Limited Time: 40-Month Note at 4%!

40-month note at 4% is nearing the goal of $100 million invested for ministry! Learn more here.

Click here to view the LCEF North Dakota eNews

 

Limited Time: 40-Month Note at 4%!

To meet future LCMS ministry loan demand and help support growing ministry opportunities, LCEF needs to raise $100 million. We are over halfway there! Join us; invest in ministry. Open LCEF’s 40-month 40th anniversary note at 4%. Learn more at lcef.org/40month.

 

Lutheran Church Extension Fund is a nonprofit religious organization; therefore, LCEF investments are not FDIC-insured bank deposit accounts. This is not an offer to sell investments, nor a solicitation to buy. LCEF will offer and sell its securities only in states where authorized. The offer is made solely by LCEF’s Offering Circular. Investors should carefully read the Offering Circular, which more fully describes associated risks. Lutheran Church Extension Fund—Missouri Synod is registered and licensed through the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System- NMLS#3444. LCEF

StewardAccount® access features provided through UMB Bank n.a. The StewardAccount is not available

to investors in South Carolina.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/ending-soon/

Main Street Living Media Ministry – December Update

The first recording of pastors from the Western Region of the ND District LCMS took place at Messiah Lutheran Church in Mandan on November 3rd. These worship services will be broadcast during January and February! A reminder that MSLN is now additionally being broadcast at 10:00AM Central (9:00 Mountain) on the following “XTRA” channels: KBMY Xtra Channel 17.3 Bismarck/Dickinson and KMCY Xtra Channel 14.3 Minot/Williston, WDAY Xtra Channel 6.3 Fargo-Moorhead and WDAZ Xtra Channel 8.3 Grand Forks. (Note: Some cable channel numbers may be different in your area). All programming will also continue on the FOX stations at 9:00 AM Central in the eastern half of ND and western Minnesota.

Please continue to help spread the word to your extended family and friends. In addition to viewing the TV programs on Sunday mornings, please also let them know that they can watch all of the archived programs at any time online! A reminder that by the time you are reading this, to reach the website for archived programs you will first need to go to the MSL Network site at www.mainstreetliving.com and then click on “North” to reach our North Dakota and Minnesota North broadcast area website.

To help with the cost of expanding to the western half of North Dakota, the Main Street Living NETWORK has also announced that they will provide matching funds up to $16,000 for any new donations made. To add your much needed financial support, checks may be sent to “Main Street Living NORTH,” 821-5th Ave. S., Fargo, ND 58103, or donate by Credit Card or your PayPal account. Thank you and God’s blessing in Christ!

“Main Street Living North” & Special Advent/Christmas TV Programs for December 2018:

(Note: During December, the regular “This Is The Life” programs are being replaced by a church-season series of Lutheran Hour animated programs.)

December 2:  Rev. Michael Nielson, Trinity Lutheran Church, Fisher, MN, and St. Paul Lutheran Church, Euclid, MN, presents the message: “Singing to the King” based on Luke 19:28-40. Today’s Lutheran Hour program is “The City That Forgot About Christmas.” In it, Benji thinks the hustle and bustle of Christmas only makes people more grouchy, but grandfather has a different view.

December 9:  Rev. Daniel Voth, Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church, Grand Forks, presents the message: “The Second Sunday of Advent” based on St. Luke 3:1-14.  Today’s Lutheran Hour program is The Stableboy’s Christmas.” In it, a family experiences the excitement of the holidays, while trying to keep the true meaning of Christmas at the center of their preparations.

December 16:  Rev. Dr. Jamison Hardy, President of the English District LCMS, delivers today’s message: “Do Not Be Anxious” based on Luke 7: 18-28. Today’s Lutheran Hour program is “Red Boots for Christmas.” In it, a small shop in the small town of Friedensdorf doesn’t have any Christmas decorations, and no Christmas spirit inside the store.

