Did you know...
- The United States makes up the 3rd largest mission field in the world
- Only 18 percent of the U.S. population goes to church in a given week
- The average church size is 75 in worship
- 90 percent of churches are declining or on a plateau in worship attendance
- 50 congregations in the United States close every week
Many congregations are faced with declining membership and resources for a variety of reasons. When this happens, the natural tendency is to focus on survival issues, and the Great Commission suffers.
What can be done to change this?
Revitalization. Key to turning around congregations are attitudinal changes that come with a renewed sense of mission and welcoming new members who have come to faith in Jesus through the personal witnessing. The LCMS offers a variety of helpful revitalization resources, from Recognized Service Organizations, national ministries and partners, as well as your local LCMS district.
Mission Revitalization Process led by the Transforming Churches Network (TCN)
TCN, an LCMS Recognized Service Organization, develop a process designed to assist local congregations in becoming more effective in reaching their communities with the Gospel of Jesus Christ—in turning their inward focus outward. Based on research among effective mission movements worldwide and LCMS pilot projects that have field tested materials over the past five years, the Transforming Churches Process of “building community to reach communities” includes three components: congregational consultations, coaching and learning communities as well as a number of ancillary resources.
Is a dynamic six-week study module process, offered through the Transforming Churches Network, that helps local congregations reach out to their unchurched neighbors through small group methodology. Groups Ablaze! is designed to promote outreach by forming relationships with the unchurched and inviting them into non-threatening small group home meetings which become a setting wherein the Gospel of Jesus might be shared.
Planting Gospel Seeds
Many LCMS congregations have been impacted by population shifts that occurred during the later part of the 20th century, but are now ready to revitalize their mission and reach out to their neighbors. LCMS World Relief and Human Care’s “Planting Gospel Seeds While Serving Human Needs” program helps congregations develop ways to enable their neighbors to break the cycles of poverty and struggle.
Your LCMS District Office Mission and Ministry staff person
Connect with your local LCMS District office to access the resources they provide and recommend.
The 72—Partners on the Road
A ministry of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, these trained ministry volunteers partner on-site with your congregation for a series of weekends or up to three weeks! Teams of two-to-four people help train and equip your congregation for effective outreach—whether to plant churches or to begin or revitalize an outreach ministry.
Rural and Small Town Mission
Partnering with LCMS districts, this LCMS ministry uniquely assists and equips professional and lay leaders serving in rural and small town settings that desire to touch their communities with the Gospel.
Community Research and Planning Resources