LCMC Blog [Church Planting Topic] Read the the latest news, announcements and articles from LCMC. en-us Annual Gathering & Seminarian Retreat: Online Registration Now Open! Fri, 29 Apr 16 00:00:00 -0600 Online registration for our 16th Annual Gathering and our 2016 Seminarian Retreat is now open! 

Annual Gathering

The theme of our 2016 Annual Gathering is Back to the Future: First Century Principles for the Twenty First Century.  Held October 2-5 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel and Convention Center in Denver, the event features plenty of opportunities to get inspired, connect with other people in LCMC and get the latest news updates on our association. 

This year, we'll be teaming up with Lutheran World Relief for a special service project, where we plan to assemble 10,000 personal care kits for people whose lives have been affected by natural disasters.  We will also be hosting a fellowship dinner on Monday evening, giving participants an opportunity to make new friends, reunite with old friends, or get connected with a fellowship group of their choice.  

The event also features keynote speakers, worship services, more than 30 breakout sessions and the ability to connect with various mission and ministry organizations in our vendor area. 

All pastors, leaders, church members, delegates and visitors who register for the Annual Gathering by Thursday, September 1 will receive $60.00 off the cost of registration!  

Register Now!  >>

Seminarian Retreat

Hosted at the Ponderosa Camp and Conference Center in Larkspur, CO the weekend before the Annual Gathering, the Seminarian Retreat gives seminary students a chance to connect with one another, connect with seasoned pastors in LCMC, and ask questions about the seminary process. 

Registration is $60 per person with meals and accommodations included.  Spouses are also invited to attend.  Advance registration is required.

Register Now!  >>

Registration Now Open for 2016 Leadership Conference Wed, 25 Nov 15 00:00:00 -0700 Registration is now open for Shift: Retooling Church, our 2016 Leadership Conference, which will take place April 10-12 at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Altoona, IA.  

Through the use of keynote speakers, skits and small group discussions, this year's conference will bring to light three major shifts that the Holy Spirit is inviting us to make in order to be retooled for His mission to a plugged-in and over-booked world:

  • From congregational-focused to kingdom-focused
  • From pastor-dependant to pastor-equipped
  • From consumer-making to disciple-making

Speakers for the event include Rev. Jo Saxton, Rev. Dan Clites, Rev. Steve Turnbull, Mrs. Laurel Swanson, Rev. Jeremey King, Rev. Nathan Anenson and Rev. Per Nilson. 

Pastors, church leaders and church members who register for the conference by Monday, February 29 will receive a discounted registration rate!   Register Now! >>


Our DNA: Tuesday and Wednesday Recap Wed, 07 Oct 15 00:00:00 -0600 Registration numbers reached 744 on Tuesday morning as the LCMC 15th Annual Gathering continued on for its third day.  

The day opened with worship led by Living Word Lutheran Church in of Grapevine, TX and Bible study led by Rev. Steven E. King, Managing Editor of Sola Publishing.  

Rev. Dr. Paul Cross, Senior Pastor at Atonement Lutheran Church in Fargo, ND and Rev. Dr. Steve Paulson, Professor at Luther Seminary, were Tuesday’s keynote speakers.  The assembly was also joined by Rev. Dr. Ove Sander, who currently serves as President of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church.  

During the afternoon session, Rev. Dan Clites, LCMC Coordinator for New Ministry Development, introduced the new ministry leaders from LCMC who were present and encouraged the audience to start planting more new churches.  

The blood drive wrapped up on Tuesday evening.  64 pints of blood were donated over the course of Monday and Tuesday afternoons, resulting in 192 lives saved from LCMC donors.

During the Tuesday business session, voting delegates at the gathering voted on the winners for the Thrivent Financial Foundation Reformation Anniversary Grant Program. 

Wednesday morning began with a morning worship service led by Trinity Lutheran Church of Stonewall, TX and Bible study led by Managing Editor of Sola Publishing Rev. Steven E. King.  