December 23:  Rev. Dr. Matthew Harrison, President of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, leads our Christmas worship service. The message is based on Luke 1: 39-45.  Today’s Lutheran Hour program is Christmas Is,” which takes a journey back in time to the first Christmas with Benji and Waldo to rediscover the feeling and message of this significant day.

December 30:  Rev. Nabil Nour, third Vice President of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod and Pastor at Trinity Lutheran in Hartford, South Dakota presents today’s message: “The Firstborn”  based on Exodus 13: 1-2. Today’s Lutheran Hour program is “The Puzzle Club Christmas Mystery.” It’s Christmas, and some mysterious events have occurred which require some special investigative talents.

“MAIN STREET LIVING” is a locally produced TV program that includes a 30-minute worship service led by participating pastors of the North Dakota and Minnesota North Districts of our LCMS, along with a 30 minute Lutheran Hour program (normally This Is The Life,” along with occasional church-season specials).  Programs are broadcast at 9:00 am Central time on the following FOX stations: KVRR Fargo-Moorhead Channel 15.1, KBRR Thief River Falls-Grand Forks Channel 10.1, KJRR Jamestown Channel 7.1, KNRR Pembina Channel 12.1, AND at 10:00am Central (9:00am Mountain) on the following WDAY & affiliate Xtra Channels: WDAY Xtra Channel 6.3 Fargo-Moorhead, WDAZ Xtra Channel 8.3 Grand Forks, KBMY Xtra Channel 17.3 Bismarck/Dickinson, and KMCY Xtra Channel 14.3 Minot/Williston – as well as the cable and satellite systems carrying these stations, some of which may have a different channel number, and archived on www.mainstreetliving.com.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/msl-december-update/

God’s People in Action

In late October, Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch hosted a Faith in Action Mercy Conference on its Fargo campus. Attendees were inspired and energized to be a part of God’s mission to bring hope and healing to the world.

Attendees packaged 1,662 meals for people in Africa, rekindled their passion to help people in need, learned about more than 20 ministries of care, and experienced healing and release with Eddie the Comfort the Dog. Conference attendees also learned about ministries that are building boarding schools in Africa, feeding and clothing underprivileged people on all continents, healing and educating children in North Dakota, and more.

The engaging keynote speakers, Rev. Dr. Matthew Harrison and Dr. Rob Stadler, opened participant’s eyes to new possibilities for Christ-centered compassion and drew hearts toward practical ways to make a difference in the lives of others.

Harrison, President of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) and author of several books, spoke of the role of mercy in the church. With more hurting people around us than ever before, God’s people are called to get off the sidelines and lend compassionate care to those who are hurting. That is what Jesus did, and it is what followers of Christ are called to do today. Harrison cited Scripture to illustrate Jesus walking toward people in need, while everyone else was walking away.

From the time of the early church until now, mercy has been a part of the church–Harrison encouraged Christians to rediscover ministries of mercy for a new generation.

Stadler, author of “The Scientific Approach to Evolution,” recognized that our focus on providing mercy can be inhibited when the foundation of our faith is attacked. The growing conflict between science and faith, centered upon evolution, has turned many away from God. Stadler explained his approach to resolving this conflict, which is to appreciate different levels of confidence in scientific evidence. When evidence that provides high confidence (for example, evidence that is repeatable and obtained through planned experiments) is properly prioritized over weak evidence (for example, evidence that is not repeatable and relates to singular events in the distant past), the theory of evolution breaks down. With high confidence evidence, science and the Christian faith are in full agreement. By resolving this conflict, our faith in God’s word and our focus on mercy can be restored.

A forum to discuss how society cares for its most vulnerable citizens seems to be more important now than ever. The Ranch is grateful for the opportunity to bring people together to explore ways we can all be the hands and feet of Christ.

“Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch is just one part of a much larger call to care for the needs of people around us,” said Chaplain Rick Jones, Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch. “We are not alone, and the work of all ministries represented at the conference is important and valued.”

