Frank grew up in two places. Born in the cold country of northern Minnesota, at age three his family moved to a much warmer southern Illinois. In Murphysboro, where his Dad was pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Frank attended the church school and enjoyed a carefree Tom Sawyer type childhood playing with friends in the surrounding hills and hollows.
In seventh grade, his family moved to Seward, Nebraska, where his father became professor and eventual president of Concordia College, and Frank and his brothers and sister turned the campus into a giant playground. There, in High School, Frank learned guitar, sang in several folk groups, and met the beautiful girl who would later become his wife, Jan. Those early years formed a deep love for music of all kinds. It was also there that God would begin stirring in Frank’s spirit a growing sense of calling to become a pastor.
Along the way toward ordination and ministry, he attended two colleges, two universities, and a seminary. In every place, music and service and sharing God’s Word found big places in his life. And always present was joy he found in creativity and innovation. Frank’s friends and family were hugely important encouragement as he grew over the years as a pastor, musician, composer, counselor, preacher, teacher and mentor.
Frank has written several worship liturgies for guitar, piano and other instruments. His liturgy The Feast of Life: A Contemporary Communion, an inspiring, teachable, easy to sing yet musically diverse and worshipful, has been featured at synod assemblies and theological conferences, and has been used by hundreds of congregations. And many of his worship songs have been recorded, sung in worship, published in various places, with one song in the worship book The Best of the Best.
In 1973, Frank became the assistant pastor at Grace Lutheran Church, River Forest, IL, where he learned a deep appreciation for the best classical type sacred music, and also where he learned leadership lessons that would be foundational for the rest of his ministry. While there, he earned a secondary degree from Loyola University in counseling psychology for religious professionals.
Then, in 1976, Frank became the lead pastor at Ascension Lutheran Church, Waukesha, WI, where he and his wife/ministry partner Deaconess Jan served nearly four decades. Early on, Frank caught a vision of transforming a congregation into a mission-centered place, open to all Christians and all people, welcoming creativity in ministry and helping everyone find and release their gifts for ministry, as they connected to each other in loving relationships, while growing spiritually. The congregation more than quadrupled in size, grew to a staff of nearly twenty, greatly multiplied its mission program, and was identified as a ‘teaching congregation’ for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Ascension Church has become known in the community as a church with high energy traditional and contemporary worship services, marked by quality music and life-application preaching, and a passion for mission in the community and world.
Many of the resources Frank developed were field tested in this congregation, over the years. His most recent book, Love Leads: the Creative, Missional Leader and Church, offers a ton of grace centered theological and practical principles for becoming a healthy, growing mission centered church and leader.
Leaving Ascension Church in 2013, Frank continues speaking, preaching, leading worship, coaching ministers and leaders, teaching, assisting others with music for worship, and writing articles, books, songs and liturgies.
A PERSONAL WORD FROM FRANK:
I love the church of Jesus in its many and varied ways to be congregations, to worship, and to serve Christ. The passion God put in my heart for church renewal beats as strong as ever. I enjoy being a mentor who listens for understanding and shares ideas, and I look forward to teaching and preaching where people are growing in missional attitudes and ministry. I believe every congregation is unique, with distinctive God-given gifts for a dynamic life of mission, but I also believe there are principles that will foster health and growth in every situation. I hope people will find my resources inspiring and helpful, and I am willing to be of assistance through conversation, coaching, training, or leading worship. And I love the joy that rises from a true shared ministry. May God’s power and grace kindle up in you new faith to venture out boldly in creative mission for the Kingdom.
Frank is married to Jan, a Deaconess recently retired as a worship and music minister. They have two children Benjamin, married to Casey; and Rebekah married to A.J., and two perfect grandchildren, Jorja and Henry.
Peace, Love and Joy!