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The mission of the Indiana District is to encourage and assist the Christian outreach and nurture of its congregations and other ministries. Learn more

Leadership Thoughts From...

Leadership
Rev. Daniel May
"For thus says the LORD: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place.  For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” Jer. 29:10-13 God’s plan for us is the plan of salvation!  This is a great, holy and perfect plan that comes from His heart to us. Throughout the Scriptures God speaks of His good plan for us and His desire to have us home with Him.  Already in Genesis 3:15 God reveals His plan which is fulfilled in the suffering, death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ!  God’s plan is a plan that is certainly to be fulfilled.  “O LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you; I will praise your name, for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure.” Isa_25:1  We have our own plans too of course – little short-term earthly plans:  Paint the house next year for sure, lose some weight next year, get more organized, get better grades next year, be a nicer person, etc.  Sometimes our plans are really whimsical wishes and at other times they are plans we cannot and will not fulfill. There are so many variables (health, world events, weather, resources, the economy, our job, etc.) that our plans can be trashed at the drop of a hat.  Even our best made plans are really short-term relative to the big and eternal picture!  We don’t fool ourselves by thinking we can form our own future! “When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish.” Psa_146:4 As we plan to gather for our convention next summer we will be focusing on God’s plan which is our future and our hope!  By God’s grace He has the same long range plan for all of us.  That gives a wonderful perspective to our relationships now, our earthly plans and our ministry plans.  As we look ahead we understand that even our seemingly great plans are totally subject to God’s holy will!  That’s the way it should be and the way we want it to be! Yet, we still plan and we should plan!  As we look ahead we can imagine some significant challenges we will be facing together.  The field remain white for harvest, but it may not be such an easy harvest.  Some of what we imagine or even fear could make us to hold back on any big and faithful plans!  I sure hope not! While we cannot see tomorrow, we know that God will be with there and Jesus will be taking every step with us!  The Holy Spirit calls, gathers and enlightens and He will continue to do so!  Between now and the summer of 2018 I urge you to think, dream and plan big!  Please bring overtures that will encourage and challenge us as a district to be about the Father’s business with boldness and courage!  We are a blessed district to whom much has been given and we are a district that is both confessional and missional with a Wyneken heritage!   God has the plan! Wyneken House (Near FW)  Work has been continuing in the restoration of the Wyneken house.  Several major projects have been completed on the house. A new concrete floor was poured in the basement and  a furnace was installed. Now we have some heat for those winter activities! The project to replace the bricks around the outside base of the house was beautifully done. It was a challenge working with Civil War era bricks that were created by hand. But the bricklayer stated it was a “good” challenge! We are so thankful for the blessing of wonderful craftsmen to help us in our heartfelt restoration project.
Outreach & Evangelism
Rev. Geoff Robinson
The Holy Spirit sanctifies us so that we are renewed in our spirit, will, attitude and desires. The Holy Spirit enables us to rise above our natural inclinations. The natural inclinations that we all have are inclinations of selfishness and self-centeredness. Godly stewardship is the opposite of selfishness and self-centeredness. The desire to serve God and our neighbor above ourselves is enabled in Christians as the Holy Spirit through the Word continues to bring about the desire to put others and their needs above oneself. The motivation for godly stewardship is a grateful response spurred on by the knowledge and understanding of what God has done for you. Jesus Christ our Savior gave His all in serving all sinners. Yes, He gave His all in serving you and me. Jesus was born under the Law, lived under the Law of God perfectly and died in obedience to that Law of God so that He might completely pay the price of your sins and give to you forgiveness of your sins and life everlasting. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to you to create faith in your hearts through the Gospel and to change you so that you are released from being a slave to self-centeredness. So how do we best serve God and our neighbors above ourselves? Well, certainly we serve those whom we know in our local congregation, in our neighborhoods and in our families. But could there sometimes be a bit of selfishness in what we do? More and more LCMS congregations are serving only locally or supporting only those missions that they determine are valuable to them. Serving others through financially supporting districts and synod is falling by the wayside. Could this be due to a lack of properly motivated stewardship? This is perhaps the result of thinking that LCMS leadership has not always handled mission dollars judiciously or it might be due to the LCMS leadership supporting some effort that you disagree with. Nevertheless, the leadership of the LCMS has been placed in their positions of oversight by God’s direction. Realize that God is blessing us at this time with an economic boon in our country. Praise God that unemployment is low and job opportunities are good. Praise God that by God’s grace there are many areas of opportunity to serve God and our neighbor above ourselves. For example there are at least twenty foreign countries who have asked the LCMS to send them theological educators. But the educators haven’t been sent due to lack of resources. Remember that we Christians live in community. Our vision isn’t simply focused on the local or only far away but on the whole “Una Sancta” that is the whole Christian Church. God grant us the determination that since we are all through faith in Christ part of the catholic (universal) Christian Church our stewardship of talent and treasure be offered up to God and all of our neighbors. Not just a select few. Rev. Geoffrey L. Robinson
District Finances
Mr. Ron Bleke