Permanent link to this article: http://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/people-in-action/

Lutheran Church Extension Fund Honors Late North Dakota District Vice President Bill Sharpe

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (Dec. 3, 2018) —Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) honored the late Bill Sharpe with the Arthur C. Haake Leadership Award on Nov. 16 during LCEF’s Fall Leadership Conference.

Bill Sharpe served as the LCEF vice president in the North Dakota District for over 25 years, from August 1991 up until his untimely death in April 2017. Bill not only served as the LCEF DVP, he also served as the district’s business manager and its sole executive staff person outside of the district president.

Sharpe graduated from Concordia University, Neb., in 1978, and served in teaching and administrative positions in Iowa, Florida and Illinois before he was called to serve the Dakota Boy’s Ranch in North Dakota in 1987. In 1991, he was called by the North Dakota District.

“Bill was the district,” said Rev. Bart Day, LCEF president and CEO, “and was a sought-after resource by congregations, ministries and church workers.”

One of his more recent mission successes was the purchase of a large piece of acreage in a growing part of Fargo, the largest city in North Dakota. Once purchased, Sharpe sold off individual lots for single family homes that fueled the construction costs of a new mission congregation and surrounded it with new houses that could be reached as new potential members. This was simply a brilliant win/win solution for both district mission work and LCEF.

“Bill exemplified our mission of reaching more people for Christ through our work in congregations,” Day said, “and assisted them for over 25 years with counsel and building needs.”

Gale Sharpe is holding the award with Rachel to the left and Rebekah and granddaughter Elsie to the right.

Sharpe was known for his dry wit, subtle humor, laid-back personality and humility, which worked wonderfully in relating to his upper-Midwest audience. Behind that was always a passion and practicality to do Christ’s work serving in the North Dakota mission field.

Day concluded: “Bill may have served a smaller district, but he leaves a large legacy of service, commitment and mission work for both the North Dakota District and LCEF.”

The Arthur C. Haake Leadership Award honors a retired LCEF staff member for his or her service to the organization and the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. It celebrates the life of the late Art Haake—LCEF’s second president, who helped guide the organization through its early years and saw its rapid expansion.

LCEF, a non-profit organization, has served as the financial extension of the LCMS since 1978, offering funding and resources to congregations, schools and Rostered Church Workers through investment support of LCMS members.

The mission of LCEF is to support the Church in fulfilling its mission of sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ by being a Christ-centered servant partner of the LCMS, ensuring that funds and services are available now and in the future. Learn how you can be a partner in ministry at lcef.org.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/lcef-award-bill-sharpe/

Have No Fear


More than 170 pastors and lay leaders gathered Nov. 8–10 at the Hilton Kansas City Airport in Kansas City, Mo., for the 2018 National Rural & Small Town Mission Conference. The Rev. Dr. Keith Schweitzer, a dual-parish pastor in Iowa who also serves as a bi-vocational pastor via substitute teach¬ing, attended with his wife, Susan. This was the fifth time he has attended the RSTM Conference.
Schweitzer said, “This conference is a joy, primarily for the reason that there previously wasn’t anything in the Synod like this for ru¬ral and small-town [areas]. You can come here and receive a program full of resources that are specifically suited for our context and spend time with others in similar situations and share experiences. Plus, it’s a little bit of a vacation!”
Congregational leaders from coast to coast and everywhere in between were in attendance. Over the course of three days, the attendees were impacted by inspira¬tional plenary speakers, practical sectionals, time together in worship and study of the Scriptures and time for attendees to encourage and support each other.
In keeping with the theme of “Have No Fear,” those in attendance considered things such as Christ’s presence in rural and small-town areas, the pastor and congregation’s role together and within the community and carrying our ministry with patient perseverance in an impatient world. The Rev. Dr. Roosevelt Gray led the daily Bible study for the conference, speaking about the eternal gifts of Word and Sacrament for serving in any setting into which God places us. The Rev. Timothy Koch meditated on the blessings of ministry in rural and small-town ministry in the opening plenary. The Rev. Dr. Robert Bennett discussed spiritual warfare and how we must always be on our guard, as we are warned in 1 Peter 5:8. The Rev. Tom Schlund and congregation members talked about the many possibilities that are opened up when congregations partner together for the sake of the Gospel. Finally, Chaplain Craig Muehler encouraged congregations to reach out and engage their military mem¬bers and their families with encouragement and the Gospel in action.
On the heels of this wonderful conference, plans are now in the works for the 2019 National Rural & Small Town Mission Conference, to be held in Minneapolis, Minn., near the Mall of America. Its theme will be “Running with Endurance: Eyes Fixed on Jesus,” based on Hebrews 12:1b–2a. Make plans to join us and bring your family!
Rev. Todd Kollbaum, director, LCMS Rural & Small Town Mission

