Connecting for a purpose

Connecting for a purpose 

It’s all about making connections. 

Living Word, a home mission in Waukesha, Wis., is always working to connect with its community. As the congregation is developing plans for the construction of Living Word’s first church building next spring, members decided to include a coffee shop to offer a non-threatening place to interact with community walk-ins and members’ friends and acquaintances. 

But, according to Sherene Nicolai, part of the congregation’s Coffee Shop Task Force, the group is struggling to know exactly how to carry out those plans. 

“We have a group of dedicated people on our committee, but no one has worked as a barista,” she says. “I thought it would be great if we found anyone with knowledge of the best layout, pricing, appliances, the accounting for a business like this, serving, making drinks—any help really. I was looking for a subject matter expert.” 

Enter Lutheran Volunteer Connect (LVC), an online site that directly connects ministries with volunteers. Run by Kingdom Workers, the site offers churches, schools, and organizations of the Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Conference* a way to post ministry opportunities that need volunteer help. CELC volunteers who have signed up with LVC can respond to requests and provide needed manpower or expertise to get the job done. 

According to Neil Hankwitz, LVC coordinator, ministry opportunities can range from running a soccer camp to serving as an English teacher to helping with door-to-door canvassing—the possibilities are as endless as the imagination. The perks also abound. Congregations can get a fresh infusion of manpower and/or expertise in specific skillsets that members may not have. Volunteers can strengthen their faith, provide necessary help to others in their fellowship, and get fresh ideas for their own congregations. 

“The whole purpose of LVC is we want to share the gospel—to get God’s Word out into our communities,” says Hankwitz. 

Living Word posted its opportunity to LVC and after two months was contacted by a Milwaukee WELS member who had experience as a barista. “To have someone who can help us hit the ground running when we get in our new building is a big deal,” says Nicolai. “He came to one meeting and offered some advice on the layout, the appliances we would want, and product offerings. . . . He’s offered to advise us in the future even if just being able to answer questions by phone or e-mail.” 

“What a great way to get us to work together as a synod,” says John Borgwardt, pastor at Living Word. “It gets WELS members to fill a need and develops fellowships between our congregations.” 

Learn more at 

*A forum for confessional Lutherans around the world. Thirty-two church bodies are members, including WELS. 


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Volume 105, Number 10
Issue: October 2018

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