Archive for the ‘Information’ Category

AIMLogo-Impact-color-600x267Two United Methodist Conferences recently met with the Indiana Conference Church Development team to learn how to bring IMPACT to churches in the areas they serve.  Since 2016 Indiana has been using IMPACT to help revitalize and bring hope to small-membership churches, and other Conferences are noticing. Randy Anderson, Associate Director of Church Development, stated, “Small churches make up 70% of the church nationwide. Focus tends to be given to programs for medium and large churches, and the smaller churches are either overlooked or given a watered-down version of what worked at the large churches. When other Conferences hear that Indiana has created a process which entirely focuses on the revitalization of the small church, it is something they want to use.”

Since IMPACT is contextualized for small churches, it can be used in other regions and geographical areas. As other regions experience IMPACT, we pray there will be more stories of local congregations experiencing renewed hope for the mission and their vision.

To learn more about IMPACT within our Indiana Conference, visit IMPACT or visit the Church Development booth at Annual Conference for further conversation.

— Jennifer Hudson & Randy Anderson, Associate Directors of Church Development


Fresh-Expressions-LogoJesus reminds us how important each person is when he tells the story of the shepherd who leaves the 99 sheep to search for the one lost sheep.  So how important is that one lost sheep to you and your church?  If your answer is “really important,” then you’ll want to attend the Fresh Expressions “Vision Day” coming Saturday, March 16th, at Columbia City United Methodist Church near Fort Wayne.  For more information and to register click here.  Act now because the early-bird rate ends March 10th!

Fresh Expressions is a model of outreach especially for churches that are seeking to be more missional.  It is one of the most effective ways for a church to reach and disciple persons who have no interest in attending a church.  It is a model that can be initiated by as few as a single person and it doesn’t necessarily require a lot of money.  It is a model that all sizes of churches can do, and in all ministry contexts.  All it requires is a bit of understanding and a heart for those outside the church that Jesus referred to as the lost.

Emily Reece, Director of Church Development, and I had the privilege of visiting Wildwood United Methodist Church in Wildwood, Florida.  Even though only 110 people attended the church’s worship services, the church has over a dozen Fresh Expression groups meeting every week.  We visited the church’s Higher Power Hour (yoga) and Bibles and Burritos, which meets at a Moe’s Southwest Grill.  They also have Fresh Expressions in a tattoo parlor, hair salon, and dog park.  They have groups that are for people who like to run, and people who like art.  The church has a culture of going out into the community to build relationships and disciple their friends and neighbors, and Fresh Expressions is how they mainly do it!

The church’s pastor, Michael Beck, will be one of the two people leading the Vision Day training on March 16th, so don’t miss out!   Sign up today.  That little lost sheep is counting on you and your church!

— Ed Fenstermacher, Associate Director of Church Development


isThe Indiana Conference has a goal that by 2020 100% of our churches and pastors will be engaged in life-giving changes for Jesus Christ in their mission fields.  This is referred to as the Conference’s “wildly important goal” or WIG.

Of course The United Methodist Church’s mission is “to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”  Our WIG would have us do just that, focusing our efforts, however, especially on those outside our church walls.  Did you know that, according to MissionInsite, six out of every ten Hoosiers are unchurched?  That’s nearly 4 million people!  And as you’re probably aware, a growing percentage of these people have no interest in attending church.  In order to reach them, we’ll have to take the church to them!

Fresh-Expressions-LogoSo how do we do that?  The Methodist and Anglican churches in England give us a model called “Fresh Expressions,” which has been found to be highly effective in reaching and discipling such people.  In fact, the Methodist Church in England is reaching 500,000 persons every week through Fresh Expressions of the church, and 75% of those reached are non-church going folk!  If Fresh Expressions has proven so effective in such a secular culture, just think of the potential here in Indiana.

So the Conference’s Church Development Team has entered to a partnership with Fresh Expressions U.S. and they will be working with our districts in launching Fresh Expressions training opportunities to help churches figure out how they might use this missional outreach model as they pursue the WIG. Here are upcoming training dates. Put them on your calendar and bring a team from your church with you!

