Team Update - 9.25.17
Maximizing Impact Is In Full Swing
The Maximizing Impact Team, led by Paul James, held the first consultation weekend of the fiscal year at Etna Avenue Wesleyan Church in Huntington.
The weekend kicked off on Friday, September 15. The team interviewed Pastor Tom Bradley and a dozen leaders from the church. That evening, a focus group of 11 individuals shared their perspective on their church. The interviews and focus group, along with the substantial self-study report the church submitted to the team, form the basis for the consultation report.
Saturday was a day of training in key principles for church health and missional ministry. Over 20 leaders attended this training, and as is often the case, God’s Spirit moved in a powerful way during that time. All those present were challenged and inspired to give themselves fully to the work of making more and better disciples.
The weekend concluded on Sunday with the morning worship service and the reading of the consultation report. The church is now in a time of prayerful consideration. On October 1, the church will have a town hall meeting to discuss the report, and on October 15 the congregation will vote to determine whether or not to proceed with the prescriptions offered in the report.
The Maximizing Impact Team is busy this fall with consultation weekends scheduled for Frankfort First (September 29-October 1), Elwood Central (October 13-15), and Jonesboro Main Street (October 27-29). Lift these congregations in prayer as they engage this process to move their church to the next level of health and missional effectiveness.
If your church is interested in scheduling a Maximizing Impact Weekend, we only have two weekends left for the 2017-2018 fiscal year. Contact Chris Williams to learn more about the process and to reserve one of the remaining dates.
Maximizing Impact Huddle
This past week we launched the Maximizing Impact Huddle. This is a gathering for lead pastors of churches that have hosted a Maximizing Impact Weekend. The huddle will meet a few times each year for a time of fellowship, training, and encouragement.
On Wednesday, September 20, we hosted our first huddle at Eastview Wesleyan Church in Gas City. The group shared ministry updates and spent time resourcing each other with ideas and best practices for attracting new guests to church and developing their connection ministries. We also spent time discussing the implementation of the Accountable Leadership Model as a way to align the organizational structure and ministry programming with the mission of the church.
We were privileged to have Rev. Rick Kavanaugh from the Trinity Wesleyan Church in Greenville, Ohio and Rev. Rick Deisler from Whiteford Wesleyan Church in Ottawa Lake, Michigan join us for this event. Both of these pastors have gone through the Maximizing Impact consultation in their respective districts. We welcomed their insights and learnings from the process. Rev. Paul James, our lead consultant for Maximizing Impact, also made arrangements to be with us for the day.
Upcoming Regional Gatherings
The Fall Regional Gatherings for pastors and staff of Crossroads District Churches are coming up next week! This is a great opportunity for networking, story-sharing, vision casting, and prayer. At each gathering, those in attendance will receive a free resource created by Tony Morgan from The Unstuck Group. Each person in attendance will also be entered in a drawing to win a free ticket for the 2018 Global Leadership Summit.
If you are a pastor or staff member at a church in the Crossroads District, join us at one of the Regional Gatherings.
Region 1 Fall Gathering
Monday, October 2, 9:00 - 11:30 am
The River Community Church
759 S. Lenfesty Avenue
Marion, IN 46953
Region 2 Fall Gathering
Tuesday, October 3, 1:30 - 3:00 pm
Trinity Church | NE Indy
9709 Allisonville Road
Indianapolis, IN 46250
Region 3 Fall Gathering
Wednesday, October 4, 1:30 - 3:00 pm
100 West 3rd Street
Rochester, IN 46975
Join over 50 other Crossroads District pastors and leaders at the Regional Exponential Conference in Chicago on November 7th and 8th. This conference will be an incredible opportunity to connect with other pastors, be inspired in the areas of disciple making and church planting, and enjoy a great time of fellowship. Registration is normally $129 per ticket but through a district grant, is now offered for ONLY $30!
The Crossroads District group is planning to have lunch on site after the conference on Wednesday (included in registration) to debrief and hear a brief word from Dave and John Ferguson, the founders of Exponential!
CLICK HERE to register today. Please note: This offer closes on October 17th.
To reserve your hotel room CLICK HERE. Make sure you use our group code: G-CRDI
Thank You for Your Hurricane Relief Efforts
Thank you to all of our Crossroads District churches who partnered with World Hope by bringing supplies to World Gospel Mission earlier in September! 10 pallets of supplies are on their way to Port Arthur, Texas to provide assistance in the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.
Many churches across the district rallied their congregations to support the relief efforts in a variety of ways. Thank you for your sensitivity and responsiveness to be the body of Christ in the midst of tragedy and crisis!
Happy 10th and 120th Anniversaries!
This weekend marked significant milestones in the life of two of our Crossroads District churches. Sunday morning, I was with Pastor Don Bayne and the team at New Carlisle Wesleyan Church as they celebrated their 120th anniversary. This congregation was launched as a result of a revival back in 1897 and relocated to their present location in 2002 under the leadership of Rev. Bayne (pastor since 1995).
Today, the church is effectively ministering to their community (16 professions of faith and 12 baptisms last year) and looking to extend their Kingdom impact to surrounding communities through church planting partnerships in South Bend and a new campus in a nearby community. It was a special joy to see Rev. Richard and Eula Carr who pastored the church from 1955-1965.
Harvest Church in McCordsville celebrated their 10th Anniversary this weekend. Pastor Brad & Heidi LeRoy stepped out in faith with a committed team to reach this growing community on the northeast side of Indianapolis. Today, Harvest ministers to more than 300 in their community (36 professions and 22 baptisms last year) with a heart for the world. They threw an amazing block party on Saturday to mark this special occasion!
Our district office team met on Monday morning and then I jumped on to the Zoom meeting with Dr. Wayne Schmidt and several DS colleagues. The rest of the afternoon was invested with Rev. Chris Williams and Seth Bye in planning for upcoming meetings.
Tuesday included a breakfast meeting with Dr. Jim Vermilya and VP John Jones to explore the potential of a “Church Planter in Residence” partnership at IWU. Coaching conversations on Tuesday included meeting with Rev. Steve Colter (Chapel Pike Wesleyan) and Rev. Steve Fletcher (Nelson Street Wesleyan). Later that day I was able to jump in on a zone DBMD meeting led by Rev. Rick Carder. Tuesday evening, I was with Rev. Ervin Webster and the congregation of St. Stephen’s Church that has been meeting at Warren Park Wesleyan Church. It was encouraging to hear more about their vision and to explore the future possibilities of ministering together.
Wednesday included coaching conversations with Rev. Brad LeRoy (Harvest Church) and Rev. Bill Carpenter (Beech Grove Wesleyan). I met with Dr. Dennis Jackson on Wednesday afternoon for final prep as we head this week to Xai Xai Bible College in Mozambique. Wednesday evening, Sherry and I joined President Dr. David and Helen Wright for the closing rally of Summit, the campus-wide spiritual life emphasis at IWU. Dr. Dwight Robertson shared a passionate call to live with “a heart on fire and a life on purpose.” Dwight is an ordained minister in our Crossroads District who leads FORGE, an equipping ministry raising up laborers for the Harvest. You can find out more about the powerful team at their website: https://forgeforward.org/
We had a great meeting of our ReEquip planning team on Thursday morning. Rev. Amanda Blair is leading the team in designing a district-wide “all hands on deck” training opportunity on April 21. Mark your calendar and plan to join us in Marion.
Coaching conversations on Thursday afternoon included Pastor Johnnie Blair (Tipton Trinity) and Pastor Ben Capshaw (Elwood Central). Both of these ministries are seeing God work in unusual ways. Elwood Central has grown from 25 to 100 in the past few years (in spite of having their building condemned for 2 years) and Tipton Trinity celebrated 65 professions of faith and 28 baptisms last year.
Thursday evening, I drove to Cincinnati for a Friday morning meeting hosted by Greater Ohio DS Les Crossfield. Many of you will be aware that there are ongoing conversations across our denomination about the potential for creating regional partnerships. Dr. Mark Eckart (Indiana South DS), Rev. Aaron Sherman (KY-TN DS) and I joined Rev. Crossfield for a productive exploratory conversation about our shared values and possible ways we might better serve one another in reaching the heartland of America.
Saturday, I had the privilege of joining Dr. Jim Lo’s DBMD team at Brookhaven Wesleyan Church for a positive round of interviews with ministerial students. It was a special joy to pray for Titus Romdehn as he and Jewel prepare to leave for ministry in Cambodia.
Rev. Chris Williams was busy this weekend with Rev. Paul James (lead consultant) and Rev. Mark Atkinson serving the leadership team at Huntington Etna Avenue Wesleyan Church in a Maximizing Impact consultation. We only have two dates left for church consultations in this conference year so please contact our office ASAP if you’d like to welcome a team to help your church increase its Great Commission effectiveness.
