Sunday morning, August 21, I was blessed to sit under the ministry of Dr. Jim Lo who was the Bible teacher for the Old Time Camp Meeting at Fairmount Camp. It was also good to connect with my old friend Rev. Greg Reynolds, District Superintendent of the Shenandoah District. Greg and Becky led worship this week and always do a terrific job. I was encouraged to hear the positive report of the services and attendance from Mrs. Angela Spangler, OTCM Director, and to visit briefly with Pastor Al and Ginny Soultz. This event is a wonderful step in expanding the ministry of Fairmount Camp. Thank you to each one who volunteered to make this camp a success.
While I was in Fairmount, Asst. DS Chris Williams was representing the Crossroads District at Chesterton Expansion Church where Pastor Tom Cochrane was hosting Rev. Marc Ulrich, lead planter for Merrillville ReThink Church. Pastor Tom challenged members of the congregation to consider joining the launch team at ReThink Church. Over the last few weeks, three new families have started regularly attending Expansion Church and two families dedicated their children to the Lord this morning. Expansion just completed a basketball camp in partnership with the Boys & Girls Club and had guests checking out the church today from that outreach.
Sunday evening, our family gathered at Stoney Creek Church in Detroit for the East Michigan District Ordination Service. John, our oldest son, and Lindsey, his wife, were ordained in a service that featured an inspiring message by Dr. Wayne Schmidt, General Superintendent. I had the privilege of praying over John and Dr. David Smith (Wesley Seminary) prayed over Lindsey. This is always one of the most significant ministries that we conduct in our church but it took on special meaning for our family this evening. John and Lindsey both serve on staff at Stoney Creek Church with Pastor Steve McCuen. Special thanks to DS Richard Meeks and the East Michigan DBMD for their leadership in this special service.
If what you’re trying to accomplish is small enough you can accomplish it alone…dream bigger! I don’t know who said that first but I do know that it will take a team to accomplish the task of making an impact on the 3 million unreached people in our district.
This was the first week for the new Crossroads District staff to work together. For the past few weeks Mrs. Roxene Lo and I have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of Rev. Chris Williams (Assistant DS) and Mrs. Raleigh Pedro (Executive Ministry Partner/ Hispanic Ministry Coordinator). Monday was our first staff meeting and time for lunch together. It was great to plan and pray together for the first time. Having a district staff with a variety of skills is one of the strengths of our new district. Please know that we value your prayers and are excited about serving you and your team as together we make disciples and multiply churches.
On Monday evening, our Hispanic Zone pastors met at Frankfort First Wesleyan. We always have a great time of fellowship and encouragement (along with delicious meals) but a special highlight of this gathering was welcoming Rev. Ernest Batman, retired Indiana Central DS. Pastor Rodriguez took this opportunity to express his appreciation for the friendship and support of Rev. Batman to the Hispanic ministry in Frankfort. Frankfort First Wesleyan is hosting “Templo de Poder” in their facility and really enjoying their partnership.
Tuesday morning, Pastor Raleigh and I worked out of the office in Fishers. I had the opportunity to connect with Rev. Jesse Pratt and Rev. Mike Black as they were in town for the Church Planter Assessment Center. Tuesday evening, Sherry and I welcomed Rev. Scott and Elizabeth Rhyno and their family for supper as they arrived in Indianapolis. Scott is the new leader for Generous Living initiatives at Wesleyan headquarters. We had the privilege of working with the Rhynos at Kingswood University for 5 years. I know you’ll enjoy getting to know their family and welcoming them to Indiana.
Wednesday morning, I joined the Church Planters Assessment Center (CPAC) for the project presentations. It was insightful to hear the two teams bring church planting proposals for Plainfield and Fishers. John and Danielle Freed also served at this week’s session of CPAC. Wednesday afternoon, I met with the Pastor Steve Martin and the staff of Sheridan Six Points Wesleyan Church as they make plans to participate in a Maximizing Impact Consultation later this fall. I closed out the day meeting with one of our pastoral couples back at the office in Fishers.
Thursday morning, I was blessed to connect with Dr. Tim Roehl. Tim and Shirley, his wife, now serve with OMS but for several years Tim helped to lead coaching and church multiplication efforts for our denomination. In the afternoon, I met with Tom Flanagan, a Christian businessman in the Indy area to prepare for an upcoming ministry opportunity.
Friday morning, I was in Marion to sign closing documents with Pastor Brent Miller as Gas City Southside Wesleyan Church took the positive step of acquiring adjacent property. In addition to leading a growing church and growing family, Pastor Brent found time to complete his undergraduate degree this summer at Indiana Wesleyan University. Congratulations, Pastor Miller!
I met with Rev. Ron & Joy Weller on Friday for an exploratory conversation. Ron and Joy have deep roots in our district and are seeking God’s direction for next steps in ministry.
I finished Friday back in Fishers with Dr. Norman Wilson for a coaching conversation with one of our Hispanic leaders. Dr. Wilson is a dear brother and valued member of the Crossroads District team serving on our DBA. He and Kim, his wife, invest deeply in the lives and ministries of our Hispanic congregations.
(For those who are helping to hold me accountable, I did take the day off on Saturday.)
This week I’m looking forward to beginning “Coaching Conversations” with our pastors. These conversations are helpful for me in understanding the joys and challenges of our local church leaders here in the Crossroads District. Rev. Chris Williams and Dr. David Smith, our new DBMD Chair, will convene a meeting of DBMD leaders to begin mapping out our pathway to ordination in the expanded district.
I love reading reports of what God is doing across our district. Please feel free to post stories and pictures on our Facebook page so we can rejoice together. I’ve already heard about baptism services yesterday at LifeWay Church in New Haven, from Waterline Church in Noblesville, and from Lancaster Wesleyan Church. Keep on making a difference in the cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,