Together with God, we’re going to do something incredible in Indiana. Don’t miss out.  It’s going to be awesome!  — Ed Fenstermacher, Assoc. Director of Church Development

FX Training Events in 2019

Fresh Expressions “Vision Day”–March 16, 2019, Columbia City UMC, Northeast District  (See below for registration and details.)

Fresh Expressions “Vision Day”–May 18, 2019, St. Paul UMC, Bloomington, Southeast District

Dinner Church(A popular model of Fresh Expressions)–June 1, 2019, Lakeview Church, Indianapolis

Details on the March 16th Fresh Expressions “Vision Day”

Date:  March 16, 2019

Time:  9:30am-3:30pm (Eastern Time)

Location:  Columbia City UMC, 605 Forest Parkway, Columbia City, IN  46725-1255 (Near Fort Wayne)

Description:  Fresh Expressions is a model of outreach especially for churches that are seeking to be more missional.  It is one of the most effective ways for a church to reach and disciple persons who have no interest in attending a church.  It is a model that can be initiated by as few as a single person and it doesn’t necessarily require a lot of money.  It is a model that all sizes of churches can do, and in all ministry contexts.  All it requires is a bit of understanding and a heart for those outside the church that Jesus referred to as the lost.

At the Vision Day participants will discover…

  • How fresh expressions of church are renewing the church around the world
  • What it means for your church to be Mission-Shaped
  • How to intentionally engage with the community beyond your church walls
  • Tools for starting fresh expressions of church in your area

To Register:  Click Here

Sponsor:  the Northeast District and Church Development of the Indiana Conference UMC.   Workshop Leadership:  Provided by Fresh Expressions U.S.

Cost:  (includes lunch) Prior to March 11th $25 for Indiana United Methodist laity & clergy, $40 general public.  After March 10th $30 for Indiana United Methodist laity & clergy, $45 general public.



7ac08c17c433587de029f51f7ec9f56cThe following is an interview with Rev. Jack Hartman and the Korean Disciples UM Church in West Lafayette, Indiana…

  1. Tell us how and when you began as a UM congregation

Korean Disciples Church (KDC) began in July, 2013, as a non-denominational church to serve Koreans residing in the West Lafayette/Lafayette area, particularly Korean students attending Purdue University. The first service was held with 16 attendees, including the founding pastor Rev. Jong Hyun Jung, who was a graduate student at Purdue University at that time. Shortly later, KDC moved in the First UMC at West Lafayette, and First UMC generously offered KDC to share its facility. Due to the graduation of Rev. Jung, KDC initiated a nation-wide search and found a new pastor Rev. Kook Jin Yun. As Rev. Yun was a UMC pastor, KDC became affiliated with UMC as a plant church on his joining of KDC in July, 2016. Upon the unexpected dissociation of Rev. Yun from KDC in March, 2017, Rev. Steve Clouse, Director of Church Development at the time, started to provide the pastoral service to KDC. For the following seven months, Rev. Clouse not only led Sunday services but also reformed the decision-making process of KDC. Thanks to his dedication and exceptional efforts, KDC revived and re-strengthen trust among church members and between KDC and UMC. In June, 2017, KDC reaffirmed its affiliation with UMC through an overwhelming ‘yes’ votes in a congregational meeting.

  1. What is your vision?

KDC has five vision items. First, KDC spreads the Gospel to the world by worshiping together. Second, KDC makes disciples of Jesus by bolstering the spiritual growth of the members. Third, KDC provides a loving community by strengthening the fellowship between the members. Fourth, KDC nurtures young generations by awakening them spiritually. Fifth, KDC makes the world better by serving and helping the community outside the church.

  1. Describe your discipleship process.

KDC emphasizes small group activities in various forms. KDC has been building and supporting a vibrant college group named ELIM, which has grown to a significant body of more than 30 members in the past several years. The group convenes every Friday for worship services and conducts small group Bible studies. ELIM strives to create an atmosphere where people can experience the presence of God.

The Sunday school is one of the most important components of KDC’s discipleship process. Approximately, 20 children and youth attend the Sunday school weekly, and 6 to 7 volunteers devote themselves to assist the students with their spiritual growth. As many of the church members are young parents, the congregation always shows strong support to our Sunday school. Moreover, the Sunday school at First UMC provides KDC with generous support by sharing their facility and teaching resources.