Following the worship and Bible study segment, Rev. Mark Vander Tuig announced that the association’s 2016 Annual Gathering would be held in Denver, CO.  

Also on Wednesday morning, LCMC Board of Trustees Chair Rev. Kip Tyler updated the assembly on the new officer positions for the Board of Trustees.  Rev. Sean Kelly (Area 1) was named Chair and Rev. Julie Smith (Area 3) Vice Chair.  Laurel Swanson was re-elected as Treasurer and Rev. Martha Uecker Nelson was re-elected as Secretary.  

Sharon MacFadyen, LCMC’s Director of Operations, then announced the winners of the Thrivent Financial Foundation Reformation Anniversary Grant Program.  They are:

  1. Falls Community Church, Sioux Falls, SD
  2. Holly Cross Lutheran Church, Nairobi, Kenya
  3. St. Paul Lutheran Church, Kodiak, AK
  4. Living Waters Lutheran Church, Peoria, IL
  5. The Anchor Church, Phoenix, AZ
  6. Christ The Servant, Norfolk, NE
  7. Bethel Lutheran Church (Grant Proposal #1), Colorado Springs, CO
  8. Zion Lutheran Church, Des Moines, IA
  9. Zion Lutheran Church, Clear Lake, IA
  10. First St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church, Hastings, NE
  11. Peace Lutheran Church, Holbrook, AZ
  12. St. Michael Lutheran Church (Grant Proposal #2), Canton, MI
  13. Christ Lutheran Church, Maple Plain, MN
  14. Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, Lead, SD
  15. Trinity Lutheran Church, Titusville, FL

To read full grant proposals from these and other LCMC congregations, click here.  

The Annual Gathering then concluded with a keynote presentation by Rev. Bill Bohline of Hosanna! Lutheran Church in Lakeville, MN and a closing worship service led by Zion Lutheran Church in Priddy, TX and preached by Rev. John Waak from Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church of VIctoria, TX.

Our DNA: Sunday and Monday Recap Mon, 05 Oct 15 00:00:00 -0600 This week, 744 people from the U.S. and abroad traveled to Frisco, TX for the Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ 15th Annual Gathering.  The theme this year was “Our DNA”.  

The event kicked off on Sunday night with dinner and an opening worship service featuring Pr. Becky Hand from Life in Grace Lutheran Church of Odessa, TX and the worship team from Martin Luther Lutheran Church of Giddings, TX.  

Dessert and a reunion for all church planters within the association followed the service.  

Monday morning opened with worship led by Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church of Victoria, TX and Bible study with Rev. Steven E. King, Managing Editor of Sola Publishing.

Rev. Dr. W. Bruce Wilder, Senior Pastor of First Lutheran Church in Albuquerque, NM took the stage as our first keynote speaker, followed by a panel discussion featuring LCMC Service Coordinator Rev. Mark Vander Tuig, Rev. Bill Sullivan (Lead Pastor of New Life Lutheran Church and former Service Coordinator of LCMC) and LCMC Director of Operations Sharon MacFadyen.  

During the afternoon session, LCMC Coordinator for Pastoral Ministry Rev. Steve Lien announced the association's 2016 Leadership Conference, which will take place April 10-12, 2016 at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Altoona, IA.  The theme for next year’s conference is Shift: Retooling Church.  He extended a special invitation to young pastors and church leaders for the event.

Steve then invited district leaders, certification interviewers, new congregations, new pastors seminarians and military chaplains to stand and be recognized.  Pastors who are currently celebrating ordination anniversaries of 25, 30, 35, 40, 45 and 50+ years were also recognized.  

During the Service Coordinator’s report, Rev. Mark Vander Tuig announced two events for 2016, Called 2 Serve and Three Days of Prayer.  

Called 2 Serve is an LCMC youth event for high school students, which will take place at Grand View University in Des Moines, IA from July 19-22, 2016.  Registration for this event will open soon.  

