Leadership Topics and Resources
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod’s Rural & Small Town Mission (RSTM) serves as a resource center by sharing outreach strategies and ministry possibilities.
Because we understand the unique context in which rural and small town ministry takes place, one of the important responsibilities of RSTM is connecting pastors and congregational leaders with helpful resources and subject matter experts for the work of the Kingdom.
Pick any topic below to learn more about resources shared through RSTM. If you have additional questions about context specific resources, contact Amy at the RSTM office at 888-463-5127.
Congregations are strengthened to fulfill the Great Commission in their regions.
Matthew 28: 18-20
EVANGELISM AND OUTREACH RESOURCES
Our Lord also bid His Church to be His witnesses to the ends of the earth. However, one need not go to the ends of the earth to see opportunities to bear witness to Christ.
Most rural counties across the country have unchurched populations of more than 50 percent. Congregational leaders are often looking for resources to equip members to bear witness to Christ in their daily lives.
Below are links to LCMS entities whose focus is to train and equip people for witness.
- Every One His Witness: workshop for personal evangelism — This workshop is oriented toward individual believers who wish to be more effective witnesses of Jesus in their everyday lives. Learn the LASSIE approach from relational, contextual witnessing including six key elements: Listen-Ask-Seek-Share-Invite-Encourage.
- Every One His Witness: Lutheran Evangelism program — Participants in an Every One His Witness workshop unlock online contextual training modules like witnessing to members of different world religions or cults; witnessing to people who are unchurched or dechurched; witnessing to those experiencing difficult life events; and witnessing while offering works of mercy. This program is currently under development.
- Connect To Disciple workshop for evangelistic outreach — This workshop is oriented toward leaders providing their congregations with instruction and resources for developing an effective outreach strategy.
- re:Vitality — This full-scale program addresses the three fundamental premises of revitalization by providing congregations with resources to improve their abilities to invite, welcome and receive people from outside the congregation. This program is currently under development.
- A Network of Care: Telecare — The program involves teams or individuals using the telephone to contact people and extend Christ’s love, show concern and offer prayer support. This is accomplished by trained laypeople providing caring conversation for others, and it is one way a congregation can meet spiritual and physical needs. Telecare programs offer the benefit of involving more people in caring for one another in the congregation and encouraging the members to be fervent in praying for one another. Download PDF
- Ongoing Ambassadors For Christ — OAFC is a Recognized Service Organization of the LCMS, and it is available to serve congregations, training youth and adults to share their faith in Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, the only way to heaven. Call 217-827-0717 or visit oafc.org.
- Mission U — The Lutheran Hour Ministries’ witnessing-training program is designed to provide lay people with the tools and training needed to confidently accept their mission of sharing Jesus Christ with unique people in diverse settings. Visit whatsmissionu.com.
Stewardship is an area of congregational life often neglected in rural and small town congregations.
However, the teaching of Biblical stewardship is vital for so many families today who are struggling with issues related to the management of time, money and priorities.
RSTM connects congregational leaders with resources to assist congregations in the teaching of Biblical stewardship and helping God’s people to understand their identity “in Christ” through baptism and the Holy Spirit’s ongoing work of sanctifying and keeping one in the true faith.
Below are links to LCMS resources to assist congregations in the area of stewardship.
- Stewardship — LCMS Stewardship Ministry helps congregations grow in their understanding and implementation of a life of stewardship.
- Consecrated Stewards — This program equips pastors and lay leaders with resources for a congregational stewardship commitment process. Call the Lutheran Church Extension Fund at 800-843-5233 or visit lcef.org.
Christian Education Resources
The charge that Jesus gave at the end of Matthew’s Gospel was to make disciples by baptizing and teaching.
Christian education today is a significant challenge for many congregations in rural and small town settings. Equipping teachers and parents alike for the work of teaching the Christian faith to children is crucial.
- LCMS School Ministry assists, equips and uplifts school educators, district staff, and especially education executives and congregational leaders so that through them children may be equipped as disciples of Jesus Christ.
Recognized Service Organizations Resources
Rural and small-town congregations are often looking for new opportunities to engage their communities, and Recognized Service Organizations often offer a chance to partner in these endeavors.
Additional Ministry Resources
Need a resource you aren’t finding under one of the other topics? It’s probably here.
- youthESource.com – This LCMS youth online resource is available to anyone at no cost. Churches looking for programmatic and organizational resources can find them here.
- lcms.org/young-adult – LCMS Young Adult Ministry empowers youth to reach out to their peers with the love and light of Christ. Resources include youth-authored Blogs, podcasts, and volunteer opportunities.
- lcmsgathering.com – The LCMS Youth Gathering is held every three years.
- octaneministry.com – The Octane Ministry, located in Michigan, is a Recognized Service Organization that strives to link congregations in small towns, rural and other non-urban settings together through youth leadership and inter-congregational events and connections.
- Para el Camino (For the Journey) – This 30-minute weekly radio program (Spanish version of The Lutheran Hour) is available free of charge for radio stations or through paraelcamino.com.
Since this site is in Spanish, it might be easier to contact The Lutheran Hour:
Nancy Kellerhals | 314-317-4210 | 1-800-944-3450 Ext. 4210
Beatriz Hoppe | 314-317-4167 | 1-800-944-3450 Ext. 4167
- Ayer, Hoy y Siempre – A 15-minute weekly radio drama based on a life situation, which is resolved in a Christian manner. It is available free of charge for radio stations or through paraelcamino.com.
- Daily Devotions (Monday-Friday) – Devotions are published on paraelcamino.com. During the Advent-Christmas and Lent-Easter seasons, these are available as seasonal devotions and always in print format — for free — so churches may download them, print them, and distribute in their communities.
- Printed materials – Find approximately 25 booklets on different topics as well as several Bible studies; some may be downloaded in PDF format for free. Some Men’s Network Bible Studies on DVD are subtitled in Spanish, and children’s books are also available. Find more information online.
If you have additional questions about context specific resources, contact Amy at the RSTM office at 888-463-5127.