DRN Hosts Wesleyan Pastors at Rural Matters Conference
We had a great turnout at the Rural Matters Conference at Wheaton College. 30 Wesleyans from eight states attended and were the largest group there by far! The conference featured some great teaching by Ed Stetzer, Andy Addis, and other rural ministry planters and leaders. The group was also given a private guided tour of the Billy Graham Museum. Our guide was Ed Stetzer. He brought the museum to life.
DRN hosted an appreciation dinner on Tuesday evening for Wesleyan pastors. It was held in the rotunda of the Billy Graham Museum. After a great time of food and fellowship, we heard from Dr. Wayne Schmidt, the General Superintendent of The Wesleyan Church. He passionately spoke about the importance of rural ministry. If The Wesleyan Church is going to have a transforming presence in every zip code, rural revitalization and multiplication are necessary. One pastor later related to me that hearing our leader affirm rural ministry was a game changer for he and his wife. Wayne did a great job.
Ben Kidder and I also spoke. I shared some of the vision for DRN and my passion for rural ministry. As we ended our time together, Wayne Schmidt asked to speak again. He shared his belief that God is calling DRN to make a huge impact within the Wesleyan Church. He had the entire group come around me and pray for God’s blessing on the ministry. It was a truly humbling experience.
Thanks to everyone who helped make this event such a big success. We are still deciding if we should partner with Rural Matters Institute next year or have a conference of our own. Either way, I hope to have 150 Wesleyans join us next year.