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Parish Services Service Area

Along with the preaching of the Gospel and the distribution of the sacraments, pastors and congregations must also make sure that they stay on top of parish administration matters. Here you will find resources to help your congregation and its leaders manage church operations.

 

Christian Education

Concordia Publishing House is the publishing arm of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod. It exists for the purposes of strengthening and aiding member congregations in their proclamation of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and working in partnership with the agencies and congregations of the Synod to provide publishing services. On their behalf, Concordia Publishing House will develop, produce, market and distribute products and services that are faithful to the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions and which will effectively serve such proclamation to people throughout the world. All to the Glory of God.

LCMS Office of School Ministry

Congregations of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod operate the largest Protestant school system in the United States.  The LCMS Office of School Ministry assists, equips, and uplifts school educators and congregational leaders so that through their Lutheran school ministry children and families may be equipped as disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Why should you consider sending your child to a Lutheran early childhood center, preschool, elementary, or high school?

  • Lutheran schools are firmly committed to the Bible as inerrant Word of God.
  • Lutheran schools are driven by a commitment to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and are focused on delivering the Gospel’s message of hope and forgiveness to their students and families.
  • Lutheran school desire the development of the whole child: physically, emotionally, socially, cognitively, and spiritually.
  • Lutheran schools meet or exceed state and national academic standards at all grade levels.
  • Lutheran schools have educators who model visionary leadership, servant leadership, and spiritual leadership.
  • Lutheran schools have educators who care passionately about their students, who freely share the love of Jesus Christ with the students and their families, and care about the academic and spiritual progress of every student.

Congregations of The South Dakota District operate 4 early childhood centers, 20 preschools, 4 elementary schools, and 2 high schools.  To find a Lutheran school near you, see The South Dakota District Lutheran school directory.

 

LCMS Office of School Ministry

Assessing Congregational Commitment to Parish Education

Assessing Congregational Commitment to Parish Education is a tool designed by Dr. Mark Blanke, Chair of Christian Educational Leadership and the Director of the Director of Christian Education Program at Concordia University, Nebraska.  This tool will assist congregations in determining their level of commitment to Christian education in their parish.  It will also provide direction on how educational leaders can strengthen their commitment to Christian education in their congregation.

Assessing Congregational Commitment to Parish Education

Stewardship

St. Paul says, “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 8:7). Stewardship is not just important for the sustaining of our congregations. Stewardship is important for the spiritual lives of God’s people. Here you will find resources to help your congregation practice Biblical and faithful stewardship.

A-Z Stewardship Resources Collection

The LCMS Stewardship Ministry A-Z resource collection includes items that are important for every pastor and stewardship committee to consider, and it includes items that are tailored to specific settings.

A-Z Stewardship Resources Collection

Biblical Stewardship Principles

The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod recommends using these Bible Stewardship Principles in guiding education and appeal efforts in Synod congregations, entities, agencies and auxiliaries.  These principles, which were adopted by the LCMS at its 1998 national convention, feature a leader’s guide and are available in three age-appropriate versions. Biblical Stewardship Principles Leaders Guide Biblical Stewardship Principles Handout Biblical Stewardship Principles for Adults Biblical Stewardship Principles for Elementary Students Biblical Stewardship Principles for Early Childhood

Tithes And Offerings: What's The Difference?

God’s Word speaks about giving “tithes” and “offerings” to the Lord. Have you ever wondered what the difference is between the two? This document explores God’s Word and helps the reader to understand the difference between tithes and offerings and teaches that God desires to receive both kinds of gifts from His people.

Tithes and Offerings: What’s the Difference?

Stewardship Under The Cross

Stewardship Under the Cross: Stewardship for the Confessional Lutheran Parish was written by the Rev. Heath Curtis, the coordinator of LCMS Stewardship Ministry. “What you’ll get in this book is the experience and advice of one pastor struggling to remain faithful to God’s Word while leading his parish through a rough financial patch,” Curtis writes.

Stewardship Under the Cross

Encouraging Generous Stewards

In this short book the authors encourage and challenge congregations to cultivate a spirit of generosity. As God’s people are transformed through hearing and believing the Word of God and participating in His gifts through the sacraments of Holy Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, they are transformed into generous stewards of God’s gifts.

