New Life Church-Lutheran is a congregation of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS). The LCMS is a Christian denomination that is mission-oriented, Gospel-driven, biblically faithful, and historically confessional. It is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. The roots of the LCMS go back to the teachings of Martin Luther.
Lutherans in the United States
There are approximately 70 million Lutherans belonging to 250 different autonomous Lutheran churches around the world. Approximately 9 million Lutherans in North America belong to 21 different Lutheran church bodies. The largest of these at 4.6 million is the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, with 2.3 million baptized members, ranks as the second largest Lutheran church body in North America and the 11th largest denomination in the USA. The Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) has 400,000 members and is the third largest Lutheran Church in the United States of America.
The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod
“In grateful response to God’s grace and empowered by the Holy Spirit through Word and Sacraments, the mission of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod is vigorously to make known the love of Christ by word and deed within our churches, communities and the world.”
Today, the LCMS has more than 2.3 million baptized members in some 6,200 congregations and more than 9,000 pastors. Two seminaries and 10 colleges and universities operate under the auspices of the LCMS, and its congregations operate the largest Protestant parochial school system in America. The church broadcasts the saving message of Jesus Christ over KFUO Radio, and it has relationships and active mission work in 88 countries around the world. In the last five years, the LCMS has awarded more than $35 million through more than 900 domestic and international grants for emergency response and disaster response. Today, the LCMS is in full doctrinal fellowship with 33 other confessional Lutheran church bodies worldwide.
The LCMS is known for mass-media outreach through “The Lutheran Hour,” broadcast around the world by Lutheran Hour Ministries; syndicated and streaming programming on KFUO radio; “This Is The Life” dramas on television; and the products of Concordia Publishing House, the third-largest Protestant, church-owned publisher, whose Arch Books children’s series alone has sold more than 60 million copies.
The LCMS works with 300 Recognized Service Organizations (RSOs) to extend its social ministry. The LCMS is also a founding partner of Lutheran Services in America, a social service organization that serves one in every 50 Americans.
In addition to national and international ministries based at the LCMS International Center in St. Louis, and those emanating from the Synod’s district offices and congregations, the church’s work also is fostered through its auxiliaries, the Lutheran Laymen’s League and Lutheran Women’s Missionary League.
LCMS Beliefs and Practice
With the universal Christian Church, New Life Church-Lutheran and the LCMS teaches and responds to the love of the Triune God: the Father, creator of all that exists; Jesus Christ, the Son, who became human to suffer and die for the sins of all human beings and to rise to life again in the ultimate victory over death and Satan; and the Holy Spirit, who creates faith through God’s Word and Sacraments. The three persons of the Trinity are coequal and coeternal, one God.
Lutherans accept and teach the biblically faithful teachings of Martin Luther that inspired the reformation of the Christian Church in the 16th century. The teaching of Luther and the reformers can be summarized in three short phrases: Grace alone, Faith alone, Scripture alone. Together, they comprise a single phrase: Christ alone.
God loves the people of the world, even though they are sinful, rebel against Him and do not deserve His love. He sent Jesus, His Son, to love the unlovable and save the ungodly.
By His suffering and death as the substitute for all people of all time, Jesus purchased and won forgiveness and eternal life for them. Those who hear this Good News and believe it have the eternal life that it offers. God creates faith in Christ and gives people forgiveness through Him.
The Bible is the written Word of God. It was written so that all people might believe in Jesus and have life in His name. It is completely true in every way as it proclaims God’s perfect Law and His saving Gospel. It is the sole rule and norm for Christian life and faith.
Everything Lutherans do and say is grounded in Jesus Christ. He is the church’s one foundation. Through Him all people on earth were given life, and through Him all people on earth have access to new life—both on earth and forever in heaven.
What does “Synod” mean?
The word “Synod” in The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod comes from Greek words that mean “walking together.” The term has rich meaning in our church body, because congregations voluntarily choose to belong to the Synod. Though diverse in their service, these congregations hold to a shared confession of Jesus Christ as taught in Holy Scripture. They believe that the writings contained in the Book of Concord are a correct interpretation and presentation of what the Bible teaches.
The Book of Concord contains the confessional writings of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, which are statements of belief that were put into writing by church leaders during the 16th century. The simplest of these is Luther’s Small Catechism.
The Lutheran Confessions
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod accepts the Scriptures as the written Word of God, completely true in every way. It also subscribes unconditionally to all the Lutheran Confessions as because they are drawn from the Scriptures. These writings explain what we believe the Bible teaches. They are binding and authoritative for all pastors, congregations and other rostered church workers of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.