Sunday, January 14, I had the privilege of worshiping with Pastor Greg and Cheryl Holmes at Sonlight Fellowship Wesleyan Church in South Bend. After the service, I met with the board and then hosted the Holmes family (including five of their eight children) for fellowship over lunch.
It was encouraging to see the young families that are now part of the church but the congregation lost several dear members this past year. Pastor Greg is another of our bi-vocational pastors who serves faithfully in a ministry with big opportunities and limited resources. Churches like Sonlight are the reason our ReEquip Conference this year (April 21 in Marion) is specifically targeted to pastors and lay leaders in smaller churches.
On Sunday evening, I was at Anderson Central Wesleyan Church to meet with Pastor Jerry Alexander and the LAC as they considered a new project to better serve families in their community. Our Maximizing Impact team is looking forward to working with them on April 6-8.
The biggest disappointment of last week was the weather delay for our prayer gathering. Given the hazardous driving conditions, the team made a wise decision to reschedule the event to this Friday, January 19, same time (1-3 p.m.) and same location, College Wesleyan Church in Marion. We look forward to sharing with you in this concert of prayer led by Dr. Jim Lo and his team of intercessors.
Last Monday, Pastor Mike Colaw (Assistant DS for Region 2) and I were invited to participate in Elevate, a leadership development initiative hosted by the Greater Ohio District and Cypress Wesleyan Church.
Elevate consists of an all-day leadership/ministry seminar with keynote presentations from Pastor Ken Murphy and then breakout discussions in table groups. These same table groups then follow up with each other over the next 3 months until they come back to Cypress for the next Elevate session. Pastor Colaw has been coaching several pastors one-on-one so it was good for us to explore how this model could be adapted for our Crossroads team.
Tuesday morning, I was in Frankfort as Pastor Alan Downing hosted Rev. Dan Fisher and the Lafayette Zone for their first meeting of the new year. I’m grateful for the way our teams connect to encourage and support one another. Tuesday afternoon, I was in the office at Fishers for a Zoom conversation, and then I closed out the day with Rev. Dr. Rich and Rev. Carol Schenck at Noblesville Lakeview Wesleyan. I first met with them and then with their LBA as part of the very positive extended call review.
Wednesday morning, I was at HQ in Fishers for a meeting of the General Board’s executive committee and then returned to Marion to sign property documents. The highlight of the day was connecting with Pastor Michael and Kim Hewitt at Rising Hope Church in Muncie. It was fun to see their team working together to transform the old Northview building as they prepare to launch this new ministry. Special thanks to Pastor Jeff Luedtke and the team from Fairmount Wesleyan Church who recently pitched in to help our newest church plant with this remodeling. We’re stronger together!
On Thursday, Dr. Rich Schenck and I attended a seminar hosted by the Center for Congregations at Eastern Star Church in Indianapolis. This event featured Jim Tomberlin who presented on the multi-site movement’s progress from a space solution to a revitalization strategy. Pastor Rich has been leading Noblesville Lakeview in reaching out to Bethel and now merging with Beech Grove Wesleyan so this event was timely. You will find a host of resources available at their website including this blog post on multi-site ministry in smaller towns: http://multisitesolutions.com/small-town-jesus-multisiting-in-small-town-america/
My final meeting on Thursday was back at HQ to meet with Mrs. Elaine Johnson, the HR Director, looking at evaluation tools for ministry leaders.
On Friday morning, I was in Anderson to sign closing documents for the sale of our old Frankton property. Then on to Fishers for a meeting with Dr. Schmidt, Dr. Drury, Rev. Ron McClung and Mrs. Janelle Vernon to review the Discipline’s provision for some of the models being explored in the regional pilot projects. The DS Institute later this month in Orlando will have a fuller conversation about these pilot projects.
The weather had settled enough by Friday evening, that I was able to join Dr. David Wright and the team at Indiana Wesleyan University who hosted a special evening featuring the Five Blind Boys from Alabama. This gospel group started touring together in 1944 and still features two of the original members (yes, I’ll let you do the math).
They’ve received 5 Grammy Awards and are nominated again this year for their most recent album. The evening was a wonderful community event in commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King’s leadership in the struggle for equal rights and racial reconciliation. (Our office follows the HQ calendar and is closed on Monday in memory of Dr. King.)
I’m on the road for coaching conversations this week before Friday’s prayer gathering. Then, Sherry and I are looking forward to hosting senior pastors and their spouses from the Fort Wayne Zone for supper and fellowship on Friday night at Thornapple Lodge.
There’s still time to register your youth group for the Crossroads District Youth All-Nighter in Fort Wayne at Pathway Community Church on February 23-24. Here’s the link on Eventbrite: Crossroads Youth All-Nighter
Please mark your calendars for April 21 and bring your team to ReEquip, featuring Mark Wilson, Ron Wickard and Matthew Deprez! Here’s the link: ReEquip Conference
Keep on making a difference in the cause that counts for eternity.
Your servant in Christ,