Sunday morning, April 7, I had the privilege of being on the ground as three of our congregations took new steps in multiplication. My first stop was at Lapel Daybreak Church with Pastor Andy Cole. It was exciting to sense the momentum as their team launched a new, second morning worship experience.
While their building has three floors, their main floor worship space could become a limiting factor so they opened up a worship service at 9:15 to accommodate future growth. Combined, they welcomed 112 people yesterday morning (lya= 59) with 7 first-time guests. (The most cost-efficient expansion project at any church is adding another service. Is that an option you’re discussing with your team?)
My next stop was in Pendleton to check in with Pastor Joe Deckard and the team at Waterline’s new campus. I arrived in time to be part of the preview worship experience that they offer for their volunteers. I connected with Joe as they prepared to welcome 100 people who worshiped at the Grand Opening service.
Special thanks to General Superintendent Dr. Wayne Schmidt for jumping in as part of that special day. Praise the Lord that two people prayed to receive Christ yesterday and 5 new believers are scheduled for Easter baptism. Congratulation to Pastors John & Danielle Freed and Waterline Church for their multiplication vision and generosity!
My last stop of the morning was in Jonesboro at the new campus of Eastview Wesleyan Church. Many of you will remember that Jonesboro Main Street Wesleyan voted last year to discontinue their ministry and to reach out to Pastor Mark Atkinson and the Eastview team to consider launching a campus in that location. Assistant Pastor Noah Farmer is leading the team of volunteers at this site and they welcomed 47 in worship yesterday.
That’s just a snapshot of the creative ways in which churches in our Crossroads District are envisioning multiplication opportunities. We cannot expect a different level of results when we keep doing the same things over and over again. What next step of faith might God be calling your church to take in making more and better disciples?
Sunday evening, I met with the LBA at Monon Wesleyan Church as they commence their search for a part-time pastor to lead a turnaround for this ministry. Monon is a small rural community with a growing Hispanic population. Please join them in praying that God will direct them in the leadership transition.
Last week began with a quick trip on Monday to Davis Wesleyan Church near Hamlet (northwest of Plymouth) to meet with Pastor Matthew Ohime and their leadership team. Pastor Ohime has been serving as interim (supply) pastor this year and the church is making new strides. They voted 18-1 on Sunday to enter into Developing Church status as part of an intentional revitalization project. Pastor Ohime received a 21-0 recommendation to be appointed as their pastor to lead this project.
Rev. Chris Williams, our Assistant DS, will be leading a Maximizing Impact team for a consultation at Davis Wesleyan later in June. Pray that God will honor their passion to reach their rural community for Christ.
Tuesday morning, I met with Pastor Tim McClellan and the staff at Marion Lakeview Wesleyan Church as he shared the sobering news of a recent cancer diagnosis. Pastor Tim also shared with the Lakeview congregation yesterday morning. He has additional tests this week before his doctors determine his treatment plan. We are joining Tim and Cynthia in prayer and believing that our Great Physician will be glorified in this journey.
After our weekly Tuesday morning office staff meeting at The Abbey Coffee, I met with a prospective church planter in Noblesville who welcomed a conversation about potential partnership with The Wesleyan Church.
Wednesday morning, I was able to worship at the IWU chapel service and hear Dr. Jim Lo preach a message on spiritual warfare. I was encouraged to learn that IWU has scheduled Dr. Lo to teach a credit course (REL-488) on Spiritual Warfare this fall. Classes will be held Monday evenings (6:15-8:15) and there will be an option to audit the course.
Pastor Matthew Stewart (Sweetser Wesleyan) and I met over lunch for our annual coaching conversation and then I met with Pastor Allen Laws on Wednesday afternoon for our coaching conversation in Warren.
Thursday and Friday, I had the privilege of representing our Crossroads District as a member of the Indiana Wesleyan University Board of Trustees. One of the highlights was the devotional shared by Coach Greg Tonagel, head of the men’s basketball program.
Dr. David Wright, our president, is a wonderful leader who does an amazing job of navigating IWU through the challenges of Christian higher education in an increasingly hostile environment. I appreciate the focus that Dr. Wright and his team have been giving to make sure that faculty and staff fit the mission of IWU. They have recently updated the rigorous interview process to ensure that all new employees embrace the beliefs and values that we hold dear. Please keep President Wright and IWU in your prayers and support our college in every way that you can!
On Saturday, more than 200 lay leaders and pastors from the Crossroads District gathered at Brookhaven Wesleyan Church for ReEquip 2019. We were blessed by our keynote speakers Dr. David Smith and Rev. Mike Hilson (NewLife Network). There were wonderful breakout sessions on multiethnic ministry, children, youth, worship and discipleship. The Branch Coffee Shop (Fairmount Wesleyan) catered a delicious meal.
Pastor Josh Lavender and his team from Indianapolis Trinity Wesleyan led us in heartfelt worship. Pastor Tony Bye and the team at Brookhaven were incredible hosts for the event. Special thanks to Pastor Amanda Blair and her leadership team who worked hard to create and produce this impactful and affordable learning experience for our lay leaders and pastors!
This Saturday, April 13, you’re invited to join us for our Crossroads District Spring Prayer Gathering. Dr. Jim Lo and his team will lead this meeting at Fairmount Camp. We’ll begin at 10:00 and a free lunch is provided. While the sessions will conclude after lunch, the campground will be available for you to continue in prayer as we prepare for Easter.
Keep on making a difference in the cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent
June 4 – Rediscovering our Holiness Heritage with Rev. Dan LeRoy at Wesley Seminary
June 21-22 – Ordination and District Conference at Indiana Wesleyan University
March 10-12 (2020) – Heartland Region Gathering at Pigeon Forge, TN