LCMC Blog [Evangelism Topic] Read the the latest news, announcements and articles from LCMC. en-us AG Photo Contest Deadline is July 17th Wed, 05 Jul 17 00:00:00 -0600





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 -0600 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

We're Forming a Non-Geographic Hispanic Network! Fri, 17 Feb 17 00:00:00 -0700 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!

Annual Gathering Photo Contest Now Open! Fri, 27 May 16 00:00:00 -0600 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

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

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

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

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

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


LCMC Missions Forum Update Thu, 11 Jun 15 00:00:00 -0600 If you are like me, you often feel overwhelmed by all of the negative and depressing reports of world events, as they affect our mission fields. However, I just received the latest mission update from the Augustana District (AD-LCMC), and I wanted to pass along a POSITIVE news update. 

One year ago, the AD sent a 12 person fact finding team to visit with the Tabor congregation in Ethiopia. Out of that meeting came a partnership where the AD committed to supporting in various ways the tremendous mission outreach that the Tabor congregation already had in place, but wanted to expand even further into their neighboring Muslim areas.

In 2014, the AD raised over $100,000 and distributed $85,000 to the Tabor congregation for designated projects, or a 50/50 split of financial support to related mission projects of their choosing. Some of these mission projects included training and sending 39 evangelists to minister to the local people at 50 local community gathering mission centers, and beginning an agricultural mission to reach out and partner with local farmers in heavily Muslim regions.

Today's AD mission update newsletter reports that during the first quarter of 2015, an additional $15,000 was distributed to grow the number of evangelists to 46, add 5 farmers to the agricultural program, help purchase land to construct two more outreach centers, and more gathering mission sites in Muslim areas.

In addition, during the month of June, an additional $17,000 will be sent for continuing 50/50 support of the evangelists and farmers, as well as additional purchases of motorcycles and bicycles to assist the evangelists in reaching out to their local communities. The cost to support each evangelist is $600 per year.

The chairman of the AD Board of World Missions, Pastor Paul Knudson, reports, "The experience of the AD with the Tabor Partnership has been and continues to be a blessing beyond anyone's imagination. The Board wishes to extend its profound gratitude for all of your generosity."

Linked here is a page from last quarter's newsletter which gives a general summary of this positive partnership that is bearing much fruit for Christ's Kingdom.  (Click Here for Article)

Your in Christ,

Jim Dix

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

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

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

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

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

Register Now for LCMC's 14th Annual Gathering! Thu, 27 Mar 14 00:00:00 -0600 What do we say and how do we respond?  These are the questions that often face Christians and Lutherans in 2014 right here in America.  We are now living in a “post-denominational era”; the way we used to do church is no longer working.  Times have changed and we now need to be able to defend, explain and affirm our faith in Christ alone.  We have been given a great heritage of faith and theology through the Lutheran Reformation.  This theological framework is more than capable of helping us to proclaim the Gospel to our generation.  We just have to figure out how to do it, and then start.

From October 5-8, 2014, we will gather leaders, pastors, and church members from all over the world to celebrate our 14th Our Annual Gathering and Convention in Des Moines, IA. 

The focus of our gathering this year is “Reason for Hope”.  We have invited three keynote speakers who will each in their own way help us to consider how we might engage this culture with the Good News of Jesus Christ and his gracious love and atoning sacrifice:
  • Rev. Dr. Walter Sundburg, Professor of Church History, Luther Seminary
  • Rev. Margaret Manning, Speaker/Writer, RZIM
  • Rev. Dr. Mark Mattes, Professor of Theology, Grand View University

Our gathering will also include two worship services, morning Bible studies and singing, over 75 vendors, more than 30 breakout sessions and opportunities for fellowship and networking.

This year we will also have a chance to serve the hungry of the world, both here and abroad by participating in a meal packaging event on the Tuesday evening of our gathering.  If we can raise $80,000, gather 1000 people for two hours, we could put together 400,000 meals, a part of what it means to be “in Mission for Christ”!
Registration is now open at our website.  
Register Now!  |  Learn More  |   Meal Packaging Project Info
LCSS Seeks Translated Copies of Luther's Small Catechisms Tue, 25 Mar 14 00:00:00 -0600 Pastor Jordon Long, President of the Lutheran Church of South Sudan (LCSS). 

