Who We Are
I'm Karen Kogler, administrator of this site. My passion is healthy volunteerism in God's church through equipping his saints to serve.
I serve St. Peter Lutheran Church, Arlington Heights, Illinois, as Director of Equipping. A lifelong member of The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod (LCMS), I've enjoyed participating in many congregations as a volunteer and as professional staff and support staff. I'm also a volunterism speaker, writer and coach (See Services).
Out and About
- Led a webinar, "Effective Volunteer Recruiting," for Wheat Ridge Ministries, Feb. 10, 2011.
- Led a session "Volunteers and the Mission" for a Lutheran Church Extension Fund training in St. Louis, February 2011.
- Led a workshop on "Muliplying the Number of Volunteers at Your Church" at the Passionate Leaders Conference of the South Wisconsin District, LCMS, February 2011.
- "Volunteers are not Free" published in January 2010 issue of Lutheran Witness magazine
- Led a workshop on "Are You a Good Steward of Your People's Time and Talent?" at five Stewardship Learning Events for the Northern Illinois District LCMS in August and September 2009
- Received coach training 2009-2010 through the Northern Illinois District LCMS.
- Led a workshop "Recruiting for the Mission" in May 2009 for the South Wisconsin District LCMS in Milwaukee, WI
- Led a volunteerism seminar for Lutheran Church Extension Fund in April 2009 in St. Louis, MO.
- Quoted in "When Gifts Get in the Way" in the Sept/Oct 2008 issue of Children's Ministry Magazine.
- September 2008, spoke on "Healthy Helping: When Helping Others Helps You" at the Older Adult Gathering, Starved Rock Lodge, Ottawa, Illinois, sponsored by Lutheran Life Communities, Arlington Heights, Illinois.
- Wrote "The Wall between Faith-Based and Secular Volunteerism: Is it Time to Chip Away at the Barrier?" for e-Volunteerism, an electronic journal affiliated with Energize, Inc. This article is also posted on this site.
- Led a "Recruiting and Retaining Volunteers" workshop at the April 2008 Leadership Conference of the Women's Leadership Institute, Milwaukee, Wisconsin..
- Published daily devotions for the months of March 2003 and August 2000 for Portals of Prayer devotional magazine.
- Article "How to Discourage Your Church's Volunteers" published in The Lutheran Witness in March 1998.
- Serving as Director of Equipping at St. Peter Lutheran Church, Arlington Heights, Illinois
- Earned a CVA, December 2010. The CVA (Certified in Volunteer Administration) credential is the only international professional certification in the field of volunteer resources management.
- M.A. in Theology, Concordia University, Irvine, CA; B.A. in Education, Concordia University, River Forest, IL.
- Nine years, Director of Volunteer Ministries, Christ the King Lutheran Church, Southgate, Michigan
- All three levels of training at Marlene Wilson's Volunteer Management program at the Univ. of Colorado, Boulder
- Began leading workshops and writing professionally while in Southgate.
- Between the Southgate and Arlington Heights positions, I led (as a volunteer) an Equipping Volunteers for Ministry team in my home congregation, Christ Lutheran, Costa Mesa, while employed by the Center for U.S. Missions in Irvine.
- Before beginning in church volunteerism in 1993, I served as parochial school teacher and church office administrative assistant
- Husband Henry, a full-time church musician, has served churches in Missouri, Michigan, California, and Illinois. We have two adult sons.
Why "The Equipper"?
An equipper is someone who equips or prepares someone else for a task. This site is meant to equip people so they can in turn equip the people of their church to more fully and effectively serve Jesus.
Equipping, as a term for helping people serve in the church, became commonly used following the publication of Sue Mallory's book The Equipping Church in 2001.
Our primary equipper is Jesus Christ, who not only calls us to service but equips us with everything we need to serve him and others.
This site is designed to help churches help their members serve in ministry as God calls them to serve.
This site expresses the goal as becoming 'equipping churches' -- churches that equip their people to serve. Other names are often also used -- volunteerism, lay mobilization, volunteer ministries, and so on. The name is not important, but the focus is.
Some churches seek solely or primarily to get their people to fill open volunteer positions in the church. They may even use spiritual gift inventories and other tools, but their focus is limited to recruiting volunteers. An equipping focus includes recruiting, but it has a different focus and goes far beyond recruiting.
Equipping focuses on the person, rather than the empty position, and focuses on helping the person serve, rather than simply filling the position. Equipping also includes supporting the people who are serving, and helping them transition out of serving when needed. Equipping helps the church flourish by helping its people flourish in ministry.
May our service to Jesus Christ lead us and others to know Him more!