Mark also stated that every congregation, church member and pastor is invited to take part in our 4th Annual Three Days of Prayer from January 5-7, 2016.  Each congregation can organize the three days in any way that makes sense.  The focuses of each day are:

  • January 5:  Confession
  • January 6:  Petition
  • January 7:  Direction

During the opening business session, Pastors Sean Kelly (Area 1) and Enrique Estrada (Area 7) were re-elected to the Board of Trustees.  Laurel Swanson was re-elected as Treasurer.  

The afternoon concluded with a fellowship dinner, giving LCMC-ers a chance to connect with a fellowship group or district of their choice. 

Early Bird Registration Ends September 1st! Mon, 24 Aug 15 00:00:00 -0600 Next Tuesday, September 1st is the last day to register as an "Early Bird" and save $50 per person on the cost of registration for the Annual Gathering!

Registration rates for visitors, church leaders, church members and voting delegates are as follows:

  • 9/1 & Before:  $200
  • 9/2 – 9/25:  $225
  • After 9/25:  $250

The event, to be held October 4-7 in Frisco, TX (a suburb of Dallas), features keynote speakers, worship and Bible study, breakout sessions, LCMC news updates, vendors and plenty of time for fellowship.  We'll also be hosting a blood drive as our service project for 2015.

We hope to see you there!

Register Now for LCMC's 15th Annual Gathering! Wed, 03 Jun 15 00:00:00 -0600 Online registration is now open for our 15th Annual Gathering, and those who register on or before Tuesday, September 1st will save $50.00 on the cost of registration!  (Click here for registration fees.)

This year's Annual Gathering is all about exploring and celebrating the very thing that makes us, as an association, who we are: our DNA. 

Whether you’re new to LCMC, just checking us out for the first time, or a long-time member looking to make new friends and reunite with old ones, our 15th Annual Gathering is the perfect place to get inspired, get informed, get equipped and get connected. 

Highlights of this year's event:

  • Find out more about what it really means for us, as an association to truly be Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ by hearing from some of the founding members of LCMC.  

  • Enjoy Worship and Bible Study with LCMC-ers from all over the world.

  • Learn more about what we have accomplished as an association over the past year, our vision for the future, and be the first to find out about news and upcoming LCMC events!

  • Get to know some of our international members, church planters, new ministry leaders, seminarians, chaplains, pastors, staff members and more!

  • Connect with other LCMC-ers at our Monday Night Fellowship Dinner and/or at one of our scheduled fellowship meet-ups.  (Click here to learn more!)

  • Get in touch with dozens of LCMC’s mission and ministry partners, as well as other vendors, by exploring our vendor area.

The event takes place October 4-7, 2015 at the Embassy Suites Dallas - Frisco Hotel, Convention Center & Spa in Frisco, TX (near Dallas). 

LCMC Staff Welcomes Photo Submissions for 2015 Annual Gathering Book Wed, 25 Mar 15 00:00:00 -0600 Our 15th Annual Gathering, themed “Our DNA”, is all about celebrating what it truly means for us to be Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ:  

  • We’re free in Christ
  • We’re accountable to one another
  • We’re rooted in the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions
  • We’re all working together to fulfill Christ’s Great Commission to go and make disciples of all nations

In accordance with this year’s theme, we’re inviting all “LCMC-ers” out there to show us, in a photograph, how their congregation exemplifies what it means to be an LCMC congregation. 

More detailed information, including a list of photo guidelines, can be found here

Special consideration will be given to all photos submitted on or before Tuesday, June 30th, however all photos received by Friday, July 31st will be considered for publication in our 2015 Annual Gathering Book and on our website.

Early Bird Annual Gathering Registration Ends September 1st! Fri, 29 Aug 14 00:00:00 -0600 Register for the Annual Gathering by next Monday, September 1st and save up to $40 per person!  

