Mission Field: USA is the flexible framework for technical support, training, equipping and organizing church planting in multiple settings and contexts.

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  • The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod’s Office of National Mission is investing significant energy and effort in working with our districts to assist in their church planting efforts.

    Church planting can be accomplished through mother congregations, sponsoring circuits, or planting networks that may simply need support to get things started. Partnerships are also formed between struggling congregations in the inner city or rural areas and healthy congregations who wish to help them restart.

     Download brochure — Find information about support services, grants and resources

 


 

Empowerment Center, including Lutheran Hope Center, opens at Ferguson’s ‘ground zero’

Lutheran Hope Center in Ferguson: Rev. Micah Glenn

The Ferguson Community Empowerment Center opened in July 2017, and it houses four St. Louis-area partners determined to restore the beleaguered community after violent protests in 2014 sparked a new look at racism nationwide.

The Rev. Micah Glenn, a Mission Field: USA national missionary, is based there as director of the Lutheran Hope Center, where volunteers offer Jesus' love along with education, mentoring and other assistance.

 Read Reporter Online story   TheLutheranHopeCenter.com

 


 

Current Church Planting Programs

For those congregations wanting to be involved in an existing program, here are ways to get involved:

Church Planting Guidebook

Church Planting Manual

  • About this guidebook
  • A Resource for Church Planting is a theological and practical guidebook for mission work, and it provides a foundation for what it means to be a Lutheran congregation. This resource also offers a step-by-step approach from forming a core group to becoming a fully established congregation in the LCMS.

    Download

 

New Church Planting Programs

For those congregations wanting to start their own church plant, here is how to begin:

  • Training
  • Church Planters Training

    In planting a Lutheran church, it is important to understand the distinctive characteristics and marks of Lutheranism.

    In his writing, “Church and Ministry III,” Luther gives seven marks and an outward sign that can be categorized under Witness, Mercy and Life Together.

    These are key to developing a core group that form into a Lutheran congregation:

    • I. Witness: Possession of the Holy Word of God

    • II. Life Together: The Holy Sacrament of Baptism

    • III. Life Together: The Holy Sacrament of the Altar

    • IV. LifeTogether: The Office of the Keys Exercised Publicly

    • V. Life Together: Consecration or Calling Ministers

    • VI. Witness & Life Together: Prayer, Public Praise, and Thanksgiving to God

    • VII. Witness & Life Together: The Holy Possession of the Sacred Cross

    • VIII. Mercy: The Christian Life of Loving Our Neighbor

    These areas comprise a firm foundation to use in the planning process for church planting, and they are a beneficial guide in forming a core group to charter a Lutheran congregation.

    This training enables the core group to use Witness, Mercy and Life Together as the framework for doing missions.

    Each of these emphases is taught in a separate module to help you be deliberate as you plan. Building a Life Together involves assembling a core group, developing unity in belief and practice, managing the administrative aspects of getting started, preparing to worship, and establishing fellowship, as this core group becomes the Body of Christ in this place.

    Witness to the new community will require a well-catechized congregation to speak the truth in love in their various vocations. In our skeptical society, knowledge of apologetics is becoming increasingly important. Creating an awareness of a new congregation coming into the community also will be important.

    So, too, Mercy will be an important aspect of the life of the church and also an instrument of outreach. The church plant will need to understand their community, find ways to be a good neighbor and reach out to others through human care.

 

  • Funding
  • In the city setting, there are typically large groups of international immigrants, multi-ethnic neighborhoods, extreme poverty and the like. Small towns and rural areas also have great human care needs.

    For new campus missions, the transient nature of the congregation and lack of mature giving creates similar challenges. But those who serve in the midst of these complex and challenging mission fields are also worthy of our support, including financially.

    A network support model may be needed for funding to ensure that there are adequately trained workers in the field along with the resources needed to reach out to their communities.

    The stark reality is that we are losing our footprint in cities and on our campuses, and, once our ministries are lost, it is virtually impossible to get them back.

    In many of our largest cities, we have a small handful of churches for populations rapidly outgrowing their suburbs. Therefore, we need a quick and lasting response with a clear Lutheran identity.

    Mission Field: USA Grants Available

    We have training and start-up funds available for those who wish to partner with us using our approach for Mission Field: USA.

 

  • Sending
  • The life cycle of sending national missionaries:

    Recruitment

    Recruiting candidates to be national missionaries will involve seminary students, called pastors who are interested in domestic missions or the conversion of an existing, interested pastor to national missionary status.

    Assessment

    Identification of candidates who have the qualifications for planting churches and domestic missions. This may include a desire to serve in urban, Black, Hispanic, campus and rural settings for new starts.

    Training

    Our seminaries will have a mission formation track for students and service opportunities for future church workers in various settings. The LCMS will also help with training in the WMLT Church Planting Framework built upon Martin Luther’s Seven Marks of the Church.

    Placement

    Synod will work with districts to place the worker in a location that is truly a mission and requires the Network Support Model (i.e. international, campus, poverty, etc.) Through the districts, we will also work with mother churches, sponsoring circuits or mission societies.

    Orientation

    We will need to orient the worker to be a domestic Network Support Model missionary to ensure their ability to develop a healthy network of support.

    Funding

    Some missions will require an NSM model missionary for either the short term or for the long term. In partnership with our districts, new church plants will also need support for the costs associated with starting and to have the needed facilities for a church.

 

Pilot Programs

The LCMS is using new programs to bring the Good News of Jesus to urban areas, rural areas, college campuses and small towns, and among people of different ethnicities.

 

Recent Articles & Stories

Church Planting – LCMS News & Information
Empowerment Center, including Lutheran Hope Center, opens at Ferguson’s ‘ground zero’
Wednesday, August 02, 2017 11:55:58 AM

The Reformation of the Lutheran Church in America Today
Monday, June 05, 2017 9:48:15 AM

Reversing the LCMS membership decline: not just by having more children
Tuesday, February 28, 2017 3:10:21 PM

Free: resource to guide church-planting efforts
Friday, February 03, 2017 2:35:03 PM

US church planting: A new initiative for the LCMS
Friday, July 01, 2016 12:05:20 PM

This feed has 23 articles on 5 pages << < 1 2 3 4 5 > >>

Learn more

Contact Rev. Dr. Steve Schave, director of Church Planting

♦ missionfieldusa@lcms.org

♦ 888-THE LCMS (843-5267)

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