LWF General Secretary announces he will step down in 2021
"Junge has personified LWF's passion for the church and for the world"
(LWI) – LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge announced today that he will be stepping down from his position on 31 October 2021, three years before his term ends.
"Serving as the LWF's General Secretary has been an honor, a privilege, and an inspiring experience," said Rev. Dr Junge.
"I am grateful for encounters with churches globally, for trust and support by the LWF Council, leaders and colleagues, and for all the meaningful witness of The Lutheran World Federation with its passion for the church and for the world."
Junge said his decision followed prayerful discernment. “A change in leadership in 2021 paves the way for a well-paced transition.” This timing “allows an incoming General Secretary to prepare the Assembly, work with a newly elected Council to shape a new strategy, and lead the LWF into the future into which God is calling the communion,” he added.
Junge said he was fully committed to continue providing leadership and direction during the coming year, making “the required decisions to respond and adapt to the new demands imposed on LWF member churches and the LWF,” especially as they respond to the challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. “It continues to be an honor and a privilege to add my own contribution to the journey of the LWF.”
LWF President Archbishop Dr Panti Filibus Musa said the LWF had been blessed through the service of General Secretary Junge. "With integrity, wisdom, imagination, skill, and insight – and also with humor and joy – he has led the LWF to be an ever more effective instrument of God’s mission." President Musa added that Junge personified "the LWF’s passion for the church and for the world. We give thanks to God for his witness."
Under the leadership of the LWF President, the LWF’s Council will constitute a search committee. It will elect a new General Secretary at its meeting in June 2021.
Rev. Dr Martin Junge, is the first Latin American to hold the office of General Secretary. He was elected by the LWF Council at its 2009 meeting and assumed office on 1 November 2010. He was appointed by the LWF Council for a second term as General Secretary from 2017–2024.
The 18 to 23 June LWF Council meeting will take place online, in view of restrictions imposed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The LWF Council normally meets in person every year, and is the highest authority of the LWF between assemblies. It consists of the President, the Chairperson of the Finance Committee, and 48 members from LWF member churches in seven regions.