The LCSS is a new church with no walls.  Most of its members worship in tents, huts, or open spaces. and they have no educational materials written in their indigenous languages. 

On March 14, Pastor Jordon was able to communicate with Eric Swensson and update the current situation for the LCSS. Around the area where Pastor Jordon lived, about 2000 people were killed.  It became necessary for him to leave that area.  The Christian College where Matthew Riak was at when the violence started had one security guard killed before it was taken over and still remains a military post.  Generally, the people of the LCSS have scattered, and are in hiding in the bush or have fled across the border to refugee camps.

Pastor Jordon will be staying in a refugee camp just across the border from South Sudan in Ethiopia. In the midst of all this chaos and despair, Pastor Jordon sees great opportunity to minister to the many desperate people around him in these refugee camps. He says the one thing that would be most helpful to him would be Luther's Small Catechisms translated in their native languages. He knows this would be the most useful tool he could have to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to so many people in need of Him.
Think about that!!! Pastor Jordan did not ask for money, food, water, shelter, or safety from harm, but for Luther's Small Catechisms to help him minister to the people around him in the refugee camps.

Currently, the LCSS website lists only four American friends and partners. They are: LCMC, the Augustana District of the LCMC, the Institute for Lutheran Theology (ILT), and the Disciple Ship.

The ILT has been in discussion with the Lutheran Heritage Foundation (LHF), and they currently have the catechisms translated into the proper native language.  They are willing to work with us to get them to these refugee camps for Pastor Jordon to use. The books cost only a few dollars each. The LHF has a group going to Ethiopia at the end of April, and can help arrange for these catechisms to get to Pastor Jordon.

So, the timing of this appeal is immediate.

Please consider individually, or as a congregation, donating a few dollars to:

LCSS Catechisms
910 4th Street
Brookings, SD 57006

The North American headquarters of LCSS is at the Institute of Lutheran Theology, so please send any checks to LCSS in care of ILT.  100% of your donation will go to the catechisms.

If you have any questions, please contact Eric Swensson at (914) 712-5440, or  He is also a member of the LCMC Missions Forum and will see any post that appears there.

Thank you, and count your blessings, and at least consider praying for all of God's people in South Sudan.]]>
Blessman Ministries Plants First LCMC Congregation in South Africa Wed, 26 Feb 14 00:00:00 -0700
The church will be in a rural country school house building that has electricity, running water and an outdoor toilet.  It is a gathering place for our rural farm area, is the voting polling place, and has a soccer field where nearby farmers gather on Sunday afternoons. 

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

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

For more info:

Phone: (515) 343-5920
LCMC Announces September Missions Conference Thu, 02 Aug 12 00:00:00 -0600 This September, the Great Commission Lutherans of Northwest Iowa will host A Light for All Peoples!, a Missions Conference aimed at equipping pastors and church leaders with the skills to ignite a passion within their congregations for sharing God's mission beyond the walls of the church building.
Keynote speakers Rev. Dr. Gemechis Buba, Ethiopian Evangelist and NALC’s leader of World Mission, Rev. Ken Kimball, Dean of the Iowa Mission District of the NALC, and Rev. Mark Vander Tuig, Service Coordinator of LCMC will take the stage at this two day event, which takes place September 28-29, 2012 at Faith Lutheran Church of Spencer, IA.
On Friday evening at 6:00 P.M., a forum designed for congregational leaders will be held.  Featuring all three keynote speakers, this session will offer pragmatic help to "lead congregations into mission".
Saturday's programming will feature discussion on local and world missions with Rev. Dr. Gemechis Buba, as well as an open forum with all three keynote speakers.
Those attending the conference will also have an opportunity to learn more about several missions organizations through breakout sessions and exhibit tables. 
Breakout sessions scheduled include:
  • John Spaulding – “Christians Meeting Muslims”
  • World Mission Prayer League
  • Rusty Bailey – Haiti
  • Ken Kimball – NALC Update and Information
  • David Lerseth – Madagascar Ministry
  • Kevin Grimes – Dream Center
  • Jan Turner – Cherish Center
  • Rod Quanbeck/Dan Antoine – Ingham/Okoboji
  • Julie Schieb – Discovery House
  • Mark Vander Tuig – LCMC Update and Information
The cost of registration is $20.00 per person.   To register for this event, please contact Faith Lutheran Church via email at or call (712) 580-4316.
Additional details for this event will be announced as they become available.
Last Day for A4C Photographs Wed, 01 Aug 12 00:00:00 -0600 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 -0600 Get your cameras ready! 

