5:37am. It’s just a quiet, darkened dining table and a few empty chairs. But last night…last night it was voices and laughter and ideas and conversation. Believers in Jesus. Questioners about Jesus. No two are alike. The come wondering if they can learn, contribute, make a difference, pray, encounter Jesus. Perhaps they are an unlikely circle of friends, but the gathering together is good. The Bible is open…..
“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on the earth.” Colossians 3:2
There is no greater honor then to be invited to teach the Word of God.
On June 18, 2022, I will be teaching the Word of God at a Memorial Service for Bruce Henson. Bruce’s wife, Jan was the manager of the Panera in Greenwood in September of 2002. I went into Panera often and we became friends. Jan and her husband, Bruce asked if I would conduct their wedding on September 8, 2002. Jan and Bruce invited many of their friends to their home for this special day. And I had the privilege of teaching the Good News concerning Christ that day. Now, twenty years later, Bruce lost his battle with cancer and Jan has once again given me the privilege of talking about Jesus Christ with Jan and Bruce’s friends.
On Sunday, June 26th at 10:30, I have been invited to teach the Word of God at Lebanon First Baptist Church in Lebanon, Indiana.
And to top it off, Village Bible Church has invited me to teach the Word of God at the 10:00am service for their Tenth Anniversary Celebration on Sunday, July 17th.
Today we champion Pastor David Wright, Senior Pastor of Lebanon First Baptist Church. Pastor Dave recognized the tendency for the Local Church to be pulled into many directions. In an attempt to clarify God’s Purpose and Plan for the Local Church he has recently launched a verse-by-verse sermon series on Sunday mornings at 10:30, going through the Book of Acts. “God’s Manual for the Local Church.”
Last Sunday three young men asked if he would baptize them in order to demonstrate their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. This is Great Stuff !
One More Church is a Christian Non-Profit Ministry which exists to glorify God by means of providing assistance and consulting to pastors and churches who are struggling to exist. Due to cultural changes, and a pandemic, thousands of churches and pastors are on the edge of dissolving or quitting their ministries.
Assistance and consulting includes developing church organizational and growth strategies, mentoring church leaders, training, developing church vision statements, church and church leaders’ assessments, and providing equipping tools for church ministries.
One More Church seeks to define its mission, focus and activities by referring to:
A Two Fold Focus
1. A focus on local church Revitalizations and church Restarts.
2. A focus on Assisting and Encouraging Pastors.
The Initiative and Launch of “One More Church”: On February 27, 2022, Village Bible Church, Inc. located at 695 E. Pushville Road, Greenwood, Indiana, 46143, held a Commissioning Service to send their founding pastor, Pastor Ken H. Dalton, out in order to launch and lead the One More Church Non-Profit Ministry.
Pastor Dalton had planted the Village Bible Church nine years earlier. The Church and Reverend Dalton agreed unanimously to hand the Senior Pastor position at Village Bible Church over to a new pastor, Pastor Travis Burkett, who would be able to provide ongoing leadership for the church for many future years.
Prior to Village Bible Church, Pastor Dalton had planted six other churches and at the same time trained and mentored many young pastors, and served in consulting with other new church plants.
The Barna Church Research Group gives us the following current statistics:
Currently 38% of pastors in our country are considering leaving full-time ministry. This number is up 9% since the beginning of 2021.
2. Over 1,700 pastors in America left the ministry every month last year.
3. Over 3,500 individuals left churches in America every day last year.
4. Over 4,500 churches in America closed last year.
In the pursuit of improving some of these current dismal church and pastoral statistics, Pastor Dalton, as an employee of One More Church, is focusing on the following activities and others as needs arise:
Reach out to pastors and churches who are requesting help.
Provide one-on-one mentoring for pastors, both in person and also through training materials.
Provide assistance with church leadership boards and committees.
As needed, provide strategy, organizational and outreach help with comprehensive, written reports.
Consult with both pastors and churches in the area of leadership recruiting.
As the One More Church Ministry Responsibilities and Opportunities grow, develop ways to recruit and train volunteer help and additional paid consulting staff.
Oversee research needs as needed for pastors or specific local churches.
Assist Churches that require a “restart” with required organizational exhibits and filings.
Meet regularly with the One More Church Board of Directors for accountability, decision making , and vision.
One More Church’s income derives solely from contributions from individuals, foundations, trust accounts and churches. Tax-deductible Donations can be sent to: One More Church, 955 Monteray Rd., Greenwood, Indiana, 46143.
Churches can start in lots of different ways…in lots of different places. In the past, we’ve started churches in schools, homes, union halls, little theaters, cafeterias, houses in the middle of orchards, and funeral homes!
This weekend, for NorthWest Bible Church in Lebanon, Indiana, we had a weekend of Open Houses to get things rolling. We wanted to give people a chance to come, enjoy a cup of coffee, and have a simple and unhurried chance to hear our vision for the new church, and to ask any and all questions.
Our first Open House was Friday night, March 18th, at the Witham YMCA, We knew it was going to be a small, intimate group, so instead of choosing to meet in the larger gymnasium, we chose the nursery! There were kids toys, play equipment, and little tables and chairs. You’d think that might be awkward, but it was actually a very friendly and laid-back and colorful environment! Lots of great discussion.
