Sherry and I had the privilege of joining Pastor Tom and Kara Parsons for morning worship at Hartford City Wesleyan Church on Sunday, October 7. It was a joy for me to be able to bring the message from God’s Word in this special service with Pastor Tom dedicating 4 children and baptizing 8 new believers. The congregation celebrated these steps of spiritual progress while also enjoying the comfortable new chairs that were installed just this week. After the morning service, I met with the LBA and then we hosted the Parsons family for lunch. It is encouraging to see another multi-generational, Gospel-preaching Wesleyan church thriving in small-town America!
On Monday, Wesley Seminary President Dr. Colleen Derr welcomed the Board of Advisors for our fall meeting. This fall semester marks the beginning of the 10th year for Wesley Seminary. It’s been a remarkable story from the dream stage with President Henry Smith, Dr. Ken Schenck, Dr. Keith Drury, Rev. Russ Gunsalus, and others brainstorming about a new kind of seminary that would serve the changing needs of the local church.
President Wright and the Board shared a supper with seminary faculty on Monday evening and together celebrated Rev. Stan Hoover’s service as he announced that this would be his final year as board chair. Rev. Hoover has effectively served alongside the leadership of seminary from the beginning days with Dr. Wayne Schmidt to the transition to Dr. Derr’s leadership this past year. Pray for Dr. Derr and the administration of Wesley Seminary as they chart the exciting course for this next decade of vital ministry.
Pastor Mike Colaw, Pastor Jon Wiest, and the team at Trinity Wesleyan Church hosted their first Disciple Making Conference Monday and Tuesday with more than 200 leaders from dozens of churches across several states gathering to glean insights from the disciple-making movement that God has been blessing at Trinity.
Guest speakers included Rev. George Martin, Dr. Ed Love and Dr. Wayne Schmidt joining with Jon and Mike in making the case for “disciples making disciples” as the fundamental mission of the church. If you haven’t picked up Jon Wiest’s new book (Banding Together) that tells the story, you can find it here: Banding Together listing on Amazon
I was able to jump in on the Tuesday morning session and then join with Pastor Mike Colaw as he hosted the Region 2 Pastors for a lunch meeting. We welcomed new team members to the region including Pastor Eric George (New Castle Memorial), Pastor Steve Binn (Anderson Lone Oak) and Pastor Scott McDermid (Sheridan Six Points). I’m always encouraged to hear praise reports from across our churches and there’s nothing better than seeing our pastors join in prayer for harvest opportunities in greater Indianapolis.
I was back in the office on Wednesday morning catching up on correspondence and phone calls. I met with one of our ministerial students over lunch at IWU and then enjoyed learning from Dr. Lo in his class on Evangelism and Discipleship. Rev. Russ Gunsalus and the HQ team from the Education and Clergy Development met with Dr. Smith and several members of our DBMD on Wednesday afternoon to preview the new online, competency-based ministerial preparation process that they’ve been developing. While this new process will not impact licensed ministers who are approaching ordination, it will be a significant move forward for the next generation of ministry leadership development and credentialing in The Wesleyan Church.
Thursday and Friday, I was honored to represent the Crossroads District at the IWU Board of Trustees meeting. President David Wright and his team do an exceptional job of navigating the challenging currents of Christian higher education in a society that is increasingly hostile to our Biblical values. It was inspiring to hear the reports of spiritual growth from across the campus and we enjoyed being part of the exciting 2018 Homecoming celebrations including an inspiring concert with Lauren Daigle. Congratulations to the IWU Wildcats on their first Homecoming football game.
Your prayers are always appreciated for Dr. Wright and his team as they work together to develop a truly great Christian university serving Christ and The Wesleyan Church.
Saturday morning, I dropped in on the Fairmount Camp Married Couples Retreat to thank the volunteers and staff who worked hard to pull this event together after severe September weather forced a rescheduling. Fairmount Camp’s Executive Director Angela Spangler always does a great job hosting groups. Pastor Mike and Leslie Colaw were outstanding as the keynote speakers for this year’s retreat.
This week, I’ll be meeting with pastors for coaching conversations and joining Pastor Matthew Trexler on Wednesday morning for the Region 1 Pastors Meeting at Brookhaven Wesleyan Church. Then, Dr. Rich and Rev. Carol Schenck, Rev. David and Rev. Emily Hines, and I will be heading to Bangladesh for the week to continue our leadership development partnership with Rev. Joshe Bose and his team. I’ll have the privilege of teaching pastors from the insights captured in “Lead Like Wesley.” We’ll be returning on October 18 and would be grateful to be remembered in your prayers.
Keep on making a difference in the cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,