Leadership Connexion Summer 2022 Q2

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PennDel Ministry Network | <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />



C O N F E R E N C E<br />

Bongiorno Conference Center, Carlisle, PA<br />

October 24-26, <strong>2022</strong><br />

Growing Young:<br />



Our team is looking forward to resourcing your team at THRIVE!<br />



• 7 Dimensions of a Disciple: Elly Marroquin<br />

• Maximizing Benefits for All Ages:<br />

Randall Rhoads & Crystal Hoffman<br />

• New Trends in Church Recalibration:<br />

Jason Tourville<br />

• Relational Evangelism: Fight Fight Feed<br />

Joel Schreiber & XA Team<br />

• Mental Health Hygiene: Jim Comenzo<br />

• Conflict Management is a Discipleship Issue:<br />

Tim Halbfoerster<br />

• 3 Intentional Ways to Disciple the Next<br />

Generation: Elly Marroquin<br />

• Creatively Discipling Children:<br />

Jeremiah Gruber<br />

• Healing <strong>Leadership</strong> Wounds: Jason Tourville<br />

• Pastoring your Staff, Leaders & Volunteers:<br />

Kurt & Charisse Jenkins<br />

• Reaching the Dechurched and Unchurched:<br />

Gary Bellis<br />

• Planning for Succession: Bill Ellis<br />



Don Immel & Elly Marroquin<br />


Jeremiah Gruber<br />


Lee Rogers<br />


Liz DeFrain & Tom Rees<br />

FOR MORE<br />


Sessions, Workshops,<br />

Lodging, Meals, Activities,<br />

Childcare:<br />


Growing Young:<br />



We know instinctively that if a church<br />

continuously grows older without renewing its<br />

age demographics, the church will eventually<br />

die. I was on vacation last year and visited a church in<br />

Cape Cod. The people were friendly and kind. We were<br />

in the midst of COVID, and the church’s worship was<br />

being conducted outside in the parking lot. I noticed<br />

that almost everyone was my age or older. The church’s<br />

reality was summed up by their nursery, which was now<br />

filled with storage materials. It then occurred to me that<br />

I saw only two children at the church. What is the future<br />

of this fellowship? If they do not turn their demographic<br />

around, their prospects are very limited. Although we<br />

value all believers regardless of age, we know that there<br />

is hope for the future when there is a strong attendance<br />

of younger families and individuals. Strong churches<br />

tend to be multi-generational. In a healthy<br />

multi-generational church, wisdom of life<br />

experience is appreciated and the presence<br />

of younger believers is welcomed. Generational<br />

conflict is minimal, and generational compliment is normal.<br />

Growing old is inevitable, but growing young has to be<br />

intentional. Kara Powell, author of the book Growing<br />

Young, observed: “The truth is, every church<br />

needs young people. Their passion enriches<br />

the soil around them. The curiosity they bring<br />

to Scripture and the authenticity they bring<br />

to relationships keep your church’s teaching<br />

fresh and fellowship fruitful. Young people also<br />

need a thriving church. A thriving church both<br />

grounds them in community and sends them<br />

out to serve. Your church needs young people,<br />

and they need your church. One without the<br />

other is incomplete.” 1<br />

This year’s THRIVE conference will emphasize<br />

discipleship. Discipleship is the mission of the church<br />

(Matthew 28:18-20). Many churches have experienced<br />

decrease in their discipleship efforts due to stress on<br />

schedules and the loss of interest in early morning classes<br />

(i.e., Sunday School). Despite competition for time and<br />

the challenges of recruiting teachers and volunteers,<br />

the church is still commissioned to make disciples.<br />

How do we grow young, and grow young disciples?<br />

Erwin McManus said, “Healthy churches reach young<br />

people, and young people make churches healthier. If<br />

your church is reaching 20-year-olds, your church will<br />

reach 60-year-olds.” 2 Growing young will be our focus<br />

in discipleship at THRIVE. Our Network team is excited<br />

to help your team develop strong discipleship initiatives,<br />

while simultaneously speaking to the needs of developing<br />

a multi-generational approach to a thriving, missional<br />

church. I was visiting Central AG in Houston for their 70th<br />

anniversary, and so appreciated Pastor Kurt Jenkins’<br />

statement: “Our young people are not the church of<br />

tomorrow…they are the church of today!” Growing<br />

individuals from making a decision to follow Jesus to living<br />

the Spirit-filled life of a follower is our call, our passion and<br />

our greatest joy (Acts 13:52). When we do this effectively,<br />

we will experience the same outcomes of the early<br />

church: “Then the word of God spread, and the<br />

number of disciples multiplied greatly…” (Acts<br />

6:7) Spreading the gospel and growing the family of God,<br />

young and old, into fully devoted followers of Christ, will<br />

result in a thriving church!<br />

1 Powell, Kara; Mulder, Jake; Griffin, Brad. Growing Young (p. 14).<br />

Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition<br />

2 Powell, Kara; Mulder, Jake; Griffin, Brad. Growing Young (p. 34).<br />

Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.<br />

NETWORK SUPERINTENDENT | Donald J. Immel | 717.795.5921 | don@penndel.org<br />

In a healthy multi-generational church<br />

wisdom of life experience is appreciated, and the<br />

presence of younger believers is welcomed.<br />

LEADERSHIPconnexion | <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 3

ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT | Steve DeFrain | 484.686.4843 | sdefrain@penndel.org<br />

You have to see it<br />

Before you see it!<br />

After I turned sixty, one Sunday at Morning Star, I told the congregation, “I’ve got a good ten years<br />

left in ministry. My dream is to grow younger and older at the same time.” Shortly after, I doubted<br />

the first part of the statement. I couldn’t see myself going to seventy, but I did run with the dream of<br />

growing younger and older over the next several years. What was the process that would help me<br />

