December 15, 2014

Over fifty of our front-line volunteers from across the country joined us on October 24 for the first ever pre-conference Chapter and Life Team Summit. Attendees included pastors, deaconesses, crisis pregnancy center directors, chapter leaders and members, Life Team leaders and members, Life Ministry Coordinators, LFL Life Center staff, students, and LCMS District Life Coordinators.

I believe God nudged me to intentionally break up the group, many of whom did not know each other, into interactive small groups of simulated life teams. The purpose was to mix the participants up so they would get a chance to work with people they’d never met before.

So what almost always happens when I do this? People are initially reluctant to step outside of their comfort zones, but with a few simple questions like, “Tell me a little about yourself, where are you from, and how you became interested in life ministry,” God begins working to break down the walls and beautiful things start to happen. As I look around I saw hearts shared in personal stories, new friendships formed, smiles exchanged, ideas flowing from struggles, and stories of faith and perseverance shared. These new bonds often result in that often result in “AH-HA” moments in which our good God reveals lives transformed through the Gospel in the world He has called us to share in to impact the Kingdom. To God be the glory!

We stepped through four areas of equipping: through social and community events, education, service, and activism. We touched on the mission discovery process that is part of the Life Team equipping training. (The prayerful exercise of reviewing our congregational mission statement and how it impacts the mission of each unique “team” of individuals God has brought together.)

We shared examples of the benefits of this equipping training for both Life Teams and Chapters. Chapter leaders who  were present shared insight into the benefits of the new training materials, and Life Team leaders shared a little about how their structure differs—mostly in that they are congregationally based rather than regionally based and work specifically in harmony with the mission of each church and outward into the surrounding community. Some of the chapter leaders present shared that their groups were getting a little tired and welcomed new insight on how to engage more members.

In a fifteen-minute brainstorming session, the collective group came up with seventy ideas, some familiar standards, but some new and unique ideas to try. Participants said they learned that Life Teams each have a unique mission that is based on the mission of their congregation and needs within their community. Chapter leaders learned that they can join forces with new life teams in their area, help mentor new teams in sharing resources and a wealth of experience, and even begin to work together on larger projects. All participants learned that the training materials can be used in either type of group. Life Ministry Coordinators were encouraged to share what they had learned with their pastors to help encourage teams in their congregations.

As I pray for them, I often think of Ecclesiastes 4:12: “And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

Also, check out our Chapter and Life Team Facebook group! It is a place for  finding encouragement and exchanging ideas. (This group was one of the suggestions that came out of the summit.) If you’d like to join this group or are interested in a regional equipping summit, please e-mail me at

Lori Trinche is the Mission & Ministry Coordinator for Lutherans For Life. 630.390.3076/