Entries by Laura Schulz


C19 is a synod-wide initiative to encourage and equip WELS congregations to invite the unchurched to worship this Christmas.

Welcoming the Struggling

You don’t know… Everyone has a story. You don’t know me until you know my story, and even then, you might not see my heart as Jesus sees it. You don’t know me even when you hear I have an addiction. Because you don’t know, you might not guess: I’ve been told I need more […]

Coming from Congregational Services in 2019

In 2018, Congregational Services coordinated the synod-wide C18 program, which had the ambitious goal of reaching one-million souls prior to or on Christmas Eve 2018. It was an outreach focus. In 2019, Congregational Services will roll out two programs, both more focused on WELS membership. First is 10 for 10, a comprehensive financial stewardship program. […]

C18 – Our Christmas Efforts

Our Christmas Efforts: What Happened & What’s Next The goal of C18 When we began C18, we said our goal was “to reach” one-million souls prior to and on Christmas Eve. I realize “reach” is a nebulous term. That was intentional. It is impossible for congregations to track how many people a member invites to […]

C18 – Worship Guest Follow-up

Worship Guest Follow-up: A Vital Part of Outreach Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there were one-million guests at our WELS Christmas Eve services this year? Wouldn’t it be awful if we were not ready for them? One of the most important ways a congregation can prepare for worship guests is to have a well-designed follow-up […]

C18 – The importance of the family altar

Imagine a 16-year-old WELS member. What are the chances that individual is still WELS when he’s 30? We have studied this multiple times in our church body’s history. My commission, Congregational Counseling, has churches who work with us measure that—the percent of young members who drop out of church. The answer is about 50%. Approximately […]

C18 – Advent family devotions

Clockwork. That’s how I describe my family’s devotional life growing up. Six days a week. We attended church on the “off” day. The devotion setting: The round wooden kitchen table brought the family together for every breakfast and supper. There was a certain seating order based on age and who was left-handed. Mom’s seat was […]

C18 – Compassion at Christmas

Christmas is more than celebrating Jesus’ birthday. For centuries, Christians have realized that the Savior’s birth in Bethlehem deserves a response of praise. As a result, when we think of Christmas, we are moved to song and gift giving. Think about the outpouring of Christmas music that praises God for sending his Son. Even unbelieving […]

C18 – If we believe…

We believe and therefore speak. It is written: “I believed; therefore, I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak (2 Corinthians 4:13). Beyond being theological truth, what St. Paul shares there contains common sense. The way we act says a lot about what we believe. When […]

C18 Worship Planning

This week we share some C18 worship planning details. Advent worship plan Last summer a worship plan for the Sundays of Advent was posted for the sake of those who do longer range worship planning – and as an encouragement to others to make such plans. That plan is available in the C18 Worship Resources […]

C18 – Christmas for Kids One Day VBS

A simple way to accomplish multiple goals Christmas for Kids one-day Vacation Bible School (VBS) programs have become quite common among our WELS congregations, for multiple reasons. First, a Christmas for Kids VBS is very simple to operate. A traditional VBS can run for an entire week. A Christmas for Kids VBS typically runs over […]

Ways to utilize To the Ends of the Earth

The fourth and final evangelism movie from WELS, titled To the Ends of the Earth, is complete. The video tells the story of the apostle Paul’s work in Philippi. There are literally dozens of ways to use it. We thought it might be good to summarize. Immediate Uses To the Ends of the Earth can […]

C18 – Outreach and Evangelism: Corporate and Personal

What constitutes a healthy evangelism program? If a congregation has a decent percentage of their budget directed at outreach efforts, does that mean it is healthy? If a congregation does mass mailings inviting the community to church, is that enough to be healthy? What is a healthy evangelism program? I would propose that a healthy […]

C18 – Children’s Christmas Service – Inreach and Outreach

The Healthy Tension On the one hand, Christmas Eve is hands down one of the best opportunities your congregation has to reach the lost, the unchurched, and the dischurched. Surveys have demonstrated that 80% of unchurched Americans say they will go to church on Christmas Eve if someone invites them. That is higher than Easter […]

C18 – Christmas Eve Outreach Materials

One of the goals of C18 is to share the gospel with one-million souls this holiday season. This will essentially take place as worship guests join you for your Christmas Eve service. How will you invite them to your service? Here are some options. Postcards Your congregation can order color postcards through Echt Printing. (NOTE: […]

MissionInsite – Know Your Audience

If you Google “know your audience,” you will find that the first returns are all about marketing. To sell a product, you need to know your audience. Yet we don’t “market” the gospel. We proclaim it. Moreover, we do so with the confidence that the power behind our proclamation isn’t some clever hook we use […]