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We Want to Help Start Missional Lutheran Churches


In Luke 10:2 it is written, “And he (Jesus) said to them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into the harvest” (ESV). Christ is calling believers to share the “Good News” so others will come to saving faith in Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit. And this is the mission of the Body of Christ. To make disciples of the Lord and plant churches, so the world will come to know Jesus. The North American Lutheran Church (NALC) takes this mandate seriously through Life-to-Life Discipleship and Mission Driven efforts – including church planting. Throughout the NALC, groups of passionate individuals and churches are being moved to start new congregations. Whether it begins as a mission post, house church, mission fellowship or a mission congregation, we follow the biblical imperative from the Apostle Paul in I Corinthians 3:6-7 as it is written, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth” (ESV). Do you want to see the Word of God spread in your community? Do you want to see individuals receiving that free gift of grace through faith in Christ? Do you want to help make disciples so individuals and families will know the love and hope of Jesus in their lives? If so, please pray and consider being a part of the church planting movement in the North American Lutheran Church.

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, encourage, and pray with you along the way. Below you will find several steps to get started. 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, point you in the direction that you should go next, and connect you with the people that can walk with you through the process. Contact us through the form provided and we will help you get started.

In Acts 13:2, as Paul and Barnabas are “set apart” to share the Good News and plant churches, we are also being called to grow the kingdom of God. Please consider this great opportunity for church planting, as the Lord will use it in a mighty way to touch and transform lives.

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

The Rev. Brad Hales
The Rev. Brad Hales

Director of Church Planting and Aging Ministries

The Rev. Carol Fryer
The Rev. Carol Fryer

Missions Specialist