There are 25 breakout presentations presented by 24 presenters.
Bylaws – by the Book and “by the book?” - Rev. James Huebner
Do you wonder if your constitution fits your congregation? Pastor Huenber will share some best practices about how to organize your congregational governance in a way that best serves the gospel in your context.
Christian Apologetics in a Lutheran Ministry - Rev. Michael Berg
Apologetics is vital in our effort to prepare our children to face a post-Christian world. It is crucial in helping our members share the gospel. Dr. Berg shares how congregations can make better use of apologetics, incorporating it into various aspects of congregational ministry.
Compassion Ministry as Outreach - Rev. Jim Behringer
Moved by the love of Christ, the early Christian church embraced all sorts of compassion ministry: helping the sick, the poor, the lonely. It won them an audience for the gospel. Pastor Behringer shares why and how we can do the same.
Congregational Planning: For Organization, Transformation, Motivation, and Repentance - Rev. Jon Hein
If your congregational plans consist of nothing more than a calendar, budget, and mission statement, you are not using planning to its full potential. Pastor Hein will share some best practics, demonstrate how to accomplish more with your plans.
Connecting to Your Community: The Importance of Reputation and Contextualization - Rev. Jonathan Bourman
How well do the people in your community understand your church? Just as importantly, how well do the leaders in your church understand your community? Pastor Bourman will help congregations understand the importance of connecting to community.
Early Childhood Ministry: When Does (and Doesn’t) It Make Sense - Cindi Holman
There perhaps is an assumption that an early childhood ministry (ECM) will always have outreach potential. Is that true? Cindy Holman helps congregations consider if they should start an ECM and share best practices for trying to evangelize unchurched parents.
Leading Your Congregation to Embrace Multi-Ethnic Ministry Opportunities - Dr. Ken Fisher
The Great Commission urges us to “make disicples of all nations.” Those nations are not just oversees. Your congregation’s parish area may be multi-ethnic. The opportunity is there! Dr. Fisher discusses how to lead your congregation to embrace that opportunity.
Encouraging and Equipping Spiritual Leaders - Dr. Allen Sorum
How do we better equip our leaders to guide our congregations through the myriad of challenges before American Christianity? How do we identify and motivate the next generation of congregational leaders. Dr. Sorum helps us answer these questions.
Engaging, Equipping, and Empowering Members for Ministry - Lori Lorig
Does your congregation have a system in place that not only helps people discover their gifts and passions but also connects them with meaningful ministry. Lori Lorig gives an example of such a system that could be utilized in any congregation.
Evangelism in the Changing Religious Culture: The Need to Shift from Corporate Outreach to Personal Evangelism - Rev. Eric Roecker
Pastor Roecker explains why, in post-Christian America, corporate outreach is not enough. Personal evangelism is paramount. He shares some best practices in equipping and encouraging personal witnessing.
Financially Sustainable Models for Schools - Dr. Jeffrey C. Lemke
Your Lutheran elementary school is most likely funded out of congregational offerings. Do the demographics of your church allow for that to be a long-term funding model? If not, what is the solution? Dr. Lemke talks about ways to ensure your Lutheran school is sustainable.
Four Ways to Reach More People Through Social Media - Trish Nitschke
Does your congregation use social media, yet it seems like it gets little traction? Trish Nitschke runs the social media for Time of Grace. Her posts get tens of thousands of views. Let her share some best practices that are applicable to any church or ministry.
Growing Young: Steps Towards Touching the Hearts and Minds of Millennials and Generation Z - Rev. Luke Thompson
Millennials and Generation Z have opted out of church in unprecedented numbers. Pastor Thompson will explain why this is happening. He will also lay out some best practices, tactics that have proven fruitful in reaching these generations with the gospel.
High Expectations: The Unexpected Key to Member Retention - Rev. Donn Dobberstein
You probably know that American Christianity is in decline. Did you know that congregations that have a culture of high expectations for members are faring better than most? Pastor Dobberstein shares how to establish high expectations in different areas of congregational life without being legalistic.
Lutheran Worship in the 21st Century: What Works? - Rev. Aaron Christie
If you just change the music, will prospects be pounding down your church doors, eager to join? If you alter your worship style, does that mean you will retain all your young people? Is it that simple? Pastor Christe leads us in a discussion of best practices for worship in the 21st century.
Positioning Principals for Success in the Lutheran School - Jim Rademan
Of all the positions of service within a congregation, perhaps none has evolved more over recent generations than that of principal. Jim Rademan, director of the Commission on Lutheran Schools, discusses how to structure the principal position in a way most conducive to gospel ministry.
Restoring the Family Altar: The Key to Youth Retention - Dr. Phil Huebner
Do you want to retain young members? There is one factor that is substantially more important than anything else — the spiritual activity and discussions that take place in the home. Dr. Huebner shares some best practices for encouraging and equipping parents to be the primary disciples of their children.
Rural Churches: The Field is Ripe for Harvest - Rev. Joseph Fricke
Some have suggested churches in small-town America are doomed. Not only is that patently false, the reality is that in some ways congregations in small towns can impact more people with the gospel than congregations in dense population centers. Pastor Fricke shares some best practices for rural ministry.
Sanctified Ambition: Attempting Great Things for Our God - Rev. Carl Leyrer
Is ambition in the church a good thing or a bad thing? It depends on if we are seeking God’s glory or our own. Pastor Leyrer explains how the Spirit, through his Word, channels ambition into a desire to attempt great things for God. He also lays out practical ways for a pastor to engage in ambitious ministry.
Small Groups: The Single Most Important Thing You’re Not Doing to Retain & Gain Young Adults - Rev. James Hein
With the proliferation of the internet, the way people consume content has changed. People wonder, “If I can watch a sermon online, what do I need to go to church for?” Part of the answer: Christian community. Pastor Hein shares some best practices for establishing that community through small groups.
Social Media: Your Ticket to Introducing Others to Jesus - Trish Nitschke
If your congregation is not using social media, it is missing out on one of the most powerful communication tools available to the church today. It allows you to communicate with thousands of people quickly. Trish Nitschke shares some simple tactics to get your congregation started.
Teach Women to Teach What is Good - Kathie Wendland
St. Paul encouraged Titus to train women to teach other women. Why? Kathie Wendland explores the different ways men and women deal with information and make applications. She also shares some best practices for establishing more women’s led Bible studies in your congregation.
The Large Church: Organizational and Operational Best Practices - Mark Reinemann
Collaboration and shared decision making between pastor and lay leader is important, no matter wha the congregation’s size. It becomes of paramount importance in a larger congregation. Mark Reinemann shares some best practices for organizing and managing operations in our larger churches.
Transformed: Equipping Youth into Leadership - Rev. Jon Enter
What constitutes healthy youth ministry? It takes more than lock-ins or camping trips. Pastor Enter shares some best practices to help your congregation conduct a youth ministry that disciples children, helps retain them in their high-school years, and prepares them for leadership.
Women’s Ministry: Unlocking the Potential - Sally Valleskey
Women are leaving the church in greater numbers than men. Many cite the reason being that their gifts were not utilized. The body of Christ needs the gifts of women to be unleashed. Sally Valleskey shares some practical ways women’s ministry can be organized in your congregation.
WELS Congregational Services exists to serve congregations, schools, and their leaders by providing resources, training, and personal assistance so that they might carry out gospel ministry in the most faithful way on the local level.
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