Celebrate, Remember, and Respond provide the thematic avenue for KINDLE’s 20th Anniversary. Join us as we reflect on KINDLE’s endeavor to shape Christ-like servant leaders for over two decades.

While there was much planning before 2000, the first Learning Cycle took place in 2001-2002. We are privileged to connect and reflect with Scott Rauch, Director of Christian Education (DCE), at Trinity Lutheran in Peoria, Illinois, who was part of that first KINDLE Associate class. (He is pictured above in the front row on the far right side.)

“Personally I was ready to be part of something new, something leadership development oriented from a Lutheran colleague perspective. I felt honored to be around and trained by colleagues who I considered accomplished and successful servant leaders in the church.”

A supportive pastor made it possible for Scott to pursue this leadership opportunity.

“My pastor had gone through the Pastoral Leadership Institute himself and was on board even though this was uncharted territory.”

The uniqueness of KINDLE is that it isn’t just a one-time conference or event with little or no return. Those who have been blessed to be a part of it have takeaways and stories that have impacted their personal faith walks, as well as discipleship in their own setting.

“I have always appreciated the care aspect, the renewal time, and the opportunity to provide leadership development in various ways with those I serve because of what began 20 years ago.”

Scott has been in his current call since 1999 and reflects on the impact KINDLE training has had on team ministry.

“I work very closely with our associate pastor, who is a co-2nd chair. We do a lot of collaborative youth ministry. We called him to share roles in specific ministries. He has a spirit to learn and grow. Confirmation ministry became a collaborative process.”

Christ-like servant leadership is far from perfection, especially for those of us who serve in the local congregation. Scott recognizes his imperfections, but still values God’s truth above all else.

“The truth is that I don’t always spend as much time in Scripture as I should and I have to admit to jealous biases and achiness in ministry. I overwork too often and do more myself than I should. The truth is also that I rejoice in the local family of God I am called to serve with and I just ‘geek-out’ as we continue our daily, weekly, yearly plodding together toward the new creation.”

The experience of KINDLE has also overflowed into Scott’s DCE Cluster in Central Illinois.

“We spend more time in mutual conversation and counsel, in devotional worship and prayer, in training for personal professional growth rather than competing with and boasting of our next best ministry thing.”

We celebrate the Christ-like servant leaders who have come before us. We remember or hear of the memories of those who were there at the very beginning. We respond in our own pursuit of becoming more Christ-like in our servant leadership.

“I [Scott], continue to praise and thank the Lord that we not only have honored [Bill Karpenko], but that we have joined Jesus in His movement through KINDLE.”

Read more of the KINDLE Life March 2020 issue here.