The registration rates for Annual Gathering visitors, church leaders, church members and voting delegates are as follows:

  • September 1 & Before:  $180.00
  • September 2-25:  $200.00
  • September 26 & After:  $225.00

As most of you know, one of our goals for this year's Annual Gathering is to package 400,000 meals for the hungry with nonprofit organization Meals from the Heartland on Tuesday, October 7th.  In order to make this happen, we are still very much in need of volunteers to help package meals!  If you plan to join us in Des Moines this year, please consider signing up to help out.  Volunteer sign-up is handled with Annual Gathering registration; simply check off one or both of the "Meal Packaging Project" checkboxes on your registration form. 

To learn more about the project, or to make a donation, click here

Annual Gathering Offers Fellowship Meet-Ups for Up-And-Coming Leaders Mon, 09 Jun 14 00:00:00 -0600 Building working relationships with friends and fellow colleagues in ministry is important.  That's why at this year's Annual Gathering, which is set to take place from October 5-8, 2014 in Des Moines, IA, we will be setting aside time for new or up-and-coming leaders in LCMC to do just that.  


In addition to our annual District Dinner Night, an opportunity for members of the various geographic and non-geographic districts of LCMC to come together for dinner, we will be hosting the following fellowship meet-ups:

  • Seminarians:  Join other seminary students for a dessert fellowship on Sunday evening after Opening Worship.  (See Also: Seminarian Retreat)
  • Young Adults:  Get to know other young adults in LCMC during a breakout session titled "20-30 Somethings" on Monday afternoon.  (See Also: LCMC: The Next Generation)
  • Church Planters:  Pr. Dan Clites will host a fellowship meet-up for church planters on Monday evening.  (See Also: New Ministry Workshop)

To learn more, click here.  

Blessman Ministries Plants First LCMC Congregation in South Africa Wed, 26 Feb 14 00:00:00 -0700
The church will be in a rural country school house building that has electricity, running water and an outdoor toilet.  It is a gathering place for our rural farm area, is the voting polling place, and has a soccer field where nearby farmers gather on Sunday afternoons. 

There is no other church of any denomination for several miles, and there are hundreds of farm workers in our area who do not have vehicles, so they have been unable to attend church.  This area definitely needs Jesus. 

Please pray for us as we walk down this new path.  We are in immediate need of chairs, musical equipment, hymnals, a cross, signage and praying for a church bus to bring many more people to church.  

For more info:

Phone: (515) 343-5920
Online Registration for Annual Gathering Now Open Tue, 07 May 13 00:00:00 -0600 What would happen in your congregation if every household could give the first 10% back to God through the ministry of the local church? 
From October 6-9, 2013, come together with other pastors, leaders and church members from all over the world as Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ celebrates its 13th Annual Gathering, themed "The Grace of Giving", at the Adoba Hotel in historic Dearborn, MI.
This year’s annual gathering will give us a chance to think about how we can become more generous in our financial stewardship and more clear about our discipleship.  If we can recapture our commitment to making disciples, generosity will come!

Online registration is now open for all who wish to attend. Those who register early will receive:
  • The lowest possible registration fees from now through September 1
  • First dibs on tickets to our Tuesday night Dinner at the Henry Ford Museum event (we are expecting it to sell out fast!)
  • The peace of mind of no longer having it on that lengthy to-do list
Much more information on the event can be found here.  Additional details will be announced on our website as soon as they are available.

Info Updates:  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter
Introducing Rev. Dan Clites, LCMC's Coordinator for New Ministry Development Mon, 04 Feb 13 00:00:00 -0700 When I was a kid, I dreamed of being an astronaut-- a bold pioneer of exploring outer space and the moon.  At the time, it seemed like the coolest job ever with all its intrigue and danger.  Trouble is, very few ever received the opportunity and now the whole idea of space exploration is grounded.

Thanks, however, to the LCMC's heart for bold ministry, we can all suit-up and blast-off again with a God dream!

