LCMC Blog [About LCMC Topic] Read the the latest news, announcements and articles from LCMC. en-us We’re On It – An Update on the Small Church Survey’re-on-it-–-an-update-on-the-small-church-survey/a1010.html Mon, 24 Apr 23 00:00:00 +0000 Recently, we took a survey of ordained and lay leaders in our small churches in LCMC. Thank you for your responses. Your feedback has not only been received, but is being followed up on by the LCMC Board of Trustees, Ministry Board, and staff.

One example comes from our board of trustees and ministry board meetings held April 12-14 in Minneapolis. The boards affirmed a proposal to create a comprehensive plan for leadership and pastoral development. This plan will certainly impact our smaller congregations, but it will also impact our larger congregations in the association. Furthermore, it will create opportunities to network small, mid-size, and larger congregations with one another.

The point person for the development and implementation of this plan will be our coordinator for leadership and pastoral development, Pastor Christian Huntley. Christian will work with leaders from around the country and with ministries already in existence at the grassroots, regional, and district levels. He will be helping to network these leaders and ministries with one another. This will include an effort to make our congregations aware of resources that are already available for them to access, and of resources that may be created in the coming months.

An opportunity to speak with us personally will be at our Annual Gathering in October. There will be a focus group you can attend to share feedback on issues such as clergy shortage, next-gen leaders, and creative staffing. These issues affect our churches across the board, not just our smaller congregations. We will receive and process your feedback, using it to help us create and implement strategic initiatives at the grassroots, district, and national levels.

Thanks for the feedback we’ve already received from so many of you. And please, know, it is being processed and acted on. You will see this in action in the coming. May God continue to bless, encourage, empower, and make provision for your call to carry out the mission of the gospel that millions might be impacted by God’s love and God’s power!

LCMC 3.0: A Season of Continuity and Change Mon, 13 Feb 23 00:00:00 +0000 LCMC 3.0 is the new season of life and ministry the Lord is leading us into as an association. It is a season of continuity and change. It is a season in which we are being called to embrace the tension (nothing new for Lutherans) between the two as we follow the Lord. It is a season in which we’re being confronted by challenges. But as we’re told in the Scriptures, what appear to be challenges to us can actually be turned into opportunities by the Lord to accomplish His purposes.

In LCMC 3.0 we will embrace a practice of continuity. The Gospel will continue to be proclaimed. The good news of the kingdom of God will continue to be declared and demonstrated through the power of the Holy Spirit. The Word of God will continue to be preached and taught. Loving the neighbor and welcoming the stranger will continue to be practiced. We will continue to embrace our Lutheran Distinctives for ministry and mission. All of this and more will be part of the continuity we will experience and embrace in LCMC 3.0.

At the same time, LCMC 3.0 will be a season in which God will lead us to embrace changes that can help us be effective in our call to the mission of the Gospel in a changing cultural and sociological landscape. Our mission remains the same as it was in 2001 when 25 congregations came together to found Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ. However, the cultural and sociological context that we continue that mission in today has changed dramatically. And those 25 congregations are now almost 1,000. What worked in the culture of 2001 may not work as well in 2023 and beyond. What worked for 25 congregations may not work as well for 1,000. Embracing change as well as continuity will be part of life for us in LCMC 3.0

Districts and Fellowships

One of the changes that may serve us well in our present-day context will be embracing the revitalization of existing districts and fellowships and the establishment of new ones. The connectedness that healthy districts and fellowships can offer is essential in an association of almost 1,000 churches. The challenge to love, connect, and care for such a large number of congregations can be turned into an opportunity that the Lord can help us embrace through a system of districts and fellowships. The connectedness that they can offer is vital if we are to live our stated values of being accountable to one another and making disciples of all nations. Living out these values can happen best when we are connected with and in relationship with one another rather than trying to go it alone.

Many inside and outside of LCMC perceive our association to be one of individual and independent congregations held together by a Constitution, Statement of Faith and the missional implications of our name, Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ. The truth is, only half of the congregations in LCMC are active in districts and/or fellowships. In LCMC 3.0 we will seek to increase the level of regional participation and collaboration for the sake of the well-being of our congregations and to help them do ministry and mission together.

In this season of life and ministry together, we are asking questions like:

What if groups of congregations were more intentional about mutual ministry interests and sought to live out our core value of accountability to one another in a more intentional manner?

What if mission endeavors, mission plants, church revitalization and making disciples would spring from regional pockets within LCMC?

What if the formation of districts and fellowships was not about telling churches what you have to do, but about asking who do you believe God is calling you to be and what do you believe God is calling you to do, and then asking, how can we help you in that?

Rather than going it alone as congregations, what if we come together through the revitalization of existing districts and fellowships, and the birthing of new ones to experience the benefits of a peer-to-peer, not hierarchical system of connectedness?  

At its best, participation in a peer-to-peer system of districts or fellowships can enable our congregations to experience benefits such as:

  • Helping one another process and navigate the challenges and issues of life and ministry in healthy and effective ways
  • Connecting and networking with one another to develop partnerships and share resources for mission and ministry opportunities
  • Emphasizing the significance of each congregation and leader in LCMC and letting them know they are not alone 
  • Developing relationships and resources to aid in areas such as the call process, conflict management, equipping of volunteer and staff leaders, and congregational visioning
  • Developing relationships and resources for those called to plant churches, and supporting them in their vision to reach out to those who do not yet know Jesus as Savior and Lord

All of these and more can be some of the challenges turned opportunities of a healthy system of districts and fellowships that can help almost 1,000 churches stay connected with one another so we can encourage and equip each other in our call to the mission of the Gospel and to live out the stated values of our association.

Intentional Care for Leaders

Another challenge turned opportunity can be the intentional care of leaders in our association. One of the greatest gifts we can provide our congregations are healthy leaders (lay and ordained) who are being loved, connected, and cared for.

The world doesn’t encourage leaders to care for their own lives, and sadly, too often, neither does the church. Both demand that leaders produce and perform without any thought being given to the fact that this will eventually result in very dedicated and gifted women and men wearing out, burning out, and giving up. Therefore, we must be intentional in developing ministries, systems, and relationships that will help us love, connect, and care for our leaders in LCMC.

Thus, a major emphasis in LCMC 3.0 will be identifying and networking existing ministries and people at the grassroots, national, and international levels that can help us take advantage of this challenge and turn it into an opportunity to love, connect, and care for leaders. Of course, the care for leaders in our congregations has already been happening to varying degrees through ministries and relationships already in place. However, we are hoping and praying that in 2023 and beyond, God will increase our capacity for the care of leaders, lay and ordained.

Toward this end, two new ministries are being launched in 2023. The first is a new fellowship group for retired pastors and spouses. This fellowship will create opportunities for these faithful women and men to connect in loving and caring relationships with one another and to discern how God may have them, as a fellowship, meet various needs in our association.

Another new ministry that is being launched in 2023 through districts, fellowships, and regional congregations is The LeaderCare Initiative. The LeaderCare Initiative is a series of retreats that will focus on God’s work in a leader’s life of relational, emotional, and spiritual formation. The retreats will provide leaders a place to gather in an atmosphere that is safe and will help them build loving and caring relationships with one another. In this atmosphere leaders will experience God’s work of increasing their capacity to live healthier and more mature lives as persons and as leaders. And a healthy and more mature leader will only bless a congregation. The intentional care of leaders, lay and ordained, can be another challenge turned opportunity by the Lord in LCMC 3.0.

Clergy Shortage

Another challenge that can become an opportunity for of our association is the shortage of clergy in general, and in our smaller congregations in particular. Thus, a major emphasis in LCMC 3.0 will be the process of developing relationships, systems, and strategies that can help us identify, equip, and mentor women and men to meet that need in our association.

Toward that end we will be working to identify and help network people and ministry resources that are already at work equipping and mentoring men and women for pastoral ministry in our association at the grassroots, district, and fellowship levels. We also anticipate that new ministries, people resources, and strategies can be developed so that we can face this challenge as an opportunity, trusting that the Lord will help lead us and provide for us.

