About LCMS Rural & Small Town Mission
The primary focus of Rural & Small Town Mission (RSTM) is to support congregations in rural and small-town settings in the work God has called them. RSTM recognizes that, while the work to which God has called congregations is the same, the context in which that work is carried out can be very different — even in rural and small-town America. Specifically, RSTM focuses on assisting:
- Sole rural parishes
- Dual and multi-point parishes
- Large rural and small-town parishes
- Leadership training
Rural & Small Town Mission supports pastors, professional and lay leaders in sole parishes from rural and small-town settings by providing ongoing leadership training and connecting them with available resources for a number of ministry areas. Our leadership training and conferences assist congregational leaders in community engagement as congregations become aware of changing community demographics. As the work of RSTM expands, there will be additional discussion of issues such as congregations working together in partnership, ethnic outreach in rural and small-town settings and congregations with Lutheran day schools. If your congregation has a particular need, please contact Amy at 888-463-5127 or email@example.com.
Dual and Multi-point Parishes
Rural & Small Town Mission provides encouragement and support for congregations of all sizes, but is especially sensitive to the dynamics of dual and multi-point parishes. We assist congregations in rural and small-town settings by providing ideas and resources for the work in their unique settings. Our leadership training events, conferences and webinars address many of the unique challenges of congregations working partnership. One of the primary components of the “Engaging Your Community” events is a focus on congregations working together for the sake of the kingdom and meeting the needs of the communities in which they exist. As the work of Rural & Small Town Mission expands, our intention is to address such topics as the worker priest model of pastoral ministry and examine various partnership models for multiple congregations working together. If your congregation has a particular need, please contact Amy at 888-463-5127 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Large Rural and Small-Town Parishes
Large congregations in rural and small-town settings may face similar issues to small rural congregations on one hand and large suburban congregations on the other. At the same time, there are unique challenges that are not shared because of both the size of the congregation and its specific context. Rural & Small Town Mission provides support for professional and lay leaders in large rural and small-town parishes through leadership training and resources specifically for geared for their context. If you have questions about resources or training opportunities for large rural and small-town congregations, please contact Amy at 888-463-5127 or email@example.com.
Let us go to the small towns. Mark 1:38 — God’s Word®
Rural & Small Town Mission is based in Concordia, Mo., but it provides training and resources to called church workers and lay leaders throughout the LCMS.
In 2013, Rev. Todd Kollbaum joined Rural & Small Town Mission as the LCMS Office of National Mission extended the call for the first full-time director of RSTM. Rev. Dr. Lee Hagan served as the interim director of LCMS Rural & Small Town Mission in 2011-12. He succeeded Dr. Ralph Geisler, who led Saint Paul Institute of Education, a ministry of Saint Paul Lutheran High School in Concordia, Mo., into a partnership with LCMS World Mission to support rural LCMS congregations. Under the synodical restructuring approved by the 2010 LCMS Convention, Rural & Small Town Mission became a component of the Office of National Mission and operates today as a ministry of the LCMS.
Recent years have seen the programs and work expand to allow Rural & Small Town Mission to assist and support more congregations and districts across the Synod. We hope and pray the coming years allow RSTM to continue to grow and that Christ, the Lord of the Church, would richly bless our “life together” as we “witness always.”
If you would like additional information, please contact program coordinator, Amy Gerdts by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 888-463-5127.