Behind the Pulpit
Three Seasoned Lutheran Pastors Share Their Megachurch Stories
Roger Eigenfeld, Paul Harrington & Duane Paetznick
This book is primarily a side-by-side account from Roger Eigenfeld and Paul Harrington of their ministries, with commentary by Duane Paetznick. Roger was at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi for 33 years, and Paul did ministry at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church in Apple Valley, also for 33 years. Each of those churches grew into megachurches during their tenure. They reflect on what it was like to be leaders during those times of growth, development, and change. The book probes how a climate of welcome and trust helped each of these churches to grow.
In a unique twist, throughout the book, Duane, who worked beside both Roger and Paul for many years, offers additional insights on their ministries from his perspective. He compares and contrasts the ministry styles of Roger and Paul. Both were outstanding leaders but in surprising and sometimes very different ways.
Roger Eigenfeld attended and graduated from Carthage College in Illinois and Northwestern Lutheran Seminary in Minneapolis, where he received his M.Div. He began his pastoral ministry as a mission developer. Subsequent calls included several years as a youth pastor in two Minneapolis congregations. In 1972, he began his ministry at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi, Minnesota. During Roger’s tenure at St. Andrew’s, it grew to become one of the largest congregations in the Lutheran Church. He retired in 2018.
Paul Harrington graduated from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota with an M.Div. and an M.Th. He then served a congregation in suburban Detroit for nine years. In 1980, he developed a mission church in Apple Valley, Minnesota, where he served as senior pastor and pastor emeritus for 33 years. When he retired, the church had grown from just three families to a membership of over 9,000.
Duane Paetznick was the Director of Christian Education at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi Minnesota for 13 years while attending Luther Seminary in St. Paul. After graduation from the seminary with an M.Div. in 1993, he was called to be an Associate Pastor at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church (SOTV). In 2019, Duane retired after 27 years at SOTV.