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The North American Lutheran Church

A 10-Point Strategic Plan (2020-2023)


The following represents a 2020 Vision for the North American Lutheran Church (NALC). The development of this vision included input from NALC staff, Executive Council, mission district deans, the North American Lutheran Seminary (NALS) president and Board of Regents. The vision has been endorsed by the Executive Council, was shared with the Ministerium in February 2020 and presented at the NALC Mission Convocation in August 2020.

The 2020 Mission Convocation endorsed the direction this vision sets for the NALC for the following three years. The convocation committed to fervent daily prayer and action for the 2020 Vision to come to life in and among us; to encourage collaboration of all disciples, congregations and entities of the NALC in implementing the vision; and finally, to call for annual reports and frequent updates on the progress of the 2020 Vision.

For each vision point, a goal has been set. Under that goal are possibilities of what may be done to reach that goal. This document will be reviewed annually by a strategic planning team. Therefore, this is a working document and will continue to change as we move forward together. This version has been updated as of September 20, 2021.

Download a printable version of the 2020 Vision.


A church body committed to developing disciple-making congregations and cultures

Component Lead: Pastor Phil Gagnon (Pastor David Wendel and the Life-to-Life Discipleship Team)
Goal: More than 200 congregations intentionally developing disciple-making cultures by 2023


A body of believers committed to increasing our mission outreach and congregational multiplication efforts

Component Lead: Pastor Gemechis Buba (Pastor Phil Gagnon, Jenny Brockman, Pastor Brad Hales)
Goal: Engagement of every NALC congregation in active and proactive outreach efforts by 2022


A denomination in which every congregation receives regular and consistent pastoral support

Component Lead: Pastor David Wendel (Pastor Phil Gagnon, Mission District Deans, Commission on Theology & Doctrine)
Goal: Pastoral support for every congregation by end of 2021


A continuing education emphasis that supports the ongoing development of all NALC pastors and lay leaders

Component Lead: Pastor David Wendel (President Eric Riesen, Board of Regents, Commission on Theology & Doctrine, Missions Team)
Goal: Expansion, coordination and promotion of available NALC continuing education opportunities, beginning in 2021


A strategy for continental restructuring able to expand with denominational growth

Component Lead: Pastor Mark Chavez (NALC Staff, Executive Council Sub-Team, Mission District Deans)
Goal: Review recommended restructuring strategy and commit to a comprehensive restructuring effort by no later than the 2021 Convocation


A denomination with the strongest and most highly respected Lutheran seminary training system in North America

Component Lead: Pastor Eric Riesen (Board of Regents, Executive Council, Bishop Dan Selbo)
Goal: Upgrade the structure, program and recruitment of our seminary over the next three years


A communications strategy focused on forming identity, unity and testimony across our church body

Component Lead: Deacon Andrew Ames Fuller (Madeline Benson, NALC Communications Team)
Goal: Identify, train and resource communication specialists in every mission district, ministry, committee and vision component of the NALC by August 2023


A denomination in which our international and ecumenical relationships strengthen our shared commitment to the Great Commission, the Great Commandments, and the Church catholic, and which enhance our partnership on the congregational level

Component Lead: Pastor David Wendel (Bishop Dan Selbo and Pastor Mark Chavez)
Goal: Review our current international and ecumenical relationships and clarify the goals for each of our partnership commitments by the end of 2021


A church body with the financial strength to support its God-given vision

Component Lead: Pastor Mark Chavez (Bishop Dan Selbo, NALC Treasurer, NALC Executive Staff and NALC Living & Giving Stewardship Team)
Goal: A balanced budget that fully supports the vision priorities by 2022


A Strategic Planning Team (SPT) that continually prays for and works to develop the next steps for our God-given vision and future

Component Lead: Bishop Dan Selbo (NALC Staff and Executive Council Sub-Team)
Goal: Annually review and revise the 2020 Vision to ensure that our denominational priorities remain consistent with our shared calling in Jesus Christ

Bishop Selbo's Vision Walkthrough