning that connects ministries with the necessary resources to change people's lives through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Tom's congregational ministry has been on both coasts and in middle America. He has served as executive director of the Cleveland Lutheran High School Association and president of Concordia University, Ann Arbor, Michigan. These experiences, both involving fund raising, positions him to understand cultural and fund development opportunities and the challenges facing various ministries.
Tom presently serves as senior pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne, Indiana. Upon his arrival in 2010, he successfully led a $2 million debt reduction and capital improvement campaign. This effort launched a growth in financial stewardship resulting in five successive years of finishing "in the black."
Tom holds a bachelor's degree in English Literature from Concordia Senior College, Fort Wayne, Indiana; Master of Divinity from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne; and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in interpersonal and public communication from Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio.
Tom and his wife, Janet, are blessed with six children and four grandchildren.
Rev. Phill Andreasen Consultant
In 2014, Phill began serving as a consultant for Capital Funding Services, a ministry of Lutheran Church Extension Fund. In this capacity he assists congregations in seeking to achieve the vision God has for them.
Phill's professional work in the Church has led him to serve four congregations of the LCMS over a period of forty years. Currently, he is retired from serving a parish, but is privileged to be the Iowa District West Executive for Stewardship as well as Chaplain for the professional workers of the district. During his time in the ministry, he assisted six congregations in working through capital campaigns.
He currently resides in Spirit Lake, Iowa where in 2014, he retired as Senior Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church. He and his wife, Monica, have seven married children and 13 grandchildren whom they enjoy seeing as often as possible.
Rev. Dr. Karl Galik Regional Vice President
As a Regional Vice President for Capital Funding Services (CFS), Karl provides exceptional professional and spiritual consultations to congregations in their stewardship and strategic journey. Karl particularly celebrates the spiritual growth and spirit of unity that occurs through campaigns and events designed to lean into the Lord's promises of hope through a sacrificial lifestyle.
In 2010, Karl began serving the Capital Funding Services' Pastor Coaching Ministry. In this role, he comes alongside pastors and leaders with spiritual, stewardship or leadership growth mentoring. He also coaches strategic planning by helping pastors and key leaders develop a process to reveal God's future plans.
Karl's ministry experience spans over 31 years, from the smallest of dual parishes to one of the largest in the LCMS. He has served on Ministerial Health Commissions in Texas and Minnesota and authored books and workshops for spiritual health and well-being. He holds a bachelor's in psychology from the University of Florida; a Master of Divinity from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis; a master's in marriage and family therapy from Texas A&M, Commerce; and a Doctor of Ministry in Leadership from Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota.
He currently resides in Naples, Florida, with Marilouise, with whom he has been married since 1976. Together they have three married children and seven grandchildren.
Rev. Dennis Goff Agency Vice President
Dennis comes to the Capital Funding Services (CFS) division of Lutheran Church Extension Fund with more than 25 years of experience as a Lutheran parish pastor.
Dennis has pastored congregations in Louisiana, Florida and Minnesota. While serving a congregation in Florida with a large Lutheran school, he led the congregation through several capital campaigns, raising more than $6 million, impacting the growth of both the church and school ministry. Throughout his ministry, Dennis has exercised a passion for encouraging people to grow in the gift of generosity as the people of God advance the Lord's mission and grow in their own personal discipleship.
In addition to serving as a parish pastor, Dennis has written devotional resources and sermon studies for several Lutheran publications. He has served as an adjunct professor in homiletical studies for Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. His doctorate degree focused on biblical storytelling as a part of preaching. While serving one of Minnesota's largest LCMS congregations, Dennis also served as chairman of a Lutheran mission and outreach endeavor in Minneapolis.
Dennis makes his home in Bartow, Florida, together with his wife, Laura, and their two sons.
Rev. Bruce Jeske Consultant
Bruce was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, into a strong Lutheran family. That background helped influence him to begin his service to the Lord from Walther League as a youth, to the seminary and now his current position as in Intentional Interim Pastor of the Pacific Southwest District.
After completing seminary, Bruce served in parishes in Akron, Colorado; Provo, Utah; Costa Mesa, California; and Imperial Beach, California. After retiring from full-time ministry, he trained for the Intentional Interim program and has since served four parishes in California. It was in his third interim that he was involved in a campaign led by Capital Funding Services (CFS), where he experienced the "immeasurably more" God intends for His people. Bruce continues to serve his fourth interim congregation in Long Beach, California.
Through all of these parishes and experiences, Bruce has shown leadership as well as a concern for the people of God that gather in every congregation. Especially in interim congregation situations, he has found the need to help congregations find the strength and resources to continue on in ministry. He sees generous, cheerful giving as a vital aspect of our total response to God for all that He constantly gives us day by day.
Rev. Dr. Victor Hippe Pastor Coach
As a stewardship consultant and pastor coach for Capital Funding Services (CFS), Vic provides professional, spiritual guidance to pastors and congregations in their stewardship journey.