As your new, New Ministries Coordinator (see Service Coordinator Mark Vander Tuig's note [in the upcoming edition of By the Word] for more details), I've been blessed with what I now believe is the coolest job ever--- to serve side-by-side with LCMC astronauts who are hearing Jesus' voice calling them to be pioneers of a space that seems ignored or grounded.  By the grace and wisdom of the Lord, together we will plant and develop new ministries across the nation that are effectively focused on reaching the disappeared, the disconnected and the disappointed.  This calling is filled with intrigue and danger...and I love it!  It is so huge a mission that it will require all of us to radically depend upon the Lord's dream to ignite 1,000 new ministries over the next decade!  But, as Romans 8 declares, "If God is for us, who can be against us?"

So, why is starting new LCMC ministries important, even urgent?  
  • Eternal life or death are in the balance for those who don't follow Jesus.
  • Practicing Christians get renewed in the Great Commission to Go and Make Disciples. 
  • Most effective manner to reach new generations, new residents and new people groups with the true Gospel. 
  • Best way to grow quickly and have an immediate Christian-impact in a community. 
  • Fosters new ideas and methods that can benefit other churches. 
  • Challenges and renews the whole Body of Christ to be one in a community.
  • Triggers mission-mindedness rather than maintenance-mindedness.
  • Gives a mother church the excitement of giving birth to effective outreach.

Friends: I look forward to firing-up our adventure by meeting many of you at our upcoming San Diego and Birmingham Leadership gatherings.  Please register so we can connect and start developing friendships that blast-off a Great Commission movement.  Over the next few months I will also be developing and launching new ministry "boot camps"--- opportunities for you to see if church planting is something that you're wired and called to do. My job is to help you get in-line with the Lord's mission, pray with you, coach/equip you and love you like Jesus loves His Church!

Dan Clites

Rev. Dan Clites starts his new LCMC position on March 1st.  He has been the planter and lead pastor of Rejoice! in Northfield-Dundas, MN for the last 10-years.  Before that, he served Lutheran congregations in Clearwater, Brainerd and Cannon Falls, MN.  Before graduating from Luther Seminary in 1995, Dan worked 9-years as a television sports anchor/reporter in Fargo, Grand Forks and Minot, North Dakota.  Dan and Joanne have been married 27-years and have two adult daughters, a son-in-law, and a grandson born this past Christmas Day!]]>
Don't Just Tell Us, Show Us! Mon, 02 Jul 12 00:00:00 -0600 Get your cameras ready! 

Design projects for the LCMC 12th Annual Gathering are currently underway, and to help illustrate this year's theme, Ambassadors for Christ, our staff is currently seeking photographs from our member congregations to be incorporated into the design of our Big Book, which will be distributed at the event this October.
Photo submissions are welcome from any and all LCMC congregations.  This includes congregations young and old, large and small, new and long-established. 
What we're looking for:  Photographs taken by staff, leaders or members of LCMC congregations that illustrate what your church is doing within itself, within its local community, or anywhere in the world to embrace being an Ambassador of Christ.  This includes, but is definitely not limited to:
  • Community service or community involvement projects
  • Missions trips or other related projects
  • Ministry or teaching programs
  • Creative endeavors (music, drama, artwork, etc.)
What we're not looking for:  A photo of your building.  Even if it's really cool. 
We are very much excited to see what is going on within the congregations of our association, and to incorporate these stories into the artwork of this year's Annual Gathering book.

Here are a few rules, guidelines and tips:

