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631 – What Does Church Look Like?

The WELSTech Summer interview series kicks off today. We’re taking a look at the many faces of ministry during a pandemic from across the synod in an effort to spark ideas and encourage excellence in all ministry, whether in good times or challenging times. There’s also some awesome community feedback on everything from smart tech to VBS and Summer Sunday school to free Bible images.

The interview and discussion:

Unique ministry ideas – Pastor Rob Guenther from St. John’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, MN joins Martin and Sallie to share his ministry experience during and beyond COVID-19.

Picks of the week:

Community feedback:

Featured videos/online course:

Check out the unique video ministry experience from St John’s, New Ulm, MN, where they spliced the current readings and sermon into full church worship recordings from 2019, making the safer-at-home worship experience feel a bit more normal.

Next time:

Summer interviews on pandemic ministry continue

Get involved:

628 – Bible 100

Way back in January we announced the 2020 WELSTech theme of Bible Study. And then … our world changed in response to a global pandemic. Worship and Bible Study became almost entirely dependent on technology. Today we talk with a pastor podcaster who had the platform in place to share God’s Word effectively in the midst of this crisis. We also celebrate MLC Day and share a plethora of news, picks and resources to assist you.

The interview and discussion:

Photo by Dan LeFebvre on UnsplashPodcasting experience – Pastor Peter Hagen serves Resurrection in Maumee, OH and is the voice behind the Raised with Jesus podcast. WELSTech listeners will also remember him from episode 591, where he introduced us to the idea of Digital Side Doors. Today he joins Martin and Sallie to share his “Bible 100” podcasting series experience.

News in tech:

iOS COVID-19 Contact Tracing

WELS now:

Picks of the week:

Ministry resource:

WELS Family Devotions

Community feedback:

Featured videos/online course:

Listen (again) to our favorite song from Martin Luther College – I Will Rise

Next time:

Rachel Feld co-hosts the last of our edtech shows for the 2019-2020 school year as we look ahead teacher’s (pandemic) summer.

Get involved:

623 – Taking Family Devotions Online

We’ve got a packed show this week on WELSTech. Our lead-off discussion covers ideas for family Bible study from a distance. We learn about the amazing plans for the upcoming Bread for Beggars Festival, and we discuss the hottest topic of the week, the coronavirus, specifically planning for the unknown in your church and school. There’s also picks of the week, audio/video planning resources, and free Bible images to round out the discussion. Don’t delay … Press play!

The discussion:

Family Bible study from a distance – Martin and Sallie share ideas for gathering your spread out family around God’s Word using technology to bridge the distance. They cover everything from finding materials for Bible study to tech tools for connecting to blessings and challenges they’ve encountered in the process.

The interview:

Upcoming Festival – Pastor Mark Parsons, who serves at Faith in Fond du Lac, WI and is the chief content creator for Bread for Beggars, shares details about the first ever Bread for Beggars Festival, happening June 11-13 in Fond du Lac. Festival attendees will leave full of the feast on God’s Word through sight, song, and story. Registration is open for the full festival (cost $195), or you can attend the Free Friday Night events.

News in tech:

Preparing for the coronavirus in …

WELS now:

Picks of the week:

Ministry resource:

Worship the Lord series on Audio, Acoustics, and Video in the Worship Setting

Contact DSH Audio for assistance

Community feedback:

FreeBibleImages.org

Featured videos/online course:

Learn more about Smithsonian Open Access.

Next time:

Professor Rachel Feld from Martin Luther College brings edtech to the discussion.

Get involved:

621 – The Points Don’t Matter

This week on WELSTech we hear about a new online teaching platform that provides a professional, intuitive design across all types of devices and about plans to use it for online Bible Information Class. Registration is open for the Christ in Media XR Festival, and WELS recently published their annual report. Plus, Martin and Sallie keep score of new tech finds to assist in your personal productivity, stewardship, and more.

The interview and discussion:

Online Bible Information Class – Seminary Senior Micah Koelpin and Pastor Jared Oldenburg from Eternal Rock in Castle Rock, CO share their goals, research, and experience creating an online Bible Information Class.