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

Here are a few rules, guidelines and tips:

  1. Photo submissions will be taken from LCMC members until Wednesday, August 1 at 5:00 PM EST.  Due to early printer deadlines, any photos submitted after this date may be ineligible for consideration.
  2. Because chosen images will be used in a printed publication, please send only high quality images.  Very small or distorted images do not print clearly.
  3. Acceptable file types are: JPG, GIF, TIFF and PNG.
  4. Any photo submitted must be an original work (owned by the individual or the congregation), and not the intellectual property of another party.  
  5. By submitting any photo(s), you agree that any images (and likeness or subject matter within) submitted may be used without compensation for the purposes described above.
  6. Photos must be submitted by congregations or associate members of LCMC.  
  7. Photo content must be relevant and in accordance with who we are and what we believe.
  8. Each photo submission must be accompanied by your name, the name and location of your congregation, and a brief description of the photograph.
  9. Please note:  Due to space, time and other constraints, we are unable to guarantee the publication of each and every photograph submitted to us.
Haitians Learn to 'See Through the Scriptures' Fri, 18 Nov 11 00:00:00 -0700 As the saying goes,

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day;
Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

That is why Rev. Dr. Harry Wendt, President of Crossways International, developed See Through the Scriptures, a visually based program designed to help people in countries around the globe develop a strong understanding of the meaning of the Scriptures and gain the ability to teach the Message to others.

Rev. Jeanel Jerome, who looks after an orphanage in Saint Marc, Haiti, has been using See Through the Scriptures as a tool for teaching others, both in Haiti and in the Dominican Republic, for the past six years.

Since he began teaching See Through the Scriptures to adults in 2005, he reports approximately 7,000 people having studied the material.

Of those 7,000, 65 of them have been trained to teach the program to others, fifteen of which are able to do so professionally.

"He's a committed person," said Rev. Dr. Wendt, who met Rev. Jerome at a workshop in 2004.

According to Rev. Dr. Wendt, Rev. Jerome, a Haitian himself, has a good understanding of what the people he works with need.

As one would most likely assume, the norms and standard of living in Haiti are, for the most part, significantly different than those in a country such as the U.S.

To gain somewhat of an understanding of life in Haiti, here are some quick statistics, courtesy of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA):

  • A Haitian's average life expectancy is 62.17 years
  • Nearly half of the country's population is unable to read or write
  • It is estimated that approximately half of the population of Haiti practices voodoo
  • 80% of the country's population lives below the poverty line
  • The country's unemployment rate in 2010 was 40.6%
    • For comparison purposes, the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics released a report this month ranking Detroit, MI as having the highest unemployment rate of the metropolitan divisions in the U.S. Detroit has a 13.1% jobless rate.

While the statistics listed above are limited in number and reflect a general picture of a few aspects of life in Haiti, natural disaster has had a profound impact on the country over the past two years.

The BBC reported that when the 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti on January 12, 2010, approximately 230,000 people were killed, 300,000 were injured and 1.2 million people were left homeless.

Furthermore, the BBC also reported that 1 in every 15 people affected by the earthquake in Haiti died, in comparison with 1 in every 190 killed in Italy's 6.3 magnitude earthquake in 2009 and 1 in every 595 killed in China's 2008 7.9 magnitude quake.

In response to the Haitians' immediate needs for items such as food, shelter, water and healthcare, various organizations across the U.S. have made an effort to address the immediate physical needs of the despairing country.

According to ABC World News, Americans raised over $1.138 billion for Haiti relief efforts within the first six months after the disaster took place.

Organizations such as Mercy Corps, AmeriCares, and Habitat for Humanity have made efforts to provide the Haitians with clean drinking water, food, medicine and shelter since the disaster.

Despite these efforts, there are many emotional issues the Haitians must cope with that many people feel are not being addressed.

"People there are looking for peace, meaning, hope in death," Rev. Dr. Wendt explained.

The proposed solution? Help them to understand the Message.

The problem?

The CIA reports that only 52.9% of Hatians over the age of fifteen are able to read and write, making education, in many cases, a struggle.

