Sunday morning, I had the privilege of worshiping with Pastor Paul Walden and the congregation of 18th Street Wesleyan Church in Muncie. This is one of our smaller congregations but they make up in prayerfulness what they may lack in size. I arrived in time for the Sunday School class taught by Brother Pope, a faithful 84 years young. After preaching the message, I was invited to share a pitch-in luncheon with the congregation.
Last week began with Monday’s staff meeting in Marion and then a meeting with Zach Coffin at HQ in Fishers. Zach is the newest member of the Church Multiplication and Discipleship (CMAD) team leading the next generation ministries (youth and children) for our denomination. I know you’ll enjoy getting to know Zach and Becca, his wife who is also an ordained minister.
Tuesday, I was back in Marion for the organizational meeting of our Crossroads District Multiplication Team. Pastor Jon Wiest (Indy Trinity) leads this team with includes a church multiplication champion in each region. Region 1 is represented by Rob Tippey (Fort Wayne Level 13), Region 2 is represented by John Freed (Noblesville Waterline), and Region 3 is represented by Tom Cochran (Chesterton Expansion). Matthew Trexler (Marion River) champions our recruitment connection with IWU and Raleigh Pedro (Sheridan Six Points) champions our connection with Hispanic church planters. We were delighted that Dr. Ed Love, new Church Multiplication Director at CMAD, could join us for this session.
The next key connection for our pastors and ministerial students will be the Church Multiplication event at Wesley Seminary with Pastor Mike Hilson on January 13 and 14. Please plan to join us for this important conversation as we work together to plant 100 new Kingdom communities in the next 10 years.
Leadership development is another key ingredient to accomplishing our mission. We’re working together to equip and deploy 1000 new disciple-making leaders by 2025. More than 100 ministerial students are already in the Crossroads District leadership pipeline.
On Tuesday evening, I met with Dr. Richard Schenck and the Board of Ministerial Development at Noblesville Lakeview Wesleyan in Region 2. This terrific team will be working with ministerial students in the Indianapolis region.
Our district staff worked through noon on Wednesday before commencing for the Thanksgiving break. I trust you and your loved ones enjoyed a Happy Thanksgiving. This uniquely American tradition is rooted in gratitude to God, that most biblical of values. It is also a wonderful opportunity to connect with family and friends.
Sherry and I were blessed to have all of our children together in our home for the first time in 18 months. We made memories together running the Noblesville Turkey Trot 5k on Thursday morning, sharing a wonderful meal together in the afternoon, and then closing out the day together at the Colts-Steelers game. We squeezed lots of laughter into 48 hours. As exciting as it is to have them come home, it is always bittersweet saying good-bye on Saturday as they headed back to their places of ministry.
While we all have much for which to be thankful, this Thanksgiving we were also reminded of just how fragile life is when we received news that Pastor Duane and Cindy Summit’s granddaughter, Mecenzie, passed away from injuries sustained in the traffic accident mentioned in our previous update. Funeral arrangements are not yet set but your prayers are appreciated for Mecenzie Bickel’s parents, Bobby and April, and her extended family.
We are also requesting prayer for Mrs. Becky Bannach, wife of Rev. David Bannach (Assistant Pastor at Hartford City). Becky is in the hospital in Potsdam, New York after surviving an auto accident that totaled her vehicle. Here is a note that Pastor David shared on Facebook:
“Thank you everyone for the continued prayers for Rebecca Farrey Bannach. I arrived at the hospital around 515pm. She is doing fairly well, though she is not out of the woods yet. I spoke with doctor via phone and he said that there are several internal injuries that they are monitoring to make sure they don’t get any worse. Please continue to pray for her comfort and recovery. Appreciate prayers for the kids as well. Thank you.”
This coming weekend, Pastor Chris and I will be part of the Maximizing Impact consultation serving Pastor Ryan Budde and the leadership team at Jonesboro Westview Wesleyan Church. Pray that this will be an encouraging and insightful weekend for this congregation.
Thank you for all you do to advance the Kingdom!
Your servant in Christ,