Sherry and I had the privilege of worshiping at Elwood Main Street Wesleyan with Pastor Tim and Jennifer Becker on Sunday morning, February 18. Main Street is a vibrant, multi-generational church with exceptional music teams and a big heart for teens and children. The Sunday evening youth group runs 20 or more and Main Street also offers a Monday evening AWANA program. I enjoyed preaching to the receptive congregation and meeting with the LBA after the service.
After lunch with the Becker family, I drove on to Elkhart for a follow-up meeting with the leaders of Iglesia Cielos Abiertos (Spanish for “Open Heaven Church”). Pastor Eliogy Guerrero is leading this team and it was a joy to connect with members of the launch team that is meeting in his home. Pastor Guerrero has extensive experience in leading church planting teams in Venezuela and has a great vision for church planting in northern Indiana. This may be an answer to the prayer that the Warsaw Zone has been praying about church planting possibilities among the growing Hispanic population in Warsaw and Goshen.
Congratulations to Fountain City Wesleyan Church as they have called Rev. Steve Bray to be the next Senior Pastor, following the incredibly effective ministry of Dr. David Anderson who will now step into a newly-created role as Assistant Pastor. It was great to speak with Pastor Steve as he let me know he was accepting the call and passionate about the future of Fountain City Wesleyan Church. Let’s lift Pastor Steve and Susan in our prayers as they step into this new leadership role!
Last week’s ministry schedule included pastoral calls reviews with the boards at Tipton Trinity (Monday), Marion Chapel Pike (Tuesday), and Hartford City (Thursday). Each of the pastoral calls was extended and I was reminded again of the significant value that our board members add in their key governance roles.
Last week also included coaching conversations with Pastor Marvin Lamb (Miami Wesleyan), Pastor Tom Bradley (Huntington Etna Avenue), Pastor Shane Wilson (Columbia City New Hope), Dr. Oliver Dongell (Plymouth), and Pastor Dale Munsell (Albion Cornerstone). Pastor Lamb will be retiring in June after a combined 30 years of pastoring Miami Wesleyan. Rev. Bradley is completing 10 years of ministry in Huntington with 77 new believers baptized during his tenure.
I enjoyed time off on Friday which allowed me to have a lunch date with our daughter, a senior at IWU, and a supper date with Sherry which was followed by a delightful evening in Tipton watching Johnnie & Amanda Blair (pastors at Tipton Trinity Wesleyan) debut in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolored Dreamcoat” with the Tipton Community Theatre. Not only did they perform well but they’re also reaching into another sector of their community. They still have three more performances this coming weekend if you’d like to cheer them on.
Rev. Paul James (lead consultant), Rev. David Dignal and Rev. Chris Williams were in New Castle providing a Maximizing Impact consultation for Pastor Steve Arnett and the Mt Zion Wesleyan Church. I was able to drop in on the leadership training portion of the consultation on Saturday and it was good to see the positive response of Mt. Zion’s leadership team. We are now booking consultation teams for next fall, so let us know if your congregation is ready to take advantage of this helpful district resource.
This week includes a roundtable with apostolic multipliers from the Heartland Region meeting at Cypress Wesleyan in Columbus, Ohio on Monday; Our District is also hosting a Church Planter Assessment Center (CPAC) this week (Monday-Wednesday) led by Rev. Tom and Sarah Cochran. On Thursday, Sherry and I will be hosting the new Discipleship Cohort at Thornapple Lodge and then, on Friday night, we’ll be welcoming the lead pastors and their spouses for the Region 1 South Zone 1 for supper and fellowship.
Don’t forget to mark your calendars and remind your leadership team members to join us on April 21st as we gather in Marion for ReEquip. For details and registration visit our website: http://www.reequipconference.org/
Keep on making a difference in the cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,