Encouraging Generous Stewards in Lutheran Congregations

The Chief Steward

The Chief Steward: A Manual on Pastoral Leadership was written by the Rev. J.E. Hermmann. Though written in 1950, this resource has timeless advice for pastors and laypeople.

The Chief Steward: A Manual on Pastoral Leadership

Stewardship Bulletin And Newsletter Articles

The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod’s Stewardship Ministry creates bulletin sentences for every week and newsletter articles for every month for congregations to use in church publications. The link will take you the LCMS Stewardship Ministry page where you can download these resources for use in your own church publications.

Stewardship Resources for Church Publications

 

Stewardcast Newsletters

StewardCAST is a monthly e-newsletter with stewardship resources for individuals and congregations. The link will take you to the webpage of current and past StewardCAST newsletters.

StewardCast Newsletters

Philippians Stewardship Workshop

The LCMS Office of National Mission and Stewardship Ministry offers a workshop to discuss with pastors and laypeople the blessings of practicing stewardship within their congregations.

Philippians Stewardship Workshop Information Page

Consecrated Stewards

The Consecrated Stewards stewardship program from Lutheran Church Extension Fund is designed to energize your members in their ongoing giving. The program is not tied to the church budget but rather to your members’ desire to give out of love for and worship to the Lord.

Consecrated Stewards Stewardship Program

The Center For Stewardship At Concordia Seminary, St. Louis

The Center for Stewardship at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO is involved in forming healthy stewards and establishing a healthy stewardship culture in congregations. Biblical stewardship resources and stewardship events are provided to teach, train, support, and encourage leaders in examining their own lives as God’s stewards and in leading congregations in intentional and comprehensive biblical stewardship education. Center for Stewardship

Human Care

“And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need” (Acts 2:45). The Christian church has always sought to help the poor, the widow, the orphan, and the sick, just like the Lord Jesus who had compassion on all who came to him. Here you will find many resources to help care for others and to defend those in need.

Theology For Mercy

Written by Rev. Dr. Matthew Harrison, President of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, this document clearly and faithfully lays out the Biblical mandate to care for those who are in any type of physical, mental, or spiritual need.  This short booklet is ideal for Bible study and includes a page of “Topics of Discussion” to aid in instruction.

 

Theology For Mercy

LCMS Life Ministry

The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod’s Life Ministry is devoted to upholding the sanctity of human life, in both the LCMS and the culture at large.  The LCMS Life Ministry is actively involved in a variety of domestic and international programs to support and encourage life “in the image of God.”  LCMS Life Ministry works closely with allies such as National Lutherans For Life and the National Pro-Life Religious Council to carry the banner that all life is sacred and must be protected.  The links below will provide you with Bible studies, resources, and information to defend the sanctity of all human life, from the time of conception to the grave. LCMS Life Ministry Brochure LCMS Life Ministry Homepage National Lutherans for Life Homepage South Dakota Lutherans for Life

Orphan Grain Train

Since 1992 Orphan Grain Train has shipped semi-trailer truckloads of food, clothing, medical supplies, and religious materials to 64 countries and several disaster areas in the United States.  Orphan Grain Train is always looking for volunteers, cash donations, and donations of food, clothing, quilts and blankets, medical supplies, personal hygiene products, and school supplies.

Orphan Grain Train: How to Volunteer and What to Donate

Orphan Grain Train Website

LCMS Resources For Social Issues

The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod has compiled a library of resources that address a wide variety of social issues.  Follow the link below to find resources that will help pastors and congregations tackle difficult social issues like child abuse, domestic violence, immigration, religious persecution, and so many more.

LCMS Resources on Social Issues

Strength and Honor: The Spiritual Warfare Against Pornography

Free To Be Faithful

LCMS launched this “Free to be Faithful” campaign in September 2012 to educate and move people to take informed action to protect religious freedom and all the cultural issues that pertain to it: confessing the faith in the public square, marriage, defending the sanctity of human life, etc.

To be informed of the latest news and events as the LCMS continues to defend our First Amendment right of religious liberty, go to the Free to be Faithful homepage.