Contributed through the LCMS Rural & Small Town Mission monthly newsletter by the Rev. Todd Kollbaum, director, LCMS Rural & Small Town Mission

Permanent link to this article: http://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/have-no-fear/

Introducing New Hymns in Small Churches

One of the huge challenges facing any smaller congregation (whether rural or urban or small town) is how to expand the base hymnody and liturgy of the group, enabling the worshipers to encounter, become familiar with and maybe even just learn to love and appreciate a growing repertoire of fresh and new (or at least new to them!) music.

We’ll be exploring this topic in a webinar on Nov. 15 with the Rev. William Weedon, the Director of LCMS Worship Ministry and the chaplain at The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod’s International Center. Weedon plans to cover a variety of simple ways to help pas­tors and musicians move the bar.

Carl Schalk, arguably one of the great­est Lutheran musicians of our time, perceptively observed that people may not know what they like, but they all like what they know. One big key to introduc­ing new music is to have it played early and often in the congregation’s ears before ever asking them to sing it.

Say the desire was to introduce 941 to the congregation: Steven Starke’s now famous paraphrase of the great Te Deum Laudamus. The organist or pianist could begin a month or two out, using that melody as her or his prelude one week, a postlude the next week, the piece during the offering or a musical offering during distribution on yet the following week. Putting the piece into the ears of the congregation well in advance and repeat­ing the tune often is an effective (and sneaky!) way to having the congregation “know” the music even without having been taught it. Your radio works like that! You hear a song for the first time, and then again, and again and again. Finally, it has become one of those privileged songs known as “that’s an old favorite!”

Another effective technique is to have the piece partially sung by a solo or small ensemble. And if that ensemble is made up of kids, all the better! Once the kids know it, the nonsense about “no one could ever sing that!” is silenced for good. Weedon actually did this with the song just men­tioned. A teacher in his parish school confi­dently told him that the kids couldn’t learn to sing it. Ha! Just the challenge he needed. He sang it in the school several times a week and it became one of the hymns the kids themselves would ask for in the con­gregational hymn sings that preceded the midweek Advent or Lenten liturgies.

And there’s another technique: use hymn sings! Weedon will explore those and a bunch more options in the webinar. Join us for a lively discussion of expand­ing the musical life of smaller congrega­tions without risking life or limb.

Rev. William Weedon, director, LCMS Worship Ministry and the chaplain at The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod’s International Center

 

Contributed through the LCMS Rural & Small Town Mission monthly newsletter by the Rev. William Weedon, the Director of LCMS Worship Ministry and the chaplain at The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod’s International Center.

