WELS Publishes 2016 Statistical Report – Encouraging Word – May 2017

WELS Publishes 2016 Statistical Report

WELS’ 2016 Statistical Report is available online, and in print through Northwestern Publishing House. The report provides membership, ministry, education, and offerings data on congregations as well as reports on institutional ministry, ordinations and installations of pastors and teachers, and world missions statistics.

Some highlights of the report include:

  • 1,207 out of 1,275 congregations (95 percent) submitted information for the report, which is the highest participation in 14 years.
  • Baptized membership continues its slow decline since peaking in 1990, averaging a decrease of 0.6 percent each year for the past 26 years.
  • Early childhood ministry continues to be a huge evangelism opportunity with 70 percent of the children coming from non-WELS families. (Consider the new program, Telling the Next Generation, for help with outreach strategies.)

WELS Director of Christian Giving Kurt Lueneburg, whose area compiles the report, says, “‘In Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others’ (Romans 12:5). As you review the contents of this report, I hope you will join me in praising our loving Lord for his faithful love to us and his gospel ministry among and through us during 2016.”


WELS Statistical Report 2016