accomplish that dream?<br />

Make it your Focus:<br />

God asked Jeremiah an important<br />

question twice in the first chapter, “What<br />

do you see?” Then God responded,<br />

“You have seen correctly, for I am<br />

watching to see that my word is<br />

fulfilled.” (Jeremiah 1:12/NIV) Once<br />

I made the statement about the dream,<br />

it became my focus, and with God’s<br />

grace, it began to happen. It wasn’t long<br />

before we added three thirty-somethings<br />

on the Deacon Board. We intentionally<br />

gave them a place at the table. We<br />

saw a movement among our young<br />

families, and they started forming small<br />

groups. The worship team began to pull<br />

in the younger generation. Teenagers<br />

felt welcome to serve in the children’s<br />

ministry. We saw the youth getting<br />

trained to operate cameras and help with<br />

Sunday morning media production. We<br />

were simultaneously getting younger and<br />

older because we made it our focus.<br />

Liz and I were walking around our<br />

neighborhood one day, and we started<br />

talking about the beautiful changes<br />

happening at church. Out of my mouth<br />

came the words, “You have to see it –<br />

before you see it!”<br />

This process begins when you hear God<br />

ask you the question, “What do you<br />

see?”<br />

Make it your Prayer:<br />

It was Paul who said to Timothy, “I<br />

remember your genuine faith, for<br />

you share the faith that first filled<br />

your grandmother, Lois, and your<br />

mother, Eunice. And I know that<br />

same faith continues strong in you.”<br />

(2 Timothy 1:5/NLT) Paul rejoices in<br />

seeing faith passed on from the older<br />

to the younger generation. He doesn’t<br />

stop there but makes that generation<br />

the focus of His prayer. “Night and day<br />

I constantly remember you in my<br />

prayers.” (2 Timothy 1:4/NLT) We can<br />

give them two things. First, we remember<br />

them. We recognize that they are the<br />

future. We remind ourselves that it’s our<br />

responsibility to activate their faith to lead<br />

in the church now. Second, they need<br />

to be a big part of our prayer life. We<br />

make them our prayer focus. Paul says,<br />

I remember your faith. I remember you<br />

in prayer. I remind you to fan into flames<br />

the spiritual gifts God gave you. “This is<br />

why I remind you to fan into flames<br />

the spiritual gift God gave you when<br />

I laid my hands on you.” (2 Timothy<br />

1:6/NLT) That’s good! Remember their<br />

faith. Remember them in your prayers.<br />

Remind them that now is the time to<br />

activate their spiritual gifts.<br />

Make it your Future:<br />

On October 13, 2019, Liz & I transitioned<br />

after thirty-eight years of serving Morning<br />

Star Fellowship into our next season of<br />

life. It’s hard to express all the emotions<br />

we felt on that final Sunday. But one<br />

thing was evident as I looked across the<br />

platform, Pastor Chad had just turned<br />

forty-five, most of the staff were even<br />

younger, and by God’s grace, the church<br />

was ready for the future.<br />

“This is why I<br />

remind you to<br />

fan into flames<br />

the spiritual gift<br />

God gave you<br />

when I laid my<br />

hands on you.”<br />

2 Timothy 1:6/NLT<br />





This course is designed specifically for people who love<br />

to study the Bible. If you are a home group leader, Sunday<br />

School teacher, mid-week service speaker or just love to<br />

study the Bible, this course is for you! (This does not equate<br />

to Ministerial Credentials)<br />

Registration opens August 1, <strong>2022</strong> for our NEW one year<br />

Bible Institute with classes beginning September <strong>2022</strong><br />

YOU WILL:<br />

• Register online for an initial one-time fee of $75<br />

• Enroll in each class for $75 each<br />

• Receive a Study Guide for each class<br />

• Purchase your textbook via Amazon, etc.<br />

• Attend class one Saturday a month at the campus<br />

nearest you<br />

• Learn from a Pentecostal perspective and receive<br />

concentrated, in-depth, Bible instruction from anointed<br />

Bible teachers<br />

• Be graded on your Study Guide and Final Exam<br />

• Have your grades posted to your transcript should you<br />

decide to continue with PDSOM<br />

• Graduate with a diploma from the PDSOM Bible Institute<br />

You will Study alongside the PDSOM students. The<br />

curriculum for the Bible Institute is comprised of the<br />

following classes: Corinthians, Synoptic Gospels, Acts,<br />

Romans, Prison Epistles, Pentateuch, Old Testament Survey,<br />

New Testament Survey, and the Poetic Books<br />


FRANCES TRYON, 84, passed away on<br />

November 9, 2021. She was a graduate of EBI/<br />

UVF, Harrisburg Area Community College, North<br />

Central Bible College and Regent University. She<br />

was proceeded in death by her faithful husband,<br />

Gary, of fifty-four years. Together, they served<br />

the following PennDel churches: Nicholson, St.<br />

Thomas, Pitcairn, Enola, New Kingston and<br />

Elizabethtown.<br />

MARILYN CLINE, 88, passed away on March<br />

10, <strong>2022</strong>. She is survived by her faithful husband,<br />

Thomas. Together, they served the following<br />

PennDel churches as lead pastor: Lock Haven,<br />

Beaver Falls, Mercer and Mt. Pleasant. Marilyn<br />

was well known for the best roast beef dinners<br />

she prepared for missionaries. She was also<br />

known for her pleasant smile.<br />

THOMAS A GEIGER, 93, passed away on April<br />

5, <strong>2022</strong>. He was a graduate of UVF (Eastern<br />

Bible Institute) and also served in the United State<br />

Navy for three years. Tom served as a youth<br />

pastor in Huntingdon and later as lead pastor<br />

to the following PennDel Churches: Port Matilda<br />

and Towanda. He was preceded in death by his<br />

faithful wife, Pauline.<br />

CARRIE B MAHAFFEY, 89, passed away on<br />

April 13, <strong>2022</strong>. She is survived by her faithful<br />

husband, Arthur. Together they pastored the<br />

following PennDel Churches: Shanksville and<br />

Manheim. Carrie touched many lives serving<br />

alongside her husband as a pastor’s wife. She<br />

was famous for her chocolate cake with the<br />

creamiest peanut butter frosting!<br />

(MARY) JEANNE MYERS, 97, passed away on<br />

June 20, <strong>2022</strong>. She was preceded in death by<br />

her husband, John J Myers. Together they served<br />

the following PennDel Churches: New Life AG,<br />

Lancaster (staff pastor) and Marietta AG (staff<br />

pastor).<br />

SECRETARY/TREASURER | Jeff Marshall | 717.795.5921 | jeff@penndel.org<br />

This is the school and the study of God’s Word you have<br />

always wanted!<br />

Take as many classes as you desire. A diploma awarded to<br />

those who finish all nine classes.<br />

Registration begins August 1, <strong>2022</strong>.<br />

For more information: www.penndelsom.org<br />

(Correction from a previous ConneXion)<br />

GUY (BOB) FERGUSON, 73, passed away on<br />

November 7, 2021. He is survived by his faithful<br />

wife, Liz. Together they pastored the following<br />

PennDel Churches: Philipsburg, Orbisonia, Red<br />

Lion, Manheim and Hillsdale.<br />

LEADERSHIPconnexion | <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 5

WORLD MISSIONS | Jeff Marshall | 717.795.5921 | jeff@penndel.org<br />

Thank you PennDel for Giving<br />

In January of 2019 we stood under a tree<br />

in an open field in Olancho, Honduras<br />

dreaming. This was the location Mike<br />

Brown and Freddy Vasquez, missionaries<br />

to Honduras, selected as the future site<br />

of the Honduras Transformation Project<br />

(HTP). At this time the property was not<br />

purchased. Pastor Don Immel, myself<br />

and a team of pastors from PennDel<br />

traveled to Honduras to investigate the<br />

possibility of adopting the HTP as our<br />

World Missions Project. We spent a few<br />

days canoeing down Putuca River, riding<br />

donkeys over the mountains, living in<br />

the jungle to get the feel of what some<br />

individuals experience just to take some<br />

Bible classes. God birthed a passion in<br />

our hearts for the people of Honduras.<br />

We returned to the states, raised the<br />

money to purchase the land and called<br />

Mike Brown to give him the green light to<br />

make the dream a reality. We presented<br />

the vision to the churches in PennDel<br />

and you responded with love, prayers<br />

and finances. Construction on the HTP<br />

started. Then COVID hit. Construction<br />

was brought to a halt. But the dream<br />

lived on. Mike, Freddy and their team in<br />

Honduras found a way and construction<br />

started again in spite of many limitations.<br />

On May 30, <strong>2022</strong>, Pastor Don, myself<br />

and another team of pastors stand on the<br />

same sight we prayed over and dreamed<br />

about in 2019. Today we see the dream<br />

as a reality. The Bible tells us “Without a<br />

vision, people perish.” A group of pastors<br />

and missionaries had a vision for a Bible<br />

school in Honduras, today that vision has<br />

become a reality.<br />

My heart was filled with joy and<br />

excitement as Mike gave us a tour of a<br />

two story school building with classrooms<br />

on the first floor and dormitories on the<br />

second floor. The Superintendent of<br />

Honduras made a statement, “this is<br />

one of the nicest buildings in Honduras.”<br />

But that's not all. Just behind the school<br />

building is a full-functioning cafeteria<br />

with a kitchen and large room. A church<br />

building sits to the right of the school and<br />

a storage building stands to the left. The<br />

buildings were built by construction teams<br />

from churches in the states as well as<br />

native Hondurans.<br />

The dedication proceeded with the<br />

Superintendent from Honduras as well<br />

as other executives from the surrounding<br />

area and Pastor Don along with the<br />

team from the United States. We sang<br />

praises to God and gave thanks to Him in<br />



FOR THE 3 YEAR<br />

PROJECT (2019-2021):<br />

$167,257.56<br />

prayer as two nations came together to<br />

build the Honduras Bible Institute for the<br />

glory of God. And what is also exciting<br />

is that Bible classes started the day after<br />

the dedication. Many will come into the<br />

saving knowledge of Jesus as a result of<br />

two nations coming together to build the<br />

Honduras Transformation Project.<br />

6<br />

<strong>2022</strong> Project: Tanzania<br />

Goal: $60,000<br />

Your gift will assist in planting churches in Tanzania.<br />

Total received as of May 12, <strong>2022</strong>: $45,963.47<br />

PennDel Ministry Network<br />

ATTN: World Missions<br />

Project Offering<br />

4651 Westport Drive<br />

Mechanicsburg PA 17055

UKRAINE:<br />

From Grieving to Action<br />

January 29, <strong>2022</strong> will forever be a day etched in my memory.<br />

It’s not a birthday, not an anniversary, and not even my spiritual<br />

birthday. It’s a dark date for us. It’s the date we were evacuated out<br />

of Ukraine. I never want to see another day like January 29, <strong>2022</strong>.<br />

Dates like this remind me of defeat and loss. When you have built<br />

a ministry based upon years of partnership with nationals and<br />

unlimited hours of prayer and work, it stings even more when<br />

you are forced to abandon the work. I am sure many pastors,<br />

missionaries and leaders have experienced this set back in the role<br />

that God has called them to. The victory is never seen during the<br />

darkness, but the seeds of hope are there. What God has allowed<br />

us to do, since January 29, has been truly amazing.<br />

As the church has rallied around the cries of our brothers and<br />

sisters in Ukraine, we have been able to be a channel for helping.<br />

Soon after the Russians advanced into Ukraine on February 24,<br />

PennDel churches immediately responded. Very quickly, we<br />

went from grieving to action. Throughout the last four years<br />

of ministry in Ukraine, I can see now how God had prepared us<br />

for this moment. Our ministry helped us create a strong network<br />

that stretched into all corners of Ukraine geographically with both<br />

church and political leaders. As a result, we straightaway knew<br />

where the biggest needs and losses were occurring.<br />

Over the last few months, we have received more than $100,000 in<br />

donations from churches and donors across the PennDel Ministry<br />

Network. These funds have helped with the following:<br />

• Establishing a warehouse in Kharkiv (twenty-five miles from the<br />

Russian border), employing four people and supplying 1,000<br />

people a week<br />

• Purchasing a van to help transport people, food and medicine<br />

in the hard-to-reach places. Over ten sets of body armor have<br />


Ron & Amy Jones with Josiah,<br />

Samuel, and Hannah<br />

been purchased to protect pastors and workers in the war zone.<br />

We have provided support to Ukrainian refugees (many pastor’s<br />

wives and children) who have escaped to Europe<br />

• Purchasing fuel, bread, medicine and gas masks<br />

• Installing a large capacity generator in a church to continue 24/7<br />

ministry<br />

• Helped repair and fund a new church plant in Cherkasy and<br />

assisted them in obtaining food supplies<br />

• Repairing a church that was hit by rockets<br />

• Making sure that our partner churches in Ukraine continued to be<br />

able to share the Gospel in every community<br />

What began as the darkest period of our ministry, has now been<br />

transformed into the beginning of a redeeming message of love.<br />

As many of you have stood with us and supported our Ukrainian<br />

church family, we have become an even stronger church. Every<br />

day, I receive messages of appreciation from believers throughout<br />

Ukraine. They would want me to say how grateful they are for your<br />

love and support during this time. Please join us to continually pray<br />

for the people of Ukraine.<br />

“The light shines in the darkness,<br />

and the darkness can never extinguish it.”<br />

John 1:5 NLT<br />

LEADERSHIPconnexion | <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 7

GUEST CONTRIBUTOR | Elly Marroquin | National Director of the Assemblies of God Christian Education and Discipleship<br />

