Home Missions

WELS Home Missions is blessed to plant churches and assist mission-minded congregations in the United States, Canada, and English-speaking West Indies. Home Missions currently supports 132 congregations with financial subsidy or district mission board/mission counselor assistance, with 25 of those being cross-cultural mission congregations. Home Missions also provides about 25 campus ministries with financial support, while assisting hundreds of other congregations that serve college students around the United States and Canada.

WELS has fourteen Home Missions districts, each with their own District Mission Board (DMBs). These DMBs, comprised of pastor and lay volunteers, work to start new missions and support existing missions in their districts. Two representatives from each district serve on the Board for Home Missions. This Board for Home Missions votes on the new starts and enhancement ministries for the next year and sets overall direction for WELS Home Missions. DMBs and home mission churches are supported by three home mission counselors and one Hispanic outreach consultant. These mission counselors work with DMBs to develop new home missions and provide counseling and assistance to home mission congregations and the home missionaries who serve them. 

Fast Facts

  • 132 home mission congregations
  • 12 new home missions in 2021
  • 100 new mission starts/enhancements since 2011
  • Home Missions in 35 states, Canada, and English-speaking West Indies
  • 25 cross-cultural missions
  • Financially supports 25 campus ministries

Praise and Proclaim Ministries

Praise and Proclaim Ministries teaches and equips Christians how to joyfully and confidently share this important message of God’s salvation with others. They provide an immediate, well-organized opportunity for Christians to put their training into action by conducting a door-to-door canvassing experience to proclaim the gospel. By participating in a Praise and Proclaim outreach campaign, members of congregations learn how to engage, proclaim, and invite neighbors and friends to hear the gospel. Many WELS Home Missions are taking advantage of Praise and Proclaim as a part of their overall outreach strategy. To learn more about this ministry and how your congregation might use it, visit praiseandproclaim.com.

Red = Home Missions funded: Home mission receives funding, assistance through their district mission board, mission counselors, 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: Home mission does not receive funding, but receives assistance through their district mission board, mission counselors, and synodical support staff. They also have access to loans and grants from WELS Church Extension Fund and the Board for Home Missions. Previously funded home mission congregations who have become self-supporting often remain a home mission for a few years before removing their label as a home mission congregation. 

Support WELS Home Missions. Your gift will allow Home Missions to plant new churches, enhance ministries at current congregations, and support current home mission outreach efforts around the United States, Canada, and English-speaking West Indies.

In 2021, synod convention delegates approved an ambitious new goal that allows WELS Home Missions to plant 100 new home mission churches and enhance 75 existing ministries from 2023-2033. Read more about this initiative in this article from the November 2021 edition of Forward in Christ magazine.

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WELS Church Extension Fund (CEF)

WELS CEF is a valuable partner of Home Missions. WELS CEF provides loans to qualified home mission congregations so they can acquire land and build or renovate ministry facilities used as tools for gospel outreach. Besides offering loans at affordable interest rates, WELS CEF also has a matching grant program that provides additional financial assistance to home mission starts. Since 1993, CEF has provided over $38 million in matching grant dollars to help offset initial costs of home mission mortgages.

On top of the matching grant program, CEF also provides special grants to Home Missions to support additional ministry. To learn more, visit wels.net/cef.

Vicars in Mission Settings Program

Through the Vicars in Mission Settings program (funded through a partnership between WELS Home Missions and Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary) seminary students are assigned to serve their vicar year in home mission congregations or established congregations with a mission mindset. This program allows vicars to watch and learn from a man who has a gospel heart for members and for the lost, and see how integral outreach is to ministry.

Truth in Love Ministry

Truth in Love Ministry was founded by Pastor Mark Cares to reach Mormons with the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ. The ministry’s distinctive outreach approve has been recognized worldwide. To learn more about this ministry, please visit www.tilm.org.

Get the latest PowerPoints, ministry overviews, and videos from Home Missions.