Another professor is returning to parish ministry. Dr. Reed Lessing will be leaving a position at our seminary in St. Louis, where in addition to teaching various course offerings in the Old Testament he was also director of the graduate school. These transitions facinate me. After being in parish ministry for so long one has a tendency to think that positions such as Dr. Lessing's are seen as 'higher' than the common pastorate. After a seeming 'promotion' to teaching future pastors, and that at a graduate level, you wonder what would move a man to go back to the parish. Having known nothing other than the parish, I am admittedly at a loss to relate. I realize that academics has its own downside. One can probably feel a bit 'cut off' from the real world of the Church, left dealing with a somewhat artificial world instead of the flesh and blood people a pastor has to minister to in real time. Perhaps one misses the relationships formed in the family of a congregation where the bonding between pastor and people brings untold blessings that cannot be duplicated in a classroom. I'm not sure. However, I am encouraged. Too often I have coveted the opportuntity that Dr. Lessing is leaving. I have not appreciated the tremendous honor given me as a parish pastor. Thank you, Professor, for letting me see again the priviledge I have!
As his biography will no doubt be removed soon from the seminary site, I will reproduce it below. Dr. Lessing, it will be noted, did enjoy about 13 years of pastoral experience before going to the seminary.
Dr. Reed Lessing was born and raised in Denver, Colo. He was ordained
into the Office of the Holy Ministry on June 29, 1986 at Christ the
Servant Lutheran Church, West Monroe, La. Reed served as the church’s
pastor until March of 1990. From March 1990 to August 1999 he was the
pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, Broken Arrow, Okla. In September of
1999 he was installed as assistant professor of exegetical theology at
Concordia Seminary. In May of 2005 he was advanced to the rank of
associate professor. In August of 2007 he became the director of the
Seminary’s Graduate School. Reed is married to Lisa (nee) Radke and
their marriage has been blessed with three children: Abi (24), Jonathan
(21) and Lori (17).