Sunday morning, June 14, I had the privilege of preaching at Hartford City Wesleyan Church. Their pastor unexpectedly resigned on June 5 and I’ve been assisting their leadership team in working through this challenging transition.
Hartford City Wesleyan was strengthened through the long-term ministry of Rev. Tom Parsons who left a solid foundation of Bible teaching. The congregation has a committed lay leadership team that will provide wise direction as the church moves forward. The church is also blessed to have John Bonham serving as administrator and their talented young staff includes four Taylor University students who are stepping up to the challenge. I know the team at Hartford City Wesleyan will welcome your prayers!
I’m pleased to announce that Rev. Bob McHenry has accepted the unanimous call of our Nelson Street Wesleyan Church to become their new pastor. Bob brings a wealth of pastoral leadership experience to their church and will be a great addition to our Crossroads District team. I also want to thank Rev. Don Glenn who graciously stepped out of retirement to effectively serve Nelson Street for the past few years since the untimely death of Pastor Steve Fletcher. Let’s welcome Bob & Cheryl back to the Crossroads District and join them in prayer for an exciting new chapter in leading Nelson Street to reach out to their changing community.
Last Monday, I connected with Pastor Mark Atkinson over lunch and then filmed a brief interview on his call to ministry. Monday afternoon, I dropped in for prayer with Rev. Shawnda Dykhoff, pastor at Brinker Heights Wesleyan Church in Marion. I met with the Hartford City Wesleyan Church staff for our first team meeting later on Monday afternoon. That evening, I had the chance to check in on Pastor Ben & Helen Parker (Back Creek Wesleyan Church) and pray with them as they made preparations to leave for a much-needed vacation.
Tuesday’s schedule included our weekly district staff meeting, a drop-in visit for prayer with Pastor Duane Seitz (Silver Lake Wesleyan Church) at his home, and a drop-in visit for prayer with Pastor Steve Colter (Chapel Pike Wesleyan Church) in his office. Tuesday evening, Seth and I hosted a Zoom meeting for district pastors. We passed along district ministry updates and enjoyed the opportunity to spend time in prayer with other pastors in the breakout rooms. Our next monthly ZOOM call will be July 7, at 7 p.m. and you will receive a Zoom link from Seth later this month.
Wednesday’s drop-in visits included Pastor Steve Arnett (New Castle Mount Zion), Pastor Steve Bray (Richmond LifeSpring Church), Pastor Theo Griffin (Greenfield Brown’s Chapel) and Pastor Brad LeRoy (McCordsville Harvest Church). It was fun to reconnect with Ben Wade who just joined Rev. Griffin’s staff at Brown’s Chapel. Ben and Katie, his wife, were students at Kingswood University when Sherry and I were serving there. We are pleased to welcome them as the newest members of our Crossroads District family.
Thursday, Dr. David Smith chaired a subcommittee of the District Board of Ministerial Development. We completed follow-up business including reviewing the submission of annual service reports and preparations for the August 15 ordination service. Just a gentle reminder here that all ordained ministers are expected to join us for this most important event in the life of our district, unless excused for health concerns. Ministers will gather at Lakeview Wesleyan Church in Marion at 12:30 on August 15 for our group photo and further instructions for our participation. Thank you in advance.
The highlight of Friday was meeting with a prospective church planter who is feeling called to plant a network of house churches. Assistant DS Matthew Trexler has invited all Grant County pastors for a lunch meeting this Wednesday at The River Church to learn more about the vision for this new Kingdom community.
We continue to pray that God will send out workers into His harvest field. If you are sensing a call to church planting ministry, we invite you to take the first step by completing this online assessment:
Once you’ve received your results, let us connect with you to discuss the opportunities.
Thank you to the pastors who have already completed the Covid-19 response survey. Of those reporting to date, more than 80% of our churches will be meeting in person by the end of this month. Furthermore, of the churches reporting, most of them (more than 90%) have come through the first few months of restrictions with at least 1 month of financial reserves intact. If you’ve not yet completed the survey for your church, please do so ASAP. We want to make sure that your congregation is included in the report we present to the District Board of Administration on June 25. Here’s the link: Covid-19 Response Survey
Our first Next Level church fitness leadership cohort is launching in August. For the past 5 years, the churches of our district have had the opportunity to participate in a consultative process called “Maximizing Impact.” We are grateful for each church that took advantage of this resource and for the positive results they experienced. Realizing that one size doesn’t fit all, the district invested in training four of our own team members through Tony Morgan’s UnStuck group to facilitate StratOp consultations. StratOp, the strategic operations planning process developed by Tom Paterson, continues to provide a facilitated resource for churches of all sizes who want to move into the future with great intentionality and alignment. There are still a few weekends available in this new conference year if you’d like to book one of our facilitators, either for your church’s first StratOp or for updating your plan.
Next Level is a new monthly training and coaching experience the Crossroads District is offering for pastors and two key team leaders from his or her church. The curriculum covers key growth engines for church fitness in a cohort model that allows for shared learning and accountability. After four intensive training sessions, the teams move into an implementation and coaching phase in the second semester. Each team will focus on optimizing the unique strengths of their church to seize the unique opportunities for Kingdom impact in their community.
This year’s Next Level Cohort is limited to 10 churches with 3 leaders from each of those congregations. Matching grants are available to assist churches with the registration fees. For more information or to enroll your church before the June 30 deadline, please contact Seth Bye or other members of our district staff.
Keep on making a difference until He comes or calls you home!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent
“For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.” Ephesians 2:14-16 (NIV)