Lutheran Distinctives for Ministry and Mission

Yet another challenge in LCMC 3.0 that can be turned into an opportunity is the expansiveness and limits of our theological commitments. For centuries the Lutheran Church has been a steward of certain theological distinctives that are gifts to the larger body of Christ. At times we have imagined this as more of a burden than a treasure. The great gift of our theological heritage is the relentless commitment to “keeping the main thing the main thing” while encouraging freedom and creativity in everything else.

The challenge is the temptation to equate our theological heritage with certain forms of cultural heritage. Where those cultural traditions are unhelpful the theological commitments are sometimes accidentally jettisoned as well. The promise of the Gospel is not some dusty dogma. It is the life-giving, faith-creating Word. Renewed clarity on what that promise is and is not will, along with clarity on other Lutheran Distinctives can help us meet the challenges for ministry and mission in our current cultural climate. Far from being a burden, this is the great gift we have to share.

Welcoming of New Congregations into Our Association

Another challenge embraced as opportunity in LCMC 3.0 is to intentionally welcome new congregations and leaders into our association in a manner that ensures they are being loved, connected, and cared for. It is one thing to join a new family, it is another to feel a part of it.

We have a particular culture or DNA in LCMC that will be new to most who are joining us. It can be helpful for us then, to connect relationally with our new congregations and leaders to help them become aware of any old culture or DNA of past affiliations they may need to leave behind, and the new culture and DNA to be embraced in LCMC.

Toward this end we are already at work implementing a very detailed plan for welcoming new congregations and leaders to membership in LCMC. This plan involves association staff, district and fellowship coordinators, and regional congregational leaders connecting with those new congregations and their leaders. With this plan in place, we’re better able to make a congregation’s transition from life in a denomination to life in this association a welcoming one.

What Can God Do in a Season of Continuity and Change?

LCMC 3.0 is the new season God is leading us into, a season in which we are being called to embrace the tension of continuity and change. As God launches us out into this new season, a question for us to encourage one another with is this: What can God do?

What can God do with an association of almost 1,000 congregations that is willing to follow His leading to embrace the tension of continuity and change in a healthy way? What can God do when an association of almost 1,000 churches embraces the continuity of proclaiming the gospel of what He has done for us that we can never do for ourselves through the life, death, and resurrection of His son, our Lord, and Savior Jesus Christ? What can God do when an association of almost 1,000 churches and their members and leaders continue to declare and demonstrate the good news of the kingdom of God in the power of the Holy Spirit?

What can God do with an association of almost 1,000 congregations that continues to embrace such continuity while at the same time is willing to discern and embrace changes that God is calling us to make in our life together? Changes that can help us continue to carry out our call in the mission of Gospel in a cultural and sociological context that is significantly different than the one in which our association was founded? Changes that can help us be aware that what once served 25 churches well, may not serve as well in an association of almost 1,000 churches?

The answer to those questions? God can draw millions of people to faith in Christ as Savior and Lord. He can disciple millions of people, training and empowering them to live as followers of Jesus in a complicated world. He can heal millions of people relationally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. And He can reveal to millions of people the ways He has designed them on purpose for a purpose that is significant. God can do all this and more through an association of almost 1,000 churches who are willing to embrace the tension of continuity and change.

And as it has always been, so shall it ever be, that the One who is leading us into this next season of life and ministry together is the One whom we can confidently follow, our Lord, and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Register Now - 22nd Annual Gathering & Convention Mon, 25 Apr 22 00:00:00 +0000 Registration is now open online and by mail for our 22nd Annual Gathering & Convention, a four day event designed to bring people from across the association together for a time of fellowship, worship, learning, and more.

The theme of this year's event is Discipleship: Following Christ in a Complicated World, and speakers Ebassa Berhanu, Steve Turnbull, Graeme Sellers, Steven King, Ryan Alexander, and Andrea Paulson will help us to explore the importance of discipleship in our everyday lives.

In addition to hearing from our speakers, participants will also be invited to:

  • Connect with other pastors, leaders, and church members in LCMC through fellowship and networking activities such as our fellowship dinner and district meetings
  • Take part in breakout sessions
  • Meet mission and ministry exhibitors
  • Join together in worship, prayer, and Bible study with others from across the association

As a new experience for 2022, we will also be offering meet and greets to help people in different types of ministry establish relationships with one another and reflect on the role their ministry plays in the discipling of others.

The event takes place October 2-5 at Hosanna Church in Lakeville, MN.

For the best possible experience, we recommend signing up by August 15 to receive the discounted rate, then booking your accommodations as soon as you have registered in order to guarantee your spot. 

For more information and to register for the event, click here.  

We can't wait to see you there!

Meet Our Newest Staff Member! Wed, 24 Feb 21 00:00:00 +0000 As LCMC’s Service Coordinator, I am delighted to announce a new addition to our national staff. I have asked Pastor Julie Smith to join our team as the Coordinator for Districts and Fellowship Groups. Adding this position to our team will enable us to be more effective in connecting, equipping, and caring for all congregations and leaders throughout the association.

We believe that developing a healthy and robust district and fellowship group structure will help LCMC congregations deepen their ties to one another for the sake of strengthening their witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It will also increase our effectiveness in implementing a strategic-operational plan that is being designed to more effectively serve and support all the congregations and leaders in our association.

Julie Smith is a life-long Lutheran and became a pastor in 1998. She has served congregations in Clarkfield, Bock, and Springfield (all in Minnesota). In addition, she served for several years as a Bible camp director. She is also a co-founder of St. Paul Lutheran Seminary.

Julie's main hobby is running around to whatever activities her seven nieces and nephews are involved in. She is a sports fan, and while high school football is a favorite, NBA games featuring any former Minnesota Timberwolves are a close second. Like all Minnesotans, Julie believes as many summer days as possible should be spent at the lake, with the Twins on the radio. Please don't ask her about the Vikings. 

Julie is a graduate of Luther Seminary and loves any opportunity to teach, whether that's leading silly Bible skits with first graders or giving seminary students some pointers in preaching. She has previously served on the LCMC Board of Trustees and has worked with the Augustana and Epiphany Districts of LCMC.

Julie's last Sunday in her congregation in Springfield, MN will be on Easter Sunday and she will begin work with us on the LCMC staff shortly thereafter.

As Service Coordinator, I am very excited about what Julie is going to add to our team in terms of her skills and experience, and who she is as a person. I’m looking forward to having her join our staff.

Welcome aboard, Julie!

2020 Annual Gathering Recap - Here's What You Need to Know Thu, 15 Oct 20 00:00:00 +0000 A total of 139 people joined together in person at North Heights Lutheran Church on October 5 to celebrate Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ's 20th Annual Gathering and Convention.

This total included 105 voting delegates, 14 guests, 8 members of the board of trustees, 5 members of the LCMC staff, 5 members of the ministry board, and 2 speakers.

The event, which was also live streamed online, featured a discussion on the future plans of LCMC, keynote presentations by Gemechis Buba and Matt Randerson, and an interactive panel discussion. 

Mike Bradley was formally installed as the association's new service coordinator, and former LCMC Service Coordinator Mark Vander Tuig was thanked for his service to LCMC over the past ten years. 


Business + Board Members

Due to mandatory attendance limits placed on in person events in the state of Minnesota, the trustees asked the voting delegates to extend the terms for the trustees from Area 2 and Area 4 one more year until 2021.  This was affirmed by vote.  [View Board of Trustees]

Eddy Perez and John Waak were appointed to the ministry board of LCMC, while Nathan Hanson and Steve Turnbull were thanked for their service. [View Ministry Board]

During the business session, delegates voted to extend the association's 2020 budget into next year. 


Videos + Media

Videos from this year's Annual Gathering will be made available in the LCMC App and on our website under Events > Media by winter 2021. 

We will make an announcement via e-newsletter, blog, and mobile updates when when videos from this year's Annual Gathering become available for streaming.  If you're not already subscribed, please be sure to do so if you would like to be notified when new videos become available. 

Digital copies of this year's Annual Gathering book, as well as books from past years, can be found on our website under Events > Media or by clicking here.


