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Do you work with ELCA congregations that are in the process of calling a new pastor?

Do you have congregations who write their Ministry Site Profiles without much support?

Are you a Bishop or Assistant to the Bishop of a synod in the ELCA?


Then Discover and Invite was created for you!

This workbook will help the congregations in your care tell their story in a compelling and honest way so their MSP can spark the interest of pastors who would be a good fit.

Endorsements for Discover and Invite

At its best, the Ministry Site Profile (MSP) is a discernment document. That is a document that honestly portrays the identity, purpose, and calling of a ministry site. All too often in the call process, the MSP is viewed as simply a task to accomplish on the way to call a pastor or deacon. Discover and Invite provides transition teams a step-by-step process to complete the MSP is the best way possible by creating opportunities to listen to another, the congregation & community, and the Holy Spirit. It has been a valuable resource and guide to transition teams working on the MSP in the NWIM Synod. 

          Rev. Phil Misner, Assistant to the Bishop Northwest Intermountain Synod

"Discover and Invite" is a clear and usable resource for call committees and transition teams.  The bible studies anchor the work of calling a new pastor in scripture and the activities get the whole congregation involved in the process.  Working through this workbook will result in an honest and inviting Ministry Site Profile.  I wish I had this resource to give to all the congregations I've worked with during my time as bishop!

Rev. Michael Girlinghouse, Bishop of the Arkansas-Oklahoma Synod


“When a congregation is discerning who God is calling to lead them forward, it is important to tell their story fully and faithfully. This resource helps the community listen to each other, the context of their community, and most importantly to the Holy Spirit before creating a Mission Site Profile. The groundwork prepared by this process will greatly improve the call process.

Rev. Dave Nagler, Bishop of the Pacifica Synod.

Click the button to receive sample sections of Discover and Invite.

How Discover and Invite came to be.

During her time as DEM of the SWCA synod, Rev Dr. Marjorie Funk Pihl led 40 congregations through the Mission Exploration process.  As a consultant, she wondered how that work might help other synods.  After conversations with fourteen bishops and assistants to the bishops who work directly with congregations in the call process, Marj learned that many congregations cannot afford an interim pastor. Lay leaders find themselves faced with the daunting task of completing the MSP with only a little guidance from a coach or synod staff.  With that understanding, Marj expanded the Mission Exploration process to cover the full MSP.  

In addition, Discover and Invite benefited from:

  • ELCA member and newly retired editor from Fortress, Beth Gaede who edited Discover and Invite. She asked clarifying questions that resulted in a simpler and cleaner process.

  • Five bishops who read through earlier drafts and offered their wisdom.

  • Three bishops who read and endorsed the final version.

Click to see endorsements for the Mission Exploration Process.


  • Discover and Invite is a self-managed process that does not require the leadership of an interim pastor or synod staff.

  • Discover and Invite is a workbook which includes a facilitator script as well as graphics that illustrate every step of the activities.

  • Each session includes a relevant Bible conversation and prayer to ground participants in God’s story as they learn to articulate the story of the congregation.

  • The sessions are designed to take less than two hours each.

    • The first session helps the team work together and with their congregation.

    • Sessions 2-6 work through each topic of the MSP.

    • The final session helps the team complete the MSP.

  • Session 1:

    • Lowering the anxiety of the team

    • Reducing the anxiety of the congregation

  • Session 2: 

    • Purpose

    • Characteristics of the congregation

    • Goals

    • Programs

  • Session 3

    • Energy of the congregation

    • Trends in the congregation

    • Context and characteristics of the neighborhood

  • Session 4

    • Current Mission of the Congregation

    • Vision of a feasible future.

  • Session 5

    • Leadership expectations

    • Responding to MSP surveys

  • Session 6

    • Giftedness and leadership support

    • Responding the MSP surveys

    • Outlining responses to MSP prompts

  • Session 7

    • Turning our MSP draft into a final version

Purchase Options

Discover and Invite doesn’t require advanced training. I’ll send you the pdf and you can give it to congregations right now!

           Discover and Invite pdf for your synod: $475

Discover and Invite pdf plus two 60-minute zoom sessions to familiarize your staff or coaches with the process: $750

           Amend Discover and Invite to suit your synod better:  price per request.

Discover and Invite is copywritten and used by permission only. It cannot be amended without permission. It cannot be shared with other synods.

Email to purchase.

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