News in tech:

WELS now:

Picks of the week:

Ministry resource:

One By One: Revitalizing a Congregation – A Lutheran Leadership Conference keynote presentation by Rev. David Rosenau

Community feedback:

Open Educational Resources (OER) Commons

Featured videos/online course:

To learn more about publishing online course materials with Thinkific, check out their free Fast Track Training course and their Creating a Course support resources.

Next time:

Tune in for discussion of family devotions with the aid of technology plus online Bible Information Class.

Get involved:

619 – Forward In Christ in 2020

Welcome to 2020 on WELSTech! Martin and Sallie usher in a new decade of tech-in-ministry podcasting with a look to the future. We dive into all that’s new with Forward In Christ magazine, including the shiny new website. And there’s plenty of traditional WELSTech goodness included as well – news in tech, a conference announcement, creative new hardware, and plenty of community chatter.

The interview & discussion:

Something old, something new – We turn the tables on Together video host Nicole Balza, and she becomes the interviewee as she shares details about the Forward in Christ (FIC) magazine redesign and the new ForwardInChrist.net companion website.

News in tech:

It’s the end of the support life cycle for Windows 7

WELS now:

Register now for the first WELS Women Writers Conference – April 24-25

Picks of the week:

Ministry resource:

Search five years of Forward in Christ PDF archives

Community feedback:

Featured video:

A great introduction to the Art with Flo channel is this video of 5 FUN drawing exercises. Bonus: There’s llamas!!

Next time:

Professor Rachel Feld from Martin Luther College shares the latest education technology trends.

Get involved:

616 – Bible Study in a Tree Stand

December has arrived on WELSTech, and its got us talking about Bible study ideas for the upcoming new year. This episode also includes news from Hour of Code, Christmas concert schedules, a family stewardship devotion series, and an opportunity to help Michigan Lutheran Seminary enhance their YouTube options.

The interview & discussion:

In the Word – Principal Brad Gurgel from St Peter Lutheran School in St Peter, MN provides an update on their school and church Bible reading initiative which he first shared at this summer’s EdTechLead19 (presentation link). Alycia Cameron also updates us on the Berean Bible Challenge she is leading, and Martin and Sallie have additional ideas for Bible study as we approach a new year.

News in tech:

Hour of Code – December 9-15

WELS now:

  • Christmas Concerts
    • Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary (Live Stream)
      • Sunday, December 8 at 3:00 and 7:00 pm
    • Martin Luther College (Live Stream)
      • Saturday, December 7 at 7:30 pm
      • Sunday, December 8 at 4:00 pm
  • Shop online with Northwestern Publishing House from their ‘Tis His Season catalog
    • Use coupon code FREETIDINGS at checkout to receive a free copy of Tidings of Comfort and Joy when you make a $50 or more purchase from the catalog

Picks of the week:

Ministry resource:

Christians Under Construction family stewardship devotion series

Community feedback:

Featured video:

Check out Smart Dezign: Church Media Made Simple on YouTube, including this video on Making a $4 Dollar Store DIY Teleprompter

Next time:

Pastor Kurt Lueneburg and Adam Goede from the Christian Giving office share ideas for online giving.

Get involved:

606 – Women’s Ministry

Beat the summer heat with the cool voices of Martin and Sallie on this week’s WELSTech. We take a look at WELS Women’s Ministry, yet another area where WELS Congregational Services supports ministry. Martin alerts us to an “iconic” celebration, plus Sallie shares tips for recording on the go.

The discussion:

Living Stones – Fresh off attendance at WELS Women’s Ministry Conference, Sallie shares her experience. Check out resources from the conference and learn more about Women’s Ministry at wels.net/womens-ministry.

Interviews include …

  • Michelle Birschbach – Breakout leader on the topic “Professing Your Faith: When Water Cooler Talk Can Land You in Hot Water”
  • Alycia Cameron – First-time conference attendee and women’s ministry leader at St. Paul in Howard’s Grove, WI.
  • Pastor Donn Dobberstein – Administrator of WELS Discipleship and breakout leader on the topic “How do I …? Equipping Christian Women for Action”

Picks of the week:

Community feedback:

Featured video:

Enjoy archived videos of all devotions, worship and keynote speakers from the WELS Women’s Ministry Conference, courtesy of Luther Preparatory School. Watch Pastor Mike Novotny’s kick-off keynote, focused on 1 Peter 2:4-5.

