The Crossroads District team gathered at Indiana Wesleyan University this past weekend (June 21-22) to celebrate ordination on Friday night and for our annual conference on Saturday. We were grateful that Dr. Wayne Schmidt, our General Superintendent was able to be with us for both days. Dr. Schmidt preached a powerful message from Joshua.
Dr. Schmidt and the District Board of Ministerial Development led us in the ritual of ordination for our new ministers: Reverend Nicholas Armes, Reverend Nowell Hardin, Reverend Steven Howlett, and Reverend David Kelly. Special thanks to our wonderful team of ordained ministers who showed up in force to stand with these ordinands and to be reminded of the sacredness of our own calling.
We are grateful to President Dr. David Wright and his IWU conference team for the way that they graciously hosted our gatherings in the Philippe Performing Arts Center. Our conference opened on Saturday morning with a wonderful spirit of unity in our opening communion service led by Dr. Schmidt. We concluded the day with a keen sense of God’s presence in the commissioning prayer led by Dr. Jim Lo.
Elections were completed efficiently with Michael Wood (Woody) and Rev. Don Bayne continuing to find ways to improve the process. Thank you!
The following were elected as DBA members-at-large:
LAITY: Mrs. Sharon Cady (Indianapolis Trinity Wesleyan), Mrs. Kathy Drury (Fishers One Multi-church Network), Dr. Nathan Hoover (River Church – Chesterton campus), Mrs. Kara Kensinger (Fort Wayne Level 13), and Mrs. Amy Luchetti (College Wesleyan).
ORDAINED: Rev. Amanda Blair (Tipton Trinity), Dr. Steve Bray (Fountain City), Rev. Barry Dixon (Indianapolis Calvary Family), Rev. Emily Hines (Brookhaven) and Rev. Jeff Luedtke (Fairmount).
The conference took action to elect all DBA members-at-large as General Conference delegates and the elected the following additional delegates:
LAITY: Mrs. Ana Armiger (Chesterfield Parkview), Mr. Ken Ehman (Tipton Trinity), Mrs. Lisa Knepp (Plymouth Shiloh), Mrs. Sharie Schnell (Albion Wesleyan), Mrs. Lyndy Szmara (Logansport The Bridge) and Mr. David Tippey (Brookhaven).
ORDAINED: Rev. Mike Colaw (Indianapolis Trinity), Dr. Steve DeNeff (College Wesleyan), Dr. Jim Lo (Chesterfield Parkview), Rev. Chris Williams (College Wesleyan), and Rev. Matthew Trexler (The River Church).
One memorial will be forwarded from our district conference to the 2020 General Conference Special Committee on Memorials. There was a good debate and one amendment was successfully approved that proposes to change Discipline 3108 to read as follows:
“Any minister who enters into a marriage relation contrary to the Scriptures, and to those expositions of Scripture as set forth in the Membership Commitments (265:5-6; cf 410:5-6) or is divorced for reasons other than the sexual infidelity of their spouse (Matthew 19:8-9) or abandonment by their spouse (1 Corinthians 7:10-16), after having been ordained, commissioned or licensed, shall be dismissed from ministerial standing, provided that guilt has been established in accord with the judicial processes set forth in The Discipline (5206-5212).”
The memorial, as amended, passed by a 77% majority, with 260 in favor and 76 opposed.
Our theme word for the team this year is “Multiply” and our theme verse if John 15:8 “This is to my Father’s glory that you bear much fruit showing yourselves to be my disciples.” The challenge we’re engaging is to move beyond addition to multiplying disciples who make disciples and multiplying new Kingdom communities to reach new zip codes and new people groups.
Our district benchmarks for accountability are at least 10 new Kingdom communities, 100 new disciple-making leaders, and 1000 new believers baptized. Last year we added 7 new Kingdom communities, at least 98 new disciple-making leaders, and baptized 603 new believers. We’re making progress but have lots of room for improvement!
Every leadership team was challenged to set a faith goal for baptisms and to develop a 5-year multiplication plan for their congregation to present at the 2020 district conference. We prepared 1000 T-shirts for the pastors to claim as vision reminders when they turned in their commitment cards. We ran out of these T-shirts on Saturday but have promised to order more so just let us know how many your church needs!
If you weren’t able to be with us for the closing session (or if you’d just like to recapture), please take a few minutes to watch this video of Dr. Lo praying over our delegates:
Congratulations to Pastor Dan Fisher (Delphi Wesleyan Church) who sent in the first #MadeNew baptism photo for our 2020 District Conference video with six new believers publicly professing their faith yesterday. Pastor Dan and Delphi Wesleyan have set a faith goal of 20 baptisms!
Pastor Carla Working and Pastor Zach Working at Hope Rising Church reported the first two new disciple-making leaders answering God’s call in this new conference year. They send along this photo of their congregation gathered around the two women who are answering God’s call to ministry. We encourage every pastor to preach on God’s calling and to share their own journey to ministry at least once each year.
Sunday morning, June 23, I was with the staff and congregation of Lakeview Wesleyan Church to share an update from Pastor Tim McClellan. Pastor Tim continues his battle with cancer. He has decided that he will not return to his role as senior pastor at Lakeview and has encouraged the LBA to begin the search for a new senior pastor. He shared his decision with Dr. Jeff Boyce (LBA vicechair) and me early last week.
Saturday evening, the LBA and I met via Zoom to view the video that Pastor Tim prepared to communicate his decision to the congregation. We discussed transition details and will be meeting again next week to begin work on the search process. The staff and I met early on Sunday to pray and prepare for the morning service.
We were blessed to have Dr. Lenny Luchetti preach a powerful sermon on “Holy Love.” Pastor Lenny will be preaching at Lakeview again this coming Sunday and will be with the congregation for at least four more Sundays this summer.
At the close of the service, the congregation watched Pastor Tim’s announcement together and Rev. Bob Burchell closed the service with a time of prayer. Many members of the congregation, including children, took time to write personal notes of care and concern to Pastor Tim and Cynthia. Sherry and I visited with the McClellan’s in the afternoon and passed along those encouraging cards. Please continue to pray for the McClellan’s and Lakeview Church as they lean on the Lord for strength and direction.
Last week also included our staff meeting, connecting with prospective pastors, a conference call with the Heartland Region district superintendents, and working with our terrific team in preparing for our conference. I was blessed to drop in on week #2 of NTS Camp at IWU and the Senior High Camp at Fairmount. Rev. Amanda Blair and Pastor Johnnie Blair were the camp evangelists at Fairmount and did a great job of bringing truth that connected with these teens. I’m grateful for all our staff members who served in the five camps in the Crossroads District over the last three weeks. Our best estimate is that our outstanding youth leaders ministered to nearly 800 students combined in these life-changing camps.
July 8-12 Kids Camp at Fairmount with the theme “Fortress Royale.” Rev. Michele Henry and her team always do a great job ministering to children. For more information or to register, visit their website: Fairmount Kids Camp
Phil and Rhonda Foley and the team at Frankfort Camp Ministries invite us to their 2019 Family Camp (July 7-14) featuring Rev. David Duncan and Rev. Noel Bates. For more information, visit their website: http://www.frankfortcampministries.com/
Thank you for all you do to advance the Kingdom in your church, your neighborhood, and your zip code. Let’s keep on making disciples and multiplying Kingdom communities until Jesus comes or calls us home!
Your servant in Christ,