Posts

New director of discipleship joins Congregational Services

“Encouraging and equipping congregations for faithful and fruitful gospel ministry.”

That’s how Rev. Donn Dobberstein describes his new position as the director of discipleship for WELS’ Congregational Services. In this new role, Dobberstein will serve the WELS Commissions on Adult Discipleship and Youth and Family Ministry. These commissions coordinate WELS Women’s Ministry, the Interactive Faith online Bible study series, marriage enrichment programs, the biennial international youth rally, the Kids Connection video series, and other ministry resources.

Dobberstein is not a stranger to Congregational Services, having served as the chairman of the Commission on Evangelism for the past 10 years. He also says, “Twenty-two years in parish mission settings have given me ministry experiences showing the importance of and the connection between ‘making disciples’ and ‘continuing to disciple.’ Evangelism and nurture are not at odds with each other but are complementary.”

Dobberstein served as pastor at Our Savior’s, Port Orange, Fla., for the past 17 years. He and his wife, Beth, moved from Port Orange to the Milwaukee, Wis., area in November as he began his work at the WELS Center for Mission and Ministry in Waukesha, Wis. The couple have four children, two of whom still live at home.

Dobberstein clearly feels a sense of urgency for this ministry. He notes, “After years of the position being ‘dormant,’ clarifying a sense of direction and vision will be a priority. Evaluating and prioritizing resources needed for WELS congregations will help us set goals for the next five years. My intention is to listen and learn, support and serve my fellow coworkers and God’s people. I believe God has given us a unique moment in his kingdom that can be seized that, God-willing, can lead to ministry activity.”

Next Interactive Faith features Martin Luther

The next Interactive Faith online Bible study will begin Wed., Oct. 4, and run every Wednesday through Nov. 8. The study will stream live twice each Wednesday at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. (central). The online Bible studies are a great opportunity to get together as a group or to participate individually in a synod-wide Bible study.

The upcoming study is titled “Luther’s Lasting Impact,” and will be led by Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary Professor Joel Otto.

Otto says, “The fact that the world is marking the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s posting of the 95 Theses says something about the lasting impact of the Reformation. This is especially true for us who call ourselves Lutherans. What we understand—and the world often misses—is that Luther’s Reformation was theological. Luther recognized that the problems in the church stemmed from faulty teaching.”

This Bible study will examine some of Luther’s key theological emphases and note how they impacted the life of the church in areas like his translation of the Bible into the language of the people, education and his catechisms, worship, and everyday Christian living.

“Luther’s theological emphases, rooted in Scripture, continue to impact the life of the church today and the way we, as Lutheran Christians, live our faith in the face of 21st century challenges,” says Otto.

To join the study, visit wels.net/interactivefaith.

 

 

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Enriching marriage through online Bible study and getaway weekends

Throughout the month of February, hundreds of WELS members have joined the Interactive Faith online Bible study discussing marriage led by Rev. Randy Hunter. The final session will be tomorrow, Wed., Feb. 22. Hunter will be leading the study live at both 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. (central). If you’ve missed this Interactive Faith series, archived sessions are available at livestream.com/interactivefaith for viewing at your convenience.

While some couples participate at home, some congregations have been using the online study for group Bible study. Members of Mt. Calvary, Redding, Calif., have been meeting each week as a group to participate in the study.

“This was our first Interactive Faith done as a group. I think it might have been the first anyone did here,” says Rev. Brian Doebler, pastor at Mt. Calvary. “The main benefit of the Interactive Faith is the expertise from other pastors you can bring into your own church. Pastor Hunter regularly does marriage retreats and brings a lot of research, biblical insight, planning, and experience. Plus, I got to participate with my wife as a student rather than the teacher.”

Hunter says he wrote this study to help couples continue the conversations that will help grow their marriage. “Each of the study guides includes conversations that can continue for weeks to come. Sometimes the timing isn’t right or the couple next to us is too close or maybe one spouse just needed to think about it more. Couples can take their study guide with them on date night and rekindle the conversation at a restaurant, coffee shop, or on a walk. The online study may only last an hour, but the conversations can continue for many more,” he says. The study guides can be downloaded for free at cad.welsrc.net.

Beyond the online study, Hunter travels around the country to lead marriage enrichment weekends hosted by congregations. He says, “One reason WELS Marriage Enrichment and Getaway Weekends are so successful is the unique Lutheran emphasis on our fallen nature and the rescue Jesus has carried out. The Spirit uses that message to change hearts; I just follow up with application of the difference that makes in our marriages, skills that demonstrate the fruit of faith, and help couples learn from other couples.”

Though individual congregations organize these weekends, anyone is invited to attend. Upcoming marriage enrichment weekends are scheduled in Zion, Ill., March 17-19; Leesburg, Va., April 21-23; Lake Mary, Fla., Aug. 4-6; and Deadwood, S.D., Oct. 20-22. Learn more about these marriage enrichment weekends at wels.net/events.

 

 

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Winter 2017 Interactive Faith announced

The next Interactive Faith online Bible study will begin Wed., Feb. 1. The sessions will be offered live twice every Wednesday in February at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. (central).

