The Partnership Project

Thinking about, planning, or implementing a congregational partnership? On this page, you’ll find a variety of resources, including Bible studies, checklists, models, assessment tools, and sample documents, designed to help you work through the process. If you have ideas for future additions, please let us know!

Downloading The Partnership Planning Process is a good place to start.

Partnership Project Core Library

Partnership Project Tools

LCMS Links

The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod provides helpful resources, including webinars, events, articles, expertise, and guidance on governance

LCMS Rural and Small Town Mission

The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod’s Rural & Small Town Mission supports pastors, professional church workers and lay leaders to meet the challenges of leading Christ-centered outreach in their unique communities. Visit LCMS Rural and Small Town Mission

LCMS Office of National Mission

Provides support, programs, and resources to serve LCMS congregations and schools, partner with LCMS districts, and ultimately make disciples for life. Visit Office of National Mission

Making Disciples for Life Resource Center

Making Disciples for Life is the triennial emphasis of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod and is a partnership between individuals, congregations, districts, and the Synod to evangelize the lost, retain the faithful, strengthen congregations, and plant churches and schools. Visit the Making Disciples for Life Resource Center


The Synod’s re:Vitality program, which focuses on strengthening a congregation’s ability to invite, welcome, and receive people, begins with a no-cost guided self-assessment that helps a congregation determine its “stage of vitality.” Churches can then implement training modules (a combination of videos and practical exercises) that best suit their needs. “Connect to Disciple,” the first module, focuses on effective outreach. Visit re:Vitality



Other Links

The ARDA: Association of Religious Data Archives

Provides a wealth of religious data from 2010. Click on the “US Congregational Membership” tab, and you’ll find options for accessing reports by zip code, county, metro area, and state. VISIT SITE

FaithView from Barna

A subscription-based tool providing data on demographics, beliefs, and practices. VISIT SITE

By collecting and analyzing data from a variety of government and private sources, City Data creates detailed, informative profiles for every city in the United States.  VISIT SITE

Statistical Atlas

In-depth statistical data and analysis for all of the US. VISIT SITE

Recommended Reading (Books)

The following books, some of which speak more directly to the church context than others, provide helpful insights for the congregational partnership process.

Better Together, Jim Tomberlin and Warren Bird (2012)

Mergers, Matt Rogers (2016)

The Power of Asset Mapping, Luther K, Snow (2004)

Managing Transitions, William Bridges, with Susan Bridges (2016)

Necessary Endings, Henry Cloud (2010)


Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) makes demographic reports and studies available to congregations within the Nebraska District. Demographic information provides an overview of a community based on population trends, economic factors, attitudes of residents, and more. Congregations can request demographic information by contacting Nate Meier, LCEF Nebraska District Vice President, at If you represent an LCMS congregation outside of the Nebraska District, you may contact your own district office for assistance.

Vision and Ministry Planning

Christians in Nebraska have a tremendous God-given opportunity right now to share the Good News of Jesus with those who don’t know Him. God has brought the mission field to Nebraska and given us the privilege of being light and salt to the people in our communities.

Each person in your congregation receives the tools he or she needs to enter the mission field through worship, God’s Word and Sacraments, Bible studies, Sunday school, youth activities, and other ministries your congregation offers.

However, a clear and unified vision is necessary as the church ventures out into the community. A clear and agreed upon picture of a preferred future comes by seeking God’s will and seeing where He is already at work in the community.

Nebraska District staff is available to walk alongside congregations as they learn more about their community and work together to develop a ministry plan that will help guide them to be witnesses, to show mercy, and to welcome their neighbors into their life together in Christ.

Contact Kim Hofer to learn more about how you and your congregation can engage in the mission opportunities right outside your door.