Sunday morning, June 16, I worshiped with Pastor Dale Munsell and the team at Cornerstone Wesleyan Church as they honored fathers. Cornerstone is another of our country churches, located 8 miles south of Albion and 10 miles north of Columbia City.
Pastor Dale and Lori are originally from our district and after serving for many years in Illinois, Rev. Munsell came back home to pastor Cornerstone in 2017. In addition to the active ministries of the church, they also have a Christian school. Last year they averaged 55 in worship with 6 baptisms and 27 professions of faith. Cailtyn Alvord assists Pastor Dale with worship and youth ministry. After the service, I held a brief meeting with the LBA and affirmed the progress they’re making on the Maximizing Impact plan.
Youth camps were in full swing across our district last week. We had over 300 students (combined total) meeting in three locations, at Hanging Rock Camp near Lafayette, Never the Same Camp at IWU, and the Junior High Camp at Fairmount. Monday, I dropped in at Fairmount for the first day of a busy week. Rev. Levi Lehman (Assistant Pastor at Shiloh Wesleyan) looked like he had everything under control when I caught up with him on the athletic field.
This year’s theme at Fairmount is “FearLess” and Rev. Jeff Brady reported that counselors recorded 46 decisions for professions of faith or rededications for this week of junior high camp.
Monday afternoon, I met with Rev. Matthew Trexler, pastor at The River Church in Marion, for our annual coaching conversation. I’m grateful for Pastor Matthew’s leadership in his local congregation and for the way he invests in other leaders as our Assistant DS for Region 1.
Tuesday morning, I met with our district staff in Marion, before heading to Fort Wayne to connect with Pastor Heath Croft (Level 13 Church) for our annual coaching conversation. My final stop on Tuesday was an evening meeting with Pastor Lee Miller and the LBA team at Memorial Drive Wesleyan Church in Muncie as they consider Maximizing Impact and future ministry opportunities. I learned from Pastor Lee that two people came to Christ the Sunday that Assistant DS Chris Williams was there to preach and they’ll be among the 9 people being baptized at MDWC in the next month.
*** If your church would like to know more about Maximizing Impact, check out this article from Pastor Steve Arnett about Mt. Zion Wesleyan Church’s experience:
Wednesday morning, I met with a potential church planter in Marion before heading north to meet with Pastor Rich Van Vuren (Plymouth Shiloh Wesleyan) for our annual coaching conversation. Rich shared an encouraging update including the story of a man that he recently led to Christ and about the 5 people they have preparing for baptism.
Wednesday evening, I was in Indianapolis for the well-attended Wednesday evening prayer service at Central Wesleyan Church. Rev. Darrel Herring and his wife used to travel as song evangelists and accompanied the singing for the prayer service. Hearing them play together stirred fond memories of my father and mother doing the same.
After the prayer service, I met with Central’s leadership team in the fellowship hall. Like many urban congregations, Central Wesleyan is facing some critical decisions about its ministry future as the community around it changes rapidly.
Thursday morning, I joined Rev. Chris Williams and the District Conference planning team as they confirmed some final details for our gathering this weekend. Then, Assistant DS Trexler and I met with Rev. Aldean Pablo over lunch for an update on his strategic action plan to make disciples and build a team for planting a new congregation called “SEND Church” on the southwest side of Fort Wayne. Later on Thursday afternoon, I met with Pastor Nicholas Zarate in Anderson for a church multiplication conversation.
My last meeting of the day was with Rev. David Shafer (pastor of North Anderson Wesleyan Church) for our annual coaching conversation. He and his team are working together to implement their Maximizing Impact plan. A highlight of our conversation was celebrating with Pastor David over the eight teenagers who’ve given their lives to Christ at NAWC since November 2018.
Friday morning, Chris and I met for our weekly check-in and then we were joined for lunch by Michael Colaw (Assistant DS for Region 2), and Matthew Trexler (Assistant DS for Region 1) for a vision alignment conversation. Chris, Mike, and Matthew have all developed unique approaches to leadership development and multiplication mapping in their respective regions. It was good for us to compare notes on last year’s progress and to build alignment toward our district goal of seeing at least 10 new Kingdom communities launched each year while raising up 100 new disciple-making leaders.
My last stop on Friday was at the closing rally for the first week of Never The Same camp at IWU. Charlie Alcock was the main rally speaker for the week and I always appreciate hearing his heart for mobilizing the next generation. Rev. Jeff Eckart and his team are building momentum for a nationwide prayer gathering for students in Kansas City next summer, July 4th weekend, called Claim Your Campus 2020. To learn more, visit their website: CLAIM YOUR CAMPUS 2020
District Conference week is one of the highlights of our Crossroads District calendar. We will gather in Marion on the campus of Indiana Wesleyan University at the Philippe Performing Arts Center on Friday evening, June 21, for the Ordination Service led by General Superintendent Dr. Wayne Schmidt. All ordained ministers gather at 6:30 p.m. for our annual group photo (formal attire) and then to line up for the procession. All guests should be in their seats before 7 p.m.
Doors open for District Conference on Saturday at 8 a.m. in the Philippe Performing Arts Center again with the first session commencing at 9. We are pleased to have Dr. Wayne Schmidt, our GS and a member of our district conference, to be present with us for these sessions. We would all be grateful if you would take time this week and join us in praying for God to have His way in our deliberations and elections.
Your servant in Christ,