LIving Out our Lutheran Identity
1st & 3rd Tuesdays of each month at 6:30 pm
Led by Pastor Wagner
What does it mean to live as a confessional Lutheran in today's world? How do we live out our calling and mission in an increasingly post-Christian culture? What should a Christ-centered ministry look like today? These questions are some that were addressed in a series of thought-provoking presentations at the 2020 WELS National Conference on Lutheran Leadership. Pastor Wagner will lead a discussion of several of these presentations in this Bible study. Participants will be asked to view the video online before attending and then come to discuss, dig deeper, and apply what we learn. Come for one, several, or all of the weeks. Each session's topic will be previewed and a link provided below. Bring a friend and join us! Online participation is also available. Contact Pastor Wagner for details.
September 15 - Finding Our Voice
Creatives often mention “finding your voice”—the characteristics that make you uniquely yourself—and then owning that voice in your work. In our mission as the mouth of God, the Church speaks to the world. What is the unique voice of our congregation and our synod? How can we own our voice in our Christian lives and in the work of the Church?
Finding Our Voice Handout
October 6 - One-by-One: Revitalizing a Congregation
Pastor David Rosenau has a gift for telling great stories, and he has a great story to tell. Through the story of his journey through life and ministry, he shows the power of God's Word to change lives for hear and for eternity. The power of the Word means the hard part of our mission is taken care of. Now how do we connect many more people to his life changing Word? The answers are simple. But keeping things simple requires hard work, a clear sense of purpose, and a commitment to keeping the mission of the church as the mission of the church.
October 20 - Crucifying Consumer Mentality: The Vital Need to Commit Ourselves to Christ's Ministry
“The consumer is always right.” "Have it your way.” These slogans have driven business in America for decades. Consumer mentality shows itself in Christian congregations in many ways. But the question that matters more than what the "consumer" wants is "What would best serve Jesus Christ and his mission in our specific context?" As we grow in our understanding of Christ’s love for us… in how much he has done for us… we learn to set aside any consumer mentality we had towards a church. The only thing that matters to us: carrying out Christ’s mission in the brief time we have on earth.
Crucifying Consumer Mentality Handout
November 3 - Serving Together without Serving Together: A Closer Look at the Relationship Between Lay Leaders and Called Workers
Lay Leader. Called Worker. Ever find it interesting the way we describe the people who serve side-by-side in God’s kingdom? Why is the called person a “worker” and why is the layperson the leader? Is that the way it should be? Is it wrong if the called person is the “leader” and the layperson is the “worker?” How can pastors, teachers, and church members serve our Lord together in ways that glorify God and carry out his mission for the Church?
Serving Together without Serving Together Handout
November 17 - Christian Apologetics in a Lutheran Ministry
The Scriptures command us to be prepared to give the reason for the hope that we have (1 Peter 3:15). Christian apologetics is the use of human reason with charity, love, humility, and winsomeness, to show that the Christian claim and Christian worldview are not only plausible but even probable especially compared to other worldviews, with the ultimate goal of presenting the gospel to suffering sinners. Apologetics help us be better prepared to face an increasingly secular, anti-Christian culture. It helps us to better share Christ with all those that the Lord of the Church brings into our circle of influence.
Christian Apologetics in a Lutheran Ministry Handout
December 1 - Connecting to Your Community: The Importance of Reputation and Contextualization
In the 21st century post-Christian America, it is not enough for congregations simply to exist within their community. Congregations need to find positive ways to connect to their community. What are some practical ways we can connect to our community, both to enhance our church’s reputation through powerful Lutheran ministry and to formulate strategies for gospel proclamation that fit our ministry context?
Connecting to Your Community Handout
December 15 - Restoring the Family Altar: The Key to Youth Retention
How do we keep our youth following Jesus when they grow up? A great youth group? An excellent elementary school or high school? There is something that plays a substantially larger role—the spiritual activity that takes place in the home. When mom and dad talk about spiritual things at home, when family prayer is something that is done daily, when parents open up the Bible with children, what blessings result--blessings that last a lifetime! How can Christian parents better disciple their children, and how can we as a congregation better equip those parents?
Restoring the Family Altar Handout
January 5 - Growing Young: Steps Toward Touching the Hearts and Minds of Millennials and Generation Z
We want to share the life-saving gospel with millennials and generation Z in our community, but we may struggle with how to create opportunities to do so. This session offers a guide to that mission, offering ways to create communities that meet both the heart-felt and mind-felt needs of people in their 20s and 30s. Topics covered include the need for communities that address friendship and loneliness, doubt, and much more.
Growing Young Handout
January 19 - Compassion Ministry as Outreach
Early Christians imitated Christ, showing compassion and sharing the gospel. True Christian compassion desires the salvation of the soul as well as the well-being of the person. Within our church families and community, those with disabilities, isolating circumstances, and challenging trials will call forth our compassion. And showing Christ's love leads to opportunities to tell of Christ's love. We will discuss tools and strategies we can utilize to maximize opportunities for outreach through compassion ministry.
Compassion Ministry Handout
February 2 - Leading Your Congregation to Embrace Multi-Ethnic Ministry Opportunities
Race too often divides in America. People are not blind to the differences between various ethnic groups. But the differences that could divide need to be understood and appreciated in the light of the gospel’s inclusivity. Christ came to save all. In Christ alone, there is healing and true unity. Racial reconciliation within a congregation produces credibility for the church of Jesus Christ in the community. If people of different races are cooperating out of Christian love, the impact is powerful. The question is, “How do we intentionally put this into action in our congregation and community?”
Bible Basics classes
These classes offer a review of the Christian faith for long-time members and an introduction to the faith for those who are interested in membership or simply curious about what we believe and teach. They are scheduled at various times throughout the year. If you are interested in participating, contact Pastor Wagner or Pastor Belter.