Share Your Thoughts

If you would like to submit feedback on this year's event, please click here to fill out the form that is available on our website. To guarantee that the staff and board members of LCMC are able to review your form, all responses must be received by Friday, October 23.


Next Annual Gathering & Convention

Our next Annual Gathering and Convention is scheduled to take place October 3-6, 2021 at Upper Arlington Lutheran Church in Hilliard, OH. 

For updates, stay tuned in our e-newsletter, "Like" and follow us on Facebook, and/or download our mobile app and subscribe to Annual Gathering push notifications in your app settings [here's how].

Remember the Mission Mon, 24 Aug 20 00:00:00 +0000 Remember the mission. Three words that you will hear me say often as I begin my tenure as Service Coordinator for LCMC. There are certain things about who we are, what we do, and what we believe as Christians that must never change. They remain true in every era, country, community, and congregation for all time. The mission God has given us is one of those things.

Our Lord Jesus articulates the mission in Matthew 28, telling us to go into the world to make disciples. That was the mission for the first disciples and churches, and it remains the mission for us today. Remembering the mission will inform the decisions we make as an association moving forward and will shape what we do and how we do it in the time and place in which we live. It is important that we remind one another of just what our mission is. History teaches that it is far too easy for leaders to become distracted from focusing on God’s priorities by focusing more on religious activities that do not help us remain focused (see the Pharisees).

One way to articulate the job God has given us to do is this: Our mission is to develop healthy leaders and disciples in the Church (see Colossians 1:28) and equip God’s people for lives of effective witness and mission in the world today (see Ephesians 2:8-10; 4:11-12). These will be things that we will prayerfully and strategically develop more in the days ahead in LCMC. We will be asking the Lord to show us how we can work together as leaders, congregations, districts, and fellowship groups in developing healthy leaders and disciples, particularly next generation leaders. And we will seek His guidance in how we can network and resource one another in equipping God’s people for the work of ministry He has prepared for them so that we can experience a robust practice of the Priesthood of all Believers.

All of this will only be possible, of course, as we experience the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit at work in us and through us. The Holy Spirit made a difference in the life of Jesus. He made a difference in the lives of those first disciples. And He still wants to make a difference in our lives today. The mission remains the same, but in order to more effectively accomplish the mission, some of the ways we carry it out will need to be adapted and Holy Spirit-led risks will need to be taken.

Let us remind one another as often as we need to sisters and brothers of the mission God has given us because one thing that is most certainly true is this: The mission remains the same.

LCMC 3.0 Update Fri, 08 May 20 00:00:00 +0000 As many of you may know, in December 2019, LCMC staff, boards, and district leaders undertook a significant and intentional time of assessment, reflection, and prayerful discernment about the future of LCMC.

The Board of Trustees has worked diligently and faithfully to discern God’s calling for the next chapter in the life of LCMC. We have been calling this new season LCMC 3.0 and it will be led by a new Service Coordinator following the retirement of Mark Vander Tuig on August 31, 2020.

We are currently well into the process of identifying who the next leader will be, and by God’s grace we hope to bring an update very soon on how this process is coming together.

Our hope was to identify a new leader by July 1, 2020, while staying committed to keep searching until we have unity on the candidate, I am hopeful that we are going to achieve our goal on this timeline.
Whenever there is a turnover in leadership it is important to assess the broad spectrum of our strengths, weaknesses, and the opportunities to address the challenges we face as an association.

The Board of Trustees has made a renewed commitment to building on the part of our DNA that is summed as, “accountable to one another”. We believe that the most effective way to achieve this commitment to our DNA is to empower, train, and equip the pastors and leaders in our districts, fellowship groups, networks, and informal associations.

As a part of these initiatives, LCMC 3.0 will challenge the association to plant churches on a more regional basis through the ministries of districts, fellowship groups, and local churches. As a result of this decentralization of church planting, the position of Coordinator for Church Planting will end on May 31, 2020.

The Rev. Dan Clites, who has been our Coordinator for Church Planting for almost 8 years, has served our Association diligently and faithfully.  His passion, energy, and commitment to planting churches has benefited our association and its church planters in real and substantive ways.

Dan has helped to seek out and train church planters and trained many church planting teams. He has gone wherever needed to help people start churches all across the US and has consulted with our friends in Brazil regarding church planting and developing missional communities. Dan has also co-lead a video training opportunity twice a month called “2:47 Network” and has faithfully served this association with passion and given us a strong foundation upon which to build.
On behalf of the Board of Trustees I want to thank the Rev. Dan Clites for his hard work and selfless service to the members of this association. I am personally grateful for the contributions Dan has made in his nearly 8 years of service and we wish him God’s best as he begins a new chapter in his life.

I want to encourage all those who have been impacted by Dan’s ministry to reach out and thank him personally, you can reach Dan at
Please continue to pray for Dan in his transition and for the Board of Trustees as we continue the process of finding our next Service Coordinator.
God’s peace to you all,
Brodie Taphorn
Chair, LCMC Board of Trustees
and on behalf of the LCMC Board of Trustees

LCMC Service Coordinator Position Update Mon, 18 Nov 19 00:00:00 +0000 Dear Pastors, Leaders, and Members of LCMC,

At our 19th Annual Gathering and Convention, held in Omaha, NE September 29 – October 2, 2019, our Service Coordinator, Rev. Mark Vander Tuig announced his retirement effective August 31, 2020.  Mark has done this so we, as a Board and as an association, can take this time to evaluate and assess both the state of LCMC and the position of Service Coordinator.

In order to prepare for the next chapter in the life of the association, we have engaged a consultant to help us.  Bob Logan of Logan Leadership will work with us through this process, which we expect will be complete by the end of 2019.  Bob met with the Board of Trustees and the Ministry Board for two days this summer.  He has scheduled one-on-one interviews with the staff, others and is organizing video conferences with groups within LCMC. His goal is to gain a broad perspective representing various groups and ministries all across our association.

The timeline for hiring the next Service Coordinator is as follows:

  • December—January:  The Board of Trustees will review recommendations, make adjustments to the Service Coordinator job description, and set goals for the coming year.
  • February—March:  The Board of Trustees will open the position to submit resumes and evaluate candidates.
  • April—May:  Interview final candidates and move to fill the position.
  • June:  Announce the selection of the next Service Coordinator.
  • July—August:  New Service Coordinator will work with Mark Vander Tuig and staff.
  • August 31, 2020:  Mark Vander Tuig completes his service to LCMC.
  • October 4, 2020:  The next Service Coordinator will be installed at the next Annual Gathering held at North Heights Lutheran Church, Arden Hills, October 4-7, 2020.

Working with Mark these last few years has given me a front row seat to the way he pours his heart into this association of churches. Mark has served us with distinction for a decade; I hope you will join me and the board as we give thanks for Mark’s service and pray for him as he opens a new chapter. More details to come later this year on how you and your church can express your thanks for Mark and his service to LCMC.

God’s peace,



Rev. Brodie Taphorn

Chair, LCMC Board of Trustees

Register Now: 19th Annual Gathering and Convention Mon, 01 Apr 19 00:00:00 +0000 Registration is officially open for our 19th Annual Gathering and Convention, a four day event featuring keynote speakers, updates about LCMC, worship, vendors, Bible study, and breakout sessions, plus plenty of opportunities to connect and network with other pastors, leaders, and congregation members throughout our association.

Greg Finke and Grace Johnson will serve as our keynote speakers this year as we "Listen Up!" to God's calling on our lives, His calling on the people around us, and the callings and challenges that we are faced with across generations.

Andrea Paulsen and Jonathan Haseley will preach our opening and closing worship services.  Jim Cords will lead prayer and Bible study each morning.  

It all takes place September 29 through October 2 at the CHI Health Center Omaha in Omaha, Nebraska.

For more detailed information and to register, click here or find "Annual Gathering" listed under the events section of our mobile app.  

Early bird registration ends August 15th, so be sure to sign up before then in order to beat the price increase! 