KDC has also formed five small groups for families. Approximately, 25 adults regularly attend the bi-weekly small group meetings, where they reflect on Bible verses together and share their experiences and learning as Christians in everyday life. KDC also offers two Bible study sessions for adults. The Bible study groups meet weekly and study Bible with the guidance of Rev. Lee or his wife, Eunsun.

  1. Share about Pastor Lee.

Rev. Lee has an extensive array of experiences in young adult ministries. Rev. Lee obtained his B.Th. and M.Th. degrees from the Methodist Theological University in Seoul, Korea. After having served as a pastor at Broom-Tree Korean Methodist Church, a plant church in Seoul for three years, he was ordained as a full membership pastor in 2012 by the bishop of the Seoul Conference in the Korean Methodist Church. After his ordination, he moved to California and obtained his M.Div. degree in 2016. While pursuing his D.Min. degree, Rev. Lee accepted the leading pastor position at KDC. Before his move to Indiana, Rev. Lee had served as an associate pastor at several churches in the Bay area, including Bethel Korean UMC in San Jose, CA, with an emphasis on young adult ministry. His rich experiences in young adult ministry and his interest in campus ministry have acted as a driving force that leads KDC to move forward.

  1. What does KDC mean to its participants?

KDC is indeed a group of people who love God with reverence and awe. We had our challenging time, but by overcoming the challenges, we have learned who is truly the leader of this church and what the church members as the body parts of the Christ should do. Our Lord unified us, guided us, and taught us through the challenging time. I am so excited and also delighted by expecting what amazing things God will do with KDC on Purdue campus. – Minhye Hwang

I’m exceptionally fortunate to be a member of Korean Disciple Church and serve other followers of Jesus at church. As the name of the church explicitly states, we desire to be disciples of Jesus Christ and to spread the gospel of Jesus and God’s love to anyone. This church has offered me with a variety of opportunities to build a stronger spiritual life. I learned to spend time with God every day, early in the morning. Developing the habit of praying to God daily with other followers contributed to my spiritual growth and made me feel that God is with me all the time. If you are seeking fellowship with other followers of Jesus in such a home-like, supportive environment, this church would be the ideal place for you! – Taejung Ma

  1. What ministries are you involved in?

About 15 church members of KDC have been visiting dementia patients at Rosewalk Nursing Home in Lafayette every month for the past four years. They sing gospels along with the patients, have a conversation with them, and also share the Good News.

KDC is very proactive in supporting oversee missionaries. Since its inception, KDC has been supporting five missionaries in Africa and South America. Moreover, KDC has been supporting ten underprivileged children in developing countries through Compassion.

KDC recently started a new outreach ministry to support Korean students on Purdue campus. This October KDC women’s bible study group made 200 lunches and distribute them to Korean students and non-believers in town. KDC plans to continue this effort especially at the final weeks at Purdue University.

  1. What’s attendance like?

Because a big portion of our members are college students, the attendance fluctuates according to Purdue’s academic calendar. While the University is in session during a semester, the average attendance of KDC is 90, of which about 30 are Purdue students, and 20 are Sunday School children.

  1. What else would like to share?

Volunteerism is one of the key words at KDC. The majority of church members are willing to serve the congregation according to their ability and capacity. For example, we have meal together every week after our Sunday service. Members voluntarily bring whatever they can prepare or afford and share the meal with everyone. The meal is always full of joy and love whether the meal is sufficient or not. This spirit works in every part of the church activities in KDC and contributes to unifying the church.




41z0gTAFNjL._AC_US436_QL65_How are we to reach the growing percentage of our population that has no interest in attending our churches?  In Indiana nearly 4,000,000 residents aren’t affiliated with any church, synagogue, or mosque according to MissionInsite.  That works out to be more than every-other household!  That’s your neighbors, co-workers, the people you rub shoulders with everyday.

What has worked in the past doesn’t seem to be working today.   Jesus said, “New wine must be poured into new wineskins.” (Luke 5:38)  It’s clear we’re in a “new-wineskin” moment!  We need a new way to connect with and disciple folk.

What better place to look for such a model than England, a post-modern culture in which the church is viewed by many as irrelevant.  The Methodist and Anglican churches in England have discovered such a model that they call Fresh Expressions.  One in five Methodist churches have at least one Fresh Expression and on average they are reaching a half-million people each week!  More importantly 75% of those reached are not involved in traditional church.

