Thursday, November 18, 2010

Dan’s Blog
November 14, 2010

The first two weeks of October, 2010, were an amazing highlight for Sandi and me, and I believe for our whole movement here in the MidAtlantic. We had the opportunity to host a team of 5 Ukrainian pastors and 2 interpreters, with the help and fantastic support of several of our MidAtlantic churches that have been involved in Love Lift Ukraine. We were really worn out at the end of the 2 weeks, but we were also incredibly blessed. And we are seeing the vision for involvement in Ukraine blossom before our very eyes.

This team of pastors came from the Rivne region in western Ukraine, the area where much of our MidAtlantic sistering ministry is happening. They met with pastors and leaders in the Metro Washington D.C. area, they helped to facilitate a stimulating Ukraine Summit at our Poland, OH ministry center, and they ministered in their sister churches and in various other church settings all across our region. God challenged my heart to stay connected with the work in Ukraine. Part of the encouragement came from hearing wonderful words of gratitude and appreciation for our partnership in the Rivne region in Ukraine. Both the Ukrainians and American partners shared one story after another of how their lives and their churches have been enriched through the partnership. It really warmed my heart.

We also heard from Tania Martin
our missionary in Ukraine from First Baptist, Glenarden. She talked about what God is doing in and through her life. And she shared her thoughts about the kinds of ministries that she feels are needed to be the focus of our sistering ministry in Ukraine as we move forward. She talked about English classes and camps, about ministry to orphans and in orphanages, and she talked about sports ministries and how this can really make an impact in Ukraine.

Natasha Parker,
our missionary appointee to Ukraine from New Vision church
also shared her heart for Ukraine, and how God is calling her to serve in that country. I was personally challenged to do everything I can to help see Natasha’s support fully underwritten, so she can get started in her language study and then ministry in Ukraine. Please pray with me about this need.

Another blessing was seeing how God opened the eyes of many in our movement to a new opportunity for ministry and kingdom expansion in another culture. We had the opportunity to visit some of our churches that have not been involved in Love Lift Ukraine, and every place we went, there seems to be an openness and interest. I’m praying that God will keep this interest growing and alive.

Thanks to all who helped give leadership to this stimulating 2 week journey. It was truly a wonderful blessing to me personally, and I believe helped to jump start the vision for Love Lift Ukraine in a whole new way. Praise to Jesus!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

July Update


Thank you for your partnership in the advancement of the cause of Jesus Christ in our MidAtlantic region and around the world. God is at work in our movement in powerful ways. Your involvement and investment is making an eternal difference in the lives of individuals, families, and communities. Please bring our movement before the Father in your prayers.

Preaching at CityLight Church in Roanoke, VA

On Sunday, June 6th, I had the privilege to preach at CityLight Church in Roanoke, VA, with church planters Derek and Stacy Lam. What a cool time we had. And this new church is getting off to a great start!

CityLight publically launched one year ago under the leadership of Derek and Stacy Lam, who originally are from the Roanoke area. The CityLight community currently consists of about 50 adults and at least 30 or so young children, as young families are finding their needs met through the vision and ministry of CityLight.

On June 6th, the church was officially recognized as a full-member church within the Converge movement. I heard awesome stories of how people have come to faith in Christ and how couples are growing in their Christian faith through CityLight's ministry. Here's a church plant that is off to a great start. Derek Lam is giving quality leadership, and I'm really grateful for the support from Converge MidAtlantic including Seed Money grants, coaching, and networking through our LEAD Team. It's been a team effort to begin to impact Roanoke, Va.

Commissioning Nathan Lozada for missionary service
On Sunday, June 13th, I experienced a five-year-old church plant, Glory of God Christian Fellowship, sending out its own founding pastor to serve as a missionary to the Philippines. What an amazing Sunday this was!

Glory of God Church has grown to over 100 active members. It's a Filipino-American church that really is multigenerational. They have a vibrant youth ministry. They have a strong ministry to singles and younger-age married families. And they are reaching Baby Boomer and beyond families as well. Many of the 100 strong members are first-generation Filipinos. Yet, this faith community is fairly clearly westernized, having adapted well to culture in the U.S.

I had opportunity to take part in this unique commissioning service, giving a charge to the church and to the Lozadas. Dr. Cirilo Doguiles from Converge Worldwide preached a powerful message as well. The church has strongly embraced sending out its founding pastor. They will miss them, but they are committed to Kingdom advancement. I'm working with Glory of God's pastoral search team as they look for a new pastor. I'd like to ask for fervent prayer for this search. Lord, please place your hand of protection on this congregation. Give wisdom in the search for a new leader.

Converge Worldwide Biennial Meeting in Denver, CO, June 29-July 3, 2010
Sandi and I traveled out to Colorado the third week of June, along with Anne Marie, for a week of vacation in Estes Park, CO, before heading to Denver for a very encouraging Converge Biennial Meeting. Personal highlights for me were the opportunity to hear our very own Michael Henderson speak on Friday night to the entire audience. Michael preached on Joshua 1 and our need to bury the past as we seek to pursue greatness for Christ and His Kingdom. Pastor Henderson represented Converge MidAtlantic and New Beginnings extremely well, and most of all, Jesus Christ, in this very powerful sermon.

Other highlights for me included the opportunity to network with a large number of Converge leaders, staying connected and hearing stories of God at work across our movement. Of special interest was the commissioning of Coz and Joyce Crosscombe, who will be serving Converge and working with our district in the urban setting of greater Philadelphia. In visiting with Coz and Joyce, I was refreshed and challenged again to see a family give of themselves to meet needs of people, regardless of what they might receive back. Coz and Joyce are opening their home to people who are victims of the drug trade in Philadelphia and to children who need a healthy family role model. These guys are simply servants of Jesus.

Converge is a healthy and dynamic movement that God is blessing. We have godly leadership. We have creative and committed players who have a Kingdom mindset. We are making a significant impact for Jesus in places all around the world and in our own country. Sandi and I came away from this event greatly encouraged and ready to do our part to help advance the cause of Christ.

Upcoming Plans and Events

Church Planting Assessment Center at Grace Point Church in Newtown, PA - September 28-October 1, 2010. Here is a great opportunity for our district to assess potential church planting candidates. If anyone in any of our churches is working with leaders who may be interested in church planting, this would be a great assessment center to send them to! Grace Point is out in the Philadelphia area. We'll be having a good number of assessors from our regional movement involved. I know Grace Point will serve as an awesome host. If you are interested in attending or in more information, contact Anna Rolland at the Converge MidAtlantic office at:, or call 330-757-7970.

Ukraine Summit and Ukraine 2010 Vision Event - September 30 in the Washington DC area, and October 2 in Poland, OH. If your church is currently involved in ministry in Ukraine in any way, OR if you have any interest in short-term mission involvement in Ukraine, one of these opportunities is right for you!

A team of pastors and leaders from the Baptist Union of Ukraine will be here in our region from September 30-Oct 10 to share the vision for partnership in Ukraine and to strategize with us on the next steps in our ministry together.

On Thursday, September 30th, this team will be in Bowie, MD, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, meeting at New Life Community Church. A special invitation is being extended to all of our DC-area pastors and leaders, as well as leaders from the eastern areas of our district. There will be no cost to participate in this "Celebrate Ukraine" event, but you will need to register with Anna at the Converge office.

Then, on Saturday, October 2, we will hold a Ukraine Summit at our Converge MidAtlantic ministry center in Poland, OH. Pastors and leaders from all across our region are invited to attend.

These two exciting events will give you a chance to:

·Meet and interact with Ukrainian pastors
·Learn about opportunities for short-term involvement in Ukraine
·Discover how your church can partner with churches in Ukraine for Kingdom expansion
·Interact, ask questions and discuss together with leaders from another culture.

Again, there will be no cost, but you need to register with Anna at the Converge MidAtlantic office. Churches are encouraged to send their lead pastors and a team of 2-3 key leaders to this event. You can contact Anna at:, or call: 330-757-7970.

Ignite MidAtlantic - our Converge MidAtlantic 2011 Biennial Leadership Conference is now planned for June 23-24 at First Baptist Church of Glenarden in Landover, MD.
We have moved the dates for this event to make it possible to have a major youth conference during our adult leadership conference. We will also have activites for children, and nursery services will be offered.

We're calling this event Ignite MidAtlantic and have a very unique format and a quality team of presenters already committed to come. We're asking every pastor and Converge MidAtlantic leader to put these dates on your calendar now. Please plan to attend with your entire family. Much more detail will be coming out in the next couple of months. Join Ignite MidAtlantic - June 23-24 at First Baptist Church of Glenarden in the Washington DC area.

