Recently, WELS Home Missions launched an ambitious initiative to plant a hundred new home mission churches over the next ten years. For the first time during Winterim, a group of students had the opportunity to participate in a course prepared and taught by WELS Home Missions, with pastors Jared Oldenburg, Matt Rothe, and Tim Spiegelberg serving as the instructors. This new course offered a way to help equip men for the unique realities of planting new churches.
Since no community is the same and no mission church is the same, this course challenged seminarians to apply the principles of Confessional Lutheran mission work in several actual WELS mission fields through interviews and interactions with recent seminary graduates who are now serving in the first year of a new home mission. This course was neither a “traditional classroom”
nor “boots-on-the-ground outreach” experience, but rather a church planting “lab course” that took place primarily in Fredericksburg, VA, at The Way Lutheran Church.