Sherry and I welcome your prayers as we travel to Mozambique with Dr. Dennis and Gwen Jackson for ministry at the Bible college and with district leaders. I’ll be back in the district after September 27 but Rev. Chris Williams will keep things moving forward while we’re out of the county.
Thank you again for all you do to advance the cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,
Sherry and I had the privilege of worshiping with Pastor Doug and Cheryl Sharrard and their team at Lancaster Wesleyan Church (south of Huntington). One of the highlights today was Pastor Doug honoring Rev. William Babb, his friend and long-time mentor.
Rev. Babb celebrated his 95th birthday this week! He still drives and also leads the weekly prayer meeting at his church. It was a joy to hear him read Psalm 100 and share words of encouragement. The congregation had a fellowship lunch and birthday cake after the service to mark this special occasion with Rev. Babb. Another highlight of the service was the special offering for hurricane relief with more than $700 donated!
Fairmount Camp hosted the Married Couples Retreat this weekend with Rev. John & Daniel Freed as the keynote speakers. I dropped in on the Saturday morning session and was encouraged by the good attendance and time of worship led by Michael Wood. John and Danielle did a great job teaching on the priority and practices of strengthening and defending your marriage.
Tuesday morning, I met with Pastor John Freed and a team at Waterline Church in Fishers for a future-focused conversation. Tuesday afternoon, I visited with Pastor Mike and Kim Hewitt in Muncie to check on Mike’s recovery from his surgery last week. Mike’s healing well but may have an additional surgery later this month, so he continues to welcome your prayers. Tuesday evening, I met with Rev. Duane Summit (pastor of Fishersburg Wesleyan Church) for our annual coaching conversation.
Wednesday morning, Pastor Dan Van Cise (Marion 8th Street) and I met for our annual coaching conversation. I met with Rev. Mike Colaw, our Region 2 Assistant District Superintendent, for an update on his coaching with pastors. Wednesday afternoon, I connected with Allen Gross, our supply pastor at Cicero Wesleyan Church, for our first coaching conversation.
Wednesday evening, I met with Pastor Dan Ecakart and the LBA at Warren Park Wesleyan Church in Indianapolis. The board has been wrestling with the downturn in attendance and giving as members have moved away from the area.
After prayer and a frank discussion, the LBA voted to recommend to the LCC (Local Church Conference) that Warren Park’s ministry conclude on October 1. The LCC will convene next Sunday to vote on that recommendation. Warren Park also hosts two other congregations, St. Stephens and a Hispanic congregation. Every effort will be made to work with these teams to see their ministry continue in this community.
Thursday morning, I met with Pastor Ken Dykhoff and Rev. Shawnda Dykhoff at Jonesboro Main Street Wesleyan to learn more about the new outreach ministry they’ve created to serve teenagers in the Jonesboro community. The next meeting was in South Bend with Rev. Don Bayne and the pastors of the Region 3 Plymouth Zone who are partnering to launch a new church plant in South Bend. Pastor Terry and Lennaire Vaughn hosted the group at the South Bend Library and shared about disciple-making initiatives they’re leading in preparation for the launch of The Bridge Urban Church.
Thursday evening, I joined with Dr. Paul Garverick and Rev. Steve Nelson as they hosted an IWU Pastors Partnership event at the Indianapolis westside campus. Rev. Neftali Lopez, pastor at Carmel Amistad Iglesia and chaplain at IWU’s Greenwood and Indy West campus, shared the ministry vision and Dr. Garverick shared testimonies of how God has worked in the lives of students in these adult programs.
Friday was a chance to catch up on correspondence before helping Sherry get ready to host our next zone fellowship. Friday evening, Sherry and I were delighted to welcome six couples from the Madison County Zone. These are always precious times of fellowship and prayer and Friday night was no exception. There really is something unique and meaningful about those who share ministry and the fellowship of the cross.
Rev. Jim Bretzinger, retired Crossroads District pastor who last served at our church in Fowler, passed away early Saturday morning. Our sympathy and prayers are extended to Mrs. Debra Bretzinger, Jim’s wife, and their family. Pastoral Joe Park had recently welcomed Jim and Debra as members of Lafayette Evergreen Wesleyan Church and was providing pastoral care to the family along with Pastor Steve Sparks (Monon Wesleyan). Funeral arrangements are yet to be announced but will be forwarded to the team.
