Sunday morning, Sherry and I worshiped with Pastor Jordan and Karen Gardner and the launch team at Westfield Paradox Church. Eighteen adults gathered for planning and training as they prepare for a spring launch. Our time together concluded with Holy Communion. Sherry and I had the privilege of hosting the Gardners for lunch. Please keep this team in your prayers as they build bridges to the unreached in their community.
Last evening, I joined Pastor Steve Martin and the wonderful folks at Sheridan Six Points Wesleyan Church for the Town Hall that is held as a follow-up to the Maximizing Impact consultation our team conducted on the first weekend of November. These town halls are helpful opportunities for conversation and clarification as the congregation prayerfully considers their response to the consultation team’s prescriptions.
One of the realities of being a district superintendent is leading or attending meetings. Some people might see that as an occupational hazard of denominational service. I see meetings as an opportunity. When you have the right people in the room working on things that really matter, board meetings are anything but boring!
I had the privilege this week of attending the General Board meeting for The Wesleyan Church (Monday night – Wednesday noon). Dr. Wayne Schmidt, our new General Superintendent, put together an engaging agenda for our time together. The Executive Cabinet has been working diligently since General Conference. It was encouraging to see the synergy and alignment that has already developed among this leadership team. The priorities that have emerged from the last months of focused prayer are: 1) discipleship and 2) multiplication.
One of the phrases they shared that captures this focus is: “Celebrating every time a disciple makes a disciple and a church multiplies its ministry until The Wesleyan Church is a faithful presence in every zip code.” I am enthusiastic about the unity and clarity coming out of this meeting of the General Board.
Thursday, our Crossroads District Board of Administration met at HQ in Fishers. We have a wonderful team of representatives from across our district. They invested quality time in discussing and then adopting a policy governance model. This model is familiar as the alternative LBA model in the Discipline and is sometimes known as the Carver or Kaiser model. The model calls for the Board to clarify mission, set guidelines and hold the leader accountable for results. You’ll be hearing more about this as we move toward district conference. We also received multiple reports and approved new staff appointments including Seth Merrill joining Pastor Don Bayne’s team at New Carlisle and Zach Miller joining the Pastor Steve Martin’s staff at Sheridan Six Points.
Friday evening, Sherry and I participated in the UnStuck Group consultation that Assistant DS Chris Williams and Rev. Jason Tash led for Noblesville Waterline Church. This intensive strategic planning process engaged 15 of Waterline’s leaders in 18 intense hours of evaluation and assessment to set the course for the next season of ministry for this young church. Pastor John and Danielle Freed have done a remarkable job leading this ministry to vitality and great days are ahead.
Saturday morning, several of our Hispanic ministry leaders joined me at Marion College Wesleyan for an inspiring conversation with Pastor Alex (Alejandro) Sicilia. Pastor Sicilia leads a dynamic ministry in Mexico City that partners with Pastor Steve DeNeff and College Wesleyan. One of the key ingredients of his ministry is a clear and intentional path of discipleship and leadership development. After the meeting, I hosted our team for lunch and continued the conversation about Hispanic ministry opportunities here in Indiana. Dr. Norman Wilson and Mrs. Raleigh Pedro are a tremendous blessing to have on our Crossroads team to serve our Hispanic congregations.
Saturday afternoon, I had the joy of visiting with Pastor Paul Trent as he’s home recovering from intensive cancer treatments. Pastor Paul and Patty are standing strong in faith and are counting on your prayers. They both gave testimony to the many ways that God has been proving Himself to be faithful in this valley!
In other developments across our district team, Pastor Jerry Alexander led the Anderson Central Wesleyan Church in a Homecoming Celebration with Rev. Keith Hinton and Tom Hinton as special guests. At last count, more than 220 folks had gathered for this special celebration.
Pastor Marc Ulrich and the team at Merrillville ReThink Church hosted a preview gathering last evening. They are gaining momentum as they prepare to launch in the new year. Please keep Pastor Marc and Heather in your prayers!
Pastor Ben Capshaw and the team at Elwood Central Wesleyan are making progress on the reconstruction of their sanctuary after significant deterioration had forced them to meet in the fellowship hall for several months. The church continued to grow in the midst of this difficulty but everyone is excited to see this project completed.
Thank you for all you do to advance the Kingdom!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent