Sunday morning, September 29, Sherry and I had the joy of worshiping at Hope Rising Church in Huntington. Co-Pastors Rev. Carla and Rev. Zach Working are doing an outstanding job of leading this turnaround ministry. The congregation is thriving, the facilities have been remodeled, and the spirit of worship in the service was contagious.
Before the service, I was introduced to two women, both new leaders in the church, who taking next steps to answer God’s call to ministry. After the morning service, I met briefly with the leadership team and then we enjoyed lunch with the Workings. Never doubt that God can revive His church!
Sunday evening, I had the privilege of representing our district conference in the official pastor installation of Rev. Jeremy Armiger at Chesterfield Parkview Wesleyan Church. I appreciate the area pastors who joined us for this special occasion. Dr. Jim Lo has done an amazing job leading the church through a transition from the long-term ministry of Pastor Paul Trent, who passed away tragically. Dr. Lo served as lead pastor, helping the church recruit Rev. Armiger and then graciously handed over the leadership baton to now become the assistant pastor.
The Lord has been blessing Parkview Wesleyan Church’s renewed emphasis on prayer and community evangelism. Last year, Parkview celebrated 25 professions of faith and 9 baptisms. This morning, they celebrated two more baptisms that came through to the church through their Tuesday evening community meal. God is on the move at Parkview.
Monday afternoon, I met with Dr. Lenny Luchetti for an update on his interim ministry at Lakeview Wesleyan Church in Marion. I’m hearing encouraging reports from Dr. Luchetti’s preaching ministry and leadership development work with the staff. Please pray for Lakeview’s congregation as they continue to grieve the loss of Pastor Tim McClellan but move forward to all that God is preparing for them
Assistant DS Mike Colaw convened the pastors of Region 2 on Tuesday morning at Trinity Wesleyan Church in Indianapolis. Pastor Mike and his team hosted the gathering with special guests Dr. Bob Whitesel and an informative panel who discussed the challenge of leading change in the church. Following the seminar, I was able to join Dr. Whitesel and a group of pastors for a continued conversation over lunch.
Tuesday afternoon, I was back in Marion to meet with Rev. Mark and Sharie Schnell for our annual coaching conversation. Mark and Sharie are commuting weekly to lead the ministry at Albion Wesleyan Church. The church has responded well to their bi-vocational ministry and the Schnell’s are helping to prepare the church for their next long-term leader.
Wednesday morning, I joined Dr. Wayne Schmidt and DS colleagues on the monthly ZOOM video conference call that he hosts for information updates and discussion. Of special concern on this call was the downturn in key ministry measures (attendance, conversions, baptisms, and membership). Dr. Schmidt welcomed input and will continue this conversation with the General Board in November. Wednesday afternoon, I was able to meet with Pastor Ryan Budde. He’s been carrying an extra load with his mother’s declining health and I know he’d welcome your prayers.
Thursday was a road trip to Elkhart to connect with Rev. Terry Vaughn, church planter at The Bridge in South Bend. Terry has been ministering to some families in Elkhart and is prayerfully considering the next steps in expanding the ministry of The Bridge into additional zip codes.
Assistant DS Chris Williams and I met in Marion on Friday morning for our weekly briefing. Chris does an amazing job leading Region 3 and our district-wide revitalization projects utilizing StratOp and Maximizing Impact. In addition to his work with our district team, Chris is working on his Ph.D. in organizational leadership and coaching clients with Chick-Fil-A. I am grateful for Chris’s partnership in this ministry!
On Saturday, I appreciated the opportunity to sit in with Dr. Jim Lo and the Region 1 DBMD team who met through the day at Brookhaven Wesleyan Church. They interviewed and counseled with a wonderful group of candidates who are in the licensing phase of the ordination track. God is answering our prayers for more workers for His Harvest!
Saturday evening was another highlight as I represented our district team in bringing congratulations to Rev. and Mrs. Eliorgy Guerrero and the congregation of Cielos Abiertos (Open Heavens) Church in Elkhart as they celebrated their second anniversary.
One key moment in the celebration was the consecration prayer for Jose and Angie Cardenas. Jose and Angie were commissioned by the church to work with Rev. Jarod Osborne at Pathway Church to reach Spanish-speakers in Warsaw. I love the partnership and vision of Rev. Guerrero who has an incredible heart for church planting. Every church can be a sending church!
This promises to be another exciting week with Region 1 pastors meeting on Monday and our DBA meeting this Thursday, October 3, at The Branch in Fairmount. We’re also looking forward to hosting Pastor Jarod Osborne and the north zone of Region 1 at Thornapple on Friday night for our pastors and spouse fellowship.
Please join me in remembering Brett Matthews, son of Pastor Rick Matthews (Indianapolis Southview Wesleyan Church), in prayer for a serious health concern and upcoming surgery.
Thank you for all you do to advance the cause of Jesus Christ in your congregations and communities!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent