Last week kicked off with Exponential in Orlando. I flew down on Monday for an evening event hosted by The Wesleyan Church which featured presentations by multipliers from across our movement. The Crossroads District was well represented that evening with Danielle and John Freed serving on one of the panels.
More than 400 Wesleyans gathered at Exponential this year making us one of the largest groups represented at this national conference. Tuesday morning, Dr. Wayne Schmidt and Dr. Ed Love rallied our team in a pre-conference event with the call to sharpen our focus on making disciples and multiplying congregations to close the Gospel gap. We are making progress but the need has been expanding faster than we’ve been planting.
The regular conference began at noon on Tuesday and concluded at noon on Thursday. The Crossroads District had more than 50 participants so Assistant DS Chris Williams, District Multiplication Director Michael Hewitt, and Seth Bye hosted a supper event for our team in Disney Springs on Wednesday evening. The largest delegation from our district came with Pastor Terry Vaughn and The Bridge Urban Church in South Bend.
In addition to a strong turnout in Orlando, several of our pastors took time to watch the event free online. I flew back early on Wednesday and also watched from home. We will have the digital all-access pass available at the district office if you were unable to attend Exponential 2019 and would like to watch the sessions.
Thursday, I was in Marion for a lunch meeting with a prospective pastor before meeting with a potential church planter and his sending church pastor. Friday morning, I was in Indianapolis to meet with an out-of-state pastor who is feeling called to inner city ministry. Friday afternoon, I stopped by Brookhaven Church to extend condolences on behalf of our district family to Pastor Rob Tippey on the passing of his grandfather, Dr. Byron Tippey. The memorial service was held at Brookhaven on Saturday morning.
Friday evening, Sherry and I hosted the pastors and spouses from the Fort Wayne Zone. We had a great time of fellowship and prayer with these leaders. We also talked about potential church planting partnerships ahead for greater Fort Wayne.
Saturday morning, I joined Assistant DS Mike Colaw as he convened the pastors of Region 2 for a delicious breakfast followed by encouraging time of worship and fellowship. It was exciting to hear about the doors for ministry that God is opening in the inner city, in prisons, in schools and in nursing homes. I celebrate the spiritual entrepreneurship and collaboration that is being unleashed as we step out in faith to follow Christ into His harvest field here in Indiana. Special thanks to Pastor Colaw and his team (especially Barb) for graciously hosting!
This weekend marked our 35th Anniversary so Sherry and I drove to Grand Rapids on Saturday evening to be with some of our children and with Rev. Steve and Beth (Gorveatte) Jones, my sister and her husband. We were married on March 10, 1984 and they were married on March 10, 1986. Sunday morning was a special highlight for us as we worshiped at Journey Church in Caledonia, Michigan. Sherry and I had the joy of helping to launch Journey Church in our living room while I was serving as District Superintendent in West Michigan. Now, Joel (our youngest son) serves on staff at Journey with founding pastor Rev. Jon Allen. Joel brought the morning message and Christie, his wife, led the worship team. We are thankful for all of God’s blessings but nothing means more to us than watching our children follow God.
The countdown is on to ReEquip (April 6), the Prayer Retreat (April 12-13) and Easter (April 21). We are delighted to welcome Rev. Mike & Tina Hilson as our guest speakers at ReEquip. God has been working through them to write a miracle story at the New Life Network in LaPlata, Maryland. We also have breakout sessions planned for your children and youth workers all together at Brookhaven Wesleyan Church in Marion, so please don’t come alone. Register your group today!
This is pastoral vote season in our district and I received word that Winchester Wesleyan Church voted unanimously yesterday for Pastor Randy Yaryan to continue his service for another four years. Dr. Jim Lo has been leading a revitalization initiative at Chesterfield Parkview Wesleyan Church which included a succession plan. Yesterday, Parkview Wesleyan Church voted unanimously to call Rev. Jeremy Armiger as their next lead pastor. Dr. Jim Lo has agreed to join Jeremy’s staff as they continue moving the church forward in reaching their community for Christ. Pictured below is Dr. Lo and the congregation praying over the Armigers as they accepted this call to lead.
Please remember our Church Planters Boot Camp in your prayers this week (Friday and Saturday in Fishers). Pastor John and Danielle Freed do a terrific job in helping our prospective planters develop strategic plans for effectively making disciples and establishing new churches among unreached people in our mission field. Pray that God will anoint and empower these sessions!
Keep on making a difference in the cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent