Home Missions Update (March 2022)

Good Shepherd Lutheran – North Liberty, IA Campus

New Home Mission in North Liberty, Iowa

In 2020, Good Shepherd Lutheran in Cedar Rapids, IA, was approved to start up a new mission as a dual site ministry in North Liberty, IA. The city of North Liberty is located about 20 miles south of Cedar Rapids.  A few years prior 2020, Good Shepherd Lutheran had to make a tough decision to close down their grade school; however, this lead to a focus on starting up the dual site in North Liberty.  

In May 2021, God blessed Good Shepherd Lutheran with a new Sementary graduate, Pastor Lucas Callies, to serve at the North Liberty site. Pastor Callies will be serving along Pastor Billy King, who is the current pastor for the Cedar Rapids campus.  In June 2021, the congregration started up bible studies and worship services in North Liberty at a local community center.  A trailer was purchased for storage at the North Liberty site.  Over this past year, Good Shepherd has held various community events such as Easter Egg hunts and Summer Baseball camps.  In December 23, 2021, North Liberty hosted it’s first ever Christmas Eve-Eve service. 

This Spring, Good Shepherd Lutheran is planning on a special outdoor Easter service in North Liberty.  The congregation is busy inviting the community to this special event.  

A special Thank-You to the congregation and all those who have been involved in this mission startup.  It is an exciting opportunity God has given to expand the mission outreach in North Liberty!  Please keep Good Shepherd Lutheran in your prayers that God may bless their ministry!

Home Missions Board Conference Update

In early February 2022, the WELS Home Mission Boards across all 12 districts met in Las Vegas to discuss the 100 Missions in 10 Years initiative.  This initiative is to start up 100 new missions and 75 new mission enhancements in 10 years starting in 2023.  

The Home Missions Boards received more background on the this initiative and discussed various open questions.  

Here are some of those questions with key notes:

  • How will these new missions be staff?  The group discussed the focus on how we grow future pastors.  This would include but not limited to recruiting across our lutheran grade schools and high school.  We could encourage 2nd career ministries to encourage men into ministry.
  • How can we better leverage and encourage lay leaders?  We need to tap into lay leaders to help with the work in starting up new missions and enhancements.  Many lay leaders have the planning, business and financial skills needed for new start ups.
  • What funding is currently available and will be needed to support the new missions?  The members were given an overview of funds that are already available as well as funding drives during the 10 year period and beyond.  More information on this will be share across congregations in the near future.
  • Will there be discussions on consolidating congregations or defunding areas across the synod in order to help streamline resources to the new missions?  There was some discussions on this, but need more thoughts and prayers on how this would be done and how would align to this initiative.
  • Are there opportunities to encourage individuals and families to become core members in a new mission startup?  With the growing professional world able to work from any location (work from home) or individuals looking to relocation for new job opportunities, there was discussion on who to best communicate and encourage these individuals and familes to relocate to areas where we have a new startup.  This would strengthen the core members in the new areas. 
  • What is the difference between a start up and an enhancement?  Start up mission is generally a mission being established in a new area of outreach.  Enhancement is where an existing congregation is adding to their outreach.  This could be a cross cultural ministry, outreach to School Choice families, campus ministries.or an expanded site/location.  More detailed distriptions will be provided in future communications.

In addition to the questions on this initiative, the board members received insights into Church Planting from Pastor Jared Oldenburg.  Pastor Oldenburg has been involved in leading a support group for new home missionaries to help them with church planting and resources available to them.  The Board also discussed current and future mission prospects and core group development plans.  This was helpful in getting resources and ideas on how to identify future prospects using tools available such as the Mission Insight tool. Much more information and plans will continued to be shared as received.

Examples of Mission Enhancements are: Hispanic and cross cultural ministries; Outreach to School Choice families, and campus ministries.

If you have any Home Mission ideas or questions, the Minnesota District Board would love to work with you to solidify these New Missions and Mission Enhancements.  

MN District Mission Board & Resources

Rev. Steve Waldschmidt (Chair)
Christ Alone
DarDenne Prairie, MO
(636) 445-0440
Mr. Doug Dorn
St. Paul’s
Litchfield, MN
(320) 212-6100
Rev. Rev Mark Kaesmeyer
West Lutheran High School
Plymouth, MN
(763) 498-9940
Mr. Dave Sauer
Eden Prairie, MN
(952) 401-9142
Rev. Rob Guenther
St. John’s
New Ulm, MN
(507) 240-2433
Mr. Daryl Schultz
Resurrection & Life
Rochester, MN
 (507) 261-6906
For additional information on the MN District Home Missions and resources for help with new mission start-ups or mission enhancements, please reference the following website:

To download a copy of this update, please click the download link below:

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