You might also be interested in:  Photo Contest  |  Church Planting Retreat

2019 Annual Gathering Photo Contest Announced! Fri, 29 Mar 19 00:00:00 +0000 Entry Form  |  FAQs  |  Deadline: July 15th

How has your congregation “Listened Up” to the needs of others on a local, national, or international level over the past year?  Enter the 2019 Annual Gathering Photo Contest and share your stories with us!  

The LCMC staff is once again welcoming photo submissions from LCMC pastors, leaders, and church members that depict how their congregation has been "in Mission for Christ" over the past year.  

We especially love to see photos from service projects, outreach events/activities/programs, mission trips, creative/artistic projects, disaster relief, and church planting efforts from any and all age groups within your congregation!


  1. Go to and review the photo guidelines
  2. Upload a photo, fill out the entry form, and click “submit"
  3. You will receive a confirmation message once your photo has been submitted.  

You may enter as many photos as you’d like, however to ensure that we are able to communicate the story behind your photo, the entry form must accompany each submission.  

Photos will be selected based on subject matter (how closely they fit the theme), quality of the photo (not squished, blurry, or overlapped by text or clip art), and the story behind the photo (the photo description explaining how your congregation is making a difference).

Due to printing requirements, time restraints, and the high volume of photos we receive each year we are unable to guarantee the publication of each and every photo submitted, however all eligible photos received by Monday, July 15th will be considered for publication in our 2019 Annual Gathering books.  

Hard copy books will be available at the Annual Gathering in October, and a digital edition of the book will be available on our website and in our mobile app once the Annual Gathering begins.

The LCMC 19th Annual Gathering and Convention takes place September 29 - October 2, 2019 at the CHI Health Center Omaha in Omaha, NE. 

2019 Annual Gathering Update Sun, 24 Feb 19 00:00:00 +0000 Plans are well under way for the 2019 Annual Gathering and Convention, September 29 - October 2 in Omaha, Nebraska

Our theme this year is “Listen Up!”  We will spend our time together considering the challenges that come in our attempts to hear clearly.  How do we listen for God’s  callings in our lives?  How do we listen to the needs of our neighbors?  How do we listen across generational and cultural divides?

If you’re a regular at the Gathering, we look forward to seeing you again.  For many, the Annual Gathering is more like a family reunion than a church meeting.  We are supported and encouraged by reconnecting with old friends and making new ones.

If your congregation has never sent delegates to the Annual Gathering, we’d love to see you there next fall.  Along with the official gathering activities, it’s a great opportunity to get to know other members of our association.  It can sometimes feel like you’re out there on your own in LCMC, and the Annual Gathering will help you meet some of your neighbors. It also provides opportunities to meet our staff and board members, as well as the many ministry organizations that serve within and alongside LCMC. You will quickly find that you are not on your own, but are part of a widespread family of faith.

If you'd like to be notified when registration opens for this event, please download our moble app and subscribe to Annual Gathering push notifications in the app settings (here's how), subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter, and/or follow us on Facebook

Video: Our Association Needs Your Support Mon, 05 Nov 18 00:00:00 +0000 *** For a video version of this request, please scroll down to the bottom of this page. ***

Dear Pastors, Leaders and Members of LCMC Congregations,

Our association needs your financial support.  At this point we are about 9% behind of our budgeted goals.  Please consider how you might support our association.

We believe that the congregation is the front line of ministry.  Your financial contributions make possible the training and equipping of people in the local church by our staff who come out to the congregations of LCMC at no cost.  Travel, food and lodging is covered by our annual budget.

Our staff offers resources and workshops for pastors, leaders and members of the local church in the local church and for the local church!  Call committee coaching, conflict resolution, planting churches, developing missional thinking, discipleship, evangelism and stewardship are just some of the workshops that we offer.  And every person on our staff is always ready to respond to the thousands of phone calls, emails, and texts that pour in each year!

Our boards meet five times each year, and they are elected from all across the US and even beyond.  They are all volunteers!  LCMC provides for their travel, food and lodging.  Their agendas are always packed and they take their work very seriously.

Your financial contributions help us to fulfill our commitments:  to our staff, for travel, and to maintain and develop our administrative resources:  webpage, computers, print costs and more.

Please consider how you might support our association with your financial gifts to LCMC.

Sincerely In Christ on behalf of the Board of Trustees,

Rev. Mark Vander Tuig
Service Coordinator, LCMC

*** For more information or to make a donation, click here. ***

175 Attend Called 2: Follow Youth Event Tue, 21 Aug 18 00:00:00 +0000 Just a few weeks ago we completed the second “Called 2:” youth event.  It was once again held at the campus of Grand View University and was led by pastors, leaders and teachers from our association. 

This is unlike any other youth event with which people may be familiar.  We are not trying to gather thousands, entertain them, wow them, or make them question everything they may have learned in Sunday School.  This is discipleship, leadership development, and a commitment to strengthen the mission and ministry of the local church!

When this idea was first presented it was about ministry, not so much at the event, but after.  We wanted to challenge the students to consider God’s call on their life and how they might be useful to God as His ambassadors for the ministry given to God’s people—the ministry of reconciliation (see II Corinthians 5: 16-21).  We had to do more than just tell them they are ministers though, we needed to find ways to equip them for ministry.  Everything we intended to do was to help them to be effective as Jesus’ ambassadors in their own school, church, community, and family.

There was also a second priority.  We wanted to challenge these students to consider the vocation of ministry as well.  In my experience, pastors come out of the mission and ministry of the local church.  That’s what happened to me.  As I participated in the ministry of my local church, I just knew there had to be a better way to draw people into a relationship with Jesus.  I have dedicated the past 40+ years to that idea, including being a charter member of this association.

Would there be a way to help students see that the vocation of ministry can be meaningful, exciting, encouraging, miraculous and worth giving a life to doing?  We invited pastors to share their stories of both the good days and bad.  But always pointing to Jesus who is the Lord of the church and Lord of our lives.  There is no greater life than following Jesus, and for some of us to follow him into the vocation of ministry.

Did we accomplish the goal?  I don’t know, we’ll see in the years to come.  What I do know is this.  We had such a tremendous response to this summer’s event, that we are going to do it again. 

The next “Called 2:___” national youth event will be held on the campus of Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa from July 21-24, 2020!

For updates on this event, download our mobile app and sign up to receive "Youth Event" notifications. [Here's How]

Photos by Laura Gardner. 

Why Attend the Annual Gathering? Mon, 20 Aug 18 00:00:00 +0000 18th Annual Gathering and Convention  |  October 7-10, 2018  |  Des Moines, IA

We are getting ready for our 18th get together in Des Moines, Iowa!  I like to think of our gathering as more of a family reunion than anything else.  It is a time for us to connect, network, renew old friendships and make new ones.  But why would you bother to go?  Why would you make the commitment of time and money to attend?  There are some very good reasons, I want to share a few of them with you.

You Joined.

At some point in the history of your congregation you made a decision to join our association.  You had congregational meetings, you had discussions and finally took a vote.  We don’t ask for much, because we believe that the congregation is the front line of ministry, but what we do ask is this: be a part of God is doing in LCMC.  You will not know what the Lord is up to in this church body unless you pay attention and participate.  In our congregations we all have people who rarely if ever attend and yet they are on our “membership list”, for many of us, this is confusing.  Why would you join something and not participate?

This is Different

Our annual gathering is not like any other church body meeting you have ever been to.  We don’t have long, drawn out business meetings.  We don’t have one committee report after another telling us about things that really don’t matter to the life of the local church.  We don’t have endless greetings from people who are not part of LCMC and who we will never see again.

We have some business to do, yes, but what we do applies only to the association, not to the congregation.  We have elections to the Board of Trustees and we vote.  We have keynote speakers who challenge and inspire us to carry out the work of the church.  We have breakout sessions, each one designed to strengthen the ministry of the local church.  We have times for prayer, worship, and singing.  We have fun.

You Are Not Alone. 

There are times when we feel isolated, disconnected and tired, both as congregations, as pastors and leaders, and as individuals.  Our gatherings are meant to be encouraging to each other as we try to follow Jesus into our communities and around the world.  Just as individuals, we are baptized into a family of faith, and are now part of the Kingdom, we are bound together in our association.  We need each other.  Attending the gatherings of our association help you to see that you are a part of something, you belong and you are not alone.

