As you know, we have been on a deliberate search to call our next SWD mission executive. We are down to two candidates. My prayer continues to be that our gracious Lord will guide us to that man whom He has selected to serve the church at large in this capacity. The prayer of the early church in Acts 1 is: "
You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this ministry." (Acts 1:24-25)
Once we have a mission executive on board my plan is to sit down with him to lay out a strategic plan on what needs to be done as we move forward into planting churches. The baseline question is: Where? My aim is to identify specific locations where we can talk with area congregations about partnering with them to plant a new LCMS congregation where we have no witness.
That is the model that is unfolding in the Madison area with the replanting of the LCMS congregation in Waunakee. Its initial name is Cross Lutheran, a plant of Bethlehem Sun Prairie in partnership with SWD. Approximately 75 of Bethlehem's members are attending worship at Cross in Waunakee. The result is a new congregation is in the process of being planted.
In connection with that plant, there is a new plan unfolding to plant a new LCMS congregation in the Columbus area; involving a broader partnership of 3-4 congregations along with SWD.
The same has taken place in the Sheboygan area with the planting of the Hispanic Lutheran Outreach in Sheboygan County. Multiple congregations have come together under the leadership of their pastors to call a vicar, David Blas, to reach out to the growing Hispanic people in the area. The same is happening with CPTLN (Bringing Christ to the Nations) on the south side of Milwaukee, Racine, Burlington and Beloit.
The question is: Where in your area could congregations partner to plant a new LCMS congregation? Got an idea? Give me a call.
Have a blessed Easter! Christ is risen!!
Rev. Dr. John C. Wille, South Wisconsin District President