Lutheran Center for Religious Liberty

The mission of the Lutheran Center for Religious Liberty (LCRL) is to ignite and fuel a uniquely Lutheran response to increasing intrusions, limitations and challenges by the government in the life of the Church, while educating, encouraging and equipping LCMS members and organizations to take informed action in support of marriage, life and religious freedom.

The goal of the Lutheran Center for Religious Liberty is to create a direct presence of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod and like-minded Lutherans in Washington, D.C.  The LCRL will offer input, information, education, advice, and resources in three areas of primary focus: marriage, life, and religious liberty.  The LCRL will actively engage in discussions, establish partnerships, and work collaboratively, where appropriate, with individuals and groups in Washington, D.C.

Disaster Response for Congregations and Schools

“Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in You my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by” (Psalm 57:1).  The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod is well positioned to provide many types of assistance and the Gospel of Jesus Christ when disaster strikes anywhere around the world.  The South Dakota District has a Disaster Response Coordinator and a Disaster Response Trailer ready and able to respond to any type of disaster or emergency that happens in South Dakota.

To keep up on the latest information about LCMS Disaster Response or to find a variety of disaster response resources, including Bible studies or disaster preparedness training and materials visit the LCMS Disaster Response homepage

 

Guide for Developing High Quality Emergency Operations Plans for Schools

Each school day, our nation’s public and private schools are entrusted to provide a safe and healthy learning environment for millions of school students.  Families and communities expect schools to keep their children and youths safe from threats (human-caused emergencies such as crime and violence) and hazards (natural disasters, disease outbreaks, and accidents). In collaboration with their local government and community partners, schools can take steps to plan for these potential emergencies through the creation of a school Emergency Operations Plan (school EOP).  This “Guide for Developing HIgh Quality Emergency Operations Plans for Schools” and the other resources here will help schools to plan and prepare in the event that disaster strikes. Guide for Developing High Quality Emergency Operations Plans for Schools Building Blocks to School Safety Threat Assessment Guide Standard Student Reunification Method

Guide for Developing High Quality Emergency Operations Plans for Houses of Worship

Many people think of a church as a safe area where violence and emergencies cannot affect them. However, violence in churches is not a new phenomenon.  In addition to violent acts, fires, tornados, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, and arson also affect houses of worship. With many incidents occurring with little to no warning, many churches are developing and updating plans and procedures to ensure the safety and security of their congregations, staff, and facilities.  This “Guide for Developing High Quality Emergency Operations Plans for Houses of Worship” was created by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help churches prepare in the event that disaster strikes. Guide for Developing High Quality Emergency Operations Plans for Houses of Worship How to Respond to an Active Shooter More help in planning and preparing for natural or man-made disasters can be found at: Ready.gov FEMA.gov

Preventing Crime And Violence: A Safety Guide For Churches

How can you protect your church from the possibility of a violent crime taking place on your premises? Has your congregation adequately protected itself from vandalism or theft?  How can you prevent arson from taking place to your congregation? This guide, prepared by GuideOne Insurance, provides congregations with information and insight on ways they can protect against crime and violence from happening in their buildings and properties. Preventing Crime and Violence: A Safety Guide for Churches

How To Help When Disaster Strikes

All people, especially Christians, seek to help and assist people when a disaster strikes a community. Unfortunately, in times of crisis, not all help is helpful.  The Federal Emergency Management Agency has put together a few guides to provide direction to those wishing to assist or make donations in the time of an emergency. When Disaster Strikes: How to Donate or Volunteer Successfully Managing Spontaneous Volunteers

Sabbatical Resource for Congregations

In their efforts to show care for their pastors, DCE’s, or other professional church workers, congregations sometimes consider providing them with a sabbatical.  A sabbatical is an opportunity for a church worker to experience an extended time of rest and renewal so that they may return to their ministry well rested, sharper, and focused.  If your congregation is interested in providing your church worker with a sabbatical, Ministry Sabbatical Resources is a very helpful resource to plan and implement the sabbatical, for the benefit of both the church worker and the congregation.

MINISTRY SABBATICAL RESOURCES 

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