Our local church has a broader reach than just our local area. Through our partnership with our national church body, we can help spread God's kingdom throughout the world. The Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod is the third largest Lutheran church body in America. With national offices in Milwaukee, Wis., WELS began in 1850 when three German pastors met in Milwaukee. While we still retain Wisconsin in our name as part of our history, the WELS has since grown to more than 1,200 congregations across North America. It has close to 400,000 baptized members, which includes more than 300,000 communicants, served by more than 1,000 pastors. The word Evangelical means preaching the good news. The word Lutheran means, well, Lutheran (see our beliefs page). And the word Synod comes from the Greek word that means walking together. Why belong to a synod Here are three good reasons:
1. We value the support of Christians who share our common faith. Just as it is good for individual Christians to gather together for mutual encouragement in a congregation, in the same way it is good for congregations to gather together to encourage each other with God's Word.
2. We want to make sure that the good news about Jesus is handed down to future generations. We want to make sure that our church (and other congregations, too) will be served by pastors who are thoroughly equipped to shepherd God's people with the Word of God. That's why we join with our synod in operating four ministerial education schools:
3. We want to spread the good news about Jesus throughout the United States and around the world. That's a pretty large goal for a small church in Maumee, OH. We simply don't have the resources to plant a new church in North Carolina or to send a missionary to Indonesia. But together with our fellow Christians in the WELS, we do. Our mission offerings start new churches across the United States, send missionaries around the world, and translate Christian publications into other languages. Click here for examples of our current mission work.
Spreading God's Word is our joy and our purpose. As members of the WELS, we share with our fellow believers in our synod's stated mission: As men, women and children united in faith and worship by the Word of God, the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod exists to make disciples throughout the world for time and for eternity, using the Gospel in word and sacrament to win the lost for Christ and to nurture believers for lives of Christian service, all to the glory of God. For more information about the WELS, check out the wide variety of resources available at www.wels.net.