From the pulpit: Embracing a leadership role

Sunday, October 11, 2009
Pastor Wayne Schwiesow. (Kit Doyle)

The Rev. Wayne W. Schwiesow serves as pastor of Zion and St. Paul Lutheran churches in Gordonville and Chaffee, Mo. He's a lifelong Lutheran but took a leadership role 17 years ago. He accepted a call to the Missouri churches 12 years ago and has called Cape Girardeau home ever since. You can meet Schwiesow and his congregations at Zion's Whole Hog Pork Sausage Supper from 3:30 to 7 p.m. today.

Question: What drew you to serve the church in a leadership role?

Answer: What drew me to serve in the church in a leadership role is the love that my Lord Jesus Christ showed me by going to the cross to suffer and to die for the forgiveness of my sins. What drew me into the holy ministry was the desire to make a lasting impact on the lives of other people by showing them the salvation that is theirs as well as mine through faith in Jesus.

Q: What education/background/studies did you go through to become a pastor?

A: I completed three years of study at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Ind., plus a year of vicarage at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Fort Dodge, Iowa. At the end of that period of study I received a master's of divinity degree from Concordia Theological Seminary and was certified for the holy ministry in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.

Pastor Wayne Schwiesow. (Kit Doyle)

Q: When did you become the pastor at Zion?

A: I became the pastor of Zion and St. Paul in October of 1997.

Q: Where are you from and when/why did you move to Cape Girardeau?

A: I'm originally from Lubbock, Texas. Following my graduation from the seminary I served a mission congregation in Kenosha, Wis., for five years after which I received and accepted a call to serve here in the Cape Girardeau area. I moved here in October of 1997 and have been serving here ever since.

Q: What do you think makes this church special?

A: What makes this church special is the love of Christ, which is shared by its members in so many different ways. We preach Jesus Christ at Zion and at St. Paul; specifically, we preach Christ crucified for the forgiveness of sins and Christ risen again from the dead for our justification.

Q: What's your favorite verse and why?

A: My favorite verse is Matthew 9:13 (NKJV) where Jesus said, "But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice.' For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance." This is my favorite verse because it reminds me that Jesus came to save me, a sinner, even when other people rejected me as so many did in my younger days.

Q: What program have you done with Zion that you are proud of and why?

A: I've done several things while serving here at Zion, but the one I'm most proud of is the evangelism program that I organized here at Zion. It is such a blessing to be able to reach out into the community with the invitation to come and believe in Jesus. I only wish we had more people to work with it.

Q: What events or occasions does your church have coming up?

A: We have our Thanksgiving Eve Service coming up on Wednesday, Nov. 25, at 7 p.m. and our Advent Midweek Services which begin on Wednesday, Dec, 2, also at 7 p.m.

Q: What's your favorite day of the week and why?

A: My favorite day of the week is Sunday. It's my favorite day of the week because that is the day when I, along with all of the other people of God, can come into the house of the Lord to receive his blessings once again through the preaching of his Word and through the administration of his sacraments.

Q: What's your favorite part of being a pastor?

A: My favorite part of being a pastor is being able to help people in their time of need, especially by showing them the mercy and the love of God that he has for each one of us in his son, Jesus Christ.

Q: What hobbies do you have?

A: I read, make furniture and grow vegetables in my garden.

Q: What else do you do besides serve as pastor?

A: Besides serving as pastor I'm a husband to my wife, a father to my children and the son of my parents. I also help out from time to time at the Chapel of Hope, our campus ministry at Southeast Missouri State University and I serve as the pastoral adviser for Lutheran Family and Children's Services.

Q: Do you have a prayer, psalm or verse you would like to give our readers for the day?

A: I would like to share this passage from St. Paul's first letter to Timothy: "And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all long-suffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life." -1 Timothy 1:12-16 (NKJV)

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