Home > New Mission Starts

We Want to Help Start Missional Lutheran Churches

You are most likely here for one of two reasons:

  1. you are beginning to wonder if you are called to be a church planter in the Lutheran context
  2. you would like to see a Lutheran church planted in your area.

We want to help with either and both. We know that there is a feeling of stepping into the unknown when you are pondering the work of starting a new church, so we are here to guide and encourage along the way.

Below you will find several steps to get started. Of course, prayer is the place to begin. After that, we encourage you to look through some of the resources and attend a webinar at the end of the month. This webinar will hopefully help answer some of your basic questions and point you in the direction that you should go next. Contact us through the form provided and we will help you get started. We can’t wait to connect you with the people that can walk with you in this process of prayer and discernment.

We are so glad that you are praying about the work of church planting and we are honored to be able to help.

Mission Start Affiliation Process


Step 1

Contact Missions Office with initial inquiry (available resources will be provided).


Step 2

Attend the monthly Onboarding Webinar hosted by the Director of Domestic Mission or arrange an initial consultation call with the NALC Missions Office if you are unable to attend the monthly webinar.


Step 3

Schedule a meeting with your local mission district dean.


Step 4

Schedule a follow-up consultation with the NALC Missions Office to officially join the NALC as a Mission in Formation (House Church, Mission Post, Mission Fellowship or Mission Congregation).


Step 5

Apply for a change in status from Mission in Formation to full Member Congregation.

Types of Mission Starts

Mission Post

A Mission Post is where fewer than ten families are interested in joining the NALC, but they are not in a position to have a regular worship location, a pastoral leader and a full mission plan. The group gathers for prayer, worship and mutual support. This is a way we acknowledge mission groups regardless of size, honor people’s faithfulness, and come alongside them to help focus their energy towards the possibility of growing towards becoming a Mission Congregation.

House Church

This is a more organized group that has regular meetings at a mission site, such as homes, coffee shops and other available spaces. Most house churches do not have a pastor but are lay led. The main emphasis is to gather for worship, Bible study and prayer. This is an effective way of expanding the Christian faith without front-loading a mission plant with the burden of renting or owning worship space. A House Church may begin with a small group of committed Christians in an area where no church exists, or it may be planted by an existing congregation branching out into a local neighborhood under the leadership of the mother congregation. The goal of a House Church is not necessarily to grow into a larger congregation that requires its own building. Rather, a House Church focuses on discipleship and depth.

Mission Fellowship

The main mark of a Mission Fellowship is that it is a very Mission-Driven group that is larger than a House Church, usually having 30 or more members. A mission fellowship has a worship site, a mission plan, a mission budget and a core group of leaders. Meeting several times a week for worship, Bible study and prayer, they have strong lay leadership but usually do not have a called mission pastor. The group doesn’t own its own building but intentionally uses rented space for the sake of reaching out.

Mission Congregation

A Mission Congregation is where all the infrastructure of a congregation is in place: mission site, mission pastor, mission plan and a significant level of self-sufficiency with a goal of becoming a fully organized congregation that is incorporated into the NALC. Mission Congregations are the most organized and structured form of mission start.

Contact Us

Rev. Brad Hales
Rev. Brad Hales

Director of Domestic Mission