The Chesapeake Connection :: September 2014 :: Celebration of Ministry; Welcoming New Pastors; Chesapeake Connections; The Gathering and other District News

SEPTEMBER 2014 NEWSLETTER

CELEBRATION OF MINISTRY
October 26, 2014

Dr. Jo Anne Lyon, General Superintendent of The Wesleyan Church, will be the keynote speaker for the Chesapeake District Celebration of Ministry on October 26, 2014. The event will be held at Easton First Wesleyan Church starting at 6:00 pm. All district ministers and church congregants are invited as we celebrate milestones of ministerial achievements for our pastors.


CHESAPEAKE CONNECTIONS

District Churches Bring Christ to Communities Through Vacation Bible School 

GUMBORO WESLEYAN CHURCH hosts an annual VBS called “Camp Swampy” based on the name of their Children’s Ministry “Swamp Kidz.”  This year campers learned the value of putting “Safety First” not only while camping, but also the safety God provides for our souls through Jesus Christ. Through biblical stories the children learned that God has a purpose for them, has given specific instructions to be followed, and is calling and equipping each and every one to do great things for Him.
 
Parents joined their children for a picnic on the final night where the gospel was presented and fifteen teens and children made the decision to follow Jesus. A special offering of $119.00 was also received that night for the Furaha Boarding School in Africa where the “When I Grow Up” organization is raising funds to build a well and irrigation system. 

“The Adventures in His Mighty Kingdom” VBS was held at LAUREL WESLEYAN CHURCH with a Grand Coronation on Sunday August 17th. All week the children learned about the importance of the Armor of God in their lives through the experiences of King Saul, King David, Queen Esther and more. At the Grand Coronation “princesses and princes” were welcomed into God’s Kingdom with eighteen salvations.

Kids joined in a mission to discover God’s love and to share it with others at EASTON FIRST WESLEYAN’s VBS, "Blast Off.” Focusing on 1 John 4:7 which says, "Let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God” the children participated in stocking First Wesleyan’s food pantry and decorating bags for food recipients as way of expressing their love for the community. Twelve children accepted Jesus as their Savior and three recommitted their lives to following Him.

“Weird Animals” were spotted at GLEN BURNIE OAKWOOD and GOLDSBORO BETHEL WESLEYAN as children gathered throughout the week to explore the “one-of-a-kind” love of Jesus.  Twenty-five children and ten teen helpers attended GLEN BURNIE OAKWOOD’s VBS with $154 being raised for the kid-to-kid mission project to help provide clean water to people in India.   

GOLDSBORO BETHEL welcomed seventy-three children throughout the week with twenty-one of them making a commitment to follow Jesus.  Seven hundred dollars was also raised to send a child to school in Haiti through World Hope International’s Hope for Children program as well as to provide clean drinking water for two families for the next 15 years. Several families gathered on Sunday morning for the VBS finale and family picnic with 106 in attendance.


NEW PASTORS

The Chesapeake District welcomes the following pastors:

Reverend Scott Conn has accepted the position of Senior Pastor at Laurel Wesleyan Church, Laurel, Delaware. He comes to the position after several years of evangelistic ministry within the Chesapeake District and the Eastern United States. Pastor Scott says of his prior ministry experiences, “Serving as an evangelist has helped me to gain a greater view of the church.  I have encouraged, counseled, and become friends to many pastors. Through these relationships I have obtained a broad experience of what the church is and has the potential to become. My ministry has benefited much in these years of service from the pulpit and the pew.” Please pray for Pastor Scott and his wife Jackie as they walk through the doors God has open in His church.

Pastor Dave and Melinda Finlay have accepted ministry roles at Easton First Wesleyan Church under the direction of lead Pastor Mark James.  Graduates of Kingswood University in New Brunswick, Canada, Dave has served as youth pastor and district youth president in Western Pennsylvania, and Melinda has served as children’s pastor. They will both continue in those roles with Dave’s responsibilities being expanded to other ministry opportunities. Please pray for Pastor Dave and Pastor Melinda and their family as they transition to Maryland.

