Generally speaking, how welcoming is the WELS church to visitors? Since the denomination shares minimal fellowship with other church bodies, can I expect to receive the cold shoulder or shunning? Lastly, why are sermons in the WELS church so brief? Relatively speaking,13-15 minutes is much shorter than other Reformed Churches I have visited. Additionally, the local WELS church I watched online did not use his Bible, during the sermon and all in all it seemed very simple and shallow in content. Lastly, if you had to pick just one, what would you identify as the biggest obstacle/challenge the WELS is currently confronting? Thank you!
Like other church bodies, each of our congregations can have a personality of its own. Tradition, culture and local leadership are some factors that can help shape a congregation’s personality. I would like to think that our congregations are welcoming to visitors. Could some of our congregations grow in that regard? Probably. Undoubtedly, there is room for growth in welcoming visitors in any gathering of Christians in any location.
I would not expect you to receive the cold shoulder or be shunned if you visited one of our congregations. Do keep in mind though that the ways in which visitors and guests are acknowledged and welcomed can vary from congregation to congregation.
Sermon length is also going to differ from one church to another. Even within a congregation, sermon length might vary from week to week. Factors such as Holy Communion distribution and special singing can impact sermon length. When it comes to the length of a sermon or a pastor’s use of the Bible, I would encourage you not to let an experience with a congregation describe an entire church body.
What is our church body’s biggest obstacle or challenge? We do not have a list, so I can offer only a personal observation. Our challenge is to be faithful to God and his Word in the face of growing opposition to God and his Word (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
Finally, you might be interested to know that WELS is in fellowship with over 30 church bodies throughout the world. This link will provide you with more information.
I hope you do visit one of our churches and receive a warm welcome. God bless you.