You can find all the information to register for this next gathering here.  Come along, be an active participant in what the Spirit of God is doing in LCMC!  We are in this together, we need each other and now is the time to join us October 7-10 at HyVee Hall and Convention Center in Des Moines, Iowa!

Early bird registration ends September 1st, so be sure to sign up soon in order to attend for the best rate! 

Get Mobile Updates! Sun, 28 Jan 18 00:00:00 +0000 Did you know that the LCMC App lets you sign up to receive news updates on your mobile device based entirely on your interests?  Here's a breakdown of what's available:

General Notifications:

Select this option if you’d like to be notified ONLY of announcements that aren’t related to attending a specific event.  Examples:

  • New videos/podcasts
  • Service projects
  • Contests
  • Major news updates from the LCMC Staff and Boards

Event Specific Notifications:

We use this feature to notify you when registration opens for your favorite events, when a deadline related to an event you’ve selected is approaching, and when any major new details get announced for that event.  (For Three Days of Prayer, you’ll receive a message reflecting on the themes during each of the three days.)  App users who sign up for these types of notifications will only receive announcements for the specific events they’ve opted in for.  

On Site Notifications:  

While attending a larger LCMC event such as the Annual Gathering, opting-in for on site notifications will allow you to receive any announcements or updates that are made during the event, such as meeting room assignments and service project information.  You will only receive these types of messages for the duration of the event you’re attending.

Don’t worry, if you sign up for our notification system we won’t spam you with constant daily messages. We’re just using this feature as a way to help make it easier to receive news updates in the most timely manner possible.  

Here’s How:

  1. If you haven't already, download our app on your phone or tablet. 
  2. Open the app and click on the icon in the top left corner to access your inbox, notes, and app settings. 
  3. Select "Settings", then "Notifications". 
  4. On the Notifications page, simply toggle on anything you'd like to get updates about. 

That's it! 

Everything You Need to Know for Three Days of Prayer Fri, 29 Dec 17 00:00:00 +0000 Our Sixth Annual Three Days of Prayer kicks off Tuesday, January 2!  The themes for each day are as follows:

  • Tuesday, January 2: This is a day focused on confession. We have made our lives, our relationships, and even the church in our own image. We confess that the church belongs to Jesus and not to us. We gather to lay down our pride, our sin and our agenda and ask the Lord of the church for forgiveness, which He gives freely and with mercy. 
  • Wednesday, January 3: This is a day of petition. Pray for your congregation, for the pastor, for the leaders, for those who carry out ministries, for the Sunday School teachers, for the Confirmation leaders, for those leading adult Bible studies and for those leading small groups. Pray for those in hospital and nursing home ministries. Pray for all those connected to your church that they might know God’s redeeming love for all in Christ.
  • Thursday, January 4: This is a day for vision. Pray that the Holy Spirit will again move through the hearts and minds of leaders and pastors that God’s vision for His church might be revealed and fulfilled. This is a time of prayer for renewal, revival and encouragement. Pray for God’s vision.

Whether your congregation is organizing a special activity or you're simply setting aside some time for each of the three days to pray, let's come together as an association to lift one another up in prayer!  Sample documents and resources submitted by LCMC congregations from previous years can be found here.  

Submit Photos & Share Your Thoughts:

Once the event has ended, let us know how your congregation celebrated Three Days of Prayer, share photos, and let us know what you thought about the experience by taking our online survey.  All responses and photos submitted by Friday, January 19th through the survey linked here will be considered for publication in an upcoming LCMC news article.  

Take Our Survey >>


Get Notified:

Be sure to sign up for Three Days of Prayer push notifications in our mobile app if you'd like to receive a message reflecting on the themes during each of the three days.  (We won't use it to spam you, we promise!)

Get the App >>

Introducing LCMC's New Coordinator for Pastoral Ministry, Pastor Perry Fruhling Thu, 23 Nov 17 00:00:00 +0000 The Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that we have a Coordinator for Pastoral Ministry! 

Pastor Perry Fruhling has accepted the position and begins January 15, 2018. 

Perry has served congregations in Texas (Zion Lutheran in Fredericksburg) and in Iowa (Bethany Lutheran, Thompson; Immanuel Lutheran in Independence; and St. Mark’s Lutheran, Marion).  

Perry has additional training and interest in conflict resolution practices and community organizing for service in crisis.  Perry brings his experience with congregations of many different sizes to this position, as well as his training, background, and passion for the Church of Jesus Christ.

In his current call, with Perry’s leadership and other members of the congregation, St. Mark’s created and manages the Lutheran Disaster Assistance fund (LDA).  This fund has been extremely helpful to LCMC congregations in the aftermath of natural disasters, the most recent of which were the hurricanes and forest fires that have affected millions of people.

Perry’s work will focus on continuing the development of call committee coaching, call committee workshops, and the certification process.  Perry will also continue the on-going training of pastors involved with certifying those who wish to be on LCMC’s list of pastors.  He will work with the Ministry Board to develop leadership events and oversee our list of pastors serving in many different capacities.  Perry also hopes to train and equip pastors and others for effective conflict resolution and helping our pastors to equip members for ministry.

Perry is married to Marlys and they live in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  They have three children: Chantal, 26, in Cedar Rapids; Ashley, 23, in Atlanta, GA; and Caleb, 20, attending the University of Iowa.

Invitations to district, regional and congregational events are always welcome!  As soon as we have contact information for Perry Fruhling, it will be made available on the staff page of our website January 15, 2018. 

AG Photo Contest Deadline is July 17th Wed, 05 Jul 17 00:00:00 +0000





There's still time to enter our 2017 Annual Gathering photo contest before the Monday, July 17th deadline date! 

If your congregation has taken part in any projects, organized any events, or participated in any mission or ministry activities that exemplify what it means to be "in Mission for Christ" at a local, national, or international/global level over the past year, we're inviting YOU to submit photos to be considered for publication in our 2017 Annual Gathering Book.

To learn more and submit your favorite photos, click here

Enter the 2017 Annual Gathering Photo Contest! Wed, 31 May 17 00:00:00 +0000 If your congregation has taken part in any projects, organized any events, or participated in any mission or ministry activities that exemplify what it means to be "in Mission for Christ" at a local, national, or international/global level over the past year, we're inviting YOU to submit photos for our 2017 Annual Gathering Photo Contest! 

Here's how it works:

  1. Photos must be submitted by a member, pastor, or staff member of an LCMC congregation
  2. Go to and review the photo guidelines
  3. Fill out the entry form, upload a photo, and click "submit"

Photos will be selected for publication based on subject matter (how closely they fit the theme), quality of the photo (photos should not appear "squished", "fuzzy" or contain clip art), and the story behind the photo (how your congregation is making a difference on the local, national, or global level).

All eligible photos received by Monday, July 17th will be considered for publication in The 2017 Annual Gathering Book.  Hard copy books will be available at the Annual Gathering in October, and a digital edition will be available on our website and in our mobile app once the Annual Gathering begins. 


Click Here to Submit a Photo

2017 Leadership Conference Wraps Up Thu, 11 May 17 00:00:00 +0000 Dear Members and Friends of LCMC:

LCMC has never intended to be a denomination or organization.  Rather, from day one, we’ve been a movement of God’s spirit.  A movement focused on working together to fulfill Christ’s great commission to go and make disciples of all nations.   That’s never been easy, but it’s been on the front burner of our energy and passion since we began as an association seventeen years ago.

So the Ministry Board of LCMC gladly embraced the theme of discipleship when planning the last three annual Leadership Conferences.

Three years ago we gathered under the theme iFollow:  Life Together in the Way of Jesus, and heard incredible insights and challenges from Reggie McNeal, author of Get Off Your Donkey and other best-selling books on discipleship.  Reggie was joined by several of our own LCMC pastor-practitioners who added their real-world perspective.

Last year, recognizing the incredibly challenging and changing environment in which we’re making disciples, we focused on Shift: Re-tooling Church for the 21st Century.

