A WELS Home Missions initiative to plant 100 new home mission churches and enhance 75 existing ministries from 2023-2033.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us...”Ephesians 3:20
Start 100 new home mission churches in 10 years. That’s 10 missions each year, 10 new dots on the map throughout North America. During the same time, we want to support 75 enhancement grants to help existing congregations reach more souls, often in other cultures. It’s an aggressive plan. To some, it might seem unachievable. Can our synod do this? Do we have the manpower, money, and ministry resources?
We trust that God will bless our efforts. This initiative isn’t as much about planting more churches but about sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s about aggressively reaching lost souls. It’s about Christ’s mission to his church. You know that mission: “Go and make disciples of all nations.” But consider the words that Jesus spoke right before that: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Look at the one who commissioned us. He is the one who said to the wind and waves, “Quiet, be still,” and to the paralyzed man, “Get up, take up your mat and walk,” and to Lazarus, “Come out.” He is the one who died, rose from the dead, and descended into hell proving and proclaiming his victory. Death was put to death. The devil defeated. The powers of sin destroyed.
This is the Jesus who has commissioned us. This is the Jesus who rules over his church on earth. This is the Jesus who has equipped us! This initiative is about aggressively and confidently doing the work that he has called all of us to do.
There are still many out there waiting to be found and reached. They just don’t know it yet. So let’s support this. Let’s do our part to get after it, trusting that God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.
Pastor Mark Gabb
Home Missions chairman
No community is the same. No core group is the same. No soul is the same. But we know that all people have the same need for a Savior from sin. Those differences mean that no home mission church starts the same way or follows the same path to maturity. However, we pray that all WELS home mission churches contribute in their own unique way to the ultimate outcome: winning souls for Jesus through the proclamation of the gospel.
A core group begins Bible study and initial outreach with support from their district mission board and mission counselor.
A home missionary is called/assigned and works with the core group to plan further community outreach. The group chooses a name for their church.
Equipment is purchased for worship in a rented space. The mission ramps up outreach and looks to increase name awareness in the community.
Expanding church membership begins exploration to buy land or purchase an existing facility for a permanent church home.
A permanent facility is purchased and remodeled or built from scratch. Personal evangelism efforts continue, and the home mission is a solid community presence.
A growing membership and spiritual maturity and stewardship lead to higher local support for the church, freeing up Home Missions resources to plant other missions.
Healthy WELS churches with an outreach mindset grow Christ’s kingdom and reach more souls locally and through expanded synod mission efforts at home and abroad.
Recent home mission churches support the planting of additional home missions through daughtering new churches, starting a second site, enhancing their ministry to reach a new demographic in their community, and/or supporting WELS home and world mission efforts through Congregation Mission Offerings and special gifts.
Subscribe to receive weekly Missions Blogs or quarterly Missions Update Newsletters that will include updates on the 100 missions in 10 years initiative. Read previous blogs
“I know that God loves me, but this was his love in action. It’s like God was saying, ‘I love you so much that I want to put you at [Peace Lutheran Church] where you’re taught my Word.’”Angie CoreyMember at Peace Lutheran Church,
a home mission in Aiken, S.C.
“[Living Hope] was an answer to my prayers. I have found a home here among these folks, and I can’t do enough for God—not because I need to, but rather because of all he’s done for me.”Jay LoreMember at Living Hope Lutheran Church,
a home mission in Commerce City, Colo.
“God’s heart is not blind acceptance or angry threats—it’s forgiveness and love, and his grace rules. That’s what I’ve found in the Lutheran church.”Paul MoronczykMember at Palabra De Vida Lutheran Church,
a home mission in Detroit, Mich.
Red = Home Missions funded: The home mission church receives direct financial support and assistance through their district mission board, mission counselor, and synodical support staff. They also have full access to loans and grants from WELS Church Extension Fund and the Board for Home Missions.
Blue = Self-funded: The home mission church does not receive direct financial support, but receives assistance through their district mission board, mission counselor, and synodical support staff. They also have access to loans and grants from WELS Church Extension Fund and the Board for Home Missions. Home mission congregations that have become financially self-supporting often remain an unsubsidized home mission for a few years before removing their label as a home mission church.
This is a BIG challenge. An impossible one you might say. But we prepare and we plan, and we ask God to bless it. Trusting in the Lord, we boldly move forward knowing God will bless us and his kingdom. What can you do? Will you help us make it happen?
This is no small thing. Pray that the Lord of the church would provide workers. Pray for our WELS Home Missions leaders, our home missionaries, and our worker training schools as they recruit and train future missionaries. Pray that the Lord provides us with the financial support needed to do the work.
If you see nearby mission opportunities, talk with your district mission board to see what you or your congregation might do to get involved in this synod wide church planting effort. Encourage young men and women in your church to consider full-time ministry. Ask your pastor to keep our synod’s work in your congregational prayers and provide updates on a regular basis.
You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. He was rich, yet he became poor so that through his poverty we might become rich (2 Corinthians 8:9). God’s generosity has resulted in the riches of forgiveness, peace, joy, and hope. Let that move you to give generously to your local congregation, to your synod through your church, and to this initiative.