Preaching contest

Are you a young pastor? Are you interested in preaching at the Twelfth Assembly of the LWF? Then and now the message of the Reformation is that we are “Liberated by God’s grace.” How would you express that in a sermon? The Lutheran World Federation calls for sermons, nurtured by the word of God and communicated through the lens of your experience.


In 1517, the 33 year old theologian Martin Luther nailed 95 theses to the door of All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg, Germany. His words were courageous engaging and called for an reform of the church. Martin Luther’s specific theological insight with justification by grace through faith at its center, gave theology a new and deep meaning and relevance.

Since then, the Reformation has made an impressive journey. It has become a truly global citizen and has taken root in many different contexts. The Lutheran World Federation, a worldwide communion, comprises today 145 member churches, representing more than 70 million Lutherans in over 90 countries. The 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017 offers us a unique opportunity to explore what the liberating message of the gospel means for us today.

As we mark this anniversary, we wish to emphasize the polycentric character of the Reformation and the various contextual realities that shape today the Reformation movement

We will also seek to commemorate the Reformation anniversary in a spirit of ecumenical openness. As a Lutheran communion we confess to being part of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church. Therefore, as we remember with gratefulness the theological heritage of the Reformation, we do not simply celebrate our particularity, but together with other Christians we wish to respond to the calling of Jesus Christ.

Churches of Reformation are churches in ongoing reformation (ecclesia semper reformanda est). We wish to pay close attention to and explore the themes and issues which move people and the societies of today, as they form part of an ongoing Reformation, affirming that the church must be open to constant renewal, always seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit in face of contemporary challenges.

The LWF Twelfth Assembly

One of the highlights of the quincentennial anniversary of the Reformation is the Twelfth Assembly of the Lutheran World Federation that will meet in Namibia in May 2017 under the theme “Liberated by God’s Grace”. It will be attended by more than 800 Assembly participants and ecumenical guests from 90 countries. At this Assembly, we want to make sure that the perspective of today’s young people is heard when we are asking for the role of Lutheran churches today. That is why the sermon of the closing worship service, which will conclude the Assembly, shall be held by a young pastor.

Call for sermons

We expect an inspiring and challenging sermon, addressed to the global communion of Lutheran churches that will gather for the Twelfth Assembly.  We hope for a sermon that, expresses the understanding that we are liberated by God’s grace through faith, and reaffirming our calling to an on-going reformation in this world.

Please submit a sermon of 700-1000 words, written by yourself in one of the four official languages of the LWF (English, Spanish, German or French) which is based on Gal 5:1, 22-26.

The sermon can have a link to the readings of the closing worship (Exodus 20:1-6/ Psalm 46/ Gal 5:1, 22-26 / John 15:1-11).

Criteria for preachers

The preacher has to be an ordained Lutheran pastor (male/female), born after May 1984 and member of a LWF member church.


The written sermon and the application form must be submitted before 31 October 2016. Only complete applications will be considered. The shortlist of the best 20 sermons will be announced after 20 December 2016. Only shortlisted candidates are requested to submit a 2-minute video with excerpts of their sermon and the church endorsement. The selection process will be led by an internationaljury of renowned theologians.

The winner of the preaching contest will be announced in March 2017 and invited to preach on 16 May 2017 at the Closing Worship Service of the Twelfth LWF Assembly in Windhoek, Namibia.

Please send your complete application by soft copy (preferred) or hard copy to:


Mailing address:

Twelfth Assembly Office
Clarissa Balan and Yann Bovey
Route de Ferney 150
P.O. Box 2100
CH-1211 Geneva 2

Helpful information:

Preaching contest - English
Application form - English (sermon to be submitted with application form)

Preaching contest - German
Application form - German (submit sermon with application form)

Preaching contest - French
Application form - French (submit sermon with application form)

Preaching contest - Spanish
Application form - Spanish (submit sermon with application form)


Join us at the Twelfth Assembly Register