To the Churches of ...

Continuing Foresight 2020

“Hindsight is 20/20.” But with God, so is FORESIGHT! The goal for my 2019 District Advance articles is to help position us to more closely follow the Lord’s foresight. He knows where he’s going!

By Dennis Turner, Director of Mobilization

To the Churches of . . .

 When Jesus looks at the Central District, what might he see?

  • He could see us as a collection of churches in the cities and towns of two states

  • He could see us as twenty-some thousand people who call the C&MA their denomination

  • He might see almost 90 clusters of light… a city on a dark hill

  • He possibly sees not just “us,” but more so the lost sheep who are harassed, helpless, and without a shepherd who are part of the 7.3 million people who live in West Virginia and Eastern Ohio

If YOU had to answer how God sees the Central District, what would you say?

It is likely that you’ve never really thought much about how God sees the Central District. If you are an active part or a leader of one of our district churches, you would rightly be thinking about the specific sheep entrusted to your care and the specific community in which he’s called you to proclaim the gospel. And that is good. You should think about your own context!

Still, the question remains: how does the Lord view US as a District? Why are we even part of a District at all?

I will soon be approaching my 12 month mark of being a part of the District Office team. As a reminder, I was a pastor in the local church for 25 YEARS and only a “District Guy” for less than one year. But being in this role has caused me to wrestle with and appreciate more our corporate identity as a District of churches.

I am believing more and more that God does not see us as a loose connection of individuals or a loose connection of local churches. He sees us as the body of Christ, banded together for mutual encouragement and shared mission.

A beautiful example of this is taking place right now. On June 14, one of our pastors, Chad Froelich, of Windham Alliance Church, suffered a life-threatening aortic dissection. The Alliance churches in that region around Windham have offered support to the Froelich family and provided pastoral assistance to the church as well.

This is biblical! The apostle Paul wrote to the churches in Galatia. The apostle Peter addressed “God’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.” If Jesus, the Head of the Body, sees US this way, we should too! This reality has wonderful implications for our ministry together. We’re not in this alone! We partner to advance the Kingdom. The Church is bigger and stronger than any one church.

This is why I continue to advocate for Regional Partnerships. The concept is for eight Regional Partnerships to partner together three times a year to cultivate culture and share vision, training, and common practices. I am grateful for the pastors who have met together with me over these past months to hear more. God is doing a good work in our midst. To the churches of the Central District, let’s advance the Kingdom!

There is a growing learning community in our District. I’d love for you to join in. Contact my assistant, Janie Hill, at jhill@cdcma.org, to learn more.