Pastor Jade Rogers assumed the lead pastor position at Keymar Evangelical Church in July. He comes to the Chesapeake District from Joplin, Missouri along with his wife, Michelle, and their two children, Bryona, 7 and Levi, 5. After graduating from MidAmerica Nazarene University, Jade served as youth Pastor for ten years in Kansas, Tennessee and Oklahoma before assuming the lead pastor position in Joplin. Michelle, who is also a graduate of MidAmerica Nazarene University, taught first grade for four years before becoming a stay-at-home mom.  Pastor Jade has a passion for reaching people for Christ by any means necessary and equipping others to do the same.


GROWTH POINTS with Gary McIntosh 

Jesus fulfilled his overall mission of bringing glory to God by completing his earthly mission of providing eternal life through his sacrificial death upon the cross.  What earthly mission is God calling you to accomplish in order to bring glory to His name?  Click HERE to download the September 2014 edition of Growth Points and read part 1 of "What is Our Mission" by Dr. Gary McIntosh.  


SALISBURY EMMANUEL IMPLEMENTS "ORANGE" STRATEGY

Jesus is doing great things in children’s’ lives at Salisbury Emmanuel! On June 1, 2014, the church staff implemented the Orange strategy from grades Kindergarten to 5th. With this implantation, children were divided into smaller groups needing group leaders. Praying for more workers, God began to supply needs. The emphasis of Orange is for the church to partner up with families to become more effective in the lives of children. The new vision using the Orange curriculum created lots of excitement not only with church leaders but also with parents.

On Saturday, June 28 Emmanuel hosted a carnival to kick off the new program. The purpose was not only to provide a ways for families to have fun with their kids, but also, to reach out to more people from the community, The carnival was a hit! The program included food, games, bounces, and a dunking booth. The response was huge! People connected with the church! In July, the church held a family-movie night. Kids were encouraged to come with their parents. When kids arrived there was a ticket booth for check-in and they also received a ticket for a free bag of popcorn. This event also was a success with over 200 people in attendance. Parents loved being a part of their children’s activities! 

God is moving and the excitement is great! Small group leaders are making an impact on the kids’ lives. Parents are sharing stories about how their children are being touched through the church and the Orange strategy. All glory and honor to God for what He is doing in the children's ministry at Salisbury Emmanuel.


IDENTIFYING THE OBSTACLES TO CHURCH GROWTH   by Charles Arn

Healthy people grow. Healthy animals grow. Healthy trees grow. Healthy plants grow. Healthy churches grow. Growth is a characteristic that God supernaturally breathed into all living things. And the body of Christ—the local church—is a living thing.

So, when a church is not growing, it is helpful to ask: “Why?”  If we understand the reason for a church’s lack of growth, it is easier to accurately diagnose the cause and to prescribe the cure. Here are the five most common “growth-restricting obstacles”…

Growth-restricting Obstacle #1: The Pastor

There are three different causes if the pastor is inhibiting the growth of a church:
  1. The pastor does not have a PRIORITY. Churches grow when they have a priority for reaching the unchurched. When the pastor doesn’t, the church won’t. (See Luke 19:10)
  2. The pastor does not have a VISION. Growing churches have pastors who believe God wants to reach people in their community and assimilate them into the Body. No vision for outreach is as much a barrier as no priority.  (See Acts 16:9)
  3. The pastor does not have the KNOWLEDGE. Working harder is not the secret to effective outreach. The secret is working smarter. Unfortunately, little is taught in most seminaries or Bible schools about how to invest the limited resources of a church for the greatest return.  (See Mt. 25:14-30)
Growth-restricting Obstacle #2: The Church Members

There are often competent and skilled clergy in non-growing churches, because the problem is not in the pulpit, it’s in the pews. Church members can keep a church from growing when:
  1. Members have no priority for reaching the lost. “Sure, our church should reach people,” some say. “But me? I’ve got three kids, a job, membership at the health club, and a lawn to mow. Someone else with more time should feel compelled.”  (see II Pe. 3:9)
  2. Members have a self-serving attitude about church. When members believe the priority of the pastor and the church should be to “feed the sheep” who are already in the flock, the message that newcomers hear is: “We like our church just the way it is…which is without you!”  (see Mt. 9:37)
  3. Members fear that new people will destroy their fellowship. When “community” is the number one priority in a church, active membership will not grow beyond 100 people. Beyond that point, members won’t know everyone…and, in their minds, that price of growth becomes greater than the benefit.  (II Cor. 4:5)
Growth-restricting Obstacle #3: Perceived Irrelevance

