Seminary ambassador: How Lane Lewis jumped from limited seminary knowledge to telling LSTC’s story
When Lane Lewis was encouraged to consider volunteering with LSTC in 2019, he realized he hadn’t ever given much thought to where pastors come from and how they are trained.
A member of Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Naperville, Ill., he was nudged toward LSTC by Randy Schneider, former LSTC Foundation board member, as well as two of his pastors, John Gerike and Brian Wise (an LSTC alum).
Lewis wasn’t previously affiliated with LSTC, but he was confident in his ability to help the LSTC Foundation board of directors in achieving their objectives. After all, he was a successful businessman with experience building relationships, generating revenue and managing complex programs.
First, it was important to Lewis to further inspect the role of seminaries and to listen to more stories about how seminaries are shaping future leaders of the church. So, he jumped in.
He quickly learned that seminaries have gone through and continue to go through some of the same struggles his home congregation faced, such as fewer people engaged and reduced budgets. He heard more stories from members of his congregation about the value of seminary education. Soon, he realized that if he wanted to have a greater impact on the larger church, he could contribute to both his congregation and LSTC.
Lewis first provided voluntary support and leadership as a member of the LSTC Foundation board of directors, focusing on fundraising. Then, he joined a property task force to address critical questions foundational to securing a long term financially sustainable position for LSTC.
Most recently (in 2021), Lewis was presented with the opportunity to chair a new LSTC task force that would focus on growing relationships with wider church as well as educating congregations about the value of a seminary education through effective storytelling. He gladly, and enthusiastically, accepted.
Since, Lewis has worked with fellow task force members in drafting a model for effective engagement with the wider church. He also has listened and participated in story-telling opportunities, which have taught him how those affiliated with LSTC have made significant contributions around the world.
He sees his commitment to the seminary as an opportunity to grow in his faith and relationship with God while making an impact on the future of the church.
“What excites me most is that I see an opportunity to recast the role of LSTC from merely producing ordained pastors to be the hub of a faith-based learning community impacting the larger church for the sake of the world,” Lane said. “I have realized that LSTC has a profound impact on my faith, on the pastors that have informed my faith, and on the greater church.”
(Published in the summer 2021 issue of the Epistle magazine, written by Elizabeth Chentland)