In The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, we have over 3,500 congregations that are faithfully carry out ministry in rural and small town settings.
To get a grasp of the enormity of that statement, consider that this makes up over half of the congregations and over half of the membership of the LCMS.
That is a lot of people with an enormous opportunity to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with millions of folks who live without that hope of salvation.
Serving countless hours, hundreds of volunteers have served thousands of people and congregations throughout the country by accomplishing the work that we simply could not do on our own.
Over the past five years, our volunteers have:
- prayed for our ministry and the congregations we represent,
- prepared and sent vital information on our behalf,
- prepared meals for and housed students, seminarians, bi-vocational pastors and their families, and
- a myriad of other tasks in order to support the critical ministries we have in rural and small towns throughout the synod.
Why you might ask, do these volunteers bother to help?
I think the answer is simple: The love of Christ compels them. This selfless cloud of witnesses seeks to support the ministry of Gospel by providing foundational support for mission and ministry the face of which they will most likely never see.
This isn’t carried out in a vain attempt at attention, they certainly don’t get that. They don’t do what they do out of some selfish sense of duty or I’m certain they wouldn’t keep at it.
But they simply serve out of the love they have for Christ because He first loved them and in that love they have a heart to help and support ministry throughout our beloved Synod.
This is why we at LCMS Rural & Small Town Mission give thanks to God for the incredible support He gives to us through our volunteers.
Without His provision of these caring servants, we simply could not do even a portion of what we do.
We also thank our volunteers themselves for their selfless giving of their time, their talents and most importantly their heart for our various mission and ministry endeavors!
“Well done good and faithful servants!”
The Rev. Todd E. Kollbaum is director of LCMS Rural & Small Town Mission.