WomenSchool of Ministry Leadership 2011 coming

We are excited to announce that plans have been laid in place for the beginning of a WomenSchool of Ministry Leadership ("WSML") in the Harrisburg, PA area! The WomenSchool will be a joint effort between church co-hosts DaySpring Ministries and Calvary Baptist Church with assistance from Grace Point. All classes will be held at DaySpring Ministries, with the first class date tentatively set for Feb. 5, 2011. This will be an outstanding opportunity for ladies to receive 6 units of quality instruction over a two-year period of time (3 Saturdays a year for 2 years), for a very affordable cost. Over 700 women have graduated from the many schools held across the U.S. and in two other countries (Canada and Australia) with several more districts planning additional schools. Cost will be a one-time, non-refundable $30 registration fee plus tuition of $75 per student per class ($65 per student per class for auditing students). For more information, Email Becky Wehr at the Converge MidAtlantic office at:

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Ignite Conference

What a great time we had attending the Ignite Conference in Arizona last month. Everyone took home insightful information to be utilized in their church and community. Below are some responses from Church Planters in our district that attended this conference:

Vic King - I went to Jim Tomberlin’s breakout on Multi-Sites. It helped me get a broader view of the MS concept and fill in a few blanks. It also sparked some thoughts about the qualities and attributes of Campus Pastors, how they differ from Church Planters. He said that the roles are 80% the same, but the other 20% that is different is significant. They typically have different personalities.

I also appreciated some of Perry Noble’s thoughts. One in particular stuck with me: “Every week needs to be a great week to bring unsaved friends.” I have a strong leaning toward the organic and away from big Sunday morning productions; however, in our culture it appears that the Sunday morning gathering remains the best opportunity for reaching people. If it is done well…not so much polish as an authentic demonstration of inclusive community and devotion to God…believers will invite their lost friends, who will then begin to open their hearts to a personal relationship, and maybe get involved in a small group. So, the big effort we put into Sunday morning (about 3 hours to set up and 1.5 hours to tear down included) translates into lost people saved. It is worth it.

Jeremy Copeland - As a brand new church plant ourselves, I was inspired to be very intentional in raising up leaders within our own midst to be the next generation of church planters. At the core of our DNA needs to be the vision to reproduce ourselves.

The biggest value for me was the one on one conversations I had with other leaders. I enjoyed the opportunity to pick the brains of some of my friends in ministry and to begin to plan out the next steps for us as a church plant.

Ron CrawfordGary has challenged us to spend time in prayer and fasting this month to see the direction God wants us to take in planting more churches. With this challenge from Gary and the messages from the general speakers at the Ignite Conference, I feel strongly that we need to move forward with God’s cause to reproduce.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

My Mission Trip to Asia

Sandi and I recently returned from an amazing 2 week vision trip to Thailand and Tokyo with 20 other leaders from Converge. We were honestly blown away at what God is doing in these places. And we learned a lot about ways that members of our Converge MidAtlantic churches can be involved in short or longer term missions in Thailand, The Philippines, and Japan. Here’s a little overview of what we saw!

Santisuk English School in Bangkok, Thailand – This school which teaches conversational English to Thai adults is an awesome door of opportunity to reach young professional, mostly of the Buddhist religion, men and women for Christ. As a result of the school, over 100 people have made faith commitments to Christ, and Peace Community Fellowship Church has been planted.

Urban Poor Church Planting in Bangkok – Our Converge leadership team also heard amazing stories of transformation happening in several urban poor communities in Bangkok through the church planting ministry of Converge missionaries Kevin and Cynthia Walton. Ministry in these urban poor communities involves innovative strategies such as building relationships with community leaders, becoming a community organizer, helping people to set up small businesses, and organizing small house churches in these urban communities.

Japan – a difficult field, yet a place where we can help – At the end of our 2 week journey, Sandi and I spent 4 days in Tokyo, visiting several of our Converge missionaries in this world’s largest city. Some of the ways we could be involved in partnering with our brothers and sisters in Tokyo include: sister church partnerships much like we are doing in Ukraine, leadership development for lay leaders in the churches, evangelism training for Japanese believers, and coaching of pastors and leaders through resources like the ReTooling ministry and NCD consultations.

Thanks for praying for us as we journeyed into this mission endeavor. Please continue to pray and seek God with us as we seek to transform our world for Christ.