About the Institute

The Institute for Worship and Outreach is a group of WELS pastors who have become convinced, on the basis of study and ministry experiences, that worship forms and outreach methods can and must intersect confessionally and evangelically in efforts to proclaim the gospel of Jesus. With this perspective, they have come together to assist and encourage pastors as they strive for excellence in public worship and mission outreach.

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Resource
January 24, 2013

Focus

Give up materialism; worship the Lord and serve him only

Jonathan Bauer serves at Good News Lutheran Church, Mount Horeb, Wisconsin.

Resource
January 24, 2013

Focus

Lent: A time for giving up sin

You often hear about people “giving something up” for Lent. Usually it’s some minor, insignificant vice like sweets. However, during Lent God calls us to give up something much more serious: our sin. We do that through repentance, which consists both of acknowledging our sin and confidently turning to Christ as our Savior for forgiveness. Repentance is something that is vital for Christians on a daily basis. It cannot wait until tomorrow. The time for repentance is now.

Jonathan Bauer serves at Good News Lutheran Church, Mount Horeb, Wisconsin.

Resource
January 9, 2013

ABOUT THIS RESOURCE

We’re providing this seasonal resource to aid parish pastors in their worship planning. The specific purpose of this resource is to give parish pastors ideas and resources that are:

  • Accessible. As an outlying district, most of our congregations are smaller than average. We aim to provide musical suggestions with which just about any congregation with any level of musical talent can work.

Jonathan Bauer serves at Good News Lutheran Church, Mount Horeb, Wisconsin.

Blog
September 11, 2012

Fall Event: There’s Room at the Table

Does Easter seem like a distant memory? Does Christmas still seem a long way off? Right now we’re smack-dab in the middle of the eight months that separate these two high points in the church’s worship and outreach life. What does the worship-and-outreach-minded pastor do?

Why not put another great worship and outreach opportunity on the calendar by planning a fall series. Here are some reasons to consider it:

Jonathan Bauer serves at Good News Lutheran Church, Mount Horeb, Wisconsin.

Blog
July 2, 2012

Bible Information Class

It always amazes me how much the “little things” matter. People don’t always recognize the hours you put in on organizing an outreach event, but they notice it when you greeted them as strangers when they came, made them feel at home, and bent down to the level of their child to give him a high five. That’s what they remember and it shows you care.

David Scharf serves as pastor of Immanuel Lutheran in Greenville, WI. Pastor Scharf also serves as a member of the WELS Commission for Congregational Counseling.

Paper
June 20, 2012

I have set before you in the introduction to this essay two realities that I find very strange. The first reality is that in a church which for more than half of its history distrusted and eschewed the church’s ancient liturgy one hears some rather strident voices accusing those who abandon the liturgy of harming the unity of the Church and overturning the gospel of Christ.

James Tiefel serves as professor of worship and homiletics at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Mequon, WI. He also serves the Seminary as the Dean of Chapel.

Paper
June 7, 2012

That got me thinking. (I would like to believe that I was multi-tasking, but I don’t know that I was as focused on worship as I was on this “phenomenon” I had just witnessed.) The members of the congregation the Lord graciously called me to serve all needed the hymnal. I needed the hymnal. We didn’t have the service memorized the way these visitors from a WELS church in Wisconsin did. The questions came rushing to me: Had I failed the people that the Lord had entrusted to my care?

Pastor Treptow serves Zion Lutheran in Denver, CO, and serves the synod as Nebraska District President.

Paper
May 30, 2012

Our guest presenter for the May 2012 Institute meeting was Professor John Brenner of Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary. He presented a paper exploring the relationship between election and mission work. We commend this paper for your study. — JES

Jonathan Schroeder is the pastor of Faith Lutheran in Sharpsburg, GA. He serves as the Moderator of the Institute of Worship and Outreach, pastor-at-large on the Synodical Council, and is actively involved in WELS School of Outreach and WELS School of Worship.

Blog
May 14, 2012

The Institute will convene its annual meeting on May 21, 2012, at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary.

Three essays will be presented to the group for discussion:

  • Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi, and the use of variety in worship, by Earle Treptow
  • The Liturgy and its Use in our Church, by James Tiefel
  • Election and Evangelism, by John Brenner

Look for these essays and reactions to be posted to the Institute website in the coming weeks.

Jonathan Schroeder is the pastor of Faith Lutheran in Sharpsburg, GA. He serves as the Moderator of the Institute of Worship and Outreach, pastor-at-large on the Synodical Council, and is actively involved in WELS School of Outreach and WELS School of Worship.

Blog
April 11, 2012

Suddenly, it’s done. After all the Holy Week planning, preparing, promoting, and presiding. It’s over. Post-Easter Monday began with a round of golf with some fellow pastors. It was good to get away. Now, that we’re on the other side of Easter Sunday:
1. What do I need to be doing now? Prioritize and get busy!
2. What went well from Lent & Easter? Build on it for next year.
3. What could have been done better? Learn from, adapt, or change.

What do I need to be doing now?

Donn Dobberstein serves as pastor of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Port Orange, FL. He also serves as the chairman of the WELS Commission on Evangelism, and as a presenter with the WELS School of Outreach.