Get involved:

532 – Sharpening Your Bible Study

If there is one skill you want sharp, it’s Bible Study. Today’s technology tools make that easier than ever with online bibles, bible studies, tools, and more. Today’s picks are “google-centric” and there’s a great interview with Pastor Brock Groth, the man behind understandchristianity.com.

The discussion:

Rooted and built up – The topic of “Sharpening Your Skills” naturally leads the Christian to consider ways to grow their knowledge of God’s Word. Martin and Sallie discuss digital Bible features, resources from WELS and Northwestern Publishing House (NPH) for being in the Word, and ways to incorporate Bible study into meetings, journaling and social media.

The interview:

Understand Christianity – Pastor Brock Groth from St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Citrus Heights, CA shares the story behind his website, UnderstandChristianity.com. What started as a book effort is now an informative site, featuring notes from Pastor Groth’s Seminary studies transformed into informative posts on Bible teachings and popular Timelines.

WELS now:

Picks of the week:

Ministry resources:

Shepherd’s Staff 2018

Community feedback:

Featured video:

Minnesota District President Charles Degner’s sermon on 1 Peter 1:10-12 is a great encouragement study God’s Word, our great heritage! Watch the archived live stream of the MN District Reformation 500 service from the The Chapel of the Christ at Martin Luther College. The sermon begins at the 1:02:00 mark in the video.

 Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 533 – Helping others sharpen their skills can be a challenge. Tune in for a WELSTech discussion on the topic. Release date: Wednesday, January 24.

Get involved:

Worship Helps

During weekly worship, Christians join with other believers in prayer and praise to God. More importantly, they join with other believers to hear the Word of God. One way the Word is proclaimed during worship is through the assigned readings from the Bible for the particular day in the church year.

Using WELS Worship Helps, Christians can prepare their hearts for worship by studying the assigned readings in advance. Worship Helps are released weekly, on the Monday prior to worship. They are available on the WELS.net web site as well as via e-mail subscription.

Each week, the Worship Helps introduction identifies a theme that runs through the various Bible readings for the week. Each reading is followed by questions and answers related to the reading, and both traditional and supplemental readings are included in Worship Helps.

Application/audience

Personal and group Bible study can be designed around Worship Helps. Time spent studying the worship passages is later reinforced and magnified in the Christian’s worship experience. Share links to the resource in e-newsletters and via social media channels to encourage others to use it to prepare for worship. Consider using Worship Helps for church and school faculty/staff devotion or family devotion.

We actually use Worship Helps in the WELS Technology office for team devotion to start our weekly staff meetings. Different team members volunteer to read the passages ,and we discuss the questions (before looking at the answers) as a group. When the reading comes up in church the next Sunday, I’m always excited to hear it and learn more about it through the songs and sermon for the week.

Related resources

Additional Bible study and devotional resources from WELS include ..

See All Ministry Resources

WELS Video on Vimeo

No one would argue with the fact that video is becoming more prevalent in Internet communication. In fact, a recent study indicates that the average consumer watches 49 minutes of social video every day, and that number is expected to grow. Another study projects that by 2019, 80% of Internet traffic will be video. Perhaps now, more than ever, we might be inclined to agree with this 1964 statement by Marshall McLuhan –

“The medium is the message.”

in the sense that the medium of video is becoming an expectation of online communication if a message is to be heard.

Application/audience

But video creation takes time and strategic thinking. To support and supplement congregation and school needs in this area, WELS offers a collection of 1,100+ videos which can be shared via social media and embedded on church and school web sites. These videos are available on the Vimeo web site at vimeo.com/wels. Video topics include …

and more. The video below gives a brief overview of the site and includes a demonstration of how video can be easily shared and embedded.

Related resources

In addition to the Vimeo hosting platform, WELS videos are also available on YouTube at youtube.com/user/welsstreams.

See All Ministry Resources