I’m happy to invite you all to the second WELS National Conference on Lutheran Leadership. It will be held January 16-18, 2023, at the Hilton Chicago. This conference is not only for those who serve in formal leadership positions in their congregation: called workers, church council members, school board members, and the like. This conference is for anyone who is passionate about the mission of the church. It is for everyone who, by encouragement and example, wants to lead others to engage in that mission. So, all are welcome—called workers and laity, men and women, retirees and high-school students, lifelong WELS members and those new to the church.
The conference includes five keynote presentations that will discuss the larger strategic issues and challenges facing every congregation. Attendees also will be able to choose from almost 50 breakout sessions. Some breakouts will focus on aspects of leadership: leadership development, planning, management, church polity. Others will share some “best practices” in various ministry areas: evangelism, worship, schools, youth ministry, adult discipleship. There will be a variety of panel discussions: teens, educators, worship leaders. Still other breakout sessions are purely devotional in nature. There is something for everyone and for every congregation. To take full advantage of all the breakouts, I’d encourage you to consider having a delegation from your congregation attend.
When WELS Congregational Services planned the first National Conference on Lutheran Leadership three years ago, it was hoping to have 400 people attend. In the end, 800 registered; the enrollment had to be capped due to capacity limits. This year’s venue has more capacity.
I believe the reason so many were interested in the conference is simple to understand. We all know the challenges confronting American Christianity. Our congregations were—and still are—experiencing those challenges. Coming together to hear God’s Word and to discuss our path forward was both edifying and encouraging. All the presenters at that first conference encouraged us to see those challenges as opportunities—opportunities to trust in the power of God’s holy Word; opportunities to explore new ministry tactics; opportunities to recommit ourselves to doing all we can with the gospel.
The second WELS National Conference on Lutheran Leadership will do the same. I look forward to seeing you there.
Serving together with you in Christ,
WELS President Mark Schroeder
Learn more about the conference and register at lutheranleadership.com.