As the National Director<br />

of the Assemblies of<br />

God Christian Education<br />

and Discipleship<br />

Department, Rev. Elly<br />

Marroquin desires to<br />

see an intergenerational,<br />

Spirit-empowered church<br />

demonstrating a growing<br />

knowledge of God’s Word.<br />

Having been saved in an<br />

AG church while attending<br />

a Girl’s Ministry meeting,<br />

Elly understands the<br />

importance of discipleship<br />

and the knowledge of<br />

God’s Word. Until recently,<br />

she and her husband,<br />

Sergio, pastored Prince<br />

of Peace Church in<br />

Garfield, NJ which they<br />

planted in 2000. Elly has<br />

two master’s degrees in<br />

Bilingual Education and<br />

Educational <strong>Leadership</strong>.<br />

Prior to her appointment,<br />

Elly served as the Spanish<br />

Eastern District Director<br />

of Christian Education<br />

where she oversaw 491<br />

churches in 16 states and<br />

80 schools of ministry. She<br />

currently serves on the<br />

board at The University of<br />

Valley Forge.<br />

Sergio and Elly have two<br />

wonderful daughters.<br />

7Ways To Create<br />

A Church Culture<br />

Saturated With<br />

The Word Of God<br />

#1 Approach God’s Word daily with a posture of expectancy.<br />

The Bible is a treasure chest. Open your Bible each day expecting God to say something.<br />

#2 Be a catalyst for change by modeling what you want to see.<br />

Ensure that you hold your team accountable by asking them, “What did God say to you<br />

today?” When asked for your advice and opinion, always begin by saying, “let’s see what<br />

God’s Word has to tell us about this.” God’s Word has something to tell us about every topic<br />

and gives us the best advice to live our lives.<br />

#3 Be intentional.<br />

As we know, church does not exist primarily to entertain, nor does it exist primarily for<br />

fellowship within its four walls. We have to be intentional about making lifelong followers of<br />

Jesus because it will not happen automatically. For example, I ask a fellow ministry leader<br />

each week what he’s reading in the Bible that came alive to him. Beyond programs, we have<br />

to ask these questions and initiate these conversations.<br />

#4 Take on an apprentice.<br />

Wake up every day and ask yourself, “Who am I going to pour into? And what am I going to<br />

pour into them?” I’m only in this role today because people invited me to be their apprentice.<br />

Take someone under your wing and say, “This is how to lead a Sunday school class or small<br />

group” or “This is how to lead a girls ministry group.” Give people opportunities to serve and learn.<br />


Elly on<br />

Discipleship<br />

Discipleship is not a program; it is<br />

the core of the church – it is our<br />

mission! it’s not a multi-week series<br />

on following Jesus. Rather, it’s a<br />

journey that starts when you begin<br />

opening up your heart and mind to<br />

Jesus, and it’s a journey that lasts<br />

a lifetime.<br />

#5<br />

Embody the Word by walking with people through<br />

their messiness.<br />

People come from all sorts of backgrounds. The church needs to be a place where<br />

people from any background can come and have others surround them and introduce<br />

them to Jesus so they can be restored. This is not a program; this is a nurturing<br />

environment. We do not see any examples in the Word where Jesus rejected people<br />

because of their messiness; neither should we.<br />

#6<br />

Evaluate whether your church is growing or stagnating<br />

in discipleship.<br />

What measurements do you have in place? If people are only attending on Sunday<br />

but not investing in small groups or midweek service, there’s a high chance they’re<br />

not engaged in everyday growth. Discipleship requires growth. Be patient. Remember<br />

discipleship is a process. Not everyone grows at the same rate, but must be growing<br />

nonetheless. Is your church facilitating and measuring growth? This is why Disciple<br />

Well, a resource of the Christian Education and Discipleship ministry office, exists: your<br />

church may be discipling, but is it discipling well? Learn more at discipleship.ag.org.<br />

#7 Never stop growing.<br />

You can’t take your congregation where you’ve never been. You can’t teach the book<br />

of Daniel unless you’ve studied it for yourself. If you’re not growing, you can’t bring<br />

people alongside you and be pouring into them: what would you be pouring?<br />

The mandate for discipleship<br />

(Matthew 28:18-20) is ultimately<br />

about making disciples. It is twofold<br />

encompassing transformation<br />

and multiplication. Transformation<br />

is the work of the Holy Spirit. We<br />

are incapable of achieving true<br />

lasting transformation without Him.<br />

As we engage God’s Word, our<br />

relationship with Jesus deepens.<br />

Moreover, genuine, meaningful<br />

relationships with committed<br />

believers helps us grow. The<br />

other component, multiplication<br />

is essential in a disciple making<br />

culture. Sheep multiply! Thus,<br />

disciples are called to teach others<br />

and make other disciples.<br />

A disciple, by definition, is a learner.<br />

In our context, this is someone<br />

who learns to discern God’s voice<br />

and distinguish truth from lies.<br />

This is critical among a culture that<br />

doesn’t believe that truth is found<br />

in God’s Word. A disciple yearns<br />

for Christlikeness and manifests<br />

the Fruit of the Spirit. A disciple is<br />

committed to learning God’s will<br />

and living it out regardless of the<br />

cost. We all have different callings,<br />

and there are so many giftings<br />

among the body of Christ: we have<br />

to be okay with following as part of<br />

discipleship, with being the pinkie<br />

finger, so to speak, rather than the<br />

whole hand or foot. A disciple is<br />

the best at what he or she is called<br />

to be, whatever that is. However,<br />

in whatever we do, our primary<br />

assignment is to make disciples of<br />

others for Jesus.<br />

LEADERSHIPconnexion | <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 9

MINISTER CARE & CHURCH RECALIBRATION | Jason Tourville | 717.795.5921 | jason@penndel.org<br />

reVITALize FAITH<br />

in the Next Generation<br />

Is Biblical faith dead to the next generation? Let’s take a look. While only 17% of Americans are<br />

65 and older, a recent study revealed that 33% of U.S. congregations are senior citizens. 1 This represents<br />

nearly double the national age range involved in our churches. Should this figure concern us? Yes and<br />