 

LCMS Rural & Small Town Mission supports and encourages rural and small-town congregations in engaging their communities and growing together in Christ through Word and Sacrament. Learn more about RSTM at lcms.org/rstm or by calling 888-463-5127. “Like” us on our Facebook page at facebook.com/lcmsrstm

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/introducing-new-hymns-in-small-churches/

“Main Street Living” Media Ministry – November Update

Hopefully, the expansion to the western half of North Dakota went smoothly in your viewing area! You should be now receiving the broadcasts at 10:00 AM Central (9:00 Mountain) on KBMY Xtra Channel 17.3 Bismarck/Dickinson and KMCY Xtra Channel 14.3 Minot/Williston, WDAY Xtra Channel 6.3 Fargo-Moorhead and WDAZ Xtra Channel 8.3 Grand Forks. (Note: Some High Definition cable channel numbers may be different in your area). All programming will also continue on the FOX stations at 9:00 AM Central in the eastern half of ND and western Minnesota. Several pastors from our western region congregations will be recording on November 3rd for MSL worship services airing during January and February.

 

Another change to watch for is that to reach the website for archived programs, you may soon need to go first to the MSL Network site at www.mainstreetliving.com and then click on “Fargo” or “North” to reach our North Dakota and Minnesota North broadcast area website. Please continue to help spread the word to your extended family and friends! In addition to viewing the TV programs Sunday mornings, please also let them know that they can watch all of the archived programs at any time online.

 

To help with the cost of expanding to the western half of North Dakota, the Main Street Living NETWORK has also announced that they will provide matching funds up to $16,000 for any new donations made. To add your much needed financial support, checks may be sent to “Main Street Living NORTH,” 821-5th Ave. S., Fargo, ND 58103, or donate by Credit Card or your PayPal account. Thank you and God’s blessing in Christ!

 

“Main Street Living North” & This Is The Life” TV Programs for November 2018:

November 4:              Rev. William Moeller, Jr., Bethlehem Lutheran Churches of Baudette and Warroad, MN, presents the message: “The Blessed” based on Matthew 5:11-12. “This Is The Life” program: “Cell of Hope.”

November 11:            Rev. Mark Chepulis, Our Savior Lutheran / Cavalier, ND, St. Paul Lutheran / St. Thomas, ND, and Redeemer Lutheran Church / Langdon, ND, presents the message: “The Sleep of Death” based on Matthew 9. “This Is The Life” program: “Undertow.”

November 18:            Rev. Thomas Puffe, St. John’s Lutheran /  Thief River Falls, MN., and Zion Lutheran / Warren, MN., presents the message: “Hebrews 10:11-25” based on Hebrews 10:11-25. “This Is The Life” program: “The Healer.”

November 25:            Rev. Craig Fenske, Immanuel Lutheran Church, Grand Forks, ND, presents the message: “Be Ready for His Return.” based on Mark 13:24-37. “This Is The Life” program: “Flames of Hate.”

 

“MAIN STREET LIVING” is a locally produced TV program that includes a 30-minute worship service led by participating pastors of the North Dakota and Minnesota North Districts of our LCMS, along with the 30 minutes This Is The Lifeprogram. Programs are broadcast at 9:00 am Central time on the following FOX stations: KVRR Fargo-Moorhead Channel 15.1, KBRR Thief River Falls-Grand Forks Channel 10.1, KJRR Jamestown Channel 7.1, KNRR Pembina Channel 12.1, AND at 10:00am Central (9:00am Mountain) on the following WDAY & affiliate Xtra Channels: WDAY Xtra Channel 6.3 Fargo-Moorhead, WDAZ Xtra Channel 8.3 Grand Forks, KBMY Xtra Channel 17.3 Bismarck/Dickinson, and KMCY Xtra Channel 14.3 Minot/Williston – as well as the cable and satellite systems carrying these stations, and archived on www.mainstreetlivingnorth.com.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/main-street-living-media-ministry-november-update/

District Pew Message and Financials – October 2018

Greetings and blessings to you in our risen Lord Jesus!

Missions are found in the heart of God.  Mission begins with the beating of God’s heart, because it is who God is.  God’s  desire is for “all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4).  In His mercy and wisdom, God has called you, His children, to participate in His mission.  The mission is never ours, it belongs to God alone (Rev. 7:10).

