God appoints lay leaders in every congregation. These leaders are vital to the church’s gospel mission. Many local and district groups provide opportunities for lay people to grow in gifts of leadership. This issue highlights leadership training programs developed for synod-wide use. Read about these programs for both lay men and women.
The WELS Women’s Ministry Committee is hosting the third national leadership conference for women July 19 – 20 at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Mequon WI. The conference seeks to help women understand their unique calling as leaders. Using God’s word in Ezra and Nehemiah as a guide, women will be encouraged to carry out their leadership positions in the home, church, or world in godly fashion. Women who are leaders in the church or world are invited to attend. Please see the WELS website for more information.
Second Annual Leadership Conference
Wisconsin Lutheran College will be hosting its second Leadership Conference on Saturday, May 4. The conference is co-sponsored by WLC and the synod’s Commission on Congregational Counseling. The one-day conference will be streamed over the internet so that congregational leaders can choose whether they wish to participate in person or remotely. Additional information can be found on the WLC website.
Congregational Assistance Program
The Congregational Assistance Program (CAP) assists lay people to serve their local congregation in a volunteer, part-time paid, or full-time salaried position. Congregational assistants are men and women whom congregations call to serve in a variety of ways, including outreach, evangelism, senior ministry, youth and family ministry, adult spiritual growth, assimilation, visitation ministry, mentoring, and volunteer coordination. Courses are taught by local pastors or offered as one-day seminars. For more information, please see the CAP website.
Congregation and Ministry Support Group
CMSG units provide leadership training in various specially targeted areas. Some of these are detailed below.
The School of Outreach
…is provided by the WELS Commission on Evangelism and District Evangelism Commissions. The program serves congregations of WELS with planning, assistance, and resources for congregational evangelism programming and implementation of outreach strategies. Called workers and lay leaders of congregations attend two one-day sessions. Trained School of Outreach staffs assist these church leaders with developing or enhancing their congregations’ organization for evangelism, formation and implementation of outreach strategies, a program for managing their prospect lists, and training their membership in the principles of personal evangelism. More information is available on the Evangelism Website.
Schools of Worship Enrichment
These weekends sponsored by the Commission on Worship are not merely ministry training for pastors and musicians but also leadership training. Lay leaders are expected to attend along with pastors and musicians. The events help congregational leaders to see possibilities, to set priorities and goals, and to involve others in enriching that aspect of parish life that drives and enriches all others. Please see the SoWE Website for more information.
Youth Ministry Enhancement
The Commission of Youth and Family Ministry offers help to create a vision for youth ministry that will work in any congregation. The Youth Ministry Enhancement program (Y-Me) provides tools to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the youth ministry being done as well as ideas to help congregations improve ministry to their youth. For more information about Y-Me, contact your CYFM district coordinator. A roster and contact information is available at the CYFM Website.