No! In some ways, there has always been a drop off of college age and young adults attending our<br />

congregations simply due to life stage. So, this statistic is nothing new. On the other hand, the disparity<br />

between the numbers (17%-33%) is much higher than it has ever been. Additionally, our culture has been<br />

radically redefined through fresh doses of secularism, relativism and a resurgence of Gnosticism that is<br />

forcing us to realize that we are in a battle for the next generation.<br />

“Church leaders must also grapple with<br />

the generational slide away from religion.<br />

Millennials are much less likely than their<br />

elders to indicate a religious preference,<br />

and presumably the nearly one-third of<br />

millennials without a religious preference<br />

are unlikely to ever join a church.” 2<br />

Behind the Scenes<br />

Relationship and trust are not built from<br />

the platform or behind a pulpit; they are<br />

established behind the scenes. When<br />

leaders take a vested interest in the next<br />

generation, time is spent investing in them<br />

one-on-one. This includes more than<br />

downloading Biblical information from an<br />

experienced disciple of Jesus to the less<br />

experienced. It involves taking them out<br />

for a meal, providing a safe relationship to<br />

process life and stressors, and being with<br />

them, not for what we can get from them,<br />

but simply to be with them.<br />

According to research conducted by<br />

LifeWay, “Having other adults and more<br />

adults develop healthy relationships<br />

with teenagers increases the odds<br />

those students will remain in church<br />

as adults.” 3 If we are to revitalize faith<br />

with the next generation, it will happen<br />

behind the scenes as we spend time<br />

with them.<br />

In addition, helping the next generation<br />

learn to serve behind the scenes without<br />

notoriety or accolades, helps form the<br />

heart of the servant. Not all ministry<br />

work is on the platform. Perhaps like<br />

me, in the early years of ministry, I<br />

cleaned toilets, mopped floors, set-up<br />

tables and chairs and much more.<br />

Around the Table<br />

The second strategy to revitalize faith<br />

in the next generation is to invite them<br />

to the table. This means giving them a<br />

voice in board meetings, including them<br />

on committees and certainly involving<br />

them as leaders of teams. This is never<br />

about replacing the older generation, but<br />

assuring that the next generation is both<br />

learning from their elders and informing<br />

their elders about what it takes to reach<br />

and teach this next generation.<br />

Much is learned around the table. A key<br />

benefit is building faith in what God can<br />

do and will do. Whether it is a financial<br />

need of the church or a prayer request<br />

supernaturally answered, faith arises<br />

when we are at the table together. This<br />

is one approach we can take to fulfill<br />

2 Timothy 2:2, “And the things that<br />

you have heard from me among many<br />

witnesses, commit these to faithful men<br />

who will be able to teach others also.”<br />

While Paul’s words include Biblical<br />

instruction, we also need to show them<br />

as they are around the table with us.<br />

On the Platform<br />

Providing significant opportunities for<br />

ministry is a key element for revitalizing<br />

the faith of the next generation. Most of<br />

us have grown and developed into the<br />

spiritual leaders we are today because<br />

someone gave us a chance, when<br />

truthfully, we weren’t quite prepared<br />

or ready. However, ministry in front of<br />

others oftentimes grows our faith and<br />

causes all of us to press into God more<br />

deeply.<br />

In addition, when we entrust significant<br />

ministry, such as speaking or other<br />

ministry on the platform, it speaks value<br />

to the one we are raising up. Also, it<br />

lets others know that we value the next<br />

generation. People must see what we<br />

expect. If we desire that our churches<br />

reach the next generation, then we<br />

need to provide space for them to<br />

minister with the unrefined gifts God has<br />

deposited in them.<br />


At the Altar<br />

Raising the next generation of disciples can seem like<br />

a daunting task. However, Jesus provided much of the<br />

direction in the gospels as recorded in the conversations<br />

He had with his disciples. One such telling interaction is<br />

found in Luke 11:1, “Now it came to pass, as He was<br />

praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His<br />

disciples said to Him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John also<br />

taught his disciples.’” We will never revitalize faith in the<br />

next generation unless we lead them to the altar in prayer.<br />

This form of discipleship involves three elements: modeling,<br />

instruction and experience.<br />

Is Biblical faith dead in the next generation…ABSOLUTELY<br />

NOT. However, it is the role of the mature to invest in those<br />

who are at the beginning of their journey. This process of<br />

discipleship must be done intentionally and not given to<br />

chance. Let me suggest, find at least one young adult and<br />

begin to invest in them through the strategies listed above<br />

and watch what God will do.<br />

1 https://research.lifeway.com/2021/11/01/<br />

americas-pastors-and-churchgoers-are-getting-older/<br />

2 https://news.gallup.com/poll/248837/church-membership-downsharply-past-two-decades.aspx<br />

