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Small Group

The Small Group electives take place from 11:40 a.m. - 12:40 p.m. and 12:40 - 1:40 p.m

Elective 1: Evangelism and the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program: Henry Tyson

During a time of significant decline in enrollment in WELS grade schools, the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP) is affording incredible growth in enrollment in WELS schools in the city of Milwaukee. What is the MPCP? What are the opportunities and pitfalls that it presents? Is MPCP an effective instrument of evangelism and, if so, how can it be most fully exploited? This elective will address these issues and others relating to effective outreach through WELS schools.

Elective 2: Recognizing and developing mission strategies: Ed Schuppe

The Reality of Our World Today: A Post Modern Nation, A Post Christian World, The Rise of the "Religious Nones", The Millennials, and Narcissism - How then do we reach out to this world?

Elective 3: Digital Evangelism: Using Our Screens For Jesus:  Martin Spriggs

Most people spend as much as 50% of their waking hours looking at a screen. What are we doing with that time? As full time ambassadors for Christ we have opportunities to live our faith and share it with other “screen watchers.” Together we will look at different digital approaches to evangelism including blogs, social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat), mobile apps, and websites that put Christ in the middle of our digital lives.

Elective 4: Sharing Christ with Someone Living a Homosexual Lifestyle: Pastor Tom Trapp & Suzie Neas

How do you communicate Christ with Christian and non-Christian friends, classmates, co-workers, and relatives who struggle with homosexuality? Hear from someone who left the homosexual lifestyle and found peace with Christ.

Elective 5:  Evangelism in Times of Crisis: Prof. Ross Stelljes

“God moves in a mysterious way his wonders to perform” (CW 420:1), including during times of crisis. Listen to real-life stories of personal crises in the lives of members, prospective members, and called workers, and see how God used these crises to open doors for gospel witnessing.

Elective 6: Outside Looking In: Witnessing to Unbelievers: Jill McKinley

Jill will tell the story of how she became a WELS Christian and discuss her experiences with evangelism both before and after her conversion. You will hear a unique perspective on the keys to reaching people with a personalized message of Christ’s love and salvation.

Elective 7:  Using early childhood Ministries/Preschools for Evangelism: Matt Brown and Barb Noon 

At Beautiful Savior the preschool continues to be a big part of the outreach plan. We work to connect the congregation to the preschool and introduce our preschool families to God’s Word through our congregation. Our preschool staff recognizes that serving many non-member families brings different challenges and opportunities. We currently have 56 students and 5 are from member families. We have two pastors who strive to get to know the parents and children who come to our preschool. This workshop will look at some practical ways pastors, directors, and teachers can work together to use the preschool and early childhood ministries as an outreach arm of the congregation. We will share some experiences and talk about ways the Lord has opened doors to share the gospel.

Elective 8:  Evangelism in the Spanish Language: Dan Schmidt

Pastor Dan Schmidt has had the unique opportunity to start a mission from the ground up in Southwest Detroit in a neighborhood called Mexican Town.  Come and learn how to share the love of Jesus with your Spanish speaking neighbors from his triumphs and mistakes.  Discuss different outreach ideas such as English as a Second Language (ESL), food pantries, substance abuse counseling and more.

Elective 9: Intro to Special Needs Ministry: (by Jesus Cares Ministries) Pastor Joel Gaertner, Pastor John Zeitler, Julie Luetke, Aaron Punke, Brittany Rue and Ali Fischer

In a fast-paced world where Scripture study and worship attendance are often shoved aside, a large segment of our population is yearning for such opportunities and is eager to become part of a faith community. It is estimated that about 1.5% of Americans (4,500,000) have an intellectual or developmental disability. These precious souls are an enormous mission field ripe for the gospel. This session will introduce you to a vast amount of resources available to assist you and your congregation in sharing the message of salvation through Jesus with people who have Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.  Information will also be provided on how you can get involved with this ministry while still in college.

Elective 10: Youth Work at the Lighthouse Youth Center: Pastor Jim Buske

Struggling to reach out to your teens and unchurched youth? Is your congregation looking for its place in the community? Then check out what a new ministry in the northwest corner of Milwaukee is doing to make connections with its community and youth. Lighthouse Youth Center is a nonprofit mission outreach that is a “beacon for Christ” as it links inner-city youth with their Savior. It’s a safe, structured place for youth to gather, have fun, meet new people, receive Christian mentorship, and build a relationship with Jesus!

Elective 11: Evangelism with my family:  Pastor Timothy Smith

Some of the more difficult evangelism challenges we face are with friends and family members who are unchurched, of different denominations, agnostic, atheist, or hostile toward Christianity.