Sunday, December 3, was a day of beginning new chapters for two of our district congregations. Fort Wayne’s Level 13 Church officially welcomed Pastor Heath & Hayley Croft and their family from Alabama. Pastor Rob Tippey build a strong foundation at Level 13 launching and building the team. We’re excited to see what God has in store for this next season under Pastor Heath’s leadership.
This was also the day that Dr. Jim Lo began a season of interim ministry at Parkview Wesleyan Church in Chesterfield. Pastor Jim and Roxene Lo moved from Marion to the Anderson community last month and just in time for Rev. Bob Van Cise to pass the torch. Please remember both of these ministers in your prayers and reach out to support them as they launch into these new assignments.
“The older you get the harder you have to work at learning because you are also having to unlearn things that no longer work.” – Dr. L.D. Buckingham
This was a week of learning. Pastor Matthew Trexler, Rev. Chris Williams and I flew to Atlanta last Sunday evening for training in the StratOp (strategic operations planning) process used by Tony Morgan’s UnStuck Group. This is the strategic planning process used by churches like Central Christian Church (the church Jud Wilhite pastors in Las Vegas) and Connexus (pastored by Carey Neiuwhof in Ontario, Canada). The training was held at 12Stone’s John Maxwell Leadership Center.
StratOp is the follow-up resource that our Crossroads District offers for church plants as they move past the 2-3 year launch phase, for churches that completed the Maximizing Impact consultation, and for other high capacity churches that are ready to move to the next level. In addition to the excellent training by Tony Morgan and his team, we had the privilege of networking with senior leaders from churches like Harvest Bible Chapel (Chicago) and Sun Valley Community Church (Phoenix).
Then, on Thursday, I flew from Atlanta to Buffalo to join a consultation team at Eastern Hills Wesleyan Church led by Dr. Laurel Buckingham and Dr. Joey Jennings. It was a great learning experience to come alongside this team to serve Pastor Pat Jones and his staff as they work to “engage every person to become a passionate follower of Jesus Christ.” Dr. Jennings and I also had a chance for dialogue on the regional mergers and partnerships that are being proposed. Learning from Dr. Buckingham is like drinking from a fire hydrant. He epitomizes the Caleb spirit for our seasoned saints who just keep climbing new mountains.
I am looking forward to another great week serving with our team here in the Crossroads District. This week will include 4 zone fellowships, a DBA meeting (on Thursday), and a day of dialogue on Friday with the district superintendents who are moving toward a regional merger to create the Great Lakes District. Please join me in praying for wisdom as we consider future possibilities.
Congratulations to Pastor Tom Parsons and the team at Hartford City Wesleyan Church as they celebrate successfully raising $15,000 for the Global Partners Ministry Center in Crotia in partnership with Habitat for Missions. If you’d like to know more about this innovative fund-raising approach to fund world missions initiatives, contact Rev. Wayne Richards (765-506-6733) or visit their website: www.habitatformissions.com
Thank you for praying for Pastor Brad LeRoy (McCordsville Harvest), Pastor Joe Allen (Albion Wesleyan), and Rev. Lloyd Moore (retired). It was encouraging to hear progress reports this week. Pastor Joe shared that for the first time in two years he was able to put in two 8-hour days in a row. Pastor Brad was feeling strong enough to get out of the house for the first time in a few months to join his Harvest Church family for their annual Community Open House. And Rhonda Moore reported that Pastor Lloyd is cooperating with the creative occupational therapy workout she’s developed… unloading the dishwasher. Let’s continue to pray and stand in faith for full recoveries for these ministry leaders!
Let’s continue to pray that God will move in powerful ways in our churches this Advent as we point people to the reason for the season. Christ, long-awaited, has come and will come again. Maranatha!
Your servant in Christ,