Rallying Mission Support in Your Congregation

Ruthann Mickelson (Madison, Wisconsin, USA)

Archived discussion

About the presenter

Ruthann Mickelson retired from 24 years of Lutheran Elementary School teaching in and around Madison, Wisconsin. She currently leads mission outreach efforts at Abiding Shepherd Lutheran Church (ELS) in Cottage Grove.

I was blessed by God to be born into a family that is passionate for mission work. It began when my father's first call, in 1936, took my mother and him to a mission congregation in Canada and has continued these many years during which my one brother served in several foreign and home missions and my other brother spent his life training missionaries. I taught in Christian day schools for twenty-three years, teaching little ones about their best friend, Jesus. So it's hard for me to understand why everyone is not as passionate for mission work as I am. The following thoughts come to mind:

Since many of our congregation's members do not subscribe to mission publications, I write a "Missions Update" for our church's monthly online newsletter, The Lamb's Pen, gleaning information from the ELS website, Mission News, the president's monthly newsletter, the Helping Hands mission letter, and the Thoughts of Faith newsletter. Here is a sample.

When our (then) small mission congregation moved into our new church building back in 2005, I asked if I could have a small bulletin board put up in the lobby to be specifically a "missions" bulletin board. Since then I have been displaying, as best I can, the latest in what's going on in our Synod's missions and trying to motivate people to make "missions" a part of their lives too.

What you see here are pictures of some of the 60-plus bulletin boards I have created over the years. They are divided into four categories:

  1. Promotions for our church's direct mission and ministry support efforts. We have four of those over the course of each year, where members have the opportunity to contribute to a cause outside our own congregation.
  2. Profiles of world and home mission sites.
  3. Mission rally advertisements.
  4. Seasonal reminders.

Click on the following images to enlarge them. Use the "back" button to return to this page.

Support for Mission Projects

Support for Mission Locations

Support for Mission Rallies

Seasonal Reminders


Judy Kuster 30 days ago
These are really beautiful, Ruthann, but where in the world have you found the ideas for over 60 posters??? How many do you typically do each year? Do you save them? Can they be re-cycled or passed on to another congregation to use?
Ruthann Kuster Mickelson 28 days ago
I get ideas from things I've read, like Mission News, Lutheran Sentinel, etc. The ELS has made available some lovely and meaningful pictures which are easy to download. I try to vary the bulletin boards and to change them every 4-5 weeks, so I guess that makes about 10-12 per year. I save only a picture of the bulletin boards, so that I can remember what I have previously used. If anyone would like to use the ideas you see here, you are welcome to use them or modify them to your church's needs.
Judy Kuster 25 days ago
Ruthann, I suspect you may have done a poster like this already, but I just read a response to my question to Chaplain Ziemer’s article on “Connecting with Combat Troops”. I posted something back to him that may be a poster idea for you in the future – if not around Memorial Day or Veterans’ Day, maybe even a permanent poster someone in your church might like to take on as a project. What I posted (in part) to Ziemer, I’ll share here with you, too, slightly edited.

He mentioned on his “to do list” was to identify a liaison in every congregation. I responded that one idea was to enlist a retired military individual or family to take on was developing a poster like I saw at Mt. Olive Lutheran School (ELS) in Mankato. The really nice poster drew attention to church members who were past and present members of the military. It had a picture when available, and a short “bio” of their service. I was amazed how many in that congregation (that both of us know) were on that poster! But a permanent poster somewhere in our congregations would serve as an important reminder to thank them, and to remember current members of the military in our prayers. I asked him how one would go about knowing who has served in the military in a congregation – put an announcement in the bulletin or church newsletter?

Anyway, I thought of your wonderful Christian outreach with the posters and thought I’d post the suggestion here, too.
Ruthann Mickelson 25 days ago
That's a great suggestion. I like the idea of a more permanent display of some kind. Thanks.
Paul Ziemer 19 days ago
Visualization is critical to planned action. Your work enables people to see with their eyes what their minds and hearts need to embrace. Some might call this low-tech, or old-school. But it is effective. And with modern technology, these visualizations can be easily shared with people around the world. May the Lord continue to bless your efforts to bring the picture of Christ and his work to human eyes!
Ruthann Mickelson 19 days ago
Thanks so much for your kind words.
Mark R. Harrington 11 days ago
Ruthann: I really think your post provides a wonderful example on how to present and draw attention to missions by the use of a "missions" bulletin board. As a matter of fact, the one bulletin board example you give above for "E.L.S. Home Missions" has an arrow pointing our congregation! [Faith Lutheran, San Antonio, TX] Would you say that as congregations look outwardly that the Lord also grows the congregation inwardly? (and not necessarily in numerical growth but in spiritual maturity?)
Ruthann Mickelson 9 days ago
I certainly agree. Our congregation has been blessed in numbers and in spiritual growth since beginning as a mission congregation in the late '90's. Our quarterly Mission and Ministry efforts, to help others outside of our church family, have been a real blessing. I personally have been watching the growth of our ELS home missions in your state. In fact, I will be sharing some information about your Worldview Conference (I think that is a tremendous growth opportunity!) with our members in our May edition of The Lamb's Pen. Prayers are always encouraged!