Sunday morning, I had the privilege of worshiping with Pastor Tom and Jane Bradley at Huntington Etna Avenue Wesleyan Church. It was a special delight to be there for Pastor Tom’s 71st birthday and to lead the congregation in singing “Happy Birthday” for him. I also had the joy of meeting Pastor Tom’s 91-year-old mother and other family members.
Pastor Tom is completing 11 years of ministry marked by his strong gift of personal soul-winning. He has had the privilege of baptizing 75 new believers in those 11 years. While he is stepping away from full-time ministry at Etna Avenue this June, we’re looking forward to seeing how God blesses this new chapter in Pastor Tom’s ministry of reaching people for Jesus. They’re already working on building a new home and spending some more time assisting Pastor Marc and Heather (Bradley) Ulrich with the ReThink Church plant in Merrillville.
I welcome your prayers as I meet with Etna Avenue’s leadership team on Tuesday evening to review their progress with the Maximizing Impact implementation under way and commencing the search for their next pastor.
We really do believe that our churches can become more effective through prayer and through Holy Spirit-anointed ministry with an intentional focus on disciple-making and multiplication. We have two primary resources available to Crossroads District churches in our Maximizing Impact consultation team and StratOp, a strategic operations planning process first introduced to our district by Tony Morgan’s UnStuck Group.
This weekend (Friday evening, all day Saturday, and Sunday afternoon) I was able sit in with two of our congregations who were taking their first steps with our StratOp process. Rev. Jason Tash was working with Pastor Ryan Budde and a leadership team at Westview Wesleyan Church in Jonesboro. Rev. Matthew Trexler, with assistance from Rev. Chris Williams, was working with Pastor Tony Bye and a leadership team at Brookhaven Wesleyan Church. These weekends are a lot of work for the teams but it is exciting to see how God brings clarity and unity through the process.
The national Exponential Conference was held in Orlando last week. Chris Williams and I joined with a strong delegation from our district among the 420 Wesleyan leaders who gathered for this premier event focused on disciple-making and church multiplication. The Wesleyan Church hosted a shoulder event that was well-attended and featured inspiring stories of what God is doing across our denomination.
Special guests, including General Superintendent Dr. Wayne Schmidt and Will Mancini, founder of the Auxano Group, challenged us to be churches that are intentionally focused on working to see lives and communities transformed by the hope and holiness of Jesus Christ until The Wesleyan Church has a transforming presence in every zip code.
We are making plans for our district team to take advantage of Exponential’s MidWest Regional Conference in Chicago, November 6-7, 2018. For all the details, check out their website: https://exponential.org/events/2018chi/ The location is convenient, the price is affordable and the impact is eternal!
We have received the reports from the pastoral votes for Rev. Logan Patriquin at Lafayette Schuyler Avenue Wesleyan and Rev. Lyle Breeding at Bluffton Sonlight Wesleyan Church. Both votes were extremely positive and both pastors have announced their intention to accept these 4-year calls. Bluffton Sonlight hosted their first Maximizing Impact weekend last year and Schuyler Avenue is hosting their Maximizing Impact consultation next weekend. It is encouraging to see the progress in both of these congregations!
Special prayers were going up this weekend as Pastor Logan and Shaina Patriquin’s daughter, Emery, was hospitalized with what appears to have been the flu. She is responding to treatment and we are expecting to hear that she has been released to go home today (Monday).
Pastor searches are underway at Greenfield Brown’s Chapel, Colfax Wesleyan and Huntington Etna Avenue (as noted above). Brown’s Chapel has already posted their opening on the denominational website: The Wesleyan Church
Colfax and Etna Avenue are both developing churches so their new pastors will be DBA appointments in consultation with the local leadership teams. I will be meeting with the Colfax leadership team this evening (Monday). Your prayers are needed and your nominations are welcomed.
Don’t miss it! ReEquip, April 21, is fast approaching! Register your leadership group and next generation ministries team members today! http://www.reequipconference.org/
One final and encouraging note: Pastor Dan Fisher (Delphi Wesleyan) reported that 14 people responded to the invitation for prayer to be filled with the Holy Spirit yesterday morning. Praise the Lord! We still believe that the same Holy Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead can cleanse us, fill us, empower us, and keep us!
Your servant in Christ,