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of the Evangelical Covenant Church

 

Churches working together to transform lives and communities by starting new churches, strengthening existing churches and developing missional leaders.

e-News • August 2015 • www.midwestcovenant.org
 

Healthy Missional Leadership

Remember your leaders who taught you the word of God. Think of all the good that has come from their lives, and follow the example of their faith.
 Hebrews 13:7 NLT

One of our 11 Healthy Missional Markers is a “culture of godly leadership.” Denominationally, we have defined it as follows:
  • Our leaders at all levels serve with character, competence, and conviction.
  • A spirit of collegiality pervades, with our people trusting our leaders and our leaders trusting our people.
  • We continually identify and train godly leaders for all dimensions of our ministry.
In the Midwest Conference, we’ve given further emphasis through our priority of developing missional leaders. Today, we’ve asked two of our missional leaders to share some of their leadership experience. Jodi Moore serves as Lead Pastor of Evangelical Covenant Church in Ceresco, Nebraska, and Clay Peck is Lead Pastor of Grace Place in Berthoud, Colorado.


How would you describe your philosophy of leadership?

Build consensus, cast vision and help people to see themselves as a valued part of carrying out the vision/mission.

I used to think that leaders were born, not made. But I changed my mind over time. I now believe that leaders are both born and made. Anyone can be a leader. Not everyone can lead anything, but anyone can lead something. Leaders want to follow strong leaders, be challenged, and keep learning.


What are some of the ways you develop leaders in your local context?

Get people involved in areas of their passion and giftedness. Watch for people who show signs of leadership. Give them more and more responsibility as they prove that they are willing to step up. Find ways to challenge and engage people who are business leaders so they can use their skills and experience in meaningful ways within the context of the church. Give people freedom and support to start new ministries. Gather leaders together for training, support, encouragement, and fun. We do this with a quarterly Leading Matters breakfast. Also, I do one-on-ones with leaders and desserts at my house for small groups of leaders.

Mentoring, one-on-one conversations, book studies, encouraging transparency in leadership. I try to push people out of their comfort zones but try to refrain from pushing people over the edge. This creates a culture of "always growing and always moving forward." 


What is your biggest leadership challenge right now?

Church growth has been an exciting journey. Church health has been adventurous. We've been reaching out and we've attracted new people to the congregation. However, this has left me with a new leadership challenge to understand the dynamics between the varying generations. I need to harness the energy of the younger generations and the wisdom of the older generations and somehow merge the two to move us all forward together. 

As the church grows it becomes necessary to move people into different roles so they are in the right place for the right reason at the right time. Some people will grow as leaders and take on more and more responsibility. Some people will not be able or willing to rise to new challenges as the church grows. So, one of the biggest challenges is moving people gracefully in and out of positions so they and the church continue to thrive. It’s not about “firing” volunteers, but about helping them find the best seat on the bus that fits them and serves the church. That is a challenge but must be a continual work of leaders for an organization to be healthy and growing.

MWC Launches Its Newest Church Plant!

On August 5, Pastor Marc Jefferson and wife Christine signed a Covenant Agreement launching Colorado’s newest Covenant church plant. Aurora Community Covenant is sharing Christ’s love in an ethnically and economically diverse context. The Denver Regional Church Planting Group, Midwest Conference, and Evangelical Covenant Church are partners in this new plant.

Pictured: Denver Church Planting Group leaders, MWC staff, and representatives from Aurora Community Covenant

Moving Forward in Racial Righteousness and Reconciliation in Fort Collins

Abyssinian Christian Church and Council Tree Covenant Church of Fort Collins, CO, had a fantastic time of worshiping the Lord together on Sunday, August 16. The evening was full of music with a joint gospel choir, led by Malcolm Scott, times of thanksgiving and prayer in small groups, and encouragement for all. In the service, two people from each church shared what God is doing in their lives. It was a powerful service and fun to see many people from both churches stick around to talk afterwards.

We look forward to getting our two churches together more often in the coming year to worship and build relationships. Click here to learn more about our shared journey!

Abyssinian Christian Church is led by Pastor David Williams and Council Tree Covenant Church is led by Pastor Bert Wright.

Christ-centered, Transformational Fun

Over 800 Midwest Conference youth and adults attended CHIC2015 last month. That is the highest attendance the MWC has ever had, making us the conference with the second highest attendance!
 
While 800 is a huge number, more impressive is the significant life change that happened within that group of people. Imagine the new relationships with Christ that were established. Imagine the deeper sense of God’s presence that many felt—God becoming more and more real. Imagine the relationships that experienced reconciliation at CHIC. Imagine the inspiration from base camp learning experiences—inspiration to change the world. Imagine the joy in the hearts of those who will receive one of over 50 clean water wells around the world. Imagine the voice of God quietly whispering to the hearts of the many who received a call to full-time ministry and/or missions!
 
Perhaps you picked up a CHIC coffee mug at a Midwest Conference ministry celebration. The back of that mug communicates the essence of CHIC—Christ-centered, Transformational, and Fun. Clearly, CHIC is fun. Just check out the CHIC Conference Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram profiles for tons of pictures and videos.
 
And CHIC is absolutely Christ-centered and transformational. As a CHIC liaison for the eastern side of our conference and in my role as dorm pastor, I had the opportunity to see things from more of a bird’s-eye view. God moved in big ways in the lives of our youth.
 