Our second Open House was today, We rented the Lebanon Senior Services Club, and invited people to come for an evening meeting, or anytime during the day, again for casual and relaxed discussions and questions. We got here about 9:30 this morning, and it’s been non-stop ever since. As I’m writing this, we are close to the start of our evening meeting, and are just so happy with the 18-20 people we have been able to connect with so far this weekend!
I know you may get tired of us saying this…but this truly is so much fun!!!! Coffee and cookies, anyone?
Two Initial Open Houses for the new NorthWest Bible Church are coming up:
Friday, March 18th from 6-8pm at the Witham YMCA. Just say you are there for the Open House when you arrive, and they will let you know what room we are using.
Or…. Sunday, March 20th from 6-8pm we have arranged to use a meeting room at the Lebanon Senior Citizen’s Club, 707 S. Lebanon St., You can enter on the south side of the building.
Also, we are planning a couple of mid-week Bible Studies to begin in April:
Beginning April 6th, on Wednesday afternoons at 1pm, Kathleen Dalton will be leading an 8-week Women’s Bible Study studying the book of Mark. It will be held at the Senior Citizen’s Club on Lebanon Street.
Pastor Ken Dalton will be leading the other 8-week study, for singles and couples, a verse-by-verse Bible study in the Book of Revelation, held at the Senior Citizen’s Club on Lebanon Street, from 7-9pm, Wednesday evenings, beginning April 6th.
If you, or anyone you know, has an interest in attending either one of these, let me know, and I’ll get information to you.
It’s impossible to describe the mix of emotions we are experiencing as we leave our church home of almost 10 years. The friends we’ve made. The laughter and tears and prayers we’ve shared. The way the Lord has grown us in Him, and the indescribable joy of watching others grow, too.
Village has called a young, vibrant, Pastor and his wife – who seriously love the Lord Jesus, and love to teach and preach His Word. We couldn’t be happier with Village’s choice of Pastor Travis Burkett, and his wife, Tesslyn – to love and minister to the people who have meant so much to us at Village.
We plan to be back at Village often to share stories of the Pastors and churches we meet as we work with One More Church.
We desire your prayers! Follow us here on One More Church, and please pray for the people you see and the churches you hear about!
Many Pastors and Churches are struggling today. They need encouragement. Kathleen and I feel so privileged to have had a few chances to plant churches, assist struggling churches, encourage Pastors, and help restart churches in our 50+ years of ministry.
A year ago, after 9 amazing years at Village Bible Church, we both felt a growing desire from the Lord to encourage Village to think ahead to the next 20 to 30 years, and put together a Search Committee to find God’s man and his wife to lead Village Bible into that future.
Beginning in March this year, we will be sent out by Village Bible Church to encourage struggling ministries and Pastors. We will serve under “One More Church, Inc.”, a non-profit church ministry which will provide support for us, overseen by a board of Godly men who will provide ongoing advice and accountability. We invite you to enjoy the story of our journey in this ministry online at www.onemorechurch.com
As we leave Village Bible Church in Greenwood, Indiana, the most urgent need we have is for your prayers as we go to wherever the Lord leads – to a church which could use a little help, or to plant a new church where one is needed.
And, if the Lord gives you the desire to support One More Church financially, donations can be written to Village Bible Church (695 Pushville Rd., Greenwood, IN 46143), with a note in the memo line, “One More Church”.
We can’t wait to see what God will do in your lives and in ours!!!
Village Bible Church in Greenwood, Indiana, had the privilege 2 weeks ago to send off two of their church family to re-start a century-old church in Steven’s Point, Wisconsin.
Ray and Linda Harley left the end of December from Indianapolis – so that Ray could pastor First Baptist Church of Steven’s Point – a church which has seen many great years, but had dwindled down to just 4 members. First Baptist has an awesome church building – with a gym – and a faithful handful of people to begin this work of rebuilding. Ray has said he’s thinking of it as a church plant lucky enough to start off with a building. We agree.
Ray has pastored churches all his life, and had nearly retired – he and Linda had settled in Indianapolis, knowing that if the Lord called them to Pastor again, it would take a miracle to make it happen.
We had often heard Linda say she would be glad if the Lord called them to another work, but that she sure wished it would be south…like Florida, maybe. But the truth was – and is – that wherever the Lord was leading was exactly where these two servants wanted to be. So…Steven’s Point Wisconsin it is – the day they arrived it was 20 below zero. 🙂
Here’s what we have heard from them now that they have had their first Sunday at First Baptist:
“The first day as pastor of First Baptist Church has come and gone. With frigid temperature outside – 8 souls came together to hear thechallenges and promises of Haggai 2:1-9. A lovely meal followed which provided a good time of fellowship and getting to know one another. A special thanks goes out to Village Bible Church. for the prayer support (which is greatly needed) and the financial support (which is greatly appreciated). May we together be strong and work. Our prayers are with Village Bible Church.”
Onemorechurch will be following this work and keeping you up to date on what the Lord is doing in Steven’s Point. Here is their address information in case you want to communicate with them:
Ray and Linda Harley. 3401 Harmony Lane, Apt. 3. Steven’s Point, Wisconsin. 54481 317-340-1630, firstname.lastname@example.org
First Baptist Church. 1948 Church Street. Steven’s Point, Wisconsin. 54481