Join us at the Faith in Action Mercy Conference, on October 27, at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch, 7151 15th St. S.,  Fargo. Hear what Synod President Matthew    Harrison, who truly has a heart for mission, has to say about mercy work in your congregation.

Congregation’s Status

  • Zion, Gwinner: Rev. Aaron Filipek, Newton, KS. has accepted the call (served by Rev. Aaron Hambleton).
  • St. John’s, Underwood/Trinity, Rural Hazen: has extended a call to Rev. Nathan Schieber, Frankfort, IL. (served by Rev. Brandon Woodruff, Rev. Russell Fitch and Rev. Kirk Peters).
  • St. Andrew, Niagara/Grace, Lakota/St. Peter, Devils Lake: Rev. Michael Suelzle has accepted the call (installation will be October 14).
  • St. Peter’s, Sawyer: in vacancy (served by Rev. Tim Stout).
  • St. Mark’s, Minot, in vacancy and they have a call list (served by Rev. Tim Stout).
  • Our Savior’s, Minot: in vacancy (served by Intentional Interim Minister, Rev. Richard Davis).
  • Trinity, Tolley: in vacancy (served by Rev. Joel Brandvold).
  • Zion, Claire City: in vacancy.
  • St. John, Hillsboro and Trinity, Hope: in vacancy (served by Rev. Leo Deitemeyer and Rev. Dan Suelzle).
  • St. John, Belford and Immanuel, Hankinson: in vacancy (served by Rev. Pat  O’Brien and Rev. Sean Daenzer).

Pastors

  • Rev. Mike Giddings has received and is considering a call to Mount Calvary in Redfield, MN.

Your servant in Christ,
ND District President

Rev. Arie Bertsch

Financial Information — September 2018

INCOME

Congregational Mission Giving $63,114.19
Synodical Pledge (35%) (22,089.97)
Other Gifts 1220.95
Total left for District Missions, Expenses $42,245.17

EXPENSES:

Local Missions and Committee Activities: $15,650.60
(Includes UND – Wittenberg Chapel, Life Skills &
Transition Center, Deaf Ministry, Watford City)
Congregational Support 32,551.20
(Includes General Operations, District President,
Business Manager, Board of Directors)
Current gifts given for these missions (3,878.91)
International Missions
Christ’s Care for Children – Kenya 0.00
Chile Mission 0.00
(These missions were voted on by the District Convention.
They will be paid quarterly as funds are available)
Net Expenses $44,322.89

NET LOSS FOR SEPTEMBER 2018 ($2,077.72)
YTD NET LOSS ($84,278.08)

Funds Given in the Past used for Current Expenses $2,896.41

Current mission giving does not allow for any additional payment of the international missions adopted at convention. Gifts from congregations and individuals designated for these specific missions are sent on at the end of each fiscal quarter. Those amounts are not included in income or expense totals.

For a more detailed look into September’s finances, please contact Tami Ulland, Business Manager at 701-293-9001 or lcms.nd.busman@gmail.com.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/district-pew-message-and-financials-october-2018/

“Orphan Grain Train” Hurricane Relief

The Jamestown “Orphan Grain Train” branch is collecting items to help with relief for those affected by the recent hurricanes. The items listed below are what is needed and can be dropped off at the Jamestown “Orphan Grain Train” warehouse (103 4th Ave SE) on Mondays from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM and Saturdays from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM:

  • Cleaning supplies: 5-gallon buckets, brooms, mops, cleaners (i.e., ammonia, Pinesol, bleach, etc.), scrub brushes, paper towels
  • Non-perishable food items: canned food, boxed food mixes (i.e., macaroni and cheese, hamburger helper, soup mixes, etc.), bottled water, bottled drinks
  • Baby things: diapers, bottles, burp cloths, pacifiers, onesies, receiving blankets, baby blankets, baby wipes
  • Hygiene supplies: adult diapers, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, toothpaste, toothbrushes, combs, brushes, bars of soap, toilet paper, disposable razors, shaving cream, wet wipes.

