Outreach KentuckyFree Stewardship Emphases Courses
To Encourage and Assist

Home

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
This summer of 2016 has been a busy summer of ministry travel and churchly gatherings! It started in June with the LWML in Bloomington, Ind. It was  a great gathering of Lutheran women under the theme, "Who's Your Lord?" based on Matthew 16:15-16. It is exciting, very well organized and they know what they are all about! You would have loved it! This is a wonderful group for women of all ages. And then it was off to Milwaukee for the Synod Convention! Here the church gathers to do its business as congregations send overtures that are turned into resolutions for convention action. Delegates from Indiana joined with delegates from all the other districts to vote on a wide range of matters that give direction to the church in the next triennium. Conventions can be a little like sausage making, but it is the way it is. Sometimes you hear strong and passionate presentations and comments as people speak from their heart and mind. Issues related to our mission work, the holy ministry, church finances and church governance. Leaders are elected to serve in a host of roles in the synod! There is also time for worship, song, celebration, and fellowship. The detailed proceedings will be published soon and the Lutheran Witness and Reporter will give you the highlights. It is always exciting to see the church at work in convention. Our theme this year was "Upon This Rock" based on Matt. 16. The grand finale was the National Youth (NYG) in the "Big Easy" (New Orleans). 25,000 youth were given a warm welcome in more ways than one! It is always a joy to be together with our young people gathered in Christ. The energy level is always high with this many youth and the spiritual focus is clear and celebrative! The theme in New Orleans was "In Christ Alone." Study, prayer, song and worship were generously mixed with service, fellowship and fun. All in all it was a wonderful summer and it was exciting to see the Body of Christ in motion with One Spirit and One Purpose!
Outreach & Evangelism
Rev. Geoff Robinson
Christian Evangelism can be a scary thing for many Christians. What should you say to a person? When should you talk of your faith in Christ? How do you gain permission to share your faith with others? These questions and more will be answered in the upcoming Evangelism Conference which will be held at Our Shepherd Lutheran in Avon, Indiana on September 9 and 10, 2016. Expert evangelists will share with you their thoughts on gaining a relationship with others so that you may confess Christ to them. Rather than wringing your hands in despair about the way that culture is changing, come to this conference and learn how to confess Christ to your friends, relatives, associates and neighbors! To view all the sectionals offered at this conference, view and download the brochure here. You will also find a registration form included with the brochure. More information about the conference schedule is included here as well.  We invite you to share this conference with those at your church who may be interested in learning more.
District Finances
Mr. Ron Bleke
Below is a memo concerning the new FSLA Overtime rules that will be effective 12/1/16 from Thompson Coburn LLP providing official guidance from the LCMS on this topic.  This memo has been shared with the COP. You can download and read the official memo here. Specific questions on this topic should be directed to the office of Val Rhoden-Kimbrough, Executive Director, Synod HR at 314-996-1360.
Education
Dr. Jon Mielke
Much thought and energy is exercised by teachers as they seek the best possible way to deliver content.  In fact, earlier research germane to teaching draws correlates between teachers’ actions and student achievement (Beattie, 1995).  And, teachers soon emulated the practices of other teachers recognized as successful teachers and embraced the educational theory and educational models described as good teaching.  This is not new research or thought. With the advent of cognitive psychology beginning in the mid-1980s though, the educational literature now includes research on how teachers think and what they believe good teaching is.  Teachers are less likely to ascribe to a particular teaching model, practice, strategy or theory simply because another teacher endorses and uses as common practice.  Seeking to find out how teachers think and believe about teaching as opposed to following a particular action or behavior propels forward an understanding by teachers about why instructional decisions are made and reasons for making such educational choices (Clark & Peterson, 1986). As you seek new ideas and different approaches, let me suggest five constructs for reflection: Intrinsic Motivation: Motivation that drives students to pursue their dreams, complete assignments, and complete projects begins from within because children and young adults have an innate need for competence and control of their environments (de Charms, 1968; Deci, 1975). Let me further suggest that motivation of such magnitude can and will not be manufactured by external rewards or outside recognition.  Such external factors, like gold stars, stickers, prizes, and others as helpful as they are, will only aid the teaching and learning for a short time.  Intrinsically motivated students are driven to succeed because the act of learning itself is the reward (Ostroff, 2016).  Teachers intuitively know this.  You strive constantly to adjust your teaching practices as well as the medley of activities, projects, and teaching approaches to peek your students’ curiosity and interest. Growth & Fixed Mindsets: There is good research comparing fixed and growth mindsets and the influence each mindset has on teaching and learning.  A fixed mindset is a belief that people are born with certain skills and abilities, and those skills, or levels of intelligence, are relatively fixed and will not change over time (Ostroff, 2016).  A growth mindset is a belief that one’s innate ability or skills can be cultivated and enhanced through hard work, encouragement, and effort (Dweck, 2006). How might mindsets influence learning?   Mindsets influence whether one is more or less willing to tackle problems and challenges and more or less willing to remain steadfast through a particular assignment or task.  Students with fixed mindsets are more likely to remain interested only if they achieve immediate success whereas students with growth mindsets bring a different perspective to learning. For those students with a belief toward that of a growth mindset, their motivation is sparked by the complexity and challenge brought forth by the task itself (Dweck, 2006). Mindsets also impact teaching!  