Rev. Dr. Phil Huebner
An Honest Conversation with WELS Teens, Rev. Dr. Phil Huebner
It happens in many congregations. Members notice that the church is “greying.” They recognize that a fair number of younger members drop out of church not too long after confirmation. And so someone says, “If we want to reach younger people today, we need to…” Why do they think that would help? How do they know that? Have they actually talked to such “younger people”? A huge strategic mistake organizations make is assuming they know what their intended audience is thinking. Organizations, including churches, need to actually listen to the people they are trying to reach.
That is exactly what we are going to do in this breakout. It will bring together a panel of younger WELS members who serve as leaders in their schools and among their young peers. We will hear their thoughts about life, church, and ministry. We will ask them some key questions.
- What is the greatest challenge to your faith as a teen today?
- What do you wish adults knew about you and other teens?
- Why do you think so many young people are leaving the church?
- How do you think churches can better utilize teens and young adults in their congregations?
- What is your vision for serving the Church in the future?
We will listen to the thoughts of these fellow believers so that we might plan how to better retain young WELS members and to better reach out to unchurched and unbelieving teens with the gospel.
Rev. Dr. Phil Huebner
Rev. Dr. Phil Huebner was assigned from the Seminary to start a new mission church in Palm Coast, Fla., where he served for nine years. Since 2016 he has served as the campus pastor at Wisconsin Lutheran High School. He received a second masters degree from our Seminary in 2016 and his Doctorate in Ministry in Missions and Culture in 2019 from Concordia Theological Seminary. His entire ministry to date has seen emphases in outreach, children, teens, and families. In his free time, he loves to travel and read and research more on the topics of families and teens. He is married to Becky, and they have two children, Noah (15) and Gwen (12).