School Ministry Yearly Themes

Upcoming Themes


  • 2020-2021 Theme: "Sent to Serve"

    “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many”
    -Matthew 20:28 ESV

  • 2021-2022 Theme: TBD

    Theme TBD (2022 LCMS Youth Gathering Theme)

Why a Yearly Theme?

The LCMS School Ministry office has aligned the themes for NLSW and Chapel Talks for the coming years so that there is a single theme for all publications for the entire year.  This will allow for schools to utilize the overall theme in their individual school if they choose and will also tie ministries of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod together thematically throughout the year.

Each theme for the coming years has been chosen with intent based on national Synod events overlapping the indicated school calendar years. “Real. Present. God.” coincided with the LCMS Youth Gathering in 2019 and the 2019-2020 theme of “Joy:Fully Lutheran” continued the use of the theme developed for the 2019 LCMS Convention. This year’s theme of “Sent to Serve” was developed independently of any Synod events but works perfectly with where we find ourselves as Christians in the world today. Future overall themes will continue to work to embrace events and themes for specific years on a larger scale than what has happened historically.

Be sure to use the overall themes in your ministry in the next years and check back to see what themes are being developed for the upcoming years!

2020-2021 Yearly Theme


Theme: “Sent to Serve”

Scripture Verse: “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28 ESV).

Download the 2020-2021 Chapel Talks
2020-2021 NLSW Resources
Download the 2020-2021 Theme Resources

Historical Yearly Themes

If you are looking for themes from previous years, please go to LCMS .org and use the search bar at the top of the page to search for Chapel Talks and National Lutheran Schools Week materials and themes. In order to help you focus your search, recent years’ Chapel Talks were “Joy:Fully Lutheran” (2019-2020), “Real. Present. God.” (2018-2019), “It’s Still All About Jesus” (2017-2018), “Upon This Rock” (2016-2017), “Life Together” (2015-2016), “Stand In Mercy” (2014-2015), and “Learn the Faith – Live the Faith” (2013-2014). Searching for “Chapel Talks” will also return additional years’ historical resources.