From Feb. 6–8, presenters with experience in mission work in North America and around the world spoke at Mission and Ministry, an annual three-day event at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Mequon, Wis., to introduce seminary students to the worldwide work of WELS.
Under the theme “Building on the Rock,” participants heard from world and home missionaries as well as congregational leaders. This provided future pastors a big-picture view of synod work. Because assignments, calls, and ministries will vary, three breakout sessions are offered each day, allowing students to learn more about areas of personal interest. Some of these topics included beginning a mission church, evangelism for the busy pastor, using teens in outreach, compassion ministry, getting involved in the community, Multi-Language Publications, and an update on the new hymnal.
In addition, more than 30 WELS areas of ministry and organizations set up display booths. This allowed students the opportunity to learn more about what synodical resources are available. “Mission and Ministry is important because it connects students training to be pastors with the work that is being done throughout their synod,” says senior Noah Willitz, one of the event organizers.
Not only does Mission and Ministry help students learn more about their synod, the organizers learned personal lessons that will carry into their ministry. “Mission and Ministry is like a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s good to hear presentations and rub shoulders with pastors doing some great evangelism,” says Thomas Gorzalski, another senior and organizer. “It is a good reminder that every church is a mission church. No matter where I am sent in a few months, I know evangelism will be a priority.”
Seminary students are not the only ones who benefited from the event. On Feb. 6, the junior class of pastor-track students at Martin Luther College, New Ulm, Minn., attended presentations, and the entire student body of Bethany Evangelical Theological Seminary of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod (ELS) attended sessions on Wednesday and Thursday. In all, almost 200 students, professors, and guests participated.
For photos of the event, visit the seminary’s Facebook page.