3 https://research.lifeway.<br />

com/2021/10/07/5-keys-to-preventing-church-dropouts/<br />

Individual, Couples and Family<br />

Counseling available to you,<br />

your family and your church.<br />

Accepts most forms of insurance • Online or In-Person<br />

www.Emerge.org/PA • 800-621-5207<br />


Consultants will come alongside a church in a 2-phase<br />

process, which includes an assessment, strategic<br />

recommendations and implementation coaching.<br />

www.recalibratechurch.org/Consulting<br />


www.recalibratechurch.org/consulting<br />

Thrive Fund<br />

Partnership Works<br />

River of Life Assembly of God in Sunbury, PA, pastored<br />

by Rev. Jan Krebs, was re-launched in June <strong>2022</strong>.<br />

Through support from the THRIVE FUND, partnership<br />

with their section and another Assembly of God<br />

church, the church has grown from 20 to 75 people.<br />

From financial assistance, help with outreaches and<br />

work teams, partnership does work!<br />

A big thank you to all our PennDel churches who are<br />

faithfully giving toward the THRIVE FUND. You are<br />

making a difference one church at a time.<br />

To learn more or donate visit<br />

www.PennDel.org/ThriveFund.<br />

Around the Network<br />

AGWM Commissioning<br />

David and Lauren Perdan were<br />

commissioned as Assemblies of God<br />

World Missionaries at a Commissioning<br />

Service held at Central Assembly of God<br />

in Springfield, Missouri. David and Lauren<br />

are itinerating across the Network raising<br />

support to plant a fully deaf church in<br />

Tsukuba, Japan.<br />

70th Anniversary Celebration<br />

Central Assembly of God, Houston, PA<br />

Pastor Kurt & Charisse Jenkins<br />

LEADERSHIPconnexion | <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />


May 2-5, <strong>2022</strong><br />

Christian Life Assembly<br />

Camp Hill, PA<br />

Ordination Celebration May 5, <strong>2022</strong><br />

Congratulations<br />

to our Jubilarians<br />

(50 Years Ordained)<br />

Front Row (Left to Right):<br />

Stan Williams, Glenn White<br />

Back Frow (Left to Right):<br />

Jonathan Baker, Dale Bupp,<br />

David Crosby Sr, Cliff Hamilton Jr,<br />

Dennis Sproull<br />

(unable to attend)<br />

Richard Grimes<br />


Congratulations to the Ordination Class of <strong>2022</strong>!<br />

Scott & Melissa Ball<br />

Andrea Bello<br />

Peter & Diane Bjornstad<br />

Daniel & Tanya Burke<br />

Cynthia & Vaughn Burkett<br />

Donald & Autumn Galade<br />

Tamera Garris<br />

Melissa Golden<br />

Blessy Mathew &<br />

Mathew James<br />

Joshua & Allison Kollar<br />

B. Joshua & Susan LeBlanc<br />

Thomas & Cecelia Manning<br />

Tamera & Robert Morgan<br />

Reginald Nesamoni &<br />

Caroline Reginald<br />

Donna Noll<br />

Timothy O'Brien<br />

Adam & Katherine Olson<br />

Lindsay Piermani-Brace &<br />

Matthew Kastner<br />

Jose John &<br />

Gifty Karuvelil Sam<br />

Allyson Sarring<br />

Timothy Jr. & Nicole Schaefer<br />

Donald & Heather Sitter<br />

Edward & Glori Slate<br />

Rickey VanBuren Jr.<br />

LEADERSHIPconnexion | <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 13

Discipling Teenagers<br />

YOUTH MINISTRIES/DYD | Lee Rogers | 717.795.5921 | lee@penndel.org<br />

The Seven Dimensions of a Spirit-Filled Teenager<br />

The challenges of discipling a young person in the confusion of today’s culture is no simple task. It is critical that youth<br />

pastors and leaders align activities, teaching/preaching and pastoral care with the desired discipleship development and<br />

outcomes. In developing the “Seven Dimensions of a Spirit-Filled Disciple,” the Assemblies of God gave careful thought<br />

to how each dimension applies to various age groups, including teenagers. Below are some snippets of each dimension<br />

and how youth pastors and leaders can apply these to their youth ministries today.<br />

Dimension Description 1 Applications<br />

Bible<br />

Holy Spirit<br />

Mission<br />

Disciples trust God’s Word, develop a deeper<br />

understanding of Scripture, apply biblical truths and<br />

principles to life, and obey the Scriptures in all things.<br />

Disciples continue to seek to be baptized in the Holy<br />

Spirit, operate in this empowerment, and identify and<br />

begin to demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit.<br />

Disciples boldly share their personal faith story and<br />

the good news of salvation with friends and family to<br />

make disciples of all classes, ethnicities, and cultures.<br />

Bible Engagement Project<br />

Bible Quiz<br />

Scripture Reading Plans/Apps<br />

Altar Times<br />

Camps & Retreats<br />

Youth Group/Small Groups<br />

Youth Alive<br />

Campus Missionaries & Clubs<br />

AIM/Missions Trips<br />

Prayer<br />

Disciples learn to hear and obey God’s voice,<br />

experience God’s presence in solitude and in<br />

corporate settings, and learn to bring all feelings and<br />

needs to God.<br />

Personal Devotional Plans<br />

Altar Times<br />

See You At The Pole<br />

Worship<br />

Service<br />

Disciples worship personally and corporately,<br />

choosing gratitude and praise as a lifestyle, and<br />

practice obedience to God as worship.<br />

Disciples take the initiative to serve in the church and<br />

in the world, developing and utilizing their God-given<br />

gifts for serving others, and understand that service is<br />

an act of worship to God.<br />

Youth & Church Worship<br />

Services<br />

Worship Playlists<br />

Fine Arts<br />

Student <strong>Leadership</strong> Teams<br />

Volunteerism in church and<br />

community<br />

AIM/Missions Trips<br />

Generosity<br />

Disciples biblically manage their resources well, giving<br />

the Lord’s tithe and offerings beyond the tithe, give<br />

freely of possessions, and give with compassion for<br />

the broken, poor, and vulnerable.<br />

Tithing<br />

Speed-the-Light<br />

Monthly Missionary Support<br />

1 Adapted from Seven Dimensions of a Spirit-Filled Disciple, The General Council of the Assemblies of God, <strong>2022</strong>, available at https://discipleship.ag.org.<br />


YPR<strong>2022</strong> : PennDel Youth Network Youth Pastors Retreat : December 8-10, <strong>2022</strong>