Praise will focus more on the outcome and less on the process. So, teachers must be cautious when and how often they offer praise.  Rather than always praising students for their finished product or final grade, it may be in teachers’ interest to affirm and acknowledge their students’ work effort and seek out ways to extend one’s effort with follow up questions.  Dweck (2006) portends that teachers who embrace a growth mindset will more likely generate comments and follow up questions like, “You really worked hard to accomplish this task.”  And, “How did you do that?”  The emphasis is on learning itself and mistakes are more likely to become pathways for achievement. Praise and Encouragement All of us want our students to grow up, be successful, be independent, and make good choices along the way.  Yet, so often, we don’t foster this attitude from little on.  As teachers, we must be careful that our actions and words do not become overly judgmental and critical.  And, we should have a balance between praise and encouragement. Encouragement and praise are different words and portray different messages to different students.   Encouragement attends to the process and not the outcome.  For example, “I sure like your drawing; please tell me what you are working on.”  Encouragement allows your students to draw their own conclusions about their talents.  Praise accentuates outcome rather than effort:  “Wow, you poured your milk without spilling it.”  Praise acknowledges your approval.  As a teacher, it is good practice to use the words appropriately and genuinely. Meta-cognition: Meta-cognition is the analysis of one’s thought process, the thinking about the way you process your thought.  When you verbally express the steps in solving a math problem, verbally explain how to balance chemical equations, or speak outwardly about the specific steps taken by a character that leads to an action or resolution in a story, meta-cognition happens and invites your students into your very own thinking and reasoning. Meta-cognition enhances the classroom experience. Students’ Mistakes: Don’t be afraid to value mistakes made by your students.  That doesn’t mean your students can continually make the same mistake again and again.  Nor does it mean that actions are absent of consequences.  Teachers do need to confront poor judgment and teach their students to accept and remedy the mistake.  It is rewarding for your students to know that a mistake is an opportunity to make a better choice.  Research indicates children are more unwilling to take a risk if every mistake is reprimanded and exposed in a demeaning manner. Conclusion: Love your students for who they are.  They are redeemed children of God.  In 1 John 3:1, John states in one of his letters to the people of Rome, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!  And that is what we are!”  You constantly need to remind your students that their esteem doesn’t come from what they have done; rather, our esteem comes directly from what Christ has done for them on the cross.  Through God’s unconditional love for all of us, Jesus suffered, died, and rose again.  Each student is a unique creation, redeemed by Christ, and sanctified by the Holy Spirit. May God continue to bless your teaching today and into the future! Resources: Ostroff, Wendy L. (2016). Cultivating Curiosity in K-12 Classrooms. Alexandria, VA: ASCD. (New Release) Fisher, Douglas, Frey, Nancy, & Pumpian, Ian. (2012). How to Create a Culture of Achievement. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.  
Gift Planning
Rev. Phillip Krupski
He is a simple man.  All his life he has grown in faith and served the Lord with passion.  Life has been full of challenges and blessings. As he approaches his retirement years, gift planning made sense.  At first he thought his children could take care of his estate after he was gone, relieving him of the burden.  But as he dove into the process and saw the opportunity to plan well, not only could he take care of his children better but he could also leave a six figure gift to ministry.  Almost in tears he looked at me and said, “Who would have ever thought that I would be able to do all of this?” That is the stewardship journey I, as a gift planning counselor, have the privilege of sharing with God’s faithful people. Together we can discover God’s plan for your life as His grace shines through! Rev. Philip Krupski, Gift Planning Counselor  
LCEF
Mr. Steve Strauch
Attention Pastors! Are you paying more than 3.125% on an unsecured educational loan? The Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) has developed an educational loan repayment program to help LCMS ordained ministers successfully reduce their existing school debt. With loans directly to the pastor or to his congregation, LCEF can help meet this sometimes burdensome obligation. Two loan programs are available: Direct Pastoral Education Loan Repayment Program: This loan program is provided directly to the active LCMS pastor, normally in the first five years after seminary graduation. Loans up to $50,000. Terms are up to 10 Years. Congregation Pastoral Education Loan Repayment Program: This loan program is provided to the congregation who acts as the eligible borrower to provide support for an active ordained LCMS pastor, normally in the first 10 years after seminary graduation. Loans up to the amount of indebtedness, not to exceed $100,000. Funds may be drawn on for a maximum of two years, with interest billed monthly during the period. Both loan programs have the following features: Interest rates are based on LCEF’s Cost of Funds, plus 1%, adjusted annually. The interest rate is NOT based on credit score. Ability to consolidate outstanding unsecured loans for education purposes incurred during seminary tenure, such as: privately held student loans, loans from family, credit cards, etc. Loan funds are disbursed to creditors. LCEF has friendly, knowledgeable loan officers and service staff. Internet and automated telephone access to loan information. For more information about these loan programs, please contact Steve Strauch, LCEF District VP, at 765-464-4579 or email him at steve.strauch@lcef.org. You may also go online to www.lcef.org. Applications Secured Loan Application Rostered Church Workers RCW Direct Housing RCW Consolidation RCW Home Equity
Leadership
Outreach & Evangelism
District Finances
Education
Gift Planning
LCEF