Sunday morning, March 8, I had the joy of worshiping with Pastor Johnnie and Pastor Amanda Blair at Trinity Wesleyan Church in Tipton. Trinity also has a campus in Kokomo led by Pastor Marc Watkins. It has been exciting to watch the changes at Tipton Trinity over the past 5 years since my first visit. While some of those changes are more surface (i.e. signage, branding, guest parking), the most exciting change has been the increased passion for reaching lost people for Christ.
The church is in a new life cycle and reaching younger families. The LBA is working with an architect to develop a master plan for significant changes to accommodate future growth. Pray that God will continue to bless and protect this team as they labor in the Harvest.
Sunday evening, Pastor Mark Atkinson invited to me to sit in with his leadership mentoring group at Eastview Wesleyan Church. Mark and a team of his key leaders are meeting each week to work through “Lead Like Wesley.” It was fun to share the story behind the book and to answer questions. That was the exact target audience for whom the book was written so it was encouraging to hear that they were finding it helpful.
I am always excited to share news of baptisms from across our district. The first report that came in this week was from Pastor Mike Hewitt and the team at Rising Hope Church in Muncie. Praise the Lord for another life made new! If you’ve had a baptism service recently that we’ve not yet shared in the team update, please send photos to our office e-mail with the subject line: #madenew
Last week, more than 40 leaders from Crossroads District participated in the Exponential Conference in Orlando, Florida and I traveled down on Monday. Each year for the past several years, The Wesleyan Church has hosted a pre-conference event. This year’s event welcomed the 500+ Wesleyan leaders who registered for this year’s conference.
Dr. Ed Love and his team put together a gathering which included a challenge from Dr. Wayne Schmidt, General Superintendent, on Tuesday morning and a networking supper on Tuesday evening. The full conference ran from Tuesday afternoon through lunchtime on Thursday with more than 5000 registered from across America and around the globe.
Keynote speakers for Exponential included Kadi Cole, Jossy Chacko, Pete Scazzero, Ephrem Smith, Danielle Strickland, Andy Stanley and Albert Tate. More than 150 breakout workshops were offered on topics ranging from disciple-making to fund-raising. In addition to these learning opportunities, the Exponential Conference also featured powerful times of worship, including one service with Ron Kenoly (from PromiseKeepers) as a guest. If you’ve never attended Exponential in Orlando, consider putting this learning event on your calendar for next year, March 1-4.
I traveled back home on Friday and was able to join Assistant DS Mike Colaw and the pastors of Region 2 for their breakfast on Saturday morning. Pastor Mike and Barbara Nichter, his dedicated assistant, always do a wonderful job of welcoming and pouring into our pastors. The topic of the day was the power of friendships. Thank you to each Region 2 pastor who was able to make it a priority to join us for this gathering.
Speaking of gatherings, the Heartland Gathering is this week (Tuesday-Thursday) in Pigeon Forge, TN. I’m grateful for all those who have worked diligently to make this an incredible renewal opportunity for our pastors and their families. More than 300 are registered from the 4 districts that make up our Heartland Region. Special thanks to Rev. Chris Williams and Rev. Seth Bye who have served on the steering committee. Please join us in prayer and ask God to meet with us in a powerful way.
Thank you for all you do to advance the Kingdom!
Your servant in Christ,