Happy New Year! It’s always exciting to launch into a new year of ministry. Sunday morning, January 6, Sherry and I had the privilege of worshiping with Pastor Brent and Naomi Miller and the welcoming congregation at Southside Wesleyan Church in Gas City. After the service, I held a brief meeting with the Local Board of Administration.
Pastor Brent is completing his sixth year of ministry as lead pastor after a season on staff with Pastor Mark Atkinson at Eastview Wesleyan. Pastor Brent is one of our effective bi-vocational pastors. Southside is his home church so he’s navigated some unique challenges as he’s led the church from averaging 40 to running more than 70. They’ve made positive improvements in the ministry and facility. One of their recent initiatives was to host a community outreach event called: Who-Bilation.
The team worked hard to pull off this special event and were blown away when the community responded with more than 500 attending. Pray for Pastor Brent and the Southside team as they follow-up on some new friends and reach out to their community.
The last Sunday of the year, I had the privilege of worshiping with Pastor Franz & Yuldia Gonzalez at Vida y Esperanza. Pastor Frank and his family received immigration status in the USA among the many thousands who have fled the socialist regime in Venezuela. They came to Goshen, Indiana, with little but their vibrant faith in Christ. In March, 2016, Pastor Franz gathered the first small group in his home. Today, they worship in rented space with as many as 60 people now comprising the congregation. Through our mutual friend in Elkhart, Pastor Eliorgy Guerrero, Pastor Gonzalez and this Goshen congregation are taking steps to joining our Crossroads District team. Pray that God will bless their outreach to the growing Hispanic community in northern Indiana.
Last week included our staff meeting on Wednesday, attending the funeral of Dr. Thomas Phillippe (beloved church leader and a ministerial member of the Crossroads District), meeting with Pastor Tim McClellan and the StratOp team at Lakeview Wesleyan Church, meeting with one of our pastors in preparation for his upcoming vote, and meeting with an LBA members from another church who will be leading their team’s pastoral search. (As much as I enjoyed the break, I was excited to get back to the work that God has called us to do together!)
I trust your Christmas was blessed with meaningful times of celebration and connection, both with your church family and with loved ones. There are inspiring reports posted on social media from many of our churches who also made this a season of focused outreach to their communities. Thank you to each church leader who went the second and third mile to mobilize their teams for these high impact opportunities. If you haven’t already done so, make time to debrief with your team. Take notes on what worked and what you can improve. Christmas 2019 will be here before you know it!
Sherry and I will be joining about 1500 other Wesleyan pastors and their spouses in Orlando this week for The Gathering. Please pray that God will meet with us and pour out His Holy Spirit on us in fresh ways for the Harvest.
Three upcoming events that you’ll want to add to your calendar:
Our Crossroads District’s Youth Ministry hosts an amazing all-nighter each year. This year’s event is scheduled for Fri-Sat, Feb. 22-23, in Fort Wayne. All the youth leaders who are on file with our district office have received detailed information from DYP Lane Sander. If you haven’t received the information, please add you name to the list at our office and make sure your teenagers don’t miss this powerful event! Click here for more information!
ReEquip 2018 was terrific and this year’s one-day training event for lay leaders and pastors promises to be even better. Our guest speakers will be Pastor Mike & Tina Hilson, (New Life Network in LaPlata, MD) who are setting the pace for church multiplication, and Dr. David Smith, TrueNorth Ministry, who is helping churches deepen the level of Bible engagement among their members. There will also be specialized breakouts for children and youth leaders. Plan to bring your team and join us in Marion on April 6. Click here to visit the ReEquip website!
Oswald Chambers wrote that, “Prayer does not fit us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work.” If that quote challenges you as much as it challenges me, please join us for “Crying Out” our 2019 prayer retreat to be held this year at Fairmount Camp on April 12-13. Dr. Jim Lo and a team of intercessors will be leading pastors and local church leaders through guided corporate and personal prayer during this retreat. Please put this date on your calendar and plan to join us.
Let’s pray and work together for an amazing year of Kingdom harvest in Indiana in 2019!
Your servant in Christ,