Theft or embezzlement at worship centers happens at facilities of all sizes, within all denominations and at locations across the country. The sad truth is many religious organizations are often viewed as easy targets for three main reasons — Too much financial control is often given to one person, There is little oversight as the person is trusted within your organization, Large amounts of cash are handled and kept on-site. There are steps you can take to avoid temptation and prevent embezzlement from occurring within your church Use the following link to view Church Mutual’s article Preventing Theft in Your Organization  to learn how to implement policies and procedures or contact Risk Control Central at riskconsulting@churchmutual.com.
Education
Dr. Jon Mielke
Deuteronomy 6:6-7 – Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. If you are one that has watched some, most, or all of the past few Super Bowls, you must admit that the commercials, as much as the game itself, have provided some entertainment too.  In fact, there may be as much hype and anticipation for the type of commercials as there is for the game itself.  And one can attest that there is that one commercial that is a bit funnier and more memorable than the others. We can certainly recall (if you have watched games all the way back to the late 80s), the commercial that introduced the Budweiser-Clydesdales tromp through the snow with the following choral music in the background – “when you say Budweiser you’ve said it all.”  A decade later, another Super Bowl commercial pictured two teams of Clydesdales playing football on a snow covered mountain.  One can probably attest that Super Bowl commercials are a part of Super Bowl history. The Reformation is a part of the rich history of LCMS Lutheran churches and schools. The Protestant Reformation is listed as one of the top fifteen events that have shaped and influenced the world.  How great it is to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation with a most appropriate theme – “It is still all about Jesus.”  Jesus is the cornerstone of our churches and schools. Brick and mortal will change.  God’s Word is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.  God’s churches and His schools exist to share God’s Word.  “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise” (Deuteronomy 6: 6-7). As we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, we do so knowing that we have been commanded to teach God’s Word diligently to children and young adults. We do so knowing that we are privileged to freely share God’s Word in church and in classrooms.  We do so knowing that we have been blessed and given God’s grace, mercy, and love.  We do so knowing that we have been given the gift of faith in our Baptism.  We do so knowing the Holy Spirit keeps us in the one, true faith.  We do so knowing that we are redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ. It is my prayer for each of you that God will continue to bless your instruction – your respective ministry.
Gift Planning
Rev. Phillip Krupski
We pray to the Lord, asking Him to bless our lives with the outflow of His grace. It all centers in what He has given us in His Son Jesus. From that flows all the other things that enrich our daily experience. So we have prayed for our economy. If you have invested in the stock market, you may very well have had huge gains during the past years. You talk with your tax advisor who advises that if you sell that stock, you will have a big tax bill to pay on the capital gains. It has now become a sizable asset that you will never be “able” to use. What do you do? You could consider a Charitable Gift Annuity with the LCMS Foundation. You “gift” the asset to an LCMS ministry of your choice, such as the Indiana District, your congregation, a seminary, Worship for Shut-Ins, etc. The ministry will pay no tax on the gift. You will receive a charitable deduction for a portion of the gift. And the gift will produce a guaranteed annual income payout to you for life. When the Lord calls you home, the ministry will benefit. As we think about outreach and mission, we can contemplate the gifts of the Lord and put them to use in support of ministry, that generations after us will come to know Jesus for their salvation. If I can help you joyfully manage the Lord’s gifts, contact me at philip.krupski@lfnd.org or 317-840-3202.
LCEF
Mr. Steve Strauch
Indiana District LCMS-Board of Directors Dear Board of Directors, Many of you are aware that LCEF has been going through many changes in the last year. These changes will continue for the next couple years. The primary changes are developing three regions, West, Central and East. These regions will oversee the LCEF programs in their respective areas. The primary goal is to bring more relevant assistance to the ministries within the regions. One size does not fit all, and the need to have a better resource model for all ministries to pull from is critical. LCEF has identified and selected me to lead the West Regional. I have accepted the position and have been making the transition to California for the past month. My office is in Orange County California. Alex and Morgan are enrolled in St. John’s Lutheran School in Orange California. We have purchased a house in Anaheim Hills California and our current home in Lafayette Indiana is scheduled to close on September 29. Lots of changes in a relatively short timeframe. Please keep us in your prayers. What happens to the LCEF Indiana District Program? Currently, I have been traveling back and forth between Indiana and California. I have connected with many congregations that are in the process of loans or future loans to let them know the change. I have brought over individuals from LCEF National, so there is no disconnect. Also, I have introduced Vanda Toner to a few ministries in Indiana. Vanda is the LCEF District Vice President for Northern Illinois District. During this transition, the Indiana District will post the position. I have had many qualified individuals inquire about the position. With Gods help, the LCEF program in Indiana will be in competent hands. The timeline appears to be 60 days. In the meantime, I will filter calls and quarterback the program to the right people. I am very grateful for the time I have spent in the Indiana District. It always amazes me when I look back and see the path God has put me on. Seven years have passed very quickly. I was very happy in the Indiana District. I was not seeking to leave. President May knows this as does the Executives in the District. After many months and lots of prayers, it became clear that God was calling me to this new position. For many of you, our paths will cross many times again. Blessings, Steve Strauch Regional Vice President – West Region Lutheran Church Extension Fund 26522 La Alameda, Ste 280 Mission Viejo, CA 26522
Leadership
Outreach & Evangelism
District Finances
Education
Gift Planning
LCEF

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