This morning, I had the privilege of worshiping with Rev. Dr. Mark & Kari Rennaker at Southdowns Wesleyan Church in Kokomo. Pastor Mark is dearly loved by his people and they treasure his expositional Bible teaching in their adult Sunday School class. Mark came to Southdowns in 1993 and has faithfully taught this class since then, taking them through every book of the Bible more than once.
The last time I was with them they were finishing up their second year in the book of Job. This morning, I joined them as they were working their way through the book of Genesis. After the morning service and a brief meeting with their LBA, I enjoyed fellowship over lunch with Mark, Kari and Joel, their youngest son, who is headed to IWU for his freshman semester. Pastor Mark is a bi-vocational who also serves as Chair of the Department of Leadership Studies at Indiana Wesleyan University and plays a key role in the denomination’s THRIVE initiative funded by a grant from Lilly.
Sunday afternoon, I joined Pastor Clifton Ashlock and Ministry Leadership Team (MLT) at Anderson United Wesleyan Church for a review of their Maximizing Impact initiatives and future planning. They are making significant progress on their projects and strongly endorsed the MLT format for ministry coordination.
Sunday evening, Rev. Zack Working was installed at the senior pastor at Hope Rising Church in Huntington along with Rev. Carla Working (assistant pastor), and Caleb & Kiana Kimball (resident pastors). Pastor Carla is also staying busy as she works with Dr. Colleen Derr at Wesley Seminary. There is a growing tide of momentum as they reach out to the community. There were 91 in attendance this morning, which marks a new high for the summer. A good group came out for the evening service and the dessert reception in their fellowship hall. Pray that God continues to direct and bless Hope Rising!
Thank you to all who have been praying for our churches in transition. The LBA at Marion Nelson Street Wesleyan Church has voted to recommend that the Local Church Conference vote to extend a two-year call to Rev. Don Glenn.
Congratulations to New Castle Memorial Drive Wesleyan Church on the successful completion of their pastoral search. Rev. Eric George, from the Greater Ohio District, candidated last weekend and accepted a strong vote for a 2-year call as their next pastor. We look forward to welcoming Pastor Eric and Diana George to the Crossroads team!
I was in Knightstown last Monday to do a final walk-through of the building with one of the trustees. They’ve not had services since earlier in the year. The few members left, primarily due to declining health, have determined that they’re unable to continue. Pray for wisdom in the stewardship of the facility. Monday afternoon, I was at HQ to meet with Scott McDermid, the pastor who has been invited to candidate at Sheridan Six Points Church this coming weekend.
On Tuesday, I joined Rev. Chris Williams in meeting with Pastor Tim McClellan and the staff at Marion Lakeview Wesleyan Church. There is a rising tide at Lakeview and we’re looking forward to working with their team this November in a StratOp planning retreat.
Tuesday evening, I had the privilege of meeting with Pastor Gary Bingham and the LBA at Marion Hillside Wesleyan Church. Hillside had another strong year of ministry with 20 people saved and 11 baptisms. It was good to affirm their team and to walk through the Maximizing Impact consultation process as they prayerfully consider a date next spring.
I had a variety of other calls and correspondence through the week, but the highlight was undoubtedly being able to attend Old Time Camp Meeting with Dr. Jim Lo speaking. I was able to attend Wednesday-Saturday evening. I appreciated Dr. Lo’s exposition of the Sermon on the Mount with the repeated call to seek righteousness, not happiness. He reminded us of the importance of purity in our attentions, our affections and our allegiance. We don’t need to grow colder just because we’re getting older!
There’s still time to take advantage of the Crossroads District matching fund for churches who are helping with their pastor’s registration for the Gathering. This opportunity for renewal and retooling happens once every four years. Don’t miss out! Here’s the link: Gathering 2019
And the Discipleship Conference at Trinity Wesleyan Church is just around the corner, October 1 and 2. People are coming from across the US but we’re blessed to have this next door. Here’s the link to register: https://www.encountertrinity.com/DMC2018/
Here’s a reminder of why we do what we do: Rev. David Dignal has been leading the Edgerton Wesleyan Church in implementing the Oikos (8-15) model of intentional evangelism. Just this week, Pastor Dave had the joy of leading another one of the men in his 8-15 circle to Christ. The men in Dave’s discipleship group stepped up and committed that each one of them would take a specific day to pray for this new brother in Christ who is going through a tough time. Today, this new believer was in church and brought along his father who is also taking first steps in following Christ.
Keep on making disciples who make disciples!
Your servant in Christ,