Today, April 30, marks the official end of the first conference year for the Crossroads District. I had the privilege of connecting with Dr. Steve DeNeff and the team at College Wesleyan Church in Marion today to bring greetings in their 3 worship services. Dr. DeNeff preached a powerful message from Galatians 4:19 on “being pregnant” with the life of Christ. Watch Pastor Steve’s sermons here: College Wesleyan Church sermons
I made it to Fairmount in time to join Rev. Jeff Luedtke for the dedication of The Branch, a new coffee house/drop-in center they’re planting in the center of the community. This was a big step of faith for Fairmount Wesleyan Church and they did a great job finishing this project. Congratulations to Pastor Jeff and his team for a job well done. The “Grand Opening” will be this Saturday and I know they’d love to have you stop by.
I enjoyed connecting with Pastor Tim McClellan and the team at Marion Lakeview Church to bring greetings at their Local Church Conference. They’ve made good progress this year including a positive financial audit and property updates. I was encouraged to learn more about the Life Center Counseling that provided an average of more than 200 counseling sessions per week last year. Director Dan Seitz is open to conversations with other churches in our district who would have interest in partnering to offer counseling services in their community.
After a meeting with Pastor Clifton Ashlock at Anderson Memorial Circle, I concluded a full day visiting with Rev. Paul Trent in Chesterfield. Pastor Paul has been courageously fighting brain cancer but has taken a turn for the worse over the last few weeks. Hospice care has been initiated. Pastor Paul, his son Sean, and I shared some precious moments singing and praying together.
I joined 30+ leaders from the Crossroads District participating in Exponential, the national conference on church multiplication, hosted at First Baptist Church in Orlando Tuesday through Thursday. Dr. Ed Love and his team hosted pre-conference sessions for 300 Wesleyan leaders on Monday evening and Tuesday morning. We had a great lineup of speakers including our General Superintendent Dr. Wayne Schmidt. The annual EXPY awards was held on Tuesday evening to celebrate the heroes of the Wesleyan multiplication movement.
The keynote speakers at this year’s event included Ed Stetzer, Matt Chandler, Wayne Cordeiro, Jodi Hickerson and Francis Chan. For those who couldn’t join us at the event in Orlando, we invite you to be one of 100 Crossroads leaders to be part of the Exponential Midwest Regional Event in Chicago on November 7 and 8. For more information, visit their website: Exponential Regional Event in Chicago
The last evening of Exponential provided an opportunity for the Crossroads team to host our friends from the Indiana South District for supper. Dr. Mark Eckart, Indiana South’s DS, introduced Rev. and Mrs. Phil Bogear who will be planting in Bloomington, and we introduced Rev. Mike Hewitt who has been recommended by our east zone in Region 2 to plant a new church in Muncie. It was encouraging to listen to the learnings from the sessions we’d attended and then to close our evening in prayer for Harvest laborers. After the final rally on Thursday morning, I was very glad to board a plane to head for home in Indiana!
Sherry and I hosted pastors and spouses from the Lafayette Zone in our home on Friday evening for a time of fellowship and prayer. We so enjoy these special opportunities to build deeper relationships with our team members. Special thanks to Rev. Dan Fisher (Delphi Wesleyan Church) who does a great job leading this zone.
Saturday morning, Jon Wiest (our district multiplication director) and I met with a prospective church planter in Indianapolis who will be graduating from Wesley Seminary this summer. I loved the passion and vision of this brother in Christ and look forward to the possibilities of partnering together.
Saturday afternoon, I caught up with Rev. Paul James and Rev. Chris Williams as they led a Maximizing Impact consultation with Pastor Matthew Stewart and the team at Sweetser Wesleyan Church. It’s been encouraging to see the progress at Sweetser under Pastor Matt’s leadership. There was a good spirit in the room as they explored ways to continue to raise the effectiveness of their ministry. Next weekend, the consultation team will be serving Pastor Lyle Breeding and the team at Bluffton Sonlight Wesleyan.
The General Board of The Wesleyan Church meets this week in Fishers. Please join me in praying that God will meet with these leaders. There are real challenges ahead but amazing opportunities as we partner together in the Harvest!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent
P.S. Just a reminder that we’re hosting a fellowship for our retired (or eligible for retirement) pastors and spouses at the Wesleyan Headquarters on the morning of May 9. Mrs. Raleigh Pedro has sent out the information and we look forward to a special time together with these heroes of our Crossroads District.