CHILDREN AND DISCIPLESHIP | Jeremiah Gruber | 717.795.5921<br />

Growing Young<br />



Have you recently tried to put something together using<br />

an instruction manual? Over the last few months, I<br />

have put together many pieces of furniture during the<br />

remodeling of our basement. Moving into a new office has also<br />

involved following instructions for assembling a desk, chairs,<br />

etc. As a father, every Christmas and for other occasions<br />

throughout the year, I am the one tasked with taking the many<br />

components of a child’s toy and completing the project. (Who<br />

makes these toys so difficult and with so many pieces anyway?)<br />

Some of the manuals that I have used have been very vague<br />

with only written instructions. A few manuals have included<br />

pictures. However, my favorite instructions to follow are those<br />

that have a visual guide or video showing me the ins and outs of<br />

the assembly process. These will often include images or video<br />

of an actual person giving me step-by-step guidance.<br />

God’s Word is the instruction manual for our lives, and<br />

discipleship is all about showing others how to apply Scripture<br />

to our daily lives. In today’s society, we see a lot of “do what I<br />

say and not as I do.” What if the command to “go and make<br />

disciples” is less about telling the next generation what a disciple<br />

of Jesus should look like and more about showing them what<br />

a disciple of Jesus should live like? What if we are called to do<br />

more than simply say “be like Jesus,” but rather to clearly show<br />

the next generation a step-by-step blueprint of what it means to<br />

live like Jesus? What if we are called to not only teach the Word<br />

but to demonstrate that the Word is alive and active in our lives?<br />

At the THRIVE Conference this fall, we will be sharing practical<br />

ways that our Fellowship, Network, and local churches can<br />

continue Growing Young and Disciple the Next Generation<br />

of Assemblies of God Believers. Until then, I encourage<br />

you to pray, seek God, and allow His Spirit to show you ways<br />

that you can disciple the next generation to be like Jesus. The<br />

Assemblies of God has a great discipleship platform to mentor<br />

those who teach children. HYDRATE is designed to help<br />

children’s leaders:<br />

1. Be encouraged and inspired<br />

2. Connect with other leaders<br />

3. Lead with confidence<br />

For more information, visit: kidmin.ag.org/hydrate.<br />

(Several scholarships are available through our department,<br />

please email me at jeremiah@penndel.org to receive the<br />

application.)<br />

If our department can help you reach children and disciple<br />

those who lead your children’s ministries, we would love to<br />

collaborate with you.<br />

In closing, I pray that the words of the following poem inspire<br />

you to be an example of godliness to the next generation.<br />

These thoughts have reminded me of my responsibility over the<br />

last twenty years of ministry (top of next page):<br />


I’d Rather See A Sermon<br />

Poet: Edgar A. Guest<br />

I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day;<br />

I’d rather one should walk with me than merely tell the way.<br />

The eye’s a better pupil and more willing than the ear,<br />

Fine counsel is confusing, but example’s always clear;<br />

And the best of all the preachers are the men who live their creeds,<br />

For to see good put in action is what everybody needs.<br />

I soon can learn to do it if you’ll let me see it done;<br />

I can watch your hands in action, but your tongue too fast may run.<br />

And the lecture you deliver may be very wise and true,<br />

But I’d rather get my lessons by observing what you do;<br />

For I might misunderstand you and the high advise you give,<br />

But there’s no misunderstanding how you act and how you live.<br />

When I see a deed of kindness, I am eager to be kind.<br />

When a weaker brother stumbles and a strong man stays behind<br />

Just to see if he can help him, then the wish grows strong in me<br />

To become as big and thoughtful as I know that friend to be.<br />

And all travelers can witness that the best of guides today<br />

Is not the one who tells them, but the one who shows the way.<br />

One good man teaches many, men believe what they behold;<br />

One deed of kindness noticed is worth forty that are told.<br />

Who stands with men of honor learns to hold his honor dear,<br />

For right living speaks a language which to every one is clear.<br />

Though an able speaker charms me with his eloquence, I say,<br />

I’d rather see a sermon than to hear one, any day.<br />

One of the number one quotes we hear<br />

from children’s leaders is:<br />

“We feel like we are in this alone.”<br />

Help us connect with your children’s pastor,<br />

director, or key lay leaders!<br />

We would love to uplift them, provide with resources, and remind them that they<br />

are not alone. Please share our Facebook Community with those key leaders, and<br />

encourage them to join.<br />

Search for “PennDel Kidmin Community” on Facebook.<br />

If they do not have a Facebook account, have them emailjeremiah@penndel.org,<br />

and our team will connect with them! Sectional kidmin/children’s ministry connection<br />

events will be coming this fall.<br />

LEADERSHIPconnexion | <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 17

CHURCH PLANTING | TOM REES | 717.795.5921 | tom@penndel.org<br />

CHANGE<br />

CHURCH<br />

Covocational Church Planting<br />

ELIJAH AND ASHLEE HOLLIS have had a burning<br />

passion for ministry since they were young. For those who rub<br />

shoulders with them, their energy and vision are contagious.<br />

Through creativity, serving, and connection, they planted<br />

CHANGE CHURCH in the heart of Philadelphia with their<br />

children, Zion Dainger and Aunee Colette.<br />

Elijah and Ashlee are what we call, “covo church planters.”<br />

Leaders who thrive not only in the church but also in the<br />

marketplace. In his book, “Covocational Church Planting:<br />

Aligning Your Marketplace Calling and the Mission of God,”<br />

Brad Brisco writes,<br />

“A ‘covo’ planter is one<br />

who knows God has<br />

called them to be a<br />

teacher, or a mechanic,<br />

a web designer, or a<br />

doctor and they desire<br />

to weave that calling<br />

into the plan to plant<br />

a church. They realize<br />

those two callings are<br />

not isolated from one<br />

Elijah and Ashlee Hollis with<br />

Zion and Aunee<br />

another, but instead<br />

are actually interlinked<br />

and equal.”<br />

Ashlee is the President and Founder of Helm Creative Studio,<br />

a certified women-owned business and creative agency that<br />

is redefining what it means to lead one’s story in business and<br />

entrepreneurship. At Helm, Elijah builds out the stories as a<br />

videographer, director, writer, producer, voice-over artist and<br />

musician.<br />

Helm just moved into The Story Factory, a 27,000 sq. ft. building<br />

in the Olde Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. One of the<br />

