Evangelism Day is Wednesday, January 10, 2018.
|8:30 – 9:20||
|11:30 – 12:20||
Lunch: ½ Student Body
Workshops: ½ Student Body
Lunch: ½ Student Body
Workshops: ½ Student Body
|1:30 – 2:20||
2:30 – 3:00
Advisors and Advisees meet in small groups to discuss the events of the day.
Elective 1: Building Bridges Not Barriers: John Sebald (Truth in Love Ministry)
Many of us struggle with sharing our faith. We will look at five simple witnessing principles which have changed the way thousands of people have thought about witnessing. Opportunities and help to put these principles by witnessing to Mormons will also be offered.
Elective 2: Reaching Out to Millennials: Pastor James Hein (St. Marcus – Milwaukee, WI)
Much analysis in recent years has explored how best to connect with Millennials. This presentation explores themes related to gospel communication with Millennials such as leveraging deep narratives, communicating with the biblically less literate, the necessity of Christocentrism, and the contrast of worldly wisdom against the more beautiful truth of the gospel.
Elective 3: Outside Looking In: Witnessing to Unbelievers: Jill McKinley
Jill will tell the story of how she became a WELS Christian and discuss her experiences with evangelism both before and after her conversion. You will hear a unique perspective on the keys to reaching people with a personalized message of Christ’s love and salvation.
Elective 4: Ministry to the Poor: Pastor Paul Biedenbender (Christ Lutheran Church – Denver, CO)
“Whoever is kind to the needy honors God” – Proverbs 14:31
God is honored when, in our Christian love, we selflessly serve others, including those less fortunate that we are. That principle is clear. The applications can get messy. Is my kindness helping or hurting? How can I put proper boundaries and expectations in place for those I seek to serve? How does this ministry serve the greater mission of the great commission? What are the spiritual dangers to me in ministering to the poor? This elective will highlight the blessings of ministering to those who are needy along with addressing some of the common challenges in such work.
Elective 5: Reaching Global Cities: the Future of Missions – Geoffrey Cortright (Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada)
Global cities are on the rise. Today, half of all people on earth live in a large city. By 2050 more than three-quarters of all people on earth will live in large cities of a million people or more, and increasingly these large cities have communities of immigrants from all over the world. How will you reach the millions of people in these cities with the good news of Christ? Listen to what one new WELS mission is doing in Vancouver, British Columbia–the most unchurched city in North America and second most diverse city on earth. Come and see how important it is for our future leaders like you to passionately proclaim the risen Lord in global cities.
Elective 6: TRANSFORMED: Equipping Youth Leaders: Pastor Jon Enter (Divine Savior Church – West Palm Beach, FL)
More than two-thirds of young adults who attended church regularly in high school will completely stop attending church after high school graduation. How sad! How spiritually dangerous! One of the greatest mission fields we have for the Church is in the church, in our pews…for now. The strategies we have used over the years to keep youth connected to the Sacraments and their Savior have not been fruitful for nearly 70% of young adults. Let’s give God something new to bless by examining how we can refocus our ministries to be less lecture or program based and to, Lord willing, transform youth in their relationship with Christ by the power of the gospel.
Elective 7: Evangelism to Homosexuals: Pastor Bill Monday (St. Peter – Appleton, WI)
For over a decade in ministry, Pastor Bill Monday has encountered many Christian people struggling with the issue of homosexuality in our culture – whether souls struggling with their own SSA (Same Sex Attraction) or struggling with how to address SSA in the life of others or a culture entangled by it. In his work on this issue (Rainbow Savior), Pastor Monday has set out to address this topic systematically. In his efforts, he has also been able to help assemble a team of people who can speak authoritatively on this issue from the Scriptures and from their experiences. Dr. Joshua Mears from Christian Family Solutions will be joining Pastor Monday along with a young man who struggles with SSA but is daily picking up his cross in Christ. Join us for key concepts from Pastor Monday’s book and also for questions and answers from Dr. Mears and another invited guest. Come and understand our culture better on issues of SSA and from those who struggle that we might become better evangelists to the LGBT community.
Elective 8: World Missions Panel – Dan Balge (MLC – New Ulm, MN), Ken Cherney and Jon Bare (WLS – Mequon, WI) Shannon Bohme (Friends of China)
How do I make myself ready for a World Mission Call? Panelists will discuss their experiences and answer questions related to World Mission work.
Elective 9: Everyday Means of Communication in a Church Multiplication Movement (Academia Cristo): Missionary Mike Hartman
Every week between 1 to 2 million Spanish speakers see an Academia Cristo Facebook post. The page has over 800,000 followers. Launched in 2016, over 150 students are active in Academia Cristo’s church planter training program. Whatsapp, video chats, Android apps, self-study video courses and an online digital hymnal are examples of tools used.
God is blessing the efforts. Oaxaca, Mexico; Isla Margarita, Venezuela; and Ibagué and Bogotá, Colombia are examples of cities where Christians are gathering and working to plant Confesional Lutheran churches.
Attendees will learn to identify appropriate communication tools in different settings. They will also learn key dos and dangers when teaching others to share Jesus and scatter the seed of the gospel.
Elective 10: Early Childhood Centers Across the Country: Mrs. Cindi Holman (National Coordinator of Early Childhood Ministries – Waukesha, WI)
Early childhood as a ministry and early childhood a mission field? Did you know that everyday almost 11,000 children walk through the doors of approximately 390 WELS centers all over the country? Many are children from our congregations and many have not heard about Jesus or have no church home. What an amazing opportunity! What an incredible responsibility! The mission field right in our own buildings! Join me as we talk about how WELS is utilizing our early childhood ministries as a way to tell “the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done.” Ps. 78:4.