 

**The OGT Bus will be available for donations at the Mercy Conference at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch, Fargo on October 27th and at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Fargo on November 10th.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/orphan-grain-train-hurricane-relief/

Inactive Ministry -It’s a Matter of Perspective

I have, in my years of ministry and in business, that we humans are often very focused on the “how” and for some reason fail to recognize the importance of the “why.” Why we are doing something oftentimes has as much or more impact on the thing we found are do­ing as the steps taken to accomplish it. In fact, without ascertaining the proper understanding of the motivation to undergo a certain project or activity, you are often setting yourself up for failure. Miles and miles of print have been produced to tell you how you ought to lose weight, be financially prudent, have better relationships and on and on and on — yet we spend little time getting to know the motivation behind these activities. We fail to determine the perspective a person has under which these actions take place.

So, instead of enumerating “how” today, we are going to talk about per­spective and motivation. These two key components of ministry are often left undiscovered and, when ignored, can have detrimental effects on ministry itself. Specifically, today we are talking about why we should undergo a ministry specifi­cally to inactive members of our congre­gations. Almost everyone agrees that we should do this and that it is a very impor­tant part of the outreach work of the local congregation. Since everyone agrees, most folks just dig in and try to figure out how to do it. However, it is of vital importance that we try to get everyone on the same page as to why we should conduct this type of ministry.

For most, if we are being honest, the motivation for a ministry to inactive members would be numbers. If we can just get them back in the pews, they will start contributing their “fair share” and we can have a balanced budget again. While we might not want to admit it, this is an unfortunately accurate assessment. It is proven out in conversations about “giving units” and line items, dead wood and finances. This should not come as much of a surprise. An unfortunate ma­jority of our congregational conversations take place at the level of budget and finance and personal preference. (I’m not talking about all people in all places here but a significant reality that does exist). This perspective and motivation limits our ministry to the realm of conquests and sales rather than wandering and lost souls in need of the healing Gospel.

It is with this in mind that we have an opportunity to change hearts and minds, both inside and outside the church. From within, all ministry endeavors will oper­ate more smoothly when the majority of the congregation is of one mindset. With ministry to wandering sheep, it is imperative. When we keep as our goal the sharing of Christ’s love instead of getting seats in the pews filled, things will go much more smoothly. With budget and finance fixes as our goal, we will only be disappointed and never hit the mark. Yet, regardless of outcome, when we are faith­ful to Christ’s mission for the Church to share His Gospel, we will always find that we are meeting our intended outcome.

Think, too, from the mind of the one to whom we minister. How valued and loved are you going to feel if you sense that you are nothing more than a conquest, a means to an end? This is often the case even with the best of motives since the Law is working hard upon the heart of the wandering. Their guilt often manifests itself in resistance and opposition. How comforting, then, would it be to under­stand that to the local congregation, as to Christ Himself, this person is not just a giving unit but a child of God for whom Christ died and to whom He is reaching out through His Church? What a major perspective change on both accounts.

For more information and assistance in these endeavors, please check out our website or give us at LCMS RSTM a call! May God bless you in all of your endeav­ors in reaching out to the lost, especially those who have wandered away from the church.

Pastor Todd Kollbaum, director, LCMS Rural & Small Town Mission

 

Contributed through the LCMS Rural & Small Town Mission monthly newsletter by Todd Kollbaum, RSTM Director.

 

LCMS Rural & Small Town Mission supports and encourages rural and small-town congregations in engaging their communities and growing together in Christ through Word and Sacrament. Learn more about RSTM at lcms.org/rstm or by calling 888-463-5127. “Like” us on our Facebook page at facebook.com/lcmsrstm

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/inactive-ministry-its-a-matter-of-perspective/

“Main Street Living” Media Ministry – October Update

WOW! There’s a lot happening in October!

