Helpful Resources For RSOs
The LCMS in Social Ministry
What does it mean to be Lutheran in social ministry?
A person seeking services may ask, "How can I tell if it is a Lutheran social service agency?" Someone working in an agency may ask, "How do we demonstrate to people that being Lutheran is an important part of who we are and what we do?" The Rev. Dr. Matthew Harrison, LCMS President, explains what a Lutheran social ministry organization should consider in living out its Lutheran identity with integrity to the Gospel, Lutheran traditions and the church.
Faith Active in Love: Human Care in the Church's Life
Do you want to respond to needs in your community? Is your congregation considering whether to establish a food pantry or low-income housing for the elderly? This report by the LCMS Commission on Theology and Church Relations provides thoughtful consideration on how Christians can integrate loving concern for neighbors.
Train the Mentor
In 1999, Luther Manor Retirement Community established the Train the Mentor
program to reduce a 102 percent nursing assistant turnover rate. In just one year, turnover dropped to 39 percent. Today, Train the Mentor
is used in some 500 nursing homes, hospitals and home health-care organizations. Learn more about the program through the Kendall Hunt Publishing website.
Topics of Interest
The Contemporary Debate on Homosexual Clergy
This essay by Dr. Armin Wenz, a pastor in the Independent Lutheran Church in Germany, brings clarity and guidance to a much-debated issue. His words offer biblically focused insights for Lutheran agencies.
Christian Care at Life's End
How do we care for one another at life's end? How do we receive care at life's end? This 1993 report by the Commission on Theology and Church Relations remains pertinent to complex problems. Basic guiding principles are presented for dealing with the topics of mercy killing, advanced directives, spiritual care at life's end and handling end-of-life decisions.
What is a Recognized Service Organization (RSO)?
A 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that is independent of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) but whose operations foster the mission and ministry of the church, whose program activities are in harmony with the Synod, and who agrees to respect and not act contrary to the doctrine and practice of the Synod, may apply for RSO status with the LCMS. Such organizations that meet the criteria outlined above, have applied for, and subsequently have been granted recognized status are RSOs.
What are the benefits of becoming an RSO?
There are a number of benefits for the applying organization. For example, an RSO has the ability to call ordained and commissioned ministers on the LCMS roster, use the LCMS logo, and obtain loans through the Lutheran Church Extension Fund. Read the complete list of benefits.
Who may apply to become an RSO?
RSO status may be granted to independently incorporated 501(c)(3) organizations for a period of five years. After five years, organizations must reapply to retain their status.
How can my organization apply to become an RSO?
Begin by browsing the application packet (at right) to learn more about becoming an RSO. To submit an application, complete and return the appropriate forms (as listed under "Forms to Complete" at right) along with the requested information listed on the "Checklist of Required Documents" to:
Office of the Secretary
The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod
1333 S. Kirkwood Rd.
St. Louis, MO 63122
800-248-1930, ext. 1415
back to top