One student got to hear for the first time that, despite her past, she is not “damaged goods”—God loves her and has BIG plans for her. Another student finally got to be heard by someone who genuinely cares about him. He spent two hours confessing the sin in his life to his youth pastor. A third student learned what it means to “get over yourself” and have eyes to see the incredible blessings from God all around, especially in relationship with others. Yet another student learned that very little separates him (or anyone) from being homeless. He learned how important caring for the homeless and poor really is to the heart of God.

The Christ-centered transformation that occurred at CHIC created sparks that have set our youth ablaze with a desire to serve God. They will be incredible leaders in their schools, youth groups, churches and the Kingdom of God in our local contexts and around the world as their encounters with God continue to grow and develop. I can’t wait to see what that looks like!
 
Thank YOU for giving the youth in your church the opportunity to experience God in such an incredible way, and PRAISE GOD for His incredible presence at CHIC2015.
 
CHIC2018 is right around the corner. If your church didn’t participate this year, I encourage you to consider how you can participate in 2018. MWC had over 800 attend CHIC. Imagine if every one of the over 800 ECC churches were involved in CHIC by sending people, praying, and financially supporting the event. We’re in it together—let’s show it in 2018!

Jim Eaton serves as the Director of Student Ministries at Countryside Covenant Church in McPherson, KS.

Swedeburg Covenant Welcomes New Pastor

Swedeburg Covenant Church in Wahoo, NE, officially welcomed Pastor Russ Sizemore at his July 19 installation service. We celebrate with Swedeburg and Pastor Russ as they begin their ministry together!

Pictured: Superintendent Tammy Swanson-Draheim with Pastor Russ and Janiece Sizemore
 

From Our Superintendent

Friends,

We are blessed to have so many wonderful leaders serving our Midwest Conference churches. We see this evidenced in leaders coming together to start new churches, bringing neighboring churches together for shared ministry, and investing in the next generation of church leaders.

Conference leadership is increasing its focus on cultivating our mission priority of developing missional leaders and is in the process of creating resources for both pastoral and lay leadership in our churches. We look forward to walking alongside churches as they strive to nurture their leaders’ gifts.   

I would also encourage churches to send their pastors to one of the upcoming fall retreats. This is always a great time of encouragement and renewal for ministry staff. Pastors who stay connected to one another remain much healthier than those who minister in isolation from their colleagues. 

Thank you, churches, for the many ways you serve and encourage church leaders and conference staff as we work toward our shared mission!
 





Tammy
 

2015 MWC Fall Pastors Retreats

Eastern Retreat
Carol Joy Holling Retreat Center
Ashland, NE 
October 5-7, 2015
Speaker - Mark Novak

Western Retreat
Franciscan Retreat Center
Colorado Springs, CO
October 19-21, 2015
Speaker - Remy Diederich

Registration brochure
Register by September 18!

Donations

We invite you to consider a special gift for the mission of the Midwest Conference. Visit Midwest Conference Donations.
 

Prayer Calendar

Click to download the July-October 2015 Prayer Calendar, also available on our website.

Free m&m's!
Pastors, Superintendent Tammy would enjoy meeting with your leadership team to share about the MWC Mission & Ministry. She'll even provide a tasty visual that will encourage leaders to learn the conference mission statement! Contact Tammy at mwctammy@gmail.com to invite her to an upcoming meeting.
 

Upcoming Events

Finalization Paper
Due to MWC office September 1

CKS Regional Church Plant Group To be rescheduled

Omaha Leadership Training
September 19, 8:30 am
Celebration Covenant, Omaha, NE

Denver Metro Church Plant Group
September 22, 7:00 pm
Grace Covenant, Lakewood, CO

Fall Interviews (Credentialing)
September 28-29, Celebration Covenant, Omaha, NE

November 2, Heritage Community Bible Church, Arvada, CO

2016 Annual Ministry Celebration
April 22-23, 2016
Crossroads Covenant, Loveland, CO

Triennial July 28-31, 2016

Cov Orientation Schedule

VOCATIONAL EXCELLENCE
Register here.

Sept 28-Oct 2
Pilgrim Pines, NH
REGISTRATION CLOSED


Oct 26-30
Mission Springs, CA
REGISTRATION CLOSED


Nov 16-20
Lake Beauty Bible Camp, MN
CLOSING SOON

Dec 1-4, 2015
Kingdom Cov, Miami, FL
 

WANTED:  1973 Covenant Hymnals

Does your church have copies of the 1973 edition of The Covenant Hymnal that you don't know what to do with? Covenant Place of Lenexa would be happy to take them off your hands! Send to Covenant Place of Lenexa, ATTN Elise Hawke, 8505 Pflumm Rd, Lenexa, KS 66215.
 

Spanish Translators Needed

The MWC would like to begin providing resources or essential notifications in Spanish, when possible. If you or someone you know would be interested in joining a volunteer task force to help with this need, please contact the conference office at office@midwestcovenant.org or 888-871-3020.


What's Happening?

Are you celebrating an epic moment in the life of your church? Email office@midwestcovenant.org with pictures of your event to be shared on Facebook and/or in the e-News!
 

Employment Opportunities

Seeking Employment? See if any of these opportunities are right for you.
 

Quick Links

 

e-News Bulletin Insert

To download a printable pdf version of this insert for your Sunday worship bulletin, click here.
 

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Copyright © 2015 Midwest Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church, All rights reserved.


Phone: 402-334-3020 or 1-888-871-3020
E-mail: office@midwestcovenant.org
Website: www.midwestcovenant.org
The Midwest Conference is a mission association of Covenant churches in Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, western Missouri, Nebraska, Wyoming.
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