In 2010, Vic was named to the CFS Pastor Coaching Ministry team. He delivers coaching services to LCMS pastors, helping open doors to spiritual and leadership growth. He is also a part of LCEF's Large Church Ministry.
Vic served as senior pastor of the large congregation at Community of Christ at St. Luke, in Federal Way, Washington. He has been a student of leadership and demonstrated it effectively throughout his ministry. Vic also developed the Parent School, an innovative approach to building bridges with the unchurched community in Seattle. He has served as a mentor in Pastoral Leadership Institute (PLI), which provides advanced leadership training for pastors within the LCMS.
Before joining St. Luke's in 1979, Vic served as pastor of First Trinity Lutheran Church, an inner-city congregation in Oakland, California. He and his wife reside in Washington state.
Rev. John H. Kieschnick Consultant and Pastor Coach
"[The steps of Christian discipline] aren't steps that guarantee spiritual growth. Instead, they are doors of growth which lead us into the presence of the Lord."—John Kieschnick, "The Best is Yet To Come: 7 Doors of Spiritual Growth" (Baxter Press).
Congregations have frequently sought the Rev. John Kieschnick's consult regarding planning, management, leadership and stewardship. Now, as stewardship consultant and pastor coach, Rev. Kieschnick delivers on-site consulting and mentoring services to LCMS congregations and their pastors, helping them open doors to spiritual, stewardship and leadership growth.
Prior to joining Capital Funding Services, the Rev. Kieschnick served as senior pastor of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Houston Texas, from 1974 to 2007. During that time, he shepherded the church from 400 to more than 3,300 baptized members, ranking it the fifth-largest LCMS congregation in the country. Under his pastorate, Gloria Dei conducted seven building and capital stewardship campaigns.
Born in Walburg, Texas, the second youngest of nine children, John received a bachelor's in education from Concordia Teachers' College (now Concordia University Chicago), River Forest, Illinois. After serving two years as teacher/principal/youth director at Calvary Lutheran Church and Day School in Havertown, Pennsylvania, John entered Concordia Theological Seminary, Springfield, Illinois. (now Fort Wayne). He received his bachelor's from the seminary in May 1970, and his Master of Divinity in May 1985.
Throughout his ministry, John has served on a variety of synodical boards and committees, both national and district (Texas). He has authored numerous stewardship Bible studies and programs, many of which became models for national efforts. He authored a "Christian Money Management Program" as well as the book quoted above. John also helped found the Samaritan Counseling Center in Houston and served as a founding member of the Pastoral Leadership Institute Board of Directors. He served on the Board of Regents of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, his alma mater, from 2004-2010.
John married Elaine Trimble on July 4, 1970. Their marriage has been blessed with three children. In his free time, John enjoys "dreaming dreams" and "seeing visions" and "plays at" golf.
Rev. Bob Riggert Consultant
Bob is excited about Capital Funding Services' Immeasurably More campaigns and partnering with the Rev. Dr. John Sproul in celebrating God's plan for congregations. He experienced the blessings of a capital campaign while serving as pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, Manning, Iowa.
Bob brings a broad parish perspective, having served as a Lutheran school teacher and principal and as a pastor of rural congregations and in a multistaff setting. Bob served as an Iowa District West executive assistant for more than 15 years, providing resources for congregations in the areas of education, stewardship and youth ministries. As a district staff member, he also assisted congregations in values clarification and visioning processes. He has assisted with LCMS national children's ministry initiatives and is the author of children's ministry and stewardship Bible studies.
He holds a bachelor's degree and Lutheran Teacher Diploma from Concordia University, Seward, Nebraska; a master's in education administration from Kent State University, Kent, Ohio; and a master's in religious education from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne.
Bob resides in Manning, Iowa, with his wife. They are blessed with four married children and 11 grandchildren.
Rev. Dominic J. Rivkin Consultant
Dominic Rivkin is excited to work with congregations seeking to meet their visionary goals with strong, stable and sustainable methods of stewardship and advancement. Dominic feels that Capital Funding Services (CFS) offers support and planning that both honors our Lord and meets the needs of congregations that seek to connect with their communities.
Dominic is a second-career pastor who spent several years developing new product markets and business segments for a large, multinational electrical engineering firm. This experience and his seminary training as a domestic missionary, translated into a church-planting ministry. This in turn resulted in a strong, Christ-centered and community-focused congregation in Southern California. Dominic also continued to work consulting and coaching both congregations and leaders on creating a vision for today's missional church.
Dominic currently serves as the Mission Developer overseeing Lutheran Inter-City Network Coalition (LINC) Los Angeles, a new non-profit urban mission network that encourages, equips and empowers individuals to effectively start new ministries that connect communities with Christ. He hopes to continue to bless both this network and CFS with 20-plus years of experience in strategic development and implementation of organizational vision, mission and partnership. Dominic holds a bachelor's in communications from Concordia University Chicago, River Forest, Illinois, and a Master of Divinity from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.
