Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
“Joy to the world, the Lord is come! Let earth receive her King;
Let ev’ry heart prepare him room…” Isaac Watts (1719)
I’m writing this update on Christmas Day 2022 with a grateful heart. 2022 has been another year of fruitful ministry in our Crossroads District. As I scrolled down through the team updates of the past 12 months I realized that almost every week our churches have shared stories of changed lives and baptisms. Pictured below is the most recent story. Rev. Zach Working, the pastor of Hope Rising Church in Huntington, presided over the baptism but the young man immersing the candidate is the one who led his friend to Christ. That is a beautiful picture of disciples making disciples who make disciples.
That’s why we do what we do. Our mission matters. For the glory of God, we will use every possible means to reach every possible person. In the words of Dr. Laurel Buckingham, “we will do anything short of sin to reach lost people.” We want to do everything we can to provide every heart with the opportunity to prepare room for Christ so that they can experience His joy. And I pray that the joy of the Lord will be our strength as we prepare for the challenges of ministry in the new year!
Thank you for the many creative and generous ways you have led your churches to reach out during this Advent season. Just this past week, I had the privilege of worshiping with several of our churches who prayed and invested in offering opportunities for people to worship the Christ of Christmas.
On Wednesday evening, I joined Rev. Andy Cole and the team at Daybreak Community Church in Lapel for their candlelight service. From the children’s bell choir to communion, Pastor Cole and his team pointed people to Jesus as the reason for the season.
Thursday evening, I worshiped with Pastor Matthew Trexler and the team at The River Church in Marion. When we talk about giving it our all, most of us don’t think about blowing out our Achilles tendon but that’s exactly what happened in that service. Pray for Rev. Kaleb Wakeman as he prepares for surgery to repair the injury and as he recovers.
Rev. Brent Miller is not only a wonderful pastor but he also drives a mean snowplow. Pastor Brent has helped us out for the past few years and came again on Saturday so we could get out to worship. I made it to Southside Wesleyan Church for their 7 p.m. Christmas Eve service. They had a strong response for this candlelight service and Pastor Brent texted to let me know that attendance for their Christmas morning service broke 100!
Pastor Noah Farmer and the team at Gas City Eastview Wesleyan Church offered a midnight Christmas Eve experience that began at 11:30 and concluded very early on Christmas Sunday morning. I was able to sit with Dr. Matthew Stewart (pastor of Sweetser Wesleyan Church) who was there as chauffeur for his daughter who was leading worship. DBA member Cindy Horn was still smiling after midnight!
Christmas Sunday morning, I was able to worship with Pastor Jeff Luedtke and the team at Fairmount Wesleyan Church. Pastor Jeff brought a strong message about the wise men being diligent in seeking for more than a year while the religious leaders in Jerusalem couldn’t be bothered to travel just a few miles to Bethlehem. The warm service was well-attended and we enjoyed the delicious hot chocolate!
The Crossroads District office will be closed from December 26 until January 2 with regular office hours resuming on Tuesday, January 3. I’ll be joining many of our pastors in Orlando, January 3-7, to participate in The Gathering. Rev. Carla Working, Assistant DS, and Michael Wood, District Administrator, will also be at The Gathering, but you can still reach us during this time by phone. If you won’t be attending The Gathering, I do encourage you to remember this special event in your prayers.
There’s still time to register your team for the Next Level Church Experience led by Dr. Chris Williams. This experience includes the opportunity for your team to develop an updated action plan and receive a $1000 matching grant for your next outreach initiative. Check out the video in the link above for more information.
Let’s pray and prepare for 2023 to be a year of breakthroughs for our Crossroads District churches.
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent
(Note: Our next team update will be after the Gathering on January 9.)
P.S. Save the date of February 17 and plan to join us for the 2023 Crossroads District Youth All-Nighter!
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