Sunday morning, March 13, I had the privilege of worshiping with Pastor Brad LeRoy and preaching at Harvest Community Church. Harvest is another one of our district churches that is regaining ministry momentum after the challenges of the past two years. Brad and the Harvest team have been blessed in this season by their new partnership with 12Stone Church, especially the coaching of Dr. Dan Reiland. Pastor LeRoy continues to battle with health concerns and is grateful for the many prayers on his behalf.
Sunday afternoon, the LBA at Carmel Amistad Iglesia Wesleyana invited me to join them for consultation as they prepare to launch the search for their next pastor. Rev. Neftali Lopez has resigned after a very effective tenure as their lead pastor. Neftali will continue to serve in his chaplaincy role with IWU National and Global. He will also continue his growing prayer ministry on Facebook Live. The church is well-positioned for this transition and we’re praying with them that God will bring us another excellent leader for this dynamic bi-lingual and multi-cultural ministry.
Sunday evening, Pastor Dan Fisher and the team at Delphi Wesleyan Church hosted the quarterly prayer gathering for Region 3. The largest group joined us from South Bend Sonlight with their pastor Rev. Greg Holmes. Pastor Marc Ulrich (ReThink Church) came the farthest, driving 90 minutes from Merrillville. Pastor Don Bayne, Pastor Ulrich, and Pastor Dan Clark (Monon) joined me in leading this one hour prayer service. We’d love to have you join us next month, April 10, at The River Church in Marion.
Last Monday, Dr. Wayne Schmidt, General Superintendent, convened a session with the district superintendents who were in Orlando for the Exponential Conference. Dr. Schmidt and his team from HQ shared about upcoming events including, most notably, General Conference. It is always good to connect with these colleagues who serve our district, but we were conscious of the absence of Dr. Eckart who was such a good friend and encourager to so many of us.
Tuesday morning, Dr. Ed Love and the CMAD team hosted a pre-conference for nearly 500 Wesleyans who gathered from across the US and Canada to attend Exponential. Dr. Love’s sessions featured church planters who had launched during the pandemic, including Rev. Andy and Leanza Riemersma’s work planting ONE Church in Westfield. We were also blessed to hear from Dr. Ralph Moore, founder of the Hope Chapel network that has planted more than 1700 churches in the past 30 years.
The Exponential Conference started on Tuesday afternoon and continued through Thursday. The event was sold out again this year with 5000 on site and many more joining online. The conference has a terrific balance of inspirational rallies and practical breakout sessions for leaders of every size and style of ministry. The uniting theme of the conference was ministering in the power of the Holy Spirit. We had a good representation from the Crossroads District this year but we’ll have an ever stronger group next year. If you’ve never been to Exponential, let me encourage you to make plans now to attended next year’s conference, March 6-9.
Before heading to Monon on Saturday afternoon to meet with Pastor Dan Clark and his LBA, my first stop of the day was with Rev. Mike Hewitt (Muncie Rising Hope) and his new ministry partner Marcos Cruz who is a church planter from Spain. We had a great conversation, with help from an interpreter, as Marcos and Banesa, his wife, shared about the churches they’ve already planted and the vision that God has given them for their next project in Seville. Marcos and his family joined Mike for the Exponential Conference and then came to Muncie to lead worship and share their testimony at Rising Hope on Sunday. It was a blessing to fellowship with this passionate family and to be be reminded of the many ways that God is on the move around the world.
One of the special joys of being a pastor is to celebrate spiritual mile markers in the lives of your congregation. Nothing is better than having the opportunity to celebrate the spiritual birth and baptism of your own children. Rev. Noah Farmer, assistant pastor at Gas City Eastview Wesleyan Church, had that privilege on Sunday as he baptized Caleb, his youngest son. Praise the Lord for lives #MadeNew!
Are you looking for a resource that your church could use to help people discover and live out their God-designed missional calling? Jon Wiest and his team have partnered with Dr. Ed Love and CMAD to create a resource that any church can use at any time. “Live Sent” helps people clarify who they are in Christ and how they can use their gifts to pioneer a new mission that will reach people who are far from God. (https://www.groundswellmovement.net/)
In this five-session course, participants learn how to discover their calling and discern the voice of God for their lives and ministries. Jesus told his disciples in John 20:21, “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” Every true follower of Jesus Christ has a desire to discover their calling and “live sent!”
This DIY resource is FREE for individuals and groups within a local church setting. Simply download the PDF leaders guide, personally invite your participants, craft a timeline for connection/coaching, and link your participants to the online platform. The Leaders Guide and details can be found here: https://resources.wesleyan.org/live-sent-discover-your-calling
Keep on making a difference in the cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent