Meet the District’s Commissioned Ministry Advocate2 min read

DCE Luke Esselman has served at Grace, Coopersville, since graduating from Concordia Chicago in 2010. Raised in Lutheran Education his entire life, he has been surrounded by incredible LCMS educators and church workers that have blessed him and given him a heart to serve and help the Church at large.

Esselman lives in Coopersville with his wife, Amanda, and their kids Jackson and Willow. Their married daughter Hannah lives in Grand Rapids with her husband, Tim. They enjoy much that West Michigan has to offer, including the beach, hiking, and you-pick fruits of all kinds.

Esselman joins the District staff having served for 9 years on the Camp Concordia Board of Directors (including a couple years as president), 14 years on the Michigan District Jr. High Gathering committee (the past 7 years as chairman), and many years as part of the West Michigan DCE/DFLM cluster.

Along with his continued ministry at Grace, he will be working part-time for the District, reporting to Superintendent of Schools Travis Grulke. The role of the Commissioned Ministry Advocate is to support the congregations and workers in the Michigan District by networking with and advocating for commissioned ministers (non-teacher). His duties will include:

  • Working as the liaison between the Michigan District and the Synod Office for commissioned ministers (non-teacher).
  • Building relationships and providing leadership for the commissioned ministers (non-teacher).
  • Nurturing and helping develop the cluster meetings of commissioned ministers (non-teacher).
  • Providing current and appropriate resources to commissioned ministers (non-teacher).
  • Supporting the efforts in planning annual conferences for commissioned ministers (non-teacher).
  • Working with the Superintendent of Schools to assist with any significant issues pertaining to all commissioned ministers.

Grulke says, “We are excited to have Luke serving in the role of Commissioned Ministry Advocate. He will be encouraging, supporting, and walking alongside the gifted group of DCEs, FLMs, deaconesses, parish music leaders, and the many other professional church workers serving in our congregations here in our Michigan District. We look forward to seeing how the Good Lord uses Luke to be a blessing!”

Esselman looks forward to being used by the Lord in this new role of Commissioned Ministry Advocate, to work WITH and FOR the Commissioned ministers and congregations of the Michigan District. To HIS glory, always.

Photo by Elisa Schulz/Michigan District, LCMS

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This blog is published by the Communications Department of the Michigan District, LCMS.

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Michelle Kranz - September 5, 2023

Congratulations, Luke, on this exciting new opportunity!

Sue von Fange - September 5, 2023

Although retired, I am so thankful for this news! What a blessing and gift you will be to non-teacher commissioned ministers! May the Lord fill you with his love, wisdom, and joy as you serve.

Linda Hollman - September 7, 2023

Welcome and may God richly bless your (our) ministry as commissioned church leaders in Michigan!