The study will be led by Rev. Randy Hunter from St. Andrew, Middleton, Wis. Hunter, who has spent several years touring the country leading marriage enrichment workshops for WELS members, will be discussing “Mysterious Marriage,” a study on building a Christian marriage.

“This study is for couples who want to build their marriage on the gospel of Jesus. Marriage isn’t a sacrament like Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, but it is a profoundly holy thing. The gospel of Jesus helps us understand and practice marriage. Marriage helps us understand and appreciate the gospel,” says Hunter. “Marriage matters. It matters to our nation, to our communities, our children, our churches, and our Lord. Your marriage is part of your testimony about God’s promises to us.”

Many congregations gather as a group for the study; other WELS members connect as small groups or individuals. The studies are designed to have 10 to 15 minutes of lecture by the instructor, followed by 5 to 10 minutes for congregations to discuss a question or two or do further study. Participants can interact with the instructor via a chat box on the live stream. To join the study, visit wels.net/interactivefaith.

 

 

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Interactive Faith coming this fall

Adult Discipleship offers LIVE online Bible studies for use by congregations, small groups, or individuals to serve as a mid-week Bible study. Gather at your church or around the computer to join in fellowship and learn about the Bible with brothers and sisters in faith from around the country.

The next study will begin Wed. Sept. 9

Rev. Keith Wessel, professor at Martin Luther College, New Ulm, Minn., will lead the next Interactive Faith Bible study, which will be streamed online live each Wednesday, Sept. 9 through Oct. 7, at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. CDT.

His study will focus on the life and ministry of Elisha.

Studies will be held Wednesday nights

Two times: 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. (central)

There are times for lecturing and times to allow local congregations to discuss on their own.

To view the study, you will need a high-speed internet connection.  For best viewing you’ll want to project it, and hook your computer to speakers.

Study guides will be available on the WELS Resource Center.

Questions? Contact Us.

View archived sessions online!

Who am I and why am I here

Presented by Rev. Tom Kock
Pastor Kock leads us to see that the grace of God gives us a wonderfully positive understanding of what God has declared us to be, filling us with confidence and peace.
Originally presented January 2013

WEEK 1

WEEK 2

WEEK 3

WEEK 4

WEEK 5

I’d like to read my Bible, but …

Presented by WELS President Mark Schroeder
Rev. Mark Schroeder provides practical helps for people to study God’s Word on their own with confidence and understanding.
Originally presented February 2014

WEEK 1

WEEK 2

WEEK 3

WEEK 4

Next Interactive Faith coming up

The next Interactive Faith online Bible study is just one month away. What better way to start the new year than by gathering online with WELS members around the world to study God’s Word.

Beginning Wed., Jan. 7, 2015, Rev. David Scharf, Immanuel, Greenville, Wis., will lead a six-week study called “Breaking the Cycle with Grace (a study of the book of Judges).”

Scharf says of the topic, “It has been said that nearly every doctrine of the Bible can be found in the biblical narratives contained in the book of Judges. That fact alone merits a deeper look! And yet, how often have we read, let alone studied this action-packed book of God’s grace? In our lives, we go through cycles of ups and downs—we think God is pleased one moment and that he is not the next. Come and break the cycle of uncertainty with grace as we study a book full of God’s love and patience!”

The study will be streamed live online twice every Wednesday night between Jan. 7 and Feb. 11 at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. (central).

Thousands of WELS members have participated in the Interactive Faith Bible studies, which are held twice a year and led by a WELS pastor or professor. Many congregations gather as a group for the study; other WELS members connect as couples or individuals. The studies are designed to have 10 to 15 minutes of lecture by the instructor, followed by 5 to 10 minutes for congregations to discuss a question or two or do further study. Participants can interact with the instructor via the chat box.

To learn more or join the study, go to www.wels.net/interactivefaith.

Start the year with Interactive Faith

January is two months away and what better way to start a new year than with a new Interactive Faith online Bible study series.

Beginning Wed., Jan. 7, 2015, Rev. David Scharf, Immanuel, Greenville, Wis., will lead a six-week study called “Breaking the Cycle with Grace (a study of the book of Judges).”

Scharf says of the topic, “It has been said that nearly every doctrine of the Bible can be found in the biblical narratives contained in the book of Judges. That fact alone merits a deeper look! And yet, how often have we read, let alone studied this action-packed book of God’s grace? In our lives, we go through cycles of ups and downs—we think God is pleased one moment and that he is not the next. Come and break the cycle of uncertainty with grace as we study a book full of God’s love and patience!”

The study will be streamed live online twice every Wednesday night between Jan. 7 and Feb. 11 at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. (central).

Thousands of WELS members have participated in the Interactive Faith Bible studies, which are held twice a year and led by a WELS pastor or professor. Many congregations gather as a group for the study; other WELS members connect as couples or individuals. The studies are designed to have 10 to 15 minutes of lecture by the instructor, followed by 5 to 10 minutes for congregations to discuss a question or two or do further study. Participants can interact with the instructor via the chat box.

To learn more or join the study, go to www.wels.net/interactivefaith.