Our churches continue to respond to the relief and recovery efforts in Texas and Florida. What a blessing that The Wesleyan Church has our own relief agency partnership with World Hope International that offers relief and aid in the name of Christ. Learn more about how you and your church can be involved:
Keep on making a difference in the cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent
Happy Labor Day / Cornerstone
According to this ABC News story, “Americans work more than anyone in the industrialized world.” Thank you to all the women and men across the Crossroads District team who “work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, and not for men.” Colossians 3:23 (NIV)
Sunday, September 3, Sherry and I had the privilege of worshiping with Pastor Dale and Lori Munsell and the fine folks at Albion Cornerstone Wesleyan Church. I brought the morning message and joined the LBA in installing Rev. Munsell on behalf of our Crossroads District team. Pastor Dale is off to a great start following the long and effective ministry of Rev. George and Tawne Cecil.
Cornerstone also has a Christian academy that has served their community for over 15 years. This year they have more than 60 students enrolled. Pastor Dale took us on a tour of the school facilities and then I led a brief LBA meeting before we shared lunch in the fellowship hall. The most exciting news was that Cornerstone is making disciples with 4 already toward their goal of 25 this conference year!
Monday and Tuesday were office days with a staff meeting in Marion and then catching up with email and phone calls. It’s a joy to work alongside Chris Williams, Roxene Lo, and Seth Bye as we serve the district team.
Wednesday morning, I attended the funeral for Rev. Joe Parks father, Joseph Parks, at the Evergreen Wesleyan Church in Lafayette. Pastor Parks led a beautiful celebration of this life that was well-lived for God. One of the special moments of the service was the choir assembled from friends and family members to honor Brother Park’s request. He’d always loved church choirs and asked if they could have one at his funeral.
I traveled on to Indianapolis for a meeting with Jon Wiest and Dave Bever over lunch to interview a prospective church planting couple as we explore the possibility of partnering with CrossLink Church to plant a new campus in Speedway. Then I finished the day in our Fishers office meeting with Pastor Dan Eckart and leaders from Warren Park Wesleyan Church.
Thursday morning, I was in Westfield to view the property improvements as Pastor Jordan Gardner and the team are preparing for their next outreach weekend. I shared lunch with Jordan and Karen (great home-made chili) and enjoyed hearing about the connections they’re making with unchurch people in their community.
Thursday evening, I met with the LBA at Parkview Wesleyan Church in Chesterfield as they continue their pastoral search process. Rev. Bob Van Cise is an incredible blessing to the congregation during this transition and community ministry continues with 88 people signing information cards during their July 4 outreach. They’re also serving 15-18 teenagers and 20+ children from the community in their midweek ministries.
Friday morning, I was in Hartford City to meet with one of our ministerial students who is answering God’s call later in life and looking toward future ministry possibilities.
On Saturday morning, Rev. Chris Williams led an evangelism/faith-sharing seminar for Bluffton Wesleyan Church. This training event was one of the prescriptions from their Maximizing Impact Consultation. We’re excited for the 8 new churches that have already signed up for the consultations that we’ll be doing this conference year. The local church is God’s plan A for changing the world.
We continued to hear encouraging baptism reports from across the district. Pastor Tom Bradley reports 5 baptisms in 3 weeks at the Huntington Etna Avenue Wesleyan Church and Pastor Alan Downing reports that Frankfort First Wesleyan recently celebrated 5 baptisms and welcomed 4 new adult members along with 6 new student members.
Do continue to pray for and support the relief efforts in Texas. The Wesleyan Church is once again partnering with World Hope International to respond to this crisis. Here’s the link for more information: https://www.worldhope.org/hurricane-harvey
Bryant Wesleyan Church, as announced last month, and Marion Lakeview Wesleyan Church are both hosting the upcoming Beth Moore simulcast. For information about the Bryant location, call Angelyn Van Cise (260-997-6231) and for more information about the Lakeview location, visit their website: http://www.lakeviewwesleyan.org/livingproof/
This Friday evening, September 8, the senior/lead pastors from the Madison County will be gathering at our home from 6 to 9 p.m. Before the conference year is over, Sherry and I look forward to hosting the senior/lead pastors from every zone for a time of food, fellowship, and encouragement so stay tuned for your invitation!
Thank you for all you do to advance the Kingdom!
Your servant in Christ,