Archive for September, 2010

I was standing next to Rev. Mark Brock, surrounded by flat farm fields in every direction.  I saw nothing but corn and soybeans.  However, Mark, who’s a pastor of Faith United Methodist Church, saw children in every direction.  “You see that house?” pointing down the county road outside his church, “That house is full of children.  And over there, there are children.  And down that way, there are children there too.”

What looked like empty farm fields to me were fields full of children to Mark, children God placed in the care of his little church.  Faith UMC, which averages around 30 people at its Sunday worship service, is located outside a small rural town in northern Indiana called Wanatah.  A year or so ago, the church’s members sensed God was calling them to reach children even though their congregation only had three at the time.

Several churches around Wanatah already did a joint Vacation Bible School, rotating from church to church each summer.  Last year happened to be Faith UMC’s turn, so after hosting the Bible school, Faith–with the help of Mark, his wife, and a few others–started two ministries for the children, Faith-Full Kids serving elementary age children and Faith in Motion serving youth.  Each meets in the evenings on alternating Wednesdays.

By this spring Faith-Full Kids was reaching 25-30 children and parents each month, half of them were unchurched!  Faith in Motion has been reaching a half dozen youth, all from outside the congregation.  Although a few of them are also attending the church’s Sunday morning service, the church has decided to start a Sunday evening worship service especially for them and their parents.  So not only does Rev. Brock and his congregation see children, where many of us might only see empty fields, but they also are doing something about it.  They are making places for the children and their parents to meet Jesus and encounter His love and Good News!

Faith UMC recently hosted a free workshop on how to successfully launch new worship service led by Ed Fenstermacher, Associate Director of Church Development for the Indiana Conference.  It’s a workshop that Ed and the other Church Development staff are willing to bring to your church, especially if you’re interested in receiving a worship matching grant for up to $5,000.  Call 877 781-6706 for more information.

Staff are available to help

Posted: September 20, 2010 by efenster in Information, Resources

Staff are available to helpPosted on September 20, 2010 by efenster

The Indiana Conference has a team of individuals who can provide assistance as your church strives to carry out its mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. 

They can help churches seeking grants, studying the demographics of their communities, identifying key areas to better focus on, and becoming more fruitful.

  Mark Gough is the Church Development Director for the Indiana Conference.  In that capacity he works closely with the Bishop, Cabinet, and other Conference Directors.  He also is responsible for supervising the Associate Directors of Church Development, as well as staffing the conference Church Development Team. 

Mark provides direct support for the United Methodist churches in the Central District, North Central District, and East District (SR 36 and south).  He also works with the recruitment and cultivation of church planters.

  Doug Anderson is the Associate Director of Church Development  who works primarily with the fifteen largest churches in the conference.  He also provides training for cluster group leaders.

  Steve Clouse is the Associate Director of Church Development  who works primarily with churches in the Northwest and West districts.  He also provides support for churches needing technical assistance in the area of worship as well as the MissionInsite demographic tool.

  Ed Fenstermacher is the Associate Director of Church Development  who works primarily with churches in the North District, Northeast District, and East District (north of SR 36).  He serves as the conference liaison for the General Church’s Strengthening the Black Church for the 21 Century national plan.  He also is responsible for maintaining the communication tools that the staff relies on to keep local churches informed.

  Sharon Washington is the Associate Director of Church Development  who works primarily with churches in the South and Southeast districts.  She also oversees the conference’s Hispanic ministry effort.

Welcome to our new blog…

Posted: September 10, 2010 by Philip Macomber in Information, Resources


Your Church Development Team!   Mark Gough, Director of Church Development (center) and Associate Directors Steve Clouse, Sharon Washington, Ed Fenstermacher, Doug Anderson

“Making disciples and transforming the world” is what we’re about!  Our charge is to assist the United Methodist churches of Indiana as they make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.  So, won’t you join us! 

The purpose of this blog is to engage with you this exciting task.  We hope to provide you with ideas, resources, and stories that will help you and others carry out our mission.  On our related Facebook page will allow us to hear from you and interact with the ideas and challenges that we encounter.

So send us your story of what how God is at work in your church as it makes disciples and transforms the world.  You can send it to Ed Fenstermacher at