Rev. Jerome uses a French language translation of See Through the Scriptures in Haiti and a Spanish translation in the Dominican Republic, however the material taught in these books is very much visually-based, making it easy to explain the Message to those who do not have the reading and writing skills necessary to simply study the written Word.

The program is designed to help understand the basic principles of the Scriptures without requiring strong literacy skills and to enable those who have studied it to be able to teach these ideas to others within the community.

"Not only is he teaching the material," said Rev. Dr. Wendt, "He's equipping pastors and people to go out and do it."

While copies of See Through the Scriptures are relatively inexpensive at $2.00 each, Rev. Jerome has access to limited resources and therefore must resort to using as few printed materials as possible.

"This man cuts lawns and gardens in order to raise the money to be able to do what he does," said Rev. Dr. Wendt.

The hope is that, through the See Through the Scriptures program, Rev. Jerome will be able to help people to better understand the Bible and show them the skills that they need in order to bring Jesus into the lives of others.

If you are interested in learning more on this story, or would like to help support Rev. Jerome's ministry, contact Crossways International at:

Crossways International
7930 Computer Ave. South
Bloomington, MN 55435
Phone: (952) 832-5454

Idaho Congregation Invites Local Community to 'Come Grow with Us' Sat, 01 Oct 11 00:00:00 -0600 If you really want to speak effectively to a group of people, it is best to find a common ground of understanding on which you can relate to them.

floatAt least that is what the members of Shepherd of the Falls Lutheran Church thought when they decided to design a float for the American Falls Day Parade, part of an annual county fair and homecoming festival that takes place every August within the tiny farming community of American Falls, Idaho.

When the congregation's steering committee met in July, member Gary Tiede suggested that Shepherd of the Falls get involved in the parade by constructing a float.

The committee agreed on Tiede's suggestion and asked for ideas and input from the church community.

"Being a new LCMC congregation and being a rather small congregation, we really wanted people in the community to know they had another Christian church in town and another option for a Lutheran congregation in which to worship," said Shepherd of the Falls secretary Juanita Burgemeister.

The church agreed on the theme of "Come Grow with Us", which was suggested by 13 year-old Evelyn Bitikofer.

Once the concept was put into play, members of the congregation then needed to decide how best to communicate the idea of growth to the American Falls community.

Members of the congregation donated patio plants for the construction of the float, while the town's local fuel, farm and feed store agreed to let Shepherd of the Falls borrow several potted live trees.

"The idea of "growing" in a farming community is naturally associated with live plants and the color green," explained Burgemeister.

The large wooden cross on the front of the float was made in the spring of 2011 for Shepherd's first Easter Sunrise Service by member Vernon Bethke.

Construction on the float began on a Thursday evening, just two days before the American Falls Day parade was to be held.

"It took about three hours that evening to get the majority of the float built," said Burgemeister."If we came upon the need for a tool we didn't have, someone would call out, 'I've got one. I'll run and get it.' Real teamwork was exhibited. Our congregation worked very closely, sharing and accepting others ideas and skills."

When Saturday morning rolled around, the members at Shepherd piled onto the float, excited to show their idea to the onlookers who lined the streets to watch the American Falls Day Parade.

"As in any parade, many floats throw candy.We were to be no different, but we wanted the candy to be more than just candy, we wanted to share the message," Burgemeister said. "We threw 'scripture' candy to those who lined our streets: hard strawberry creme candy with a scripture on each wrapper."

The parade itself was filled with floats from schools, businesses, and civic service organizations, however Shepherd of the Falls was the only Christian church to enter a float into the parade.

When the parade commenced, compliments poured in from the people of the American Falls community.

According to Burgemeister, one onlooker even commented that if there had been a contest, Shepherd would have won first place.

Ultimately, the members at Shepherd were pleased with the way their float turned out and was received by the local community.

Not only did they feel that their creation turned out colorful, personalized and easily identifiable, the members of Shephard were satisfied with the message that their float communicated, an invitation to "Come Grow with Us--All are Welcome".

"Our first desire was that it would make us, a new congregation, known in the community. Hopefully, those needing a church home or [who were] just were inquisitive, would come, be welcomed, worship, and come to be a believer in Jesus Christ if they didn't already know [Him]."

Photo courtesy of the Power County Press.