Fresh Expressions is a model of outreach especially for churches that are seeking to be more missional. It is one of the most effective ways for a church to reach and disciple persons who have no interest in attending a church.  It is a model that can be initiated by as few as a single person and it doesn’t necessarily require money.  It is a model that all sizes of churches can do, and in all ministry contexts.  All it requires is a bit of understanding and a heart for those outside the church that Jesus referred to as the lost.

The Indiana Conference is holding a special training day for Fresh-Expressions-Logoindividuals and teams from churches that are interested in learning more.  It will be held on October 20th and there’s a special discounted registration fee for United Methodists from Indiana.  The event will be held at Fishers UMC near Indianapolis and be led by Fresh Expressions U.S.  You can register right now by clicking here.  Those churches with people attending will be eligible for up to a $1,000 Fresh Expressions grant from Church Development.  (There’s a limited number of these.)

Wouldn’t it be awesome if every Indiana UMC launched at least one Fresh Expression effort to reach Indiana’s unchurched?  So, don’t miss out.  Attend the October 20th and learn how you can launch a fresh expression of church in your community.

For more information, feel free to contact me at

— Ed Fenstermacher, Associate Director of Church Development

Thanks Steve!

Posted: August 14, 2018 by efenster in Information
Tags: , ,

IMG_0857Church Development wants to thank Steve Mekaru for his years of faithful leadership of Kristo’s Hands & Feet, a ministry of St. Joseph United Methodist Church in Fort Wayne.  Steve used a radical model of ministry that took the church literally to the streets.  (Sort of like Jesus did!)

Kristo’s never had a building but existed on the streets, in vacant lots, a city park, Boys & Girls Club, and on porches of interested neighbors.  Through regular prayer walking, intentional conversation, and rubbing shoulders at the local food bank and other places, Steve and Kristo’s participants  developed disciples through building relationships with those God placed in their path.

As a result, a number of people grew in their love of Jesus.  One such person is Amber Bean, whose life was transformed as a result of the Holy Spirit working through Steve and the Kristo’s ministry.  Now she is a follower of Christ and is sharing her faith with folk in her neighborhood.

Steve officially ended his ministry leading Kristo’s last month.  (He’s in the blue shirt in the above picture that was taken at the final Kristo’s event.)  He has moved on to a full-time position with the Fort Wayne Rescue Mission where he continues his unique ministry.  Church Development wishes him God’s blessings and thanks Rev. Russ Abel and the St. Joseph UMC for being open to using an out-of-the-box ministry model.

Although Kristo’s Hands & Feet will be ending, another new United Methodist ministry in a similar part of town is getting ready to launch.  Stay tuned for more on that!

— Ed Fenstermacher, Associate Director of Church Development

CCI LogoChurch Development, of the Indiana Conference of the UMC, is celebrating the appointment of three church planters to three new projects in Indiana.

— Connor Guerzini has been appointed to Huntertown Unknown-1Lifehouse UM Church (senior pastor Tony Johnson).  Part of his ministry will be to help launch a new faith community at Huntertown’s Forest Park Lifehouse Campus in Fort Wayne.

— Ross Stackhouse has been appointed (beginning July 1) to Unknownplant a conference-sponsored new church on the growing southern edge of Indianapolis.

— Kara Bussabarger has been appointed (beginning July 1) to Fort Wayne Covenant UM Church (senior pastor Karen Koelsch); half of her time will be spent helping Covenant disciple the 20,000 members of its nearby YMCA.images

Their projects join around forty other new-faith communities that have been launched over the past five years in the Indiana Conference.  Four of them have become constituted (chartered) United Methodist churches.  So far only two have closed.  Collectively they’re reaching about 2,500 people in worship each week.  Praise God!

Please keep Connor, Ross, and Kara in your prayers.  Starting new faith communities is not an easy task.  Pray for their families as planting will demand much of their time.  Pray that God transforms many lives through their efforts.

— Ed Fenstermacher, Associate Director of Church Development

P.S. Church Development is always looking for churches that are interested in establishing new faith communities, because studies show that it’s the most effective way of reaching the unchurched.  If you attend such a church, let us know!