The sainted Father Rudolph Kurz pointed this out when it happened. The Lutheran Annual originally listed the names of pastors on the LCMS clergy roster and then listed congregations. Some time in the 80s, they put congregations first then pastors. Father Kurz said this was a change in theology.
The latest edition of the LCMS Treasurer’s Manual has first place in the budget going to “Outreach-Beyond Congregation,” second place is “District-Synod Support,” third place is “Convention assessment,” fourth place is “Local mission Support,” and fifth place is “Pastoral Support.” The one who is to make his living from the preaching of the Gospel does so after the first four. Believe it or not, this is an improvement from the earlier suggested budgets where the pastor came literally after everything else.
But that’s good for him. He gets to be last, so he can be first. It is good to be least in the kingdom of heaven. Both of these things are true, but it’s not good for the people who do this to him.
Now we come to the real reason I write. For prpbably the last 25 years the last page of The Lutheran Witness is where the president of the LCMS had his article. The December 2008 issue has his article first. The last page is dedicated to “Searching the Scriptures.”
Does order matter? In the kingdom of heaven order often gets turned on its head. However, it’s a different matter when men do it.