Growing churches start with the issues and concerns of the people in their community, and then relate the gospel to those points of need. Stagnant churches are seen by the unchurched as having an irrelevant message.  (see Acts 2:6)

Growth-restricting Obstacle #4: Using the Wrong Methods

Any farmer knows you can’t harvest ripe wheat with a corn-picker. Using inappropriate methods can be worse than no methods, since they create resistance to the gospel. A bullhorn on a downtown street corner, English tracts in a Spanish-speaking neighborhood, youth outreach in a senior adult community…none of these methods are wrong. But they are inappropriate for the harvest field. (see Mt. 7:9)

Growth-restricting Obstacle #5: No Plan for Assimilation

Over 80 percent of those who drop out of church do so in the first year of their membership. A new member does not automatically become an active member without an intentional plan by the church on how to assimilate them into a caring, loving, Christian community. (see Eph. 2:19)

There are many reasons why churches don’t grow. But there are no good reasons. Healthy churches grow. God wants your church to grow. He created it to grow. Sometimes it’s just a matter of finding out what’s keeping it from growing, and removing those obstacles. What about your church?


FALL MEN'S RETREAT
September 12-13, 2014

"WE MUST PROTECT THIS HOUSE- Our Armor" is the theme for the 2014 Fall Men's Retreat at Denton Camp, September 12 and 13, starting at 5:30 pm on Friday and ending at 1:00 pm on Saturday. Speakers for this event include Pastors Larry Johnson of Gloversville, NY; John Bowman of Dover, DE; and Abe Lankford of Cambridge, MD.

Registration is $50 for both days or $25 for Friday session only or Saturday sessions only and may be paid at the door.  Please make checks payable to Laurel Wesleyan Men. For more information or to make reservations please contact Gordy Pusey at 302-629-2039.
 

"DRIVE 2 THRIVE" Fall Festival
October 24-25, 2014

Denton Wesleyan Camp is having a Fall festival and fundraiser called "Drive 2 Thrive" starting on Friday, October 24 at 7:00 pm with a bonfire and continuing through Saturday. Everyone is welcome to stay the night and enjoy activities for the whole family, including pumpkin carving, chili contest, crafts, moon bounce, music and more.  For more information please contact Pastor Marilyn Searcey at 302-876-5380.

Anyone wishing to invest in the future of Denton Camp ministries may do so by sending a check or making a monthly pledge to "Denton Camp," Attn: Bill Arnold, P.O. Box 1694, Pasadena, MD 21123-1694.


THE GATHERING
January 13-16, 2015

The Gathering, January 13-16, 2015, is a powerful, 3-day celebration at the The Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando, Florida where Wesleyan clergy and spouses gather for encouragement, inspiration and to engage with one another.  The journey of spiritual leadership is never meant to be taken alone and God is already using this event to spark a revival in our churches and communities. The Gathering is more than a conference. It is a movement of giving hope to one another as together we bring hope to the world.  Click HERE for more information and to register.  
 

IMPORTANT DATES

Please mark your calendars with the following important dates:

UPCOMING EVENTS

Building Committee Meeting
September 6, 9:00 am
DBA Meeting
September 9, 9:00 am
DBMD Meeting
September 16, 7:00 pm
Celebration of Ministry
October 26, 6:00 pm
DBMD Meeting
November 11, 7:00 pm
DBA Meeting
November 18, 9:00 am
DBMD Meeting
January 6, 7:00 pm
The GATHERING
January 13-16, 2015
DBA Meeting
January 20, 2015, 9:00 am

ABOUT THE CHESAPEAKE DISTRICT

Mission

The Chesapeake District exists to create and empower local churches to impact their communities for Christ.

Vision

By District Conference 2020, the Chesapeake District will reach 20,000 new converts and will average 20,000 in primary worship attendance.

The entire operation of the Chesapeake District will be focused to this vision.  Every church and every pastor will be mobilized to double or triple its influence through evangelism, church health and growth, community service, and multiplication.

Core Values

Communicating Christ-Likeness
Developing Effective Pastors and Leaders
Reaching Our Communities for Christ
Multiplying Healthy New Churches
Pursuing New People and Cultures
Nurturing Vibrant Student Ministries

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