Tag Archive for: early childhood ministry

Utilizing our schools for outreach

Dear Friend,

Would it surprise you to learn that there are a growing number of unchurched families from the community in our congregations’ schools? If you are a member of a congregation that supports an early childhood ministry, Lutheran elementary school, or an area Lutheran high school, statistics show that 20 percent of those enrolled are families without a church home. This is the largest percentage in the history of our WELS school system.

More parents from the community are enrolling their children in WELS schools for safety, a great education, and Christian values. Is it possible they could also find more than they were initially looking for? Could these families also find a caring group of Christians who would love to share with them the good news of our restored relationship with God through the work of Jesus?

Some of our schools have had many years of experience working with unchurched families; for other schools it’s relatively new. We have learned specific approaches that have helped welcome these families and open the door to conversations about the gospel.

This is the role of the WELS Commission on Lutheran Schools as part of WELS Congregational Services: to encourage and equip congregations for faithful and fruitful gospel ministry. We recognize the wonderful outreach opportunities present in our schools and are here to assist.

One of the services we provide is called Telling the Next Generation. This is a day-long training to help church and school leaders develop a specific plan (called a “harvest strategy”) that includes building relationships with school families and encouraging them to hear the Word and join the congregation. In this way Lutheran Schools is not only providing Christian education for the children, we are also partnering with congregations to bring Jesus to the entire family. This Telling the Next Generation training is available to all school ministries, early childhood through high school.

You can partner with us in this ministry as well! We invite your support to train more ministry consultants to not only guide congregational leaders in intentionally building relationships and sharing the Good News of Jesus with unchurched families but also to periodically help schools review and assess their efforts. We are seeking gifts totaling $110,000-130,000 over the next year to allow an expanded schedule of on-site Telling the Next Generation training as well as follow-up visits with congregations that have previously participated in a presentation. Can you help?

Thanks for prayerfully considering how we can work together in the rich harvest fields God has blessed us with at our schools!

In Christ,
James A. Rademan
Director, WELS Commission on Lutheran Schools

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we praise you for your amazing, unchanging truths revealed in the Bible—your perfect law and your gracious fulfillment of the law, suffering, death, and resurrection from the dead for our salvation. We thank you for churches and schools where fellow Christians walk with us as we grow in your grace and teach it to the next generations. We also thank you that neighbors are finding peace in the clarity of the Christian values we teach in our schools. Enable us to provide enough teachers to meet the needs of our students, and may your Holy Spirit lead families to trust in you through your gospel in Word and sacraments. Amen.