This year 185 people gathered in Omaha as we rounded out a three-year cycle on discipleship with the theme Discipling by Design and a concentration on four areas of ministry in which every church is already engaged:  worship, community, mission and leadership.  The intent was to assist those present in making these things more intentionally disciple-making.  Presenters were all LCMC pastors and lay team-mates who shared real-life challenges and real-life ideas about being more effective disciple-makers. 

This year’s conference evaluations reflected deep appreciation for the emphasis on prayer, which was offered throughout the conference, solid and stimulating content, provocative ideas, and great connections and mutual support.  They also loved the break-out processing time that followed each presentation, andmany left with specific action steps to operationalize better disciple-making!

The Ministry Board thanks all who worked so tirelessly on this conference:  our planning and prayer teams, speakers, worship leaders, logistics masters and hosts at Lutheran Church of the Master in Omaha: thank you for your faithful partnership in the Gospel and in making disciples of Jesus Christ!

Though we love being together for this conference, the Ministry Board and Board of Trustees have decided to offer our Leadership Conference on an every-other-year basis.  Stay tuned for details for our next conference tentatively scheduled for February, 2019.

On behalf of the LCMC Ministry Board,

Yours in Christ,


Steve Lien

Coordinator for Pastoral Ministry

Introducing the LCMC Store Thu, 23 Mar 17 00:00:00 +0000 You asked, we answered!  

After receiving dozens of requests from LCMC-ers everywhere for clothing items featuring our new logo to be available online, the staff of Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ is happy to announce the official launch of our brand new online store.

The LCMC Store offers an assortment of casual clothing items in sizes ranging from XS through 3XL as well as bags, mugs, decor items and more!  Available items include:

  • T-Shirts
  • Hoodies
  • Sweatshirts
  • Tank Tops
  • Sweatpants
  • Wall Art
  • Mugs
  • Bags
  • Notebooks
  • Phone Cases
  • Throw Pillows
  • Rugs

We will be updating our shop regularly as new items become available, so be sure to check back often to see what’s currently in stock!  

For the convenience of our members, we also plan to continue offering our traditional items including polo shirts, button-ups, t-shirts, and jackets at our Annual Gatherings.  

You can access our shop from our website anytime by clicking on "Resources", then "Online Store" in the main menu of our website, or by visiting  

Through Saturday, March 25, LCMC-ers can also get free shipping on orders of $45+ using the promo code SPRNG17800be4

Customer support is available via email at should you have any ordering-related questions or experience any problems.  

By introducing our online shop, we hope to make it easier for our pastors and congregation members to access much-requested LCMC logo items, and to further embody who we are as an association: a first century church for the twenty first century.

We're Forming a Non-Geographic Hispanic Network! Fri, 17 Feb 17 00:00:00 +0000 We have a number of congregations and ministries that have a tremendous outreach to Hispanic communities, and it would good if we could get these leaders, ministers, ministries connected. 

If your congregation is currently carrying out an Hispanic ministry, mission, or agency in our association, and you would like to get connected, please click here and sign up.  If you are interested in learning more about developing an Hispanic ministry, feel free to sign up as well. 

As we get some folks on our list, we will assign a coordinator, put together a “mission statement” and see what the Lord might do with this.

We have a number of non-geographic districts, and LCMC grew out of one many years ago called “Word Alone Network”. 

The purpose of non-geographic districts is to give people who are separated by many miles, but united in interest, a chance to connect, support and encourage, and even offer insight and training for those who want to grow a ministry. 

I think this network could also be a tremendous resource for those who would like to initiate a ministry in this arena.

Click Here to Sign Up!

Our Website Has a New Layout! Mon, 03 Oct 16 00:00:00 +0000 The LCMC Staff and Board of Trustees is excited to announce that today we have launched a new and improved version of our website in conjunction with our new logo and mobile app.  

To help make using our site a better experience for all, we have simplified our layout, made our site easier to navigate overall, and completely optimized it for use on your smartphone or tablet, so you can access the same resources and information as before in a more efficient way.  

In addition to simplifying our menu system, we’ve made it quicker for pastors and congregations to update their directory information, submit events for the LCMC calendar, and share their prayer requests and news stories.  (Just click on the red button at the top of the page you'd like us to update!)

Our "Find a Church" tool has also been updated, making it easier to search for nearby LCMC congregations in any area.  

We’ve also cleaned up the layout of our media library, making it easier to find and watch videos from past LCMC events. (You’ll find the same organization of videos and podcasts inside our mobile app, which enables its users to stream media to their TV using Apple TV or Google Chromecast.)

We hope you enjoy the new look and improved functionality of our website.  If you have any questions, you can always contact us.  

LCMC Launches New Logo and Mobile App Sun, 02 Oct 16 00:00:00 +0000 Today LCMC kicked off its 16th Annual Gathering in Denver, CO by announcing its first ever mobile app and unveiling a brand new, freshly updated logo.  

The LCMC mobile app makes it easy to access videos and podcasts, receive news updates, and stay connected with other people throughout the association.

With the in app web player, you can catch live events, stream videos and podcasts, and even play content on your TV screen using Apple TV or Google Chromecast.  

You can also use the app to access calendars, register online for events, and view digital versions of event programs and handouts.  

The app’s built in blog reader makes it easy to stay up-to-date on recent news and announcements, and app users can also sign up to receive occasional notifications, so you'll never miss out on an important announcement or deadline again.  

You'll also have easy access to the LCMC directories as well as the congregation search feature, so you can contact people or find nearby congregations even when you're on the go. 

In conjunction with the launch of our mobile app, we have also released a cleaner, more contemporary version of our logo and branding.

The color scheme and design of our updated logo symbolizes our hope as an association of congregations: bringing Jesus to a dark and broken world.  The red represents the blood of Jesus bringing light to the world. The color red in the "m" of LCMC emphasizes our focus on mission. As Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ, we are all working together to fulfill Christ's Great Commission in Matthew 28 to go and make disciples of all nations.   

A great deal of time, thought and effort has gone into creating a logo that embodies the mission and vision of our association, and we are confident that our new design will help communicate exactly who we are: a first century church for the twenty first century.  

Tomorrow (Monday) we will also be rolling out with a brand new, mobile friendly version of our website.  To help make using our site a better experience for all, our new design will be easier to navigate and completely optimized for use on your smartphone or tablet, while still providing the same information and resources that are available today. 

Stay tuned!

LCMC to Launch New Website, Logo at Annual Gathering Tue, 02 Aug 16 00:00:00 +0000 The LCMC Staff and Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that on Monday of this year’s Annual Gathering, we will be launching a brand new, re-designed version of our website.  To help make using our site a better experience for all, our new design will be easier to navigate and completely optimized for use on your smartphone or tablet while still providing the same information and resources that are available today.  

At this time, we will also be rolling out with an updated version of our logo and branding.  A great deal of time, thought and effort has gone in to creating a logo that embodies the mission and vision of our association, and we are confident that our new design will help communicate exactly who we are: a first century church for the twenty first century.  

Whether you’ll be joining us in person or tuning in online via live stream, we look forward to sharing these improvements with you in just a few short weeks.  

The LCMC 16th Annual Gathering, themed Back to the Future: First Century Principles for the Twenty First Century, takes place October 2-5, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Denver Airport Convention Center in Denver, CO.  Early bird registration ends September 1, so be sure to sign up soon to receive the best rate!

Annual Gathering Photo Contest Now Open! Fri, 27 May 16 00:00:00 +0000 We’re looking for photos that exemplify what it means to be “in mission for Christ” in the 21st century to include in the 2016 Annual Gathering Book and on our website.  If your congregation has taken part in any projects, events or activities over the past year that fit this theme, we would love to hear about them!  This might include:

  • Community Outreach
  • Service Projects
  • Mission Trips
  • Creative/Artistic Projects
  • Disaster Relief
  • Church Planting Efforts

Photos must be submitted via our online photo submission form and will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Theme:  The subject matter of the photo must be relevent to the topic. 
  • Quality:  We are unable to use photos that are blurry, distorted, very small or have text over them. 
  • Story:  Each photo must be submitted with a caption explaining what's going on in the photo and the event or project that it was taken during. 