First, beginning Sunday, October 7th, MSLN is expanding to the western half of North Dakota through broadcasts on KBMY WDAY-Xtra Channel 17.3 Bismarck/Dickinson and KMCY WDAY-Xtra Channel 14.3 Minot/Williston at 10:00 AM Central (9:00 Mountain). Plans are being made to begin recording pastors from our western congregations this fall! In the Eastern half of the state, the program will be also be aired on WDAY-Xtra Channel 6.3 Fargo-Moorhead and WDAZ-Xtra Channel 8.3 Grand Forks. (Note that some High Definition cable channel numbers may be different in your area). All MSLN programming will also continue on the FOX stations at 9:00 AM as before. Also, as announced previously, the Sioux City, Iowa, and Lincoln, Nebraska broadcasting areas are also being welcomed to the Main Street Living Network that Sunday!

 

Also beginning October 7th, we will be premiering the re-mastered re-runs of the well-known This Is The Life” series of programs from Lutheran Hour Ministries! These will take the place of the current “Kid’s Corner” half-hour programs which we have been showing following the MSL worship services. Then Sunday, October 14th, we will be celebrating our annual MAIN STREET LIVING SUNDAY! (Please watch for a special bulletin insert!)

 

Please continue to help spread the word to your extended family and friends! In addition to viewing the TV programs Sunday mornings, please also let them know that they can watch all of the Fargo-based archived programs at any time online at www.mainstreetlivingnorth.com.

 

To help with the cost of expanding to the western half of North Dakota, the Main Street Living NETWORK has also announced that they will provide matching funds up to $16,000 for any new donations made! To add your much needed financial support, checks may be sent to “Main Street Living NORTH,” 821-5th Ave. S., Fargo, ND 58103, or donate by Credit Card or your PayPal account at www.mainstreetlivingnorth.com.  Thank you and God’s blessing in Christ!

 

“Main Street Living North” TV Programs for October 2018:

October 7:     Rev. Scott Sailer, President, LCMS South Dakota District presents the message:  “Small Words Are The Big Words” based on Mark 10:2-16.

October 14:   Rev. Arie Bertsch, President, LCMS North Dakota District presents the message: “God Knows & Sees Everything” based on Isaiah 55:1-9.

October 21:   Rev. Don Fondow, President, LCMS Minnesota North District presents the message: “Rest Only God Can Give” based on Hebrews 4:1-13

October 28:    Rev. Robert Franck, Mount Olive Lutheran Church, Duluth, MN, presents the message: “The Truth Will Set You Free”.

 

“MAIN STREET LIVING is a locally produced TV program that includes a 30-minute worship service led by participating pastors of the North Dakota and Minnesota North Districts of our LCMS, along with the 30 minute This Is The Lifeprogram. Programs are broadcast at 9:00 am Central time on the following FOX stations: KVRR Fargo-Moorhead Channel 15.1, KBRR Thief River Falls-Grand Forks Channel 10.1, KJRR Jamestown Channel 7.1, KNRR Pembina Channel 12.1, AND at 10:00am Central (9:00 am Mountain) on the following WDAY & affiliate Xtra Channels: WDAY-Xtra Channel 6.3 Fargo-Moorhead, WDAZ-Xtra Channel 8.3 Grand Forks, KBMY Xtra Channel 17.3 Bismarck/Dickinson, and KMCY Xtra Channel 14.3 Minot/Williston – as well as the cable and satellite systems carrying these stations, and archived on www.mainstreetlivingnorth.com.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/main-street-living-media-ministry-october-update/

ND District Annual Men’s Winter Retreat

**Notice the date has been changed**

Click the image above for a printable flyer to share with your family, friends and congregation.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/nd-district-annual-mens-winter-retreat/