Welcome Home – Elder Training

You have discovered Welcome Home—a video-based program designed to help equip lay leaders of your congregation identify and reach out to missing members from your church family.

The goals are:

  1. To provide online-training that allows a pastor and elders (current or new) to gather together and work through a training program at a pace that best fits their timeline. The videos are short yet focused. Accompanying guide sheets facilitate discussion and a step-by-step approach toward greater ministry activity.
  2. To encourage a more faithful Means of Grace contact by creating a culture within your congregation determined to deal lovingly yet aggressively with church members who begin to drift. Creating that culture requires congregational leaders who themselves are strengthened and encouraged for this endeavor. That is why “before” and “after” devotionals are included with every video chapter.

May God bless you with a loving heart and a caring attitude as you and your congregation prepare a “welcome home” ministry that displays the same heart and attitude of Jesus to those who need it most!

Rev. Donn Dobberstein
Director, WELS Commission on Discipleship

**Updated study guides are now available.

Preparations BEFORE Visiting Missing Members

Welcome Home Elder Training - Chapter 1

Defines the term "missing members" and gives an outline of the training videos.

Individual file downloads:

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Chapter 1: Introduction - study guide (Updated)Download 

Download the entire file package:

Download 521.87 KB

Welcome Home Elder Training - Chapter 1 Videos

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Chapter 1: Opening DevotionDownload 
Chapter 1: Introduction - Part 1Download 
Chapter 1: Introduction - Part 2Download 
Chapter 1: Closing DevotionDownload 

Welcome Home Elder Training - Chapter 2

Keeping track of membership information.

Individual file downloads:

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Chapter 2: The Census - study guide (Updated)Download 

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Download 1.02 MB

Welcome Home Elder Training - Chapter 2 Videos

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Chapter 2: Opening DevotionDownload 
Part 1: Census: Doable and NecessaryDownload 
Part 2: Census: Using Church SoftwareDownload 
Part 3: Census: Who to Train, What to TrackDownload 
Part 4: Census: Carrying out the PlanDownload 
Part 5: Census: UpdatingDownload 
Chapter 2: Closing DevotionDownload 

Welcome Home Elder Training - Chapter 3

Best practices for tracking worship attendance.

Individual file downloads:

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Chapter 3: Tracking Worship Attendance - study guide (Updated)Download 

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Download 230.01 KB

Welcome Home Elder Training - Chapter 3 Videos

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Chapter 3: Opening DevotionDownload 
Tracking Worship Attendance: Best PracticesDownload 

Welcome Home Elder Training - Chapter 4

Identifying the missing members.

Individual file downloads:

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Chapter 4: Who is Missing? - study guide (Updated)Download 

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Download 340.23 KB

Welcome Home Elder Training - Chapter 4 Videos

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Chapter 4: Opening DevotionDownload 
Part 1: You are Looking!Download 
Part 2: Jesus is Looking!Download 
Chapter 4: Closing DevotionDownload 

Welcome Home Elder Training - Chapter 5

What is the goal when working with missing members? What shouldn't be? What tools are useful?

Individual file downloads:

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Chapter 5: Goals and Tools - study guide (Updated)Download 
Chapter 5.2: The Importance of Corporate WorshipDownload 

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Download 355.64 KB

Welcome Home Elder Training - Chapter 5 Videos

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Chapter 5: Opening DevotionDownload 
Part 1: The GoalDownload 
Part 2: The ToolsDownload 
Part 3: Practical SuggestionsDownload 
Chapter 5: Closing DevotionDownload 
Practical Matters DURING a Visit with Missing Members

Welcome Home Elder Training - Chapter 6

Communicating with missing members.

Individual file downloads:

FileAction
Chapter 6: Communication - study guide (Updated)Download 
Chapter 6.2: Elder WorksheetDownload 

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Download 2.16 MB

Welcome Home Elder Training - Chapter 6 Videos

FileAction
Chapter 6: Opening DevotionDownload 
Part 1: Communication OverviewDownload 
Part 2: Communication ContentDownload 
Part 3: Communication ToneDownload 
Part 4: Communication TypesDownload 
Part 5: Communication ProcessDownload 
Chapter 6: Closing DevotionDownload 

Welcome Home Elder Training - Chapter 7

Encouragement to visit the missing members along with practical advice.

Individual file downloads:

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Chapter 7: Visiting Missing Members - study guide (Updated)Download 

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Download 463.84 KB

Welcome Home Elder Training - Chapter 7 Videos

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Chapter 7: Opening DevotionDownload 
Part 1: Go!Download 
Part 2: Before You Get to the DoorDownload 
Part 3: At the DoorDownload 
Part 4: In the HouseDownload 
Part 5: Things You Thought of That We Didn'tDownload 
Chapter 7: Closing DevotionDownload 

Welcome Home Elder Training - Chapter 8

How to respond to excuses from missing members.

Individual file downloads:

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Chapter 8: Dealing with Excuses - study guide (Updated)Download 

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Download 455.74 KB

Welcome Home Elder Training - Chapter 8 Videos

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Chapter 8: Opening DevotionDownload 
Chapter 8: Dealing with ExcusesDownload 
Chapter 8: Closing DevotionDownload 
The Reaction AFTER Visits with Missing Members

Welcome Home Elder Training - Chapter 9

What to do while waiting for your visitation to be fruitful. What to do when there isn't fruit.

Individual file downloads:

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Chapter 9: Official Acts - study guide (Updated)Download 

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Download 586.52 KB

Welcome Home Elder Training - Chapter 9 Videos

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Chapter 9: Opening DevotionDownload 
Part 1: Official Acts: The Waiting GameDownload 
Part 2: Official Acts: When the Waiting Is OverDownload 
Chapter 9: Closing DevotionDownload 

Welcome Home Elder Training - Chapter 10

Be patient when things move slowly and make repeated efforts.

Individual file downloads:

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Chapter 10: Staying the Course - study guide (Updated)Download 

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Download 126.44 KB

Welcome Home Elder Training - Chapter 10 Videos

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Chapter 10: Opening DevotionDownload 
Part 1: Don't Be Surprised, Be PatientDownload 
Part 2: Going Back AgainDownload 

Welcome Home Elder Training - Chapter 11

How to prepare for the return of missing members.

Individual file downloads:

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Chapter 11: Rejoice! - study guide (Updated)Download 

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Download 300.44 KB

Welcome Home Elder Training - Chapter 11 Videos

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Chapter 11: Opening DevotionDownload 
Part 1: Prepare for Their ArrivalDownload 
Part 2: Welcome Them HomeDownload 
Part 3: Follow Up With ThemDownload 

Welcome Home Elder Training - Chapter 12

Making work with missing members a priority and celebrating the efforts of those who do the work.

Individual file downloads:

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Chapter 12: The Family Celebration - study guide (Updated)Download 

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Download 147.40 KB

Welcome Home Elder Training - Chapter 12 Videos

FileAction
Chapter 12: Opening DevotionDownload 
Part 1: Celebrate with the AngelsDownload 
Part 2: Celebrate Faithfulness to the WordDownload 
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