Lehrdienst, derived from Lehre (teaching) and Dienst (service), was a term used to designate the body of ministers of a congregation, particularly by the Mennonites of Prussia and Russia. The origin of this designation very likely goes back to the Netherlands. The chairman of the Lehrdienst was the elder (Aeltester, Oudste), who was assisted by the other ministers of the congregation. The Lehrdienst was not only responsible for the preaching in the various meetinghouses of the congregation but also in matters of discipline and business functions which in North America are taken care of primarily by a church council. The Lehrdienst of a number of congregations of one settlement was sometimes organized in the Kirchenkonvent. At times the name Kirchenkonvent seems to have carried the same meaning as Lehrdienst. In North America, where the congregations of Prusso-Russian background adopted the one-minister system, the functions and the term Lehrdienst have become obsolete.
Franz Isaac, Die Molotschnaer Mennoniten. Halbstadt, 1908.
Cite This Article
Krahn, Cornelius. "Lehrdienst." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 18 Nov 2017. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Lehrdienst&oldid=88985.
Krahn, Cornelius. (1957). Lehrdienst. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 November 2017, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Lehrdienst&oldid=88985.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, pp. 314-315. All rights reserved.
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