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. Pick any topic below to learn more about resources shared through RSTM.
Congregations are strengthened to fulfill the Great Commission in their regions.
Matthew 28: 18-20
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. Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, and mid-week programs are among the methods of intentional Christian education programs in addition to the operation of Lutheran day schools. One of the important responsibilities of RSTM is connecting pastors and congregational leaders with helpful resources for such work. If you have questions about resources, contact Amy at the RSTM office by calling 1-888-463-5127.
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. If you have questions about resources, contact Amy at the RSTM office at 1-888-463-5127.
A Network of Care: Telecare
Telecare is a program that 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
The 72®, a ministry of the LCMS, utilizes trained volunteers and provides three to four weeks of on-site assistance to congregations that desire to begin revitalize, enhance, or expand their ministry to reach those who do not know Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. For more information about hosting a team from The 72®, call 1-800-433-3954 or www.lcms.org/the72.
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 www.oafc.org.
Mission U is Lutheran Hour Ministries’ witnessing-training program 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 www.whatsmissionu.com.
Stewardship is an area of congregational life often neglected in rural and small town congregations. A small percentage of these congregations offer any kind of stewardship education at all. 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 is a link to LCMS resources to assist congregations in the area of stewardship. For more information about stewardship resources, contact Amy at the RSTM office at 1-888-463-5127.
This program equips pastors and lay leaders with resources for a congregational stewardship commitment process. Call the Lutheran Church Extension Fund at 1-800-843-5233 or visit www.lcef.org.
Additional Ministry Resources
Need a resource you aren't finding under one of the other topics? It's probably here!
- www.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.
- www.youthESource.com – The LCMS youth online resource available to anyone at no cost. Churches looking for programmatic and organizational resources can find a lot of stuff here.
- www.lcmsyam.org – A youth ministry site, specifically targeting work with post-high-school through early 30s young adults. The podcasts on the site could be very helpful to rural and small town congregations.
- www.lcmsgathering.com – The LCMS Youth Gathering web site.
- 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 www.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 www.paraelcamino.com.
- Daily Devotions (Monday-Friday) – Devotions are published on www.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. Visit http://www.lhmgift.org/storefront/products.asp?by=topic&id=23&page=all.