Elective 11: Youth Work at the Lighthouse Youth Center: Pastor Jim Buske (Lighthouse Youth Center – Milwaukee, WI), Pastor Clark Schultz (Lakeside Lutheran High School – Lake Mills, WI)
Lighthouse Youth Center is a nonprofit mission outreach that is a “beacon for Christ” as it links inner-city youth with their Savior. It’s a safe, structured place for youth to gather, have fun, meet new people, receive Christian mentorship, and build a relationship with Jesus! over the past 10 years Lighthouse has partnered with Lakeside Lutheran High school that links old Christians with new Christians to provide a hands on, real cross cultural life evangelism training that has a lasting impact for everyone involved! Come and hear the amazing stories of God the Holy Spirit at work!
Elective 12: Evangelism in a Parish: Staff Minister Phil Bischoff (CrossWalk Lutheran Ministries – Laveen, AZ)
True or false? Thousands of people who live near our churches are hurting and don’t know how Jesus has changed their identity, destiny, purpose and possibilities in life. True! Can our churches actually help these people? Absolutely! We have the gospel! What’s the problem? We expect the community to come to us. The answer? We go to the community. How do we build bridges from our churches to our communities? Join us as we hear real life stories and learn gospel-centered practices on how to bridge your church to your community.
Elective 13: Evangelism with My Family: Pastor Timothy Smith (St. Pauls’ – New Ulm, MN)
Some of the more difficult evangelism challenges we face are with friends and family members who are unchurched, of different denominations, agnostic, atheist, or hostile toward Christianity.
Elective 14: Evangelism in a big city – Jeremy Mattek (Garden Homes – Milwaukee, WI)
“Should I not be concerned about that great city?” our Lord asked his prophet Jonah regarding the souls in Nineveh. God saw opportunity for the Gospel in one of the world’s largest (and most corrupt) cities in the world. The same opportunity exists today. Today, over 50% of the world’s population lives in big cities. By 2050, it is estimated that over 70% of the world’s population will live in urban areas. Historically, the WELS has not had much of a presence in big cities. But now, big cities are where WELS ministries are growing most quickly. Our big cities are full of big opportunities for the Gospel; opportunities that demand our best ministry effort. Come and hear some of the unique blessings and challenges of big city ministry. Chances are, you’ll end up serving there some day.
Elective 15: Evangelism Isn’t Easy: Cheryl Loomis, Ben Clemons, Nate Wordell (MLC – New Ulm, MN)
Panelists will share stories of evangelism challenges they faced in mission ministry and parish work. In addition, participants will be invited to ask questions about the difficulties of evangelism, about handling tough situations … about whatever concerns that you may have.
Elective 16: Standing in the Areopagus – Dan Lindner (St. John’s – Minneapolis, MN)
“All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.” (Acts 17:21). A 2015 Barna Poll revealed some research worth contemplating. College students revealed their ideas on the purposes of college. The vast majority (70 percent) stated its purpose is to prepare for a specific job or career. One of the lowest responses (7 percent) came among Christians. That response stated that college is a time for spiritual growth. As MLC students you have the blessing of organized opportunities to grow in your faith. With this elective, we’ll discuss the modern-day Areopagus among individuals in your age bracket. We’ll discuss the ministry being carried out by those on a campus of around 60,000 students, faculty, and staff. We will also discuss methods that will be valuable for future evangelism efforts on college campuses. Our hope is that some of you who attend this elective will join us this Spring as we reach out to students attending the University of Minnesota for further opportunities to proclaim the gospel.
Elective 17: Evangelism in Times of Crisis: Pastor Ross Stelljes (MLC Admissions Counselor – New Ulm, MN)
“God moves in a mysterious way his wonders to perform,” including during times of crisis. Listen to real-life stories of personal crises in the lives of members, prospective members, and called workers, and see how God used these crises to open doors for gospel witnessing.
Elective 18: The Apple’s Relative Distance from the Tree – How We Started Illumine Church– Kent Reeder
It takes a lot of learning to start churches. At this point, I know how to start one, specific church in one, specific place. Let me tell you the story of Illumine Church in Rock Hill, SC. Let’s see if we can find a few principles for future church planting. Let’s ask questions and dig into answers about what it looks like to exponentially increase the kingdom of God by starting more congregations more quickly. By the way, if you’re not pastor track, this will still be really valuable for you – I promise.
Elective 19: The Divine Call and How it Relates to Called Public Ministry and Evangelism: Mark Paustian (MLC – New Ulm, MN)
“Here am I. Send me.” Our theology and practice of the divine call is unique in Christendom, and it comes with unique comforts and encouragements, unique surprises and unique joys. This narrative-driven, interactive session will address the questions and anxieties many people are likely to have about submitting themselves to our practice of the divine call, and will promote an optimism about finding our place in mission, such as we are, wherever we are, that is deeply rooted in Christ.
Elective 20: Technology and Evangelism – Tom Kuster (Bethany Lutheran College – Mankato, MN)
Ideally we could divide the world’s population into groups of 30 and put a teacher in front of each to bring them God’s Word. But we don’t have enough teachers to cover all seven and a half billion people. God in these last days has given us the gift of technology by which we can reach vast audiences with the Gospel. What technology is available and what can we do with it “while it is day”? We have some ideas, and maybe you do too. Bring your phone/tablet/laptop to this session.