Pastor’s Perspective: Lectionary Studies

A large part of our mission at Luther House of Study is to support pastors and provide resources to congregations. This is fulfilled through a variety of educational offerings, and we are always looking for new ways to innovate and reach new audiences. 

Share This Post

A large part of our mission at Luther House of Study is to support pastors and provide resources to congregations. This is fulfilled through a variety of educational offerings, and we are always looking for new ways to innovate and reach new audiences. 

One of our in-person offerings has been to host day-long lectionary studies at churches throughout our region, allowing area pastors to gather in fellowship and take an in-depth look at upcoming texts with our professors.

To expand our reach, we also offer a “bite-sized” version of these studies each week through our Scripture First podcast!

Recently, we reached out to several of the pastors in our network to hear what they had to say about the lectionary studies and the podcast in their own words. Keep scrolling for their testimonials.

Pastor Jaimie Odde

Pastor Odde serves the following congregation:

  • Norway Lutheran Church in Glenham, SD

How did you first hear about Luther House’s lectionary studies for pastors, and what did you find beneficial about the experience?

I first began attending the lectionary studies in Aberdeen, SD when I began seminary with LHOS. They are the most useful form of sermon preparation I have ever experienced. To leave a study with several Sundays’ worth of sermon preparation ready is invaluable. This is the only in-person group study available to me in which Jesus Christ alone is proclaimed. 

What would you say to another pastor who is thinking about attending one of these studies? 

These studies are the most beneficial sermon preparation available to pastors in our area. You will leave each study prepared to write a sermon. Time spent with professors who proclaim Jesus, keep the group focused on this proclamation, and are willing to help parish pastors is an absolute gift. 

It might also be worth noting that I find these lectionary studies so beneficial that I spend four hours round-trip in the car to attend!


Pastor Karie Geyer

Pastor Geyer serves the following congregations:

  • First Lutheran of Claire City, SD
  • Faith Lutheran of New Effington, SD
  • Our Saviors Lutheran of Veblen, SD

You aren’t able to attend the text studies locally, so you utilize the Scripture First podcast. What do you find beneficial about this offering?

I was looking for a resource to help with sermon preparation. I do not have a local text study that I can participate in, so I utilize this podcast as if I were attending a text study. I appreciate the consistency and conversation that is included in the podcast, along with the solid theology. I can relate to the real-life questions that come up in the podcasts, as they often address the same issues or concerns that parishioners, and I, are wrestling with.

When you listen to this podcast you always walk away with Christ’s word of promise in your ear. It’s not a guarantee that you’ll get that from other commentaries or text studies.

What would you say to another pastor who is thinking about listening to Scripture First?

This podcast has a way of drawing you in and making you feel like you are sitting around the table with the group — it is relational and educational.


Pastors Janine Rew-Werling and Craig Werling

Pastors Rew-Werling and Werling serve the following congregation:

  • Hosanna Lutheran Church of Watertown, SD

How did you first hear about Luther House’s lectionary studies for pastors, and what did you find beneficial about the experience?

For the past seven years, Sarah Stenson and Chris Croghan have led a full-day pastors’ text study that we host approximately every eight to ten weeks. This is a rigorous study with exceptional colleagues who challenge and invigorate preaching and parish ministry.

To have them in-person and to gather together is to receive the academic challenge that many of us could not generate ourselves. They challenge and grow us in healthy ways as we encounter the Scriptures and have meaningful and fulfilling academic and faith-building conversations. We have encouraged and invited clergy over these years and our group has grown. The podcast is also a reasonable facsimile of the “real” thing and is a must for my weekly preaching preparation and work. These text studies, the academic challenge, and the conversations make for better pastors and better preaching. Faith comes by hearing to be sure; but Pastoral leadership demands challenge and growth—especially for the long time pastorate.

Rev. Janine Rew-Werling

I concur with everything Janine said! Several years ago, Chris and Sarah asked if we would like to host a LHOS text study at Hosanna in Watertown, and we were thrilled to do so. It is a wonderful form of continuing education, very unlike most pastors’ text studies that I have experienced. The discussion is guided and focused by LHOS with a biblical Law-Gospel lens, which I find to be very nourishing for myself, as well as helping me to preach the Gospel and the Law properly. Sarah informed us of the podcast shortly after they began, and they are the most important part of my sermon preparation every week. 

I am very thankful for LHOS, especially in the way they support evangelical pastors in parishes, especially in this cultural and political environment of increasing hostility to God’s Word.

— Rev. Craig Werling


We are humbled and grateful to provide valuable resources like these studies to our community of pastors.

We are actively working to plan our next in-person lectionary text study! Make sure you’re following us on Facebook for the latest updates on events like these.

In the meantime, be sure to tune into Scripture First each week for the “bite-sized” podcast version of these studies.

More To Explore

Pastor’s Perspective: Andrea Taphorn

We are grateful for our network of pastors and ministry partners who have supported us and provided thoughtful reflections about their experiences as students.  Pastor

Get to know your host: Mason Van Essen

“What’s up everybody and welcome back to Scripture First — the podcast that explores how the Lutheran lectionary is working in your life. I’m your host,