Dominic enjoys life in the beautiful city of Los Angeles with his wife and two daughters.
Rev. Mark Schulz Consultant
As a Capital Funding Services (CFS) consultant, Mark provides professional and spiritual support for congregations in their stewardship and strategic journey. He has experienced how individual and congregational growth in financial generosity has been accompanied by the development of a deeper trust in God and a stronger commitment to His mission. Or as Jesus put it, "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matt. 6:21, ESV)
Mark's ministry experience within the LCMS spans nearly 32 years with all but three serving Peace Lutheran Church in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. He was part of the Peace's growth from a medium-sized church, in which he was the only full-time staff person, to a large, multistaff church. Along the way, Mark initiated three capital building campaigns at Peace (working with three different firms) as well as many regular giving programs. His special ministry interests include leadership coaching, spiritual formation and the study of the Apostle Paul's theology.
Mark has served in a variety of roles in the North Wisconsin District, most recently in congregational consulting. He earned a bachelor's degree in math from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a Master of Divinity from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, and a doctor in ministry from Fuller Seminary-Pasadena (with an emphasis in theology and culture). He is also a trained and certified Leadership and Strengths Coach.
He currently resides in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, with his wife. They have four adult children.
Rev. Dr. John Sproul Regional Vice President
John serves as Regional Vice President and consultant for Capital Funding Services (CFS). In this role, he guides congregations seeking to achieve the vision God has for them.
John's heritage was shaped by generations of family who served as Lutheran pastors, educators and musicians. In each of his calls to four congregations—ranging from a new, contemporary mission congregation to a mid-sized traditional church to two mega-churches—his passion for stewardship has been formed and expressed by our precious Lutheran emphasis on grace, and that our generosity is to be empowered and inspired by the Gospel of our Savior.
His creativity is expressed in his love for writing, designing and implementing worship and special events, during which people are inspired to respond generously to the future God has for a congregation or institution. During his 25 years in the ministry, he has worked with over three dozen congregations around the country, causing heritage to converge with creativity in their capital campaigns, vision seminars and worship workshops.
John is a graduate of Concordia University, Ann Arbor, Michigan; Concordia Theological Seminary, St. Catharines, Ontario, and earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from Northern Baptist Seminary, Lombard, Illinois, having studied Christian worship under the late Dr. Robert Webber.
John resides in St. Louis, Missouri.
Rev. David Thiele Consultant
David serves as a Capital Funding Services (CFS) consultant as well as LCEF English District Vice President. David has a contagious passion for helping people and congregations achieve the vision God has given them within their local context and culture.
Through CFS, David shares the joy of giving he has grown up with and cultivated throughout his life. As a district vice president, he connects congregations with needed resources to expand their ministry.
David brings a grace-filled focus to each congregation he serves, including the inner-city congregation for which he was the pastor for nearly 20 years. At this congregation, each new vision was achieved by God's grace and the response of God's people. During David's tenure, membership included refugees from 10 different nations as well as lifelong U.S. citizens, all united around the Gospel. The congregation became a church of significance within the community.
David earned a Master of Divinity from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis and has served on a variety of district and LCMS boards and committees. He has served as a mission executive and consulted with many congregations. With his extensive background in missions, he has created workshops intent on moving congregations to a community focus, based on our Lutheran identity.
Rev. Phil Wagner Consultant
As a consultant with Capital Funding Services (CFS), Phil offers a congregation and its leaders Christ-centered direction and encouragement, walking with them through the challenges of vision development, generosity and spiritual growth. He has always believed the Biblical truth that as God's people encounter Jesus Christ and grow in faith, their management of God's blessings will not only benefit the spiritual and financial growth of their congregation, but also be accompanied by increases in love, grace and joy. God literally transforms us to live generous, abundant lives of blessing together.
Phil's ministry journey includes a variety of experiences which help him to be insightful and supportive. His vicarage and first congregation were opportunities to be a part of large churches with schools. At Golden Valley Lutheran Church in Minnesota, he served 20 years, first as the only full-time staff and then, as the church grew, as senior pastor of a large multistaffed ministry. He now serves at Trinity Lutheran Church in Waconia, Minnesota, as senior pastor. The church includes a large school, multiple ministries and many staff members. Along the way, Phil's congregations were blessed to start preschools and child-care centers. There were also several capital campaigns and multiple annual appeals.
Phil graduated from Michigan State University with a bachelor's in physical science and from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis with a master of theology. He has received extensive training in the Beeson Church Leadership program and has trained with Pete Steinke in a Systems Approach for Healthy Congregations. Through conferences and personal study, he continues to sharpen his skills in leadership, visioning and conflict resolution. He has written several devotional books for congregations. During the last few years, after receiving training through the Minnesota South District, Phil has been a coach for LCMS pastors.
Phil enjoys golf, travel and following his hometown Detroit sports teams. He and his wife have three grown daughters.