Sunday afternoon, I had the privilege of worshiping with Rev. Terry and Lennaire Vaughn at The Bridge in South Bend. Pastor Terry and Lennaire have been faithfully making disciples and developing leaders in the core city. They are truly Kingdom entrepreneurs who serve wholeheartedly while managing a growing family and three businesses. Commitment to Christ, creativity in ministry, and passion for the lost are key markers of this ministry. I enjoyed the original rap songs and the testimonies that were shared for Father’s Day. The Bridge runs from 30 to 50 in person while also growing their online ministry. Last year they were blessed to baptize 11 new believers. Most of you know this, but church planting is truly a team effort. Spouses of church planters are real heroes. Terry and Lennaire Vaughn are great examples of that partnership. Pray as they continue to advance the Kingdom!
Sunday morning, I was also able to drop in on Rev. Greg Holmes and the team at South Bend Sonlight Fellowship. Pastor Greg interviewed two participants from their youth camp and several members of the congregation took time to share tributes to their fathers. Pastor Greg and Cheryl are beginning their 16th year of ministry at Sonlight Fellowship. Earlier this spring, Sonlight Fellowship began hosting the South Bend campus of Cielos Abiertos Iglesia Wesleyana that is being launched by Pastor Ruben and Susana Santos. Join me in praying for the impact of these ministries in South Bend.
Last week’s schedule included appointments on Monday, staff meetings on Tuesday, and one of the last coaching conversations of the season. On Wednesday, our office staff and some terrific volunteers gathered to assemble the 500 packets for delegates and friends who will gather this Saturday, June 26, for district conference. Many hands made light work so we finished promptly and then shared lunch together at one of our favorite spots in downtown Marion.
Thursday evening, I was blessed to connect with Rev. Jeff and Arianna Eckhart for the last evening rally of Never The Same Camp (NTS) held again this year at Indiana Wesleyan University. Approximately 1000 students and their leaders gathered for this year’s event. More than one hundred students responded to the salvation message and professed faith in Jesus Christ. The Thursday evening rally has traditionally been focused on the call to ministry. This year, 112 students responded by saying “Yes” to serving wherever God calls them to serve. Pray for the important followup work that will be taking place in our local churches over the coming months. If your youth group is looking for solid discipleship resources to help your teenagers take their next steps, check out the helpful “Soul Exercises” material that NTS has developed: https://soulexercises.com/
Sherry and I enjoyed a couple of days away last week including time with our granddaughter Lennon and her parents. John, our oldest child and Lennon’s dad, turned 30 on Friday so we gathered in Grand Rapids with all of our children to celebrate his birthday and his first Father’s Day.
This is the week! Prayers have been focused. Plans have been made. Now we gather from our 108 local churches. Our aim is for pastors and lay delegates to come away with renewed vision and passion for the great mission to which God has called us. If you’re not attending the sessions, I would be grateful if you would join us in prayer for the Ordination Service on Friday evening, 7 p.m., and for District Conference 2021 on Saturday, from 9 until 4:30. We are pleased that Dr. Wayne Schmidt, our General Superintendent, will be able to join us for both days. Together, may we rise to the challenge of making disciples who make disciples and multiplying churches among the 3 million unreached people here in Indiana and on to the ends of the earth!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent