The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), a U.S.-based church body with 6,000 congregations and nearly 1.9 million baptized congregation members, confesses the historic, orthodox Christian faith, a faith built on “the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone” (Eph. 2:20). In grateful response to God’s grace and empowered by the Holy Spirit through Word and Sacraments, the mission of the LCMS is vigorously to make known the love of Christ by word and deed within our churches, communities and the world.
LCMS Communications — on behalf of and in close collaboration/consultation with the Synod’s officers, unit executive leadership and staff, boards, commissions and other stakeholders, informs the Synod’s members, congregants, agencies, auxiliaries, recognized service organizations and the general public. LCMS Communications reports, explains, facilitates beneficial consideration of and creates persistent focus on the Synod’s objectives, vision, mission, positions and teachings on matters of significance to the church. LCMS Communications endeavors to ensure that the Gospel is powerfully shared through a range of thoughtfully conceived, well maintained and easily accessed channels of communication.
The LCMS Communications staff is currently arranged around the functional areas of editorial, digital media (video and photojournalism), social media, graphic design, web services, production and unit leadership. The unit is responsible for the print and electronic publication of the Synod’s three major periodicals (The Lutheran Witness, Reporter and Engage), the design and content of the Synod’s website and web support; LCMS social media; LCMS blogs, news releases and statements; bidding and purchase of print services; responses to inquiries from the public (including management of the Synod’s Church Information Center); other resources for target audiences; convention and meeting displays and brochures; and general copyediting and proofreading. LCMS Communications works closely with LCMS Mission Advancement in the development and delivery of donor-facing materials. LCMS Communications also manages the Synod’s public relations, the Synod’s marketing and branding efforts, advertising and communications to Synod employees.
- The Executive Director of LCMS Communications reports to the Chief Mission Officer (CMO), who on behalf of the President supervises the content of communications, public relations, and news and information provided by the Synod.
- The Executive Director of LCMS Communications supervises LCMS Communications unit staff principally through the Associate Executive Director and the Director of Editorial Services, who both report directly to the Executive Director.
Essential Job Functions
- Develops and executes a communications strategy for reaching various stakeholders and constituents in the LCMS that aligns with mission emphases and priorities established by the Convention.
- Supervises, works closely with, and regularly meets with the Associate Executive Director, Director of Editorial Services, and the other directors of the department, fostering work processes within a collaborative, mutually supportive team environment that is strongly biased toward effective, impactful outcomes.
- Manages all aspects of LCMS Communications personnel-related matters with the close support of LCMS Human Resources and in concurrence with the CMO and the Office of the President. Guides the establishment of goals and performance standards; provides for individual employee learning and development of skills and competencies beneficial to the Synod’s mission and ministry.
- Works closely with and advises the CMO, the Office of the President, LCMS unit executives and other Synod leadership on all communications-related matters.
- Maintains strong working relationships and communicates intentionally and frequently with other LCMS unit executives.
- In close collaboration with the department’s directors, prepares the annual LCMS Communications budget proposal; continuously manages unit operating and capital expenditures to remain within budget.
- Represents LCMS Communications to Synod stakeholders, internal and external.
- Holds final responsibility for all products and services coming out of LCMS Communications.
- Serves as spokesperson for the Synod (i.e. to the secular press, general public or members of the Synod and its congregations, schools and other affiliated entities) at the direction of the CMO and/or President.
- Other duties as may be assigned by the Chief Mission Officer and/or President.
Education and Experience
- Bachelor’s degree; master’s degree in a communications-related field preferred.
- 10+ years of experience and increasing responsibilities in communications, marketing, public relations or closely related fields.
- Demonstrated experience developing communications and marketing strategies while partnering with multiple subject matter experts and enterprise stakeholders.
- Demonstrated leadership experience, including the management of teams of subordinates toward favorable outcomes in simultaneous multifaceted projects.
- Active member in good standing of an LCMS congregation.
- Previous experience working in LCMS-related capacity preferred.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
- Faithful to the Holy Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions; knowledgeable and supportive of the Synod’s Constitution, Bylaws, and policies; facile with history of Christianity and Lutheranism; well read, knowledgeable and conversant in Lutheran theology and matters of life together in the twenty-first century church.
- Deep understanding of LCMS audiences; insights/skills/capacities to formulate effective strategies that connect and inspire within and across segments.
- Excellence in written, oral and visual communications.
- Exceptional EQ and interpersonal skills; exemplary leadership practices rooted in relationship building, creation of high trust/credibility, professional discernment and appropriate exercise of influence.
- Accomplishing objectives through managed teams; setting expectations rooted in shared goals; providing clear direction and timely, honest feedback; empowering employees and driving accountability through active engagement and inspiration.
- Understanding how to encourage continuous learning in practical ways; leading teams to reflect on results and outcomes; supporting and rewarding innovative thinking; actively developing team skills through experiential learning, encouraging learning through testing, experimenting and smart risk taking.
- Willingness and ability to travel (domestic and international).
- Supervises the staff and operations of LCMS Communications.