Resources — Recognized Service Organizations

The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

Essays and Reports

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.

Dreams-Disappointments-Achievements: The First 150 Years of Social Ministry — Reaching out in mercy and responding to human needs has been a key component throughout LCMS history. This report covers post-Civil War movements and highlights the work of Johann Friederich Buenger (the forefather of LCMS social ministry) and other LCMS leaders.

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.

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.


The CEO and the Board: The Art of Governance as a Competitive Advantage — Hosted by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, the webinar examines how leaders and their boards can create an evolving, adaptive model of governance that addresses the elephants in the room so that, collectively, they can implement a governance model that forges a path to organizational success.

Insight and Practical Advice for Your Board: A Panel Discussion — Hosted by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, three panelists share their expertise and knowledge. Tim Kurth from LCEF talks about the work he does with RSO boards to help them become stronger and more sustainable. David Maack, executive director of Compassion Place and Angie Moellering, President and CEO of Lutheran Social Services of Indiana both share their insights after years of working with boards in their respective organizations.


KFUO Interview — Project Compassion Ministries — Eric Stenson, Executive Director of Project Compassion Ministries, talks about how they strive to bring a sense of wholeness to the spirit, mind and body through their Love Bus and Chaplain Ministries.

KFUO Interview — Memory Care for Older Adults, Part 1 — Rev. Max Phillips, Bruce Glanzer and Jodi Speicher discuss memory care for older adults.

KFUO Interview — Memory Care for Older Adults, Part 2 — Senior health care professionals Alex Kiefer, Suzan Moriarty, Leslie Friedel and Stephanie Leanes discuss caring opportunities for older adults.

KFUO Interview — Phil’s Friends Brings Hope to Cancer Patients, Families — Phil Zielke, Founder and Executive Director of Phil’s Friends, talks about bringing hope to those affected by cancer through the gifts of hope and prayer.

Other resources

How is LCMS Life Ministry connected to social ministry?LCMS Life Ministry strives to provide encouragement and support for social ministry agencies as these organizations care for those facing sanctity of life decisions.


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The Lutheran Witness Magazine

Lutheran Witness February 2024

MDFL Resource Center

Making Disciples for Life - Resource Center

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Ready to expland your congrgation's pro-life ministry? Apply now for the Million Dollar Life Match.

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Set Apart to Serve

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The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod Inc., including Mission Central (in Mapleton, Iowa), is an IRS registered 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charity.

A contribution designated (restricted) for a specific purpose, when accepted, will be used only to fund expenses related to that purpose. Occasionally, we may receive more in contributions for a particular purpose than can be wisely applied to it in the foreseeable future or the purpose may cease to be feasible. In these situations, the LCMS will make reasonable attempts to contact contributors to apply their contribution toward another aspect of ministry that aligns closely the contributor’s goals and values. If a contributor cannot be contacted, the LCMS will use the gift to meet a similar pressing need that most closely matches the contributor's original intent.

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