Sunday morning, I had the privilege of worshiping with Pastor Mike Colaw and the team at Trinity Church in Indianapolis. Earlier this week, Mike had shared the vision that God had planted in his heart. This Sunday, after the third worship service, the ministry directors and small group leaders of the church gathered for a luncheon and powerful vision-casting conversation with Pastor Mike. They are building out a mobilization strategy to unleash hundreds of lay pastors in the marketplace. Pray that God will bless this missional initiative. I am personally grateful for Mike’s partnership as Assistant DS.
Later on Sunday afternoon, I connected with Pastor Aldean and Jesse Pablo in Fort Wayne. The launch team for SEND Church was hosting a community connection event with their local YMCA. Pastor Aldean has been approved as one of the volunteer chaplains for this YMCA and they will also have the opportunity to host launch team meetings here. Pastor Aldean is working toward launching their first micro-church by Easter weekend. Please keep this team in your prayers.
Tuesday, February 18, our district staff met in the morning for planning and prayer. Pastor Steve DeNeff and I met over lunch for our annual coaching conversation. I met with Assistant DS Mike Colaw in the afternoon to review the annual DS evaluation that our district pastors completed. Thank you to each pastor who took time to provide this helpful feedback to our District Board of Administration.
Wednesday morning, I met with Pastor Brad LeRoy (Harvest Church) for our annual coaching conversation. Pastor Michael Hewitt (Rising Hope Church) and I met in Muncie for our annual coaching conversation in the afternoon. Assistant DS Matthew Trexler and I met with a prospective church planter over supper in Marion. Pray that God will send workers into His Harvest!
Our District Board of Administration met at the Branch Coffee Shop in Fairmount on Thursday. Special thanks to Pastor Jeff Luedtke and his team for their hospitality to our board. Kathy Drury brought our devotional and Rev. Emily Hines led our prayer time. I am grateful for the diverse perspectives and collective wisdom of this board. After a productive meeting, we shared a supper meal with members and their spouses who were able to join us. Our next meeting is set for April 30.
Assistant DS Chris Williams and I met on Friday for follow-up work from the DBA meeting. Later that morning, I met with one of the leading UMC pastors in our area and appreciated his insights on the transitions taking place within their movement. Friday evening, I was in Fort Wayne to connect with Rev. Lane Sander and the fearless leaders of our Crossroads District All-Nighter. More than 500 students and their leaders/chaperones shared an action-packed event that included sermons from Rev. Aldean Pablo and worship led by Olivia Eckart. Thank you to every pastor, parent, and volunteer who helps to make this annual event a huge success!
Saturday morning, I joined Assistant DS Chris Williams and a great group of Region 3 pastors for their spring meeting at the Whistle Stop Restaurant in Monon. It was great to hear the stories of God at work in our ministries. Pastor Chris shared a preview of the church revitalization seminars we’ll be rolling out this fall and encouraged the pastors in keeping our churches focused on multiplying disciple-makers.
We are always thrilled to praise God with our local churches as they celebrate baptisms. Trinity Wesleyan Church in Indianapolis passed along word of five more baptisms on February 16. Here’s a picture of some of those new believers:
Pastor Rick Fletcher and Associate Pastor Andy Jellison were excited to pass along this photo of the 19th, 20th, and 21st baptisms of the year that they celebrated on February 23 at Lifeway Wesleyan Church in Fort Wayne.
Pastor Mark Atkinson and the team at Gas City Eastview Wesleyan Church are praising God for more lives being changed by the Gospel through their ministry. They celebrated the baptism of three more new believers on Sunday, February 23.
Tipton Trinity Wesleyan Church shared the news of this young man who prayed to receive Christ with his mother and with Aleah, the children’s pastor. Eli’s testimony was “I want to be baptized because I believe in Jesus… I want to show others that I’ve made that decision. I cannot wait to grow in my relationship with Jesus.” Praise God and pray for Eli to continue to flourish in his faith!
Congratulations to Jeff Clark, ViceChair of the LBA at Marion College Wesleyan Church, on the regular season championship for the men’s basketball team at Indiana Wesleyan University. Jeff, the Associate Head Coach, and Greg Tonagel, Head Coach, are both graduates of Wesley Seminary and recognized nationally for their excellence in coaching with their philosophy of “I Am 3rd.”
Our sympathy and prayers are extended to Mrs. Esther Osborne, wife and ministry partner at Warsaw Pathway Wesleyan Church with her husband Rev. Jarod Osborne. Esther’s father, José Antonio Nuñez, passed away earlier this month and was buried in Uganda where he had effectively served as a missionary for 16 years.
Thank you for all that each one of you are doing to advance the Kingdom of God in your corner of His Harvest!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent