Rural and Small Town Mission

Rural and Small Town Mission (RSTM)

The primary focus of Rural and Small Town Mission (RSTM) is to support congregations in rural and small town settings in the work to which God has called them. RSTM recognizes that, while the work to which God has called congregations is the same, the context in which that work is carried out can be very different – even in rural America.

Rural and Small Town Mission provides encouragement and support for congregations of all sizes. Our leadership training events, conferences and webinars address many of the unique challenges of congregations. For more information, please contact Amy Gerdts at 888-463-5127 or

LCMS Rural and Small Town Mission page

LCMS Rural & Small Town News

Reaching Rural America For Christ 
     *  Current monthly newsletter + archives

Rural/Small Town Webinars

RSTM offers monthly webinars on a variety of topics; recent topics have included enhancing education efforts in your congregation, using technology for ministry, and revitalization.

To find a schedule of upcoming webinars or watch archived webinars, visit the RSTM webinar page.

To receive webinar invitations, contact Amy Gerdts at 888-463-5127 or

Engaging Your Community (EYC) Events

These popular opportunities, described as “very inspirational” and led by “excellent facilitators,” are ideal for a pastor and several lay leaders to learn from experts and fellow ministry leaders. LCMS Rural & Small Town Mission (RSTM) offers its EYC events in partnership with LCMS districts. Participants will identify personal and congregational assets they have in place and make plans for using resources to engage their respective communities. Themes of the event include building and strengthening partnerships as multi-point parishes and individual congregations explore ways to work together for the needs of their communities.

There is no “one size fits all” solution; however, congregational leaders will be encouraged as they see new opportunities for engaging their communities and are filled with hope for the future.

Engaging the Wandering (ETW) Events

RSTM offers its ETW events in partnership with LCMS districts. Congregational leaders and pastors are encouraged as they see new opportunities to learn about their inactive members and develop plans for engaging them. Congregational leaders will examine their congregations and consider ways they can serve the unique needs of their members. Every congregation has members who, for whatever reason, have become less involved in worship and other congregational activities. One of the themes of the event is about building and strengthening relationships with inactive members as an important part of the mission work that the Lord calls and enables us to do.

 Welcoming – Buildings, Publications, People” Events

RSTM offers day-long Welcoming events that address the little known “Brain Gain” of rural/small-town and focus on the practical to help your congregation be welcoming to both visitors and members alike. Congregational leaders will look at their buildings, publications, and even how they react/act as members, through a visitors’ eyes in order to serve and engage the unique needs of all who step through their congregation’s doors.

The National RSTM Conference is geared for anyone from all types of rural and small-town settings, providing training and resources aimed at helping rural and small-town congregations assess community needs and search for opportunities to engage their communities through acts of witness and mercy. While there is no “one size fits all” solution, participants will be encouraged as they see new opportunities for engaging their communities and are filled with hope for the future. Fellowship with others who have also been placed in this unique mission field will be invaluable too! Continuing Education credits available through Concordia Theological Seminary.

The most recent National RSTM Conference, “Running with Endurance: Eyes Fixed on Jesus,” was held November 14-16, 2019 in Minneapolis.

Missions Staff

Janet Powell
Administrative Assistant
785-357-4441, ext. 2001