2104 Campbell Street
Valparaiso, IN 46383
Office: (815) 464-9181
Mobile: (765) 237-7678
President: Bob Wierenga (Wisconsin)
Vice President: Jason DeVries (New Thing)
Past President: Edie Lenz (Illinois)
2018 IRS Mileage Rate has been changed to $.545 cents per mile.
A new directory of RSMA churches and ministers is now available as a digital copy. You can download the directory by clicking HERE.
A Youth Corresponding Delegate to General Synod is still needed for this year’s RCA General Synod taking place in Grand Rapids, MI at Calvin College from June 7-12, 2018. This non-voting delegate is one who is somewhere around traditional college age. In addition to participating in the regular business of the General Synod, the youth corresponding delegates meet and do things together. It is anticipated that the youth delegates have given some thought about the possibility that God may be calling him or her into ministry, but that does not necessarily mean that a decision has been made. It is an intention of the participation in General Synod as a youth delegate to help that person discern hearing the Holy Spirit’s voice. Do you know of someone who might be a candidate for this youth delegate? Please contact Chad.
Times of Transition Workshop – February 24, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Faith Church, Dyer, Indiana. A keynote address by Jeff McNair on supporting teens and young adults with disabilities during times of transition will be followed by six workshops. These workshops will look at a variety of topics related to transitions for individuals with disabilities and parents of children with disabilities. This free event is sponsored by Joni and Friends and Elim Christian Services. Click HERE for more information.
Kids and young adults who do mission work can get financial support from the Next Generation Missional Engagement Scholarship Fund. Scholarships are available for mission trips, mission internships, disaster response work, and more. Participants must be 25 or younger. (Hats off to the RCA Church Growth Fund and others for providing financial support that makes this possible.) Click HERE to apply by February 1.
Faithful Innovation in an Uncertain World Conference March 2-3, 2018 at The United Methodist Church, 600 Wilshire Ave, Stevens Point, WI – In today’s dynamic cultural environment, churches have to be more than faithful–they have to be agile. That means embracing processes of trial, failure, and adaptation as they form Christian community with new neighbors. And that means a whole new way of being church. Taking one page from the Bible and another from Silicon Valley, priest and scholar Dwight Zscheile brings theological insights together with cutting-edge thinking on organizational innovation to help churches flourish in a time of profound uncertainty and spiritual opportunity. Picking up where his recent bestseller, People of the Way left off, Zscheile answers urgent and practical questions around how churches become agile and adaptive to meet cultural change. Click HERE for more information and to register.
Consider Supporting RSMA Urban Ministry Grants – The Regional Synod of Mid-America gives grants to ministries in, and/or for areas considered urban in geography of our regional synod. 2018 will be the last year we provide these grants and we are asking our churches to consider giving to this grant fund generously for one final year. The asking is $4 per member and that amount can be sent to the RSMA at any time during the year. Thank you for your generous support to these grants over the years. Many churches and blessed many people with the fruit of these grants!
The Regional Synod of Mid-America’s Ministerial Excellence Fund. The purpose of this Fund is to assist with alleviating some of the financial pressures facing clergy in their pastoral ministry. This fund is made available to both Ministers of Word and Sacrament and Commissioned pastors rostered in Illinois Classis, Wisconsin Classis, and Illiana-Florida Classis. Each classis began this fund with $10,000 which was matched by the Reformed Church in America for a total starting balance of $20,000 per classis. You will need to download and read the Ministerial Excellence Guidelines prior to filling out an application. Once the application is filled out, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
News from Camp Manitoqua Is your church holding a retreat soon? Consider having it at Camp Manitoqua! Reasonable rates, excellent location, and the beauty of God’s creation will surely enhance your experience. If interested, please email Nathan@manitoqua.org or call the office at 815-469-2319.
Summer Staff: Have you considered spending a summer in ministry? Applications for 2017 summer staff at Camp Manitoqua & Retreat Center are available online at www.manitoqua.org/jobs and are being accepted now.
STORIES OF CELEBRATION
We share stories of celebration to glorify God. There is no story this month. If you’d like to share what God is doing in your church (or classis), please email Chad.
THOUGHTS FROM WAYNE
Evaluating Your Biblical Leadership Health…
Do you consider yourself a healthy Biblical leader? Most of us could name people who we would consider to be good leaders. Maybe it’s someone you know personally like a businessperson, a boss, a teacher, a friend or a pastor. Good leaders inspire and empower the people with whom they work with on a team. They have a positive people approach in challenging situations, recognizing that setbacks and problems happen. It’s how a leader deals with those problems that makes the difference. Good leaders learn to develop empathy as they communicate effectively as they try to understand from the other person’s perspective. Transformational leaders create an inspiring vision of the future, motivate their follows to achieve it, and strategically manage the dimensions of a plan. We evaluate the effectiveness of leaders all the time whether we realize it or not. For example, how many of you have been happy with every decision made by government officials in the last 12 months? In the process of being happy or not, you have evaluated a leader’s performance.
What about great Biblical leadership? The Apostle Paul instructed the church leaders in Rome, in Romans 12:8 that if anyone is gifted to lead, “let him/her govern diligently.” How does a person evaluate if whether or not one is leading in such a way that aligns with Scripture? Ralph Mayhew, the lead pastor of Burleigh Village Church, has developed 15 questions to help a leader evaluate the quality of their Biblical leadership. The questions he asks can also be applied to a team with whom one works, or to those whom one is looking to bring onto their team or develop. The questions he asks require a person to think, rather than providing simple answers and conclusions. How would you evaluate your leadership health in answering these questions?
“1. What are you building that is not about you?
2. How do you value people for who they are over what they can contribute to you?
3. How are you becoming more like Jesus, in every setting?
4. How are you overcoming limitations and obstacles and encouraging others to do the same?
5. What good things are people doing as a result of your influence?
6. How resilient are you?
7. How systematic and reliable is your leadership?
8. What are you like under immense pressure, both personal and professional?
9. What are signs of emotional maturity or immaturity in your thought life?
10. Are you inspired and if so, by what?
11. How are you gathering people around yourself to advance the Kingdom?
12. How teachable and humble would others say you are?
13. How do you treat people from whom you have nothing to gain?
14. In what ways is your leadership creative?
15. What concerns do you have about your character?”
16. I would add a 16th question: In what ways are you increasing your adaptive leadership skills?
Learning the gift of leadership is something that needs to be practiced and developed. Evaluating ourselves as Biblical leaders is an even more difficult task. I hope you take the time to answer these questions because I think they are helpful in the journey of becoming a better and healthier Biblical leader.
— Wayne Van Regenmorter
LINKS YOU MAY FIND HELPFUL
Nine Very Hopeful Signs for American Churches – Thom Rainer remains an optimist about the future of American congregations. This does not negate the real struggles many congregations are having, but Rainer points to nine signs that offer hope.
Watchfulness May Be A Better Word than Vision – When we watch we learn where the needs are and what questions to ask. We notice the patterns and movement in the sky as the sun touches the horizon and the world is aglow. Watchfulness tells us something about who we are and how we work. Even the most visionary among us must watch before determining the next steps.
The Best Leaders Are Great Teachers – The best leaders, the Harvard Business Review states, “emphasize ongoing, intensive one-on-one tutoring of their direct reports, either in person or virtually, in the course of daily work.”
Why Strategic Planning Is Worth the Investment – Many churches fail to understand that choosing not to invest in revitalization is a strategic choice to invest in your church’s protracted decline. Often churches don’t want to spend the money to do strategic planning. This article helps weigh the cost.
Five Traits of Aware Leaders – If a leader wants to be fully “aware”, there are disciplines they must have in place. For example, as a leader, do you want to easily recognize the need for change and the proper timing to introduce it? That comes partly by being a more aware leader.