The deadline to submit photos for this year's book is Friday, July 1


More Info:  Submit a Photo  |  FAQs  |  Past AG Books

Annual Gathering & Seminarian Retreat: Online Registration Now Open! Fri, 29 Apr 16 00:00:00 +0000 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!  >>

Why an LCMC Youth Event? Fri, 05 Feb 16 00:00:00 +0000 First, Youth Are the Present.

The best people to witness to other youth are the youth that we already have.  The local church must do what they are able to train and equip youth to be disciples to their own generation.  One of the best ways to do that is to build mentor relationships with mature Christian adults who can mentor youth in the development of their relationship with Jesus.

Second, Youth Are the Near Future.  

One of the things that we have not done very well is prepare our youth for the next chapter.  Many of our youth after leaving high school tend to struggle with their faith in a culture that pulls them in a hundred different directions.  University campuses are not always friendly places for Christians and are we helping them figure out how to navigate that new setting?  But almost no place in the culture: work, military, vocational tech, etc. is welcoming to young adults who also want to remain faithful to Jesus.

Third, Youth Are the Further Future.  

One of the biggest issues we face is finding leaders for the local church who love Jesus, love the church and love the people the Holy Spirit brings.  Raising local leaders for the local church must become a priority for each congregation.

Fourth, Youth Are the Future Pastors.  

The vocation of ministry requires the brightest and the best that our congregations have to offer.  People forget that pastors come from congregations...and so we need to find ways to help youth catch the vision that serving Jesus happens in every vocation, but the vocation of ministry is one of them. Being a pastor/leader of a congregation has been a great life for many and has been a great blessing to those families.  We need more and more youth to ask the question: could God be calling me to consider pastoral ministry as my vocation?

Our 2016 “Called 2 Serve” youth event is July 19-22, and registration closes March 1st.  If you are planning to attend, please register!

Our DNA: 15th Annual Gathering Video Update Wed, 07 Oct 15 00:00:00 +0000 Videos of this year's speakers will be available at our website in winter 2016.  We'll make an announcement via the LCMC E-Newsletter once our videos have been delivered, edited, and uploaded to our website, so stay tuned! 

For videos, books and other media downloads, go to "Events", then "Media and Downloads" or click here.  

Our DNA: Tuesday and Wednesday Recap Wed, 07 Oct 15 00:00:00 +0000 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 +0000 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. 

Register Now for LCMC's 15th Annual Gathering! Wed, 03 Jun 15 00:00:00 +0000 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). 

Annual Gathering and MFTH Project Statistics Announced! Wed, 29 Oct 14 00:00:00 +0000 Earlier this month, 1,012 people from around the world came together in Des Moines, IA for LCMC’s 14th Annual Gathering.  

Throughout the year, the 833 congregations that make up LCMC came together to raise a total of $91,005.40 for our service project with Meals from the Heartland (13.75% more than our goal of $80,000).  On the evening of Tuesday, October 7th, many of the people who attended the gathering met up at the convention center and assembled a total of 291,168 meals[Watch Video]

During the Business Session of the gathering, Pastors Christopher Miller (Area 2) and Kenneth “Corky” Spitler (Area 5) were elected to the LCMC Board of Trustees.  Pastors Nathan Hanson and Stephan Turnbull were appointed to serve on the Ministry Board.  

Rev. Mark Vander Tuig announced the launch of the LCMC Prayer Chain, an opportunity for people to sign up to pray for all of the congregations in LCMC on a weekly basis.  Click Here to learn more and sign up.

It was also announced that our 15th Annual Gathering will take place from October 4-7, 2015 at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in Frisco, TX. 

Photo galleries from the Annual Gathering, downloadable copies of our 2014 Book, and presentation notes from our Keynote Speakers are now available at our website.  To view any of these materials, Click Here

Videos of our speakers will not be available until later this winter.  We will announce via E-Newsletter, blog, Facebook and Twitter when these videos have been posted.  

Three Days of Prayer Begins January 6th! Tue, 28 Oct 14 00:00:00 +0000 This January, join with us for our Third Annual Three Days of Prayer.  This is an opportunity for us to join together across our association to come before God Almighty and bring our concerns, our ministries, our people and our future to the throne of grace and to the foot of the cross. 

Day One, Tuesday, January 6, 2015 is a day of confession, recognizing that we have sinned against God, against each other and ourselves.  We have been caught up in big arguments about small things when there are those we love who do not know Jesus, and not connected to His church. 

Day Two, Wednesday, January 7, 2015 is a day of petition.  There are so many things, people and issues to pray for and about, this day is committed to bringing our petitions to God.  We know that He hears our prayers and is at work in ways that we can see, and ways that we will never know.

Day Three, Thursday, January 8, 2015 is a day of seeking God’s vision for your church, and for our association.  The church belongs to Jesus and we simply ask the Lord of the church to lead, guide and direct our mission and ministry.

Prayer is the most effective tool in our toolbox and the most powerful weapon in the arsenal.  The church of Jesus Christ will not rise up until we first get to our knees.

Learn More  |  Resources  |  Facebook Event

Our 14th Annual Gathering Has Officially Begun! Sun, 05 Oct 14 00:00:00 +0000 Reason for Hope, LCMC's 14th Annual Gathering, begins today at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines. 

Over 1,000 LCMC-ers from around the globe will come together this week for a chance to connect with one another and to explore 1 Peter 3:15 as it relates to our culture today.  The event also features two worship services, live music, morning Bible studies, breakout sessions and vendors. 

Our official hashtag for this year is #LCMC14.  Attendees are also invited to tweet their favorite photos from the event to @lcmcupdates

For those who are unable to attend the gathering this year, we are once again streaming the event live at beginning with Opening Worship tonight at 7:00 P.M. 

Videos from each of our speakers this year will be available in our Video & Media blog this winter.  Our staff will announce once they've been posted via E-Newsletter, Facebook and Twitter pages. 

New Training Opportunities Available for Certification Interviewers Thu, 31 Jul 14 00:00:00 +0000 Rev. Steve Lien, LCMC's Coordinator for Pastoral Ministry, announces Interviewer Inservices for those who conduct Certification Interviews.  Join him for this two-hour refresher and training session just before or after any of the following District Conventions:

  • Texas District: Friday, August 1, 2:00-4:00 P.M. (Seguin, TX)
  • Heartland District: Friday, August 15, 2:00-4:00 P.M. (Fremont, NE)
  • Iowa District: Saturday, November 15, 3:30-5:30 P.M. (Story City, IA) - TENTATIVE
  • Greater Atlanta Area: Saturday, November 8, 10:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M.

Email to register or ask questions.


LCMC Staff Welcomes Photo Submissions for 2014 Annual Gathering Book Tue, 22 Apr 14 00:00:00 +0000 How has your congregation been "in Mission for Christ" over the past year?  Whether you've organized a creative fundraiser to help raise money for our meal packaging project, traveled abroad on a mission trip, or put together a program to help reach out to the people in your very own community, we want to hear about it! 

For the next several weeks, our staff is inviting all "LCMC-ers" to send us photos of themselves (or fellow members of their congregation) "in Mission for Christ".  All photographs received by Thursday, July 31st will be considered by the LCMC Staff for possible inclusion in the design of the book that will be distributed at the Annual Gathering this October, and on our website!

From 5k races to beauty treatments to English as a Second Language programs, we've seen all kinds of interesting photos and creative ideas in the past.  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.


Before you get started, please read through the requirements and instructions below.

What we're looking for:  Photos of you (or people in your congregation) in action!  For examples of photos we've used in the past, check out some of our previous books here

What we're not looking for:  Pictures of buildings, but no people. 