  1. Photo submissions will be taken from LCMC members until Wednesday, August 1 at 5:00 PM EST.  Due to early printer deadlines, any photos submitted after this date may be ineligible for consideration.
  2. Because chosen images will be used in a printed publication, please send only high quality images.  Very small or distorted images do not print clearly.
  3. Acceptable file types are: JPG, GIF, TIFF and PNG.
  4. Any photo submitted must be an original work (owned by the individual or the congregation), and not the intellectual property of another party.  
  5. By submitting any photo(s), you agree that any images (and likeness or subject matter within) submitted may be used without compensation for the purposes described above.
  6. Photos must be submitted by congregations or associate members of LCMC.  
  7. Photo content must be relevant and in accordance with who we are and what we believe.
  8. Each photo submission must be accompanied by your name, the name and location of your congregation, and a brief description of the photograph.
  9. Please note:  Due to space, time and other constraints, we are unable to guarantee the publication of each and every photograph submitted to us.
Emmanuel Lutheran Church of Easley Dedicates New Home Wed, 22 Feb 12 00:00:00 -0700 This past Sunday, the congregation of Emmanuel Lutheran Church of Easley dedicated their new church home in Easley, a gift, through generous members, from a provident God. After two years of faithful worship at Partee Time, a children's play area, the congregation purchased this Tabernacle, moving in just in time to celebrate our second anniversary with Divine Worship and a pot luck dinner on Christmas Eve. The building, previously serving others as a place of worship, was move-in ready. Our property search committee first discovered the availability of the building in early October. Ed and Irene Schlosser had previously provided funds set aside to purchase land for a future home. Recognizing the advantage of the immediately available and move-in ready Tabernacle, they increased their gifts, allowing us to purchase and close on the building within six weeks of the initial visit.

In spite of the weather, we were joined in our celebration by pastors and members of other South Carolina LCMC congregations, including St. Paul, Gaffney (Pastor Bucky Brown), Abiding Presence, York (Pastor Charles Aurand), and St. Mark's, Blythewood (represented by Mike Gibson). Patrick Young, currently taking Seminary Studies through ILT, and awaiting call, also participated. The Dedication service was based on the 1917 Common Service Book of the grandmother of our Musician, Donna Schultz. Donna also read a stirring tribute to the people who served to light our path, and those who joined together on this faith journey. She again told of our path, from bewilderment and disappointment in August, 2009, through our search for a new path, to the guidance from Pastor Bill Sullivan, Pastor Gary Coble, and Pastor Bill Ketchie, on a rainy evening in Salisbury, NC, in October, 2009. She highlighted the roles of Pastor Bucky Brown, and the congregation of St. Paul, Gaffney, SC; where we were strengthened in our faith by their display of theirs.  It was through them that Pastor Charles Aurand found us, and guided us to our first celebrant, Pastor Corky Spitler, and to our Pastor, Greg Longtin. She acknowledged, on behalf of all, the gifts of Brian and Michaela Mullins in providing our worship space for the first two years, and in providing leadership in financial and real estate matters. She thanked God for the gifts we received in the Call of Pastor Greg, and the beautiful gift to enhance our worship, the voice of Judy Longtin.  She also thanked God for the gift of Generosity He gave to Ed and Irene.

We have received gifts from others along our path. The congregations of Hopeful, Florence KY, the home church of Pastor Greg and Judy, provided us with the funds to purchase our sound system, and then, sent their Youth Clown Troop, sharing this wonderful ministry in an inspired and inspiring Divine Service. St. Matthews, Salisbury, NC, has designated us as a Mission Congregation, and continues to provide benevolence, which we have used to provide for worship, fellowship, and evangelism needs. Spirit of Joy, in Indianpolis, provided us with a most generous gift, which we used for youth, worship, and evangelism needs. We know that we have an obligation to pay it forward.

God has been with us, indeed, as our name proudly states. In our service, Pastor Brown read from 1 Kings the words of Solomon, as he dedicated the Temple that he built. His words are our prayer, that His eyes may be open, day and night, toward this church house. Our choir sang, "Surely, the Presence of the Lord is in this Place," and all felt and celebrated that presence. And Pastor Longtin, emphasising that we, the congregation, were the "Official Party"for the dedication, lead us all in reading, and declaring, the formal dedication. One of our altar banners, made by our member, Mabel Lunsford, declares, "A Mighty Fortress is Our God," and so we all rose up as sang Martin's Hymn together. And, of course, we had plenty of food for our congregation, and our guests.

Photo (Left to Right):  Pastors Charles Aurand, Patrick Young, Greg Longtin, and James "Bucky" Brown.