Small Church Forum | Douglas Van Sice and Craig Wilke

Douglas Van Sice and Craig WIlke

Small Church Forum

The number of smaller churches in WELS is increasing. This is due to demographic trends (see “Statistical Summary and Analysis,” p. 11) as well as to the goal of establishing 100 new churches in 10 years. In 2022, 13% of churches had under 25 people in worship, and another 26% had 25-49. What are the worship challenges and needs in small churches? What are some beneficial strategies and solutions? Participants will be invited to submit their top five questions in advance of the conference. Presenters will offer their insights and welcome input from attendees.

Bio | Douglas Van Sice

Douglas Van SicePastor Van Sice graduated from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in 2017 and was assigned to start a new church in Huntersville, N.C. In Sept. 2018, after a year of community exploration and preparatory work, Huntersville Lutheran Church began public worship with a core group of ten people. As of Dec. 2023, the church has grown to nearly 100 souls with an average worship attendance of over 60 people. Pastor Van Sice also serves as the North Atlantic District Worship Coordinator.

Bio | Craig Wilke

Craig WilkePastor Wilke graduated from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in 2019 and was assigned to start a new mission in Brandon, S.D. In Sept. 2020, they launched worship with 30 members. By the end of 2023, the average attendance of Sure Foundation was 70 people.