One of the best investments we’re making as a district is to serve local churches with a Maximizing Impact consultation. This process involves an extensive self-study that provides insight into the foundations of the church. Every church has a creation story and values that it has developed through its growth and development. This self-study, of the congregation’s current realities and the community context for ministry, is carefully considered by the LBA and other leaders.
The Maximizing Impact (MI) consultation team arrives on a Friday to interview the pastor and key ministry leaders. Friday evening, the team conducts a focus group with a cross-section of the congregation.
On Saturday, the team leads a church health seminar for the leaders of the congregation. Following the seminar, the team meets with the lead pastor to present a preliminary report. On Sunday, the lead consultant preaches in the morning worship service on Great Commission ministry and presents the MI report to the congregation.
Approximately two weeks later, a town hall is hosted for the congregation to review and discuss the recommendations in the report. Then, approximately two weeks later, the congregation votes to either affirm or decline the report. If affirmed, the pastor and LBA have a 12-18 month action plan to focus the ministry of the congregation on the primary mission of “making more disciples for Jesus Christ.”
This past weekend, Pastor Steve Martin and the team at Sheridan Six Points Wesleyan Church hosted a Maximizing Impact consultation. This is a wonderful congregation led by a gifted pastor and spouse. They have one of the most attractive facilities and spacious properties in our district. While they continue to experience changed lives, the ministry’s growth and development has not kept pace with the Kingdom potential presented by the changing demographics and population increase in the zip codes around them.
The Maximizing Impact team, led by DS Paul James, encountered a congregation that was well-prepared to take advantage of this investment. Pastor Steve led the congregation in preparing through prayer. Mrs. Trudy Hopkins did a terrific job as project manager in directing the self-study teams and the preparations for the weekend. The participants were fully engaged and there was a clear sense that God was meeting with us.
The congregation will meet for their town hall conversation on November 20. The congregational vote will take place on December 4. Pray with them that God will provide direction and unity as they seek to make the greatest possible impact for the Kingdom in their zip codes!
(If you’d like to invite the Maximizing Impact team to serve your church, please email or call me or Rev. Chris Williams at the district office about a spring consultation.)
On a personal note, this was a week of transition for our family as Dad & Mom sold their home in Brooksville, Florida to relocate to Burnips, Michigan to live with my sister Beth Jones. This was not unanticipated due to Mom’s declining health but the timeline moved up dramatically. My two sisters were amazing in helping my parents prepare for this transition. I flew down on Sunday evening and we loaded up the truck on Monday morning to begin heading north so my small part was driving the truck from Brooksville to Indianapolis by Tuesday evening. I deeply appreciate the prayer support as our family!
I was off for a personal day on Wednesday fighting a cold. Thursday morning, Chris Williams and I met in Plymouth to sign closing docs on the sale of the Argos parsonage. I stopped back by the Marion office to check in with Mrs. Roxene Lo who does such an incredible of keeping our district’s financial recording and ministerial student data maintained. Chris Williams, Jason Tash, Matthew Trexler and I met with Mark Meyer of the UnStuck Group to explore next steps for rolling out StratOp as a valued planning tool for our Crossroads District churches. Jason and Chris just returned from StratOp training in Atlanta and are gearing up to provide this resource to our team.
While Chris and I were with the Maximizing Impact team in Sheridan on Saturday, I stopped by to connect with Pastor Jordan and Karen Gardner in Westfield to see the property improvements that the Paradox church planting team was making in partnership with Pastor Mario and the Hispanic congregation. It was fun to see baby Grady Gardner who is growing rapidly. My friend Julie McCallum was there working hard. She’s a busy mom, a professional educator, and their volunteer treasurer. People like Julie are the strength of our team!
Congratulations to Pastor Richard and Debbie Cole and the team at Lapel Daybreak Church! After severe water damage last January, the church had to relocate to a community school while the building was repaired. It is has not been easy but Pastor Cole and the team made lemonade out of the lemons. Yesterday, for the first time since January, the congregation gathered to worship in their own building. There were 95 in attendance with 12 guests. Pray as they continue to reach out to impact their community with God’s love!
I will be traveling this week in ministry outside the district including a “Lead Like Wesley” seminary for Wesleyan pastors in Kansas and preaching at Celebrate Church in Sioux Falls over the weekend. While I’ll be available by phone and email, Assistant DS Chris Williams is leading the team at home and is available as needed.
Thank you for praying for the Pastor Marc and Healther Ulrich’s family this weekend. After surgery and some very difficult days, Carson, was released to go home. Continue to pray for a full recovery!
Thank you for lifting each other up in prayer. Pastor Bill Thompson is feeling stronger and was back at Anderson Lone Oak Wesleyan Church on Sunday. Pastor Paul Trent continues to undergo treatment for cancer and values your continued prayers.
Grateful to be serving with you in the cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,
P.S. Keep January 13-14 marked on your calendars for our church multiplication learning experience at Wesley Seminary with Pastor Mike Hilson and the New Life Network team. Remember that we’re working together to achieve the vision of every disciple making at least one more disciple and every church helping to plant at least one more church to impact the 3 million unreached people in our region!