Tag Archive for: 100 Missions in 10 Years

A long-awaited dream fulfilled!

Dear Friend,

In the early 1990s, the members of the Western Wisconsin District Mission Board (DMB) envisioned a new mission church to serve one of the growing communities around Wausau, Wis. Rib Mountain and Kronenwetter were both excellent candidates. The DMB went with Rib Mountain, and it was a decision the Lord of the Church richly blessed. Today, Mountain of the Lord Lutheran Church is a healthy congregation faithfully proclaiming God’s love for sinners through Christ.

But who would have known that all along God, “who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4), also had plans for a mission church in Kronenwetter?

Fast forward to the summer of 2018. At the Western Wisconsin District Convention, the DMB challenged all the circuits in the district to offer the names of cities, towns, and villages for outreach and mission work. Many were submitted. Do you want to guess one of the places suggested? Yep, it was Kronenwetter. God had a plan for this community and its people to hear the gospel’s sweet message.

About 18 months later, a member of the DMB met with a few godly, mission-minded men from the area and a multi-congregation task force was formed. Using resources from WELS Home Missions, it began to explore the feasibility of starting a new mission in Kronenwetter. Five WELS churches in the Wausau area committed themselves to actively supporting this effort with prayers, offerings, and manpower. From those congregations, a committed core group was assembled that would use the campus of Northland Lutheran High School. Not only was Northland in the center of the target area, but doing so would save the fledgling mission thousands of dollars. Was this dream about to become a reality?

In the spring of 2022, the Western Wisconsin DMB brought a formal request to the Board for Home Missions for subsidized mission status for Kronenwetter, but it was deferred. The core group was resilient and continued to meet for Bible study, fellowship, and finding ways to serve the community. A live nativity was held at Northland’s campus in December. Hundreds came and heard the good news of the Word becoming flesh to secure for all people the forgiveness from sin and the gift of eternal salvation.

In March 2023, another request was brought to the Board for Home Missions. This time it was approved! By God’s grace, Kronenwetter is one of the newest missions in our synodwide effort to start 100 new missions in the next 10 years. We’re grateful for God’s blessing and the offerings of his people that have allowed this mission to become a reality.

All along, our Savior envisioned this mission church in Kronenwetter, Wis. Please pray for his blessings for this new mission and the students of Northland who will play a key role in the congregation’s outreach. Please also consider a gift to the Home Mission Fund to support this and other home missions as well as those the Lord has planned for the future. How exciting to watch as his plans unfold!

In Christ,
Pastor Jeffrey P. Mahnke
Chairman, Western Wisconsin District Mission Board

Prayer: Lord God, we pray for our new home mission in Kronenwetter, Wis., near Northland Lutheran High School. Continue to energize the core group of members from area churches including some Northland students. Thank you for the opportunity for these younger members to help take the lead in this mission work. Enable everyone to grow in their Christian faith and their witness through this experience. We pray that you would guide this new church as they seek to call a pastor and start public worship at the high school. Amen.

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Brats and building bridges for Jesus!

Sometimes you just need to be creative.

The core group for a new mission start in Kronenwetter, Wis., was looking for a way to both get the word out that a new church was coming to this growing community, and to begin building a prospect list for sharing the gospel. We knew that there was going to be a community garage sale weekend in mid-summer. This meant there would be a lot of residents moving around the village eager to find bargains and hidden treasures at the nearly 100 garage sales that would be taking place in our target area. They were going to get hungry during the day, and of course some of them would need to go to the bathroom.

The core group got creative and saw a golden opportunity! In this part of our country, folks love their bratwurst as much, if not more, than they do their Green Bay Packers. So, it was decided to hold a free brat fry. We would also use this opportunity to open the doors of Northland Lutheran High School, where the  mission will eventually begin, to allow garage sale shoppers to use the facilities and become familiar with the building and the ministry it does.

On the day of the brat fry, the Lord blessed us with perfect weather. A good number of residents stopped by to take us up on the offer of free brats and hot dogs and to use the Northland High School’s bathrooms. That got them in the door. The banner by the food table proclaimed that a new mission church was coming. This accomplished our exact goal, as questions were asked and comments were made, resulting in natural and easy conversations about our intentions. Most of the people who came wanted to give us free will donations.

While we thanked them for their thoughtfulness and politely refused their money, we asked them instead to fill out a 60-Second Survey. We told them that their opinions were valuable because we wanted our mission church to meet the needs of people living in Kronenwetter. If they wanted to be put on our mailing list for regular updates on how the mission was progressing, they could give us their name and address. Twenty-eight surveys were completed, and nine families are now on the prospect list. It’s a start!

I had the opportunity to meet (and eat with!) a young couple blessed with a four year old daughter. Not long ago they moved to Kronenwetter, they told me that they had Lutheran backgrounds from where they used to live but had not found a new church home. They were concerned because their daughter had not been baptized yet, and now she was starting to ask questions about God. It was obvious to me that they were feeling guilt for not doing a better job of Christian parenting. It was a joy to share with them the good news about forgiveness in Jesus, and to let them know I would gladly work with them to have their daughter baptized and that it wouldn’t cost them anything. I also told them they could bring their daughter to my church’s Sunday School starting this fall. They were thrilled to know that a church was coming soon to help them all grow in God’s Word and love on their journey to eternal life in heaven.

As the core group was cleaning up at the end of the day, the consensus was clear. Even if the only result of the brat fry was this little girl’s baptism, our efforts were more than worth it. But we are confident of God’s blessings and we praise and thank him for letting us use brats and bathrooms to build bridges for sharing Jesus!

Written by Rev. Jeff Mahnke, pastor at St. Peter Lutheran in Schofield, Wis., and chairman of the Western Wisconsin District Mission Board. 

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Nine new missions and six ministry enhancements approved

On March 24, WELS Board for Home Missions approved the first new missions and enhancements for the synodwide “100 missions in 10 years” initiative.

“Our God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,” says Rev. Mark Gabb, chairman of WELS Board for Home Missions. “So how does it look to live like we believe this? That’s the question that the Board for Home Missions considered as we reviewed the many new start requests. We knew that there were questions about money and pastors, yet with sanctified common sense we made our decisions based on our trust that God can do immeasurably more.”

The nine new mission starts approved include:

  • Bentonville, Ark.: The 12-person core group has been active in its community, which is home to Walmart’s headquarters and is projected to see 35 percent population growth in the next three years.
  • Boston, Mass.: The closest WELS church to Boston’s urban center is a 90-minute drive. This urban mission has potential for college and cross-cultural ministry.
  • Cincinnati, Ohio: Beautiful Savior, Cincinnati, Ohio, is starting a second site in the Oakley and Hyde Park neighborhoods with a core group of 20 members.
  • Idaho Falls, Idaho: With the nearest WELS church three hours away, the 11-person core group has been meeting for weekly Bible studies with a pastor via Zoom.
  • Kalispell, Mont.: Kalispell, Mont., is considered the fastest-growing micropolitan city (population of 10,000-50,000) in the United States. The core group has been worshiping together twice a month for more than ten years and participating in regular Bible studies for more than eight years.
  • Kronenwetter, Wis.: Five WELS churches in the greater Wausau, Wis., area are supporting this mission, which will worship at Northland Lutheran High School. The 22-member core group has been meeting monthly since December 2021 for Bible study and mission planning.
  • Marquette, Mich.: Marquette serves as the hub of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and 52 percent of the people in and around Marquette do not have a home church or attend a church.
  • Panama City Beach, Fla.: Amazing Grace, Panama City, Fla., is expanding west and starting a second site in the greater Panama City Beach area.
  • North Collin County, Texas: A core group of 15 members from Atonement, Plano, Texas, are part of this new mission in a northern suburb of Dallas. Divine Savior Ministries, a WELS-affiliated organization with four church/school campuses, has partnered with the mission and plans to build a Divine Savior Academy by year five of the mission start.

The Board for Home Missions is also financially supporting ministry enhancements for Beautiful Savior, West Des Moines, Iowa; Fairview, Milwaukee, Wis.; Christ the King, Port Charlotte, Fla.; and Divine Savior, Sienna, Texas. It is providing unsubsidized support to Our Redeemer, Ladysmith, Wis., and Good Shepherd, Midland, Texas.

To learn more about these new missions and ministry enhancements, visit wels100in10.net.



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Together Video Update – March 28, 2023

WELS Board for Home Missions met on March 23 and 24 and approved funding for nine new home mission starts and six ministry enhancements. Learn more about these decisions and the exciting ministry that is being supported as part of WELS’ 100 in 10 initiative from Rev. Mark Gabb, chairman of WELS Board for Home Missions.


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