Here are a photo guidelines, terms & conditions:

  1. Our staff welcomes photo submissions from now through Thursday, July 31st, with special consideration being given to photos received by Monday, June 30th.  Due to early printer deadlines, any photos submitted after this date will be ineligible for consideration.
  2. Please do not place text or clip art on photos, as these things can be difficult to read should we need to re-size your photo. 
  3. Because chosen images will be used in a printed publication, please send only high resolution/print quality images.  Very small and/or distorted images will not print clearly.
  4. Acceptable file types are: JPG (preferred), GIF, TIFF and PNG.  (No PDFs or Word documents, please!)
  5. Any photo submitted must be an original work (owned by the individual or the congregation), and not the intellectual property of another party.  
  6. 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.
  7. Photos must be submitted by pastors, congregation members/staff or associate members of LCMC.  
  8. Photo content must be relevant and in accordance with who we are and what we believe.
  9. Each photo submission must be accompanied by your name, the name and location of your congregation, and a brief description of the photograph (see below for more info).  
  10. Please note:  Due to space, time and other constraints, we are unable to guarantee the publication of each and every photograph submitted to us.

How to Submit Photos:

Please be sure that we receive your photo entries no later than Wednesday, July 31.  All photos submitted to LCMC must be accompanied by the following information:

  1. A brief description of the photo(s) 
    • Who is in the photo?
    • When and where does it take place? 
    • What's going on in the photo?
    • How has your congregation been "in Mission for Christ" over the past year?
  2. The name of the person submitting the photograph and/or the photographer's name
  3. The name of the congregation, and the city and state in which it's located. 

Photo entries and all accompanying information may be submitted to us in one of the following ways:

  1. Online:  Click here for an online form, which will allow you to upload a photo.
  2. Email:  Attach the photos to an email and include all description information in the body of the email.  Photo entries should be sent to Kristy Thomas, Communications and Public Relations Specialist for LCMC, at
  3. Flickr Users:  If you have a Flickr account and would like to submit your photos by sharing an album, please email a link to the album, along with the requested information, to  If you are submitting multiple photos this year, we highly encourage you to submit your photos using this method. 
  4. Instagram:  Photos uploaded to Instagram will be considered for submission when accompanied by the hashtags #lcmc and #2014agbook


LCMC Announces New Board Members, Facebook Groups and Future Events Mon, 04 Nov 13 00:00:00 +0000
The event served as an opportunity for "LCMC-ers" from all over the world to connect with one another, and reflect on this year's theme, "The Grace of Giving". 

Additionally, the association welcomed one new member to the Board of Trustees and two new members to the Ministry Board, established two new online discussion groups, and announced the details for its next two events. 

Board of Trustees & Ministry Board

Rev. Julie Smith
of Springfield, MN was elected to the LCMC Board of Trustees.  Newly appointed to the LCMC Ministry Board were Rev. Paul Owens of New Braunfels, TX and Rev. Sally Gausmann of York, PA.  (View Board & Staff Page)

New Online Discussion Groups

To help make it easier for those in LCMC who face similar challenges to be able to connect with one another, two new discussion groups were established via Facebook last month. 

LCMC: The Next Generation was created by a group of LCMC pastors and leaders in their 20s and 30s during this year's Annual Gathering as a place for young adults in LCMC to connect with one another, share resources, offer prayer and support, and plan activities. 

LCMC Clergy Spouses
is a discussion group which offers a place for the clergy spouses of LCMC to come together for prayer and support.

Three Days of Prayer

In his State of the Association speech, Rev. Mark Vander Tuig announced that our next association-wide event, Three Days of Prayer, will take place from January 7-9, 2014.  

2014 Annual Gathering

The details for LCMC's 14th Annual Gathering, "Defending the Faith", were also announced.  The event will take place from October 5-8, 2014 at the Polk County Convention Complex in Des Moines, IA and feature a special meal packaging service project.  

"Our hope is to get 1,000 people to package meals on Tuesday night during our gathering," Rev. Mark Vander Tuig said.  "If we can do this, we could package 400,000 meals together in two hours."  To achieve this goal, we will need to raise $80,000 for supplies and shipping.  (Read More...)

Videos & Photos

Photo galleries, video presentations and downloadable copies of our past and present Annual Gathering Books can be found by visiting our Media & Downloads page.  

As always, we plan to have videos of our 2013 Annual Gathering speakers available here later this winter. ]]>
Introducing Rev. Dan Clites, LCMC's Coordinator for New Ministry Development Mon, 04 Feb 13 00:00:00 +0000 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!]]>
Last Day for A4C Photographs Wed, 01 Aug 12 00:00:00 +0000 Throughout the month of July, the staff of Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ has invited the members who make up our association to send us photographs depicting how they have been working as "Ambassadors for Christ" within their own congregations, within their community, or anywhere within the world.  
The goal?  To incorporate the personal stories of our own members, rather than stock art, to depict the theme of this year's Annual Gathering, Ambassadors for Christ, throughout the Big Book that will be distributed at this year's event in October.
Those who are still interested in contributing their photos for possible publication in the Annual Gathering Book are welcome to do so through the end of the day today by emailing their photographs and all accompanying information to
If you haven't seen it yet, feel free to check out my previous blog post for a full list of guidelines and instructions for submitting your pictures.
Don't Just Tell Us, Show Us! Mon, 02 Jul 12 00:00:00 +0000 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.
2001 Photographs Mon, 05 Dec 11 00:00:00 +0000 Is anyone interested in sharing photographs from the first two meetings in 2001?

If so, please email them to Kristy Thomas, LCMC Communications and Public Relations Specialist, at

We would love to use these photos as part of a multimedia presentation to be given at some of our upcoming LCMC events.

Thank you all so much for your help!

What is a Denomination? Sun, 17 Jul 11 00:00:00 +0000 Some have said, "LCMC is a vibrant and faithful association of congregations, rather than a denominational church body."

LCMC has referred to itself as "a post-denominational association of congregations," as a way of acknowledging that its horizontal structure is different than the more vertical structure of many classic denominations.

But having said that, LCMC is recognized as a church body (denomination) by the IRS, by the ELCA, and by other denominations. LCMC does have structure that is defined in its Constitution and bylaws. LCMC has member congregations, association-wide meetings, a clergy List (roster), a retirement and health plan, and regional and otherwise configured Districts for congregational support. LCMC does endorse chaplains for the military and its pensions and health plans transfer. Seminary students have a candidacy process and clergy a certification process.

While we understand our association to be post-denominational, we are a denomination by most societal definitions.

The freedom we enjoy allows us a variety of ways of saying who we are. We are primarily Lutheran congregations in mission for Christ.

LCMC The First Ten Years Sun, 17 Jul 11 00:00:00 +0000 LCMC The First Ten Years tells the story of Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC) — its origins and its first ten years as an association — told from the perspective of those who were participants and leaders on that journey.

"The writers of this book have several things in common: All are united by a common faith in Jesus Christ. All claim a personal history that is rooted in a Lutheran understanding of the Christian Faith. All believe that the Lutheran Confessional documents of the Reformation are not subject to the whims of modern culture. Then generously multiply that truth to the Scripture, itself, which stands over all human attempts to interpret it. In recent years these writers have been put to the test. Their commitment to an orthodox understanding of Christianity has brought them together into a much less structured church body called Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ. Without exception, each one has experienced some form of rejection by their former church body. That too has united and motivated these writers with a fervor producing a truly modern church body that looks much like the Church of our Lord in the Book of Acts where both suffering and blessings abound!"

- Rev. Dr. Paul Braafladt, Seattle
Soft Cover Book, 189 pages
Price: $10.00 US
Order the book by sending an email to or through the Sola Publishing link. ]]>
Who Is LCMC? Sun, 17 Jul 11 00:00:00 +0000 Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ is an association of congregations and individuals who are:

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

LCMC is an association of congregations. We have a great respect for the reality that the church is where the people of God gather together around Word and Sacrament. The local congregation is where the church becomes a concrete reality for God's people.

At the same time we are joyously aware that each congregation is a part of the greater body of Christ. The actions of each congregation within our association reflect on our association as a whole. And the actions of our association reflect on the whole body of Christ. For this reason we have committed ourselves to a common set of ministry standards.

Congregations have significant latitude in ordering and shaping ministry in their local setting, and we intentionally have made joining and leaving the association simple. We have also agreed to a disciplinary process for addressing congregations whose actions violate our agreed-upon statements of faith and practice.