best parts of this is that it provides a great space for CHANGE<br />

CHURCH, where they host church on Sundays. The facility will<br />

also be utilized for community outreaches and organizations,<br />

including relationships with local law enforcement, and an afterschool<br />

program to give students a place to get off the streets<br />

and learn creative arts, tutoring and to have a place for them to<br />

form their own community with people who care about them.<br />



Bivocational Church Planting<br />

Born and raised in Georgia,<br />


recognized God calling<br />

him into ministry in his<br />

late teens. He spent six<br />

years on active duty in<br />

the U.S. Air Force before<br />

attending Bible College at<br />

Southeastern University<br />

in Lakeland, FL. While<br />

attending school, Joseph<br />

joined the staff of The Way<br />

Community Church and<br />

served the congregation<br />

as an associate pastor and<br />

executive pastor. As graduation approached, Joseph and his<br />

wife, Emily, made the decision to move to Pennsylvania. After the<br />

move, Joseph and Emily began praying about if and where God<br />

might be calling them to plant a church.<br />

Joseph and Emily Gibson with<br />

John Ryan, Davey, and Hailey<br />

After driving through a community in the Northwest Section of<br />

PennDel with Presbyter Allan Thorpe, they soon felt God leading<br />

them to the Franklin/Cranberry/Oil City area in Venango County.<br />

Joseph started working in the area as a “bivo church planter.”<br />

A bivocational church planter is someone who starts a church<br />

and gains part of his personal income from an outside source.<br />

By working for the post office, this afforded a great opportunity<br />

for Joseph to get to know the community where they were<br />

called to minister. It wasn’t always easy balancing a full-time job,<br />

new church plant and a young family but God helped them and<br />

blessed their growing family. When they made the move in 2015,<br />

they had one son, John Ryan. Since then, Davey and Hailey<br />

joined the family.<br />

The following fall, CRANBERRY COMMUNITY CHURCH (CCC)<br />

held its first service in the Cranberry Mall. When Joseph and<br />

Emily launched the church, they said, “We realize the importance<br />

of establishing our identity from the very beginning as both a<br />

Great Commandment and a Great Commission church.” That<br />

vision has become a reality! Since then, Joseph and Emily have<br />

seen the lives of many people in the community transformed<br />

through a true encounter with the love of God.<br />

They believe that . . . “every chair has a story, and your story<br />

belongs here.”<br />

We pray that every story needing to feel at home with them<br />

would find its way to CHANGE.<br />

They have become a vibrant, life-giving, Spirit-filled church and in<br />

the past year, the church was able to bring Joseph on full-time,<br />

purchase and renovate a building in Seneca, and go sovereign.<br />

Joseph says, “We believe the Holy Spirit is doing something<br />

special in this area, and our hearts’ cry at CCC is to see<br />

revival in our hearts and in our community.”<br />



Several years ago, I began watching “Forged in Fire” on the<br />

History Channel. This show features world-class bladesmiths<br />

competing against each other to create some of history’s most<br />

iconic edged weapons. In one of the rounds, the judges put<br />

each weapon through a series of tests to gauge properties such<br />

as sharpness, durability and ease of use. For these tests, the<br />

weapons are used to chop/slash/stab objects that include ropes,<br />

ice blocks, animal bones/carcasses, and metal plumbing pipes.<br />

This is like CHOPPED for Men’s Ministries!<br />

Forging is the process where metal is placed under extreme<br />

pressure to create great strength. The three main processes<br />

used in forging are:<br />

• FORGING HAMMERS can have a driving force of up to<br />

50,000 pounds and pound the metal into shape.<br />

• FORGING PRESSES can have a driving force of up to<br />

50,000 tons and squeeze the metal into shape vertically.<br />

• FORGING UPSETTERS use ring rollers to turn a hollow<br />

round piece of metal under extreme pressure against a<br />

rotating roll, thereby squeezing out a one-piece ring.<br />

This year’s theme for the Men’s Conference is FORGED BY<br />

HIS FIRE. This year let me encourage you to not only attend,<br />

but bring someone you know who is facing challenges. Each<br />

speaker will share how their lives were forged in adversity but<br />

God was faithful to help them move forward with boldness,<br />

courage, determination and purpose. We are believing that<br />

through God’s Spirit, men will be able to withstand adversity and<br />



Forging dates back 6,000 years to Mesopotamia.<br />

Forging can create parts that are stronger than any<br />

other metalworking process.<br />

Forging is almost always used where reliability and<br />

human safety are critical.<br />

Over 18,000 forgings are contained in a Boeing 747.<br />

MEN'S MINISTRY | TOM REES | 717.795.5921 | tom@penndel.org<br />

Sometimes in life we find ourselves hammered, pressed and upset.<br />

Through it all, the pressure we face can be used by the Lord to create great strength!<br />


forgedbyhisfire.men<br />

LEADERSHIPconnexion | <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 19

PENNDEL WOMEN | Liz DeFrain | 484.686.4554 | liz@penndelwomen.com | penndelwomen.com<br />

The Grace, The Space<br />

and The Place to<br />

Grow Younger<br />

In the last few years I have developed a green thumb. My<br />

journey growing green plants began with an aloe sprig in<br />

a white coffee cup, which was given to me while visiting<br />

Morning Star Fellowship in Quakertown. For the first time in<br />

forty years, I had a windowsill in my kitchen, so I placed my<br />

fledgling aloe plant in the cup there. Each week I watered<br />

my sweet aloe plant. Over the next two and a half years, that<br />

small sprig has been replanted four times, finally landing in a<br />

large planter in my living room, exposed to a lot of sunlight.<br />

The plant won’t stop growing! At this point, I often joke<br />

that my plant feels like a child that I must care for, being<br />

responsible for its growth and life. Yet, strangely, I sometimes<br />

miss the old plant when it was smaller and seemed more<br />

manageable.<br />

Once given plenty of space to grow, new growth began to<br />

form from the sides of the plant, making it appear out of<br />

control to my neat and orderly eyes.<br />

God has used this visual in my life when bridging the gap<br />

between the older and younger generation of women. As we<br />

broaden our reach to include all ages, it may seem complicated<br />

to manage at times, but if we choose to stay comfortable, we<br />

will miss out on seeing the next generation thrive.<br />

Psalm 145:3-5 “Let each generation tell its children of your<br />

mighty acts; let them proclaim your power.” NLT<br />

I believe we can grow younger in our ministry<br />

by taking a few deliberate actions:<br />

First, make room for those coming up behind you.<br />

When I look at the young women I am privileged to lead,<br />

I want them to know I am their greatest cheerleader and<br />

encourager. Share your platforms with the next generation.<br />

Second, don’t be overwhelmed when you see them<br />

branching out on their own. Give those younger than you<br />

the support and guidance needed to excel. My plant keeps<br />

sprouting more leaves and the weight of the growth can make<br />

it unstable at times. My job is to make sure the root supports<br />

the growth. When I see it leaning in the wrong direction, I<br />

make the necessary adjustment to secure healthy growth.<br />

Finally, do not believe the enemy’s lie that you are<br />

no longer valuable as you grow older. The opposite is<br />

true. You have so much to give! Job 12:12 says, “Wisdom<br />

belongs to the aged, and understanding to the old.” The next<br />

generation needs your wisdom.<br />

“Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till<br />

I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts<br />

to all who are to come.” (Psalms 71:18 NLT)<br />

At Penndel Women, I want to lead well and create sustainable<br />

new growth for generations to come. I know you do too!<br />


What our gals are saying about<br />

Women in Ministry Retreat…<br />

“Thank you for how<br />

loved and valued you<br />

make us feel.”<br />

Robin Immel<br />

Women In Ministry Coordinator<br />

"WIM Retreat is the only<br />

place I am with people who<br />

understand my unique life<br />

~ They GET me!”<br />

FAQs<br />

“I can totally<br />

be myself!”<br />

Can I stay in a room by myself?<br />

YES! Private rooms are available, but they go<br />

fast, register early!<br />

GROWTH<br />

DOESN’T<br />


Discipling the Next Generation of<br />

Assemblies of God Believers<br />

“Like newborn babies, you must crave pure<br />

spiritual milk so that you will grow into a<br />

full experience of salvation. Cry out for this<br />

nourishment.” 1Peter 2:2<br />

I have been incredibly blessed with four grandbabies – ages<br />

1-8. That is a lot of growing happening in one household! I have<br />

thoroughly enjoyed watching each of my favorite “Grands” as they<br />

experiment, experience and assimilate the levels of development.<br />

As an infant, Zack (8-year old) studied intently everything around<br />

him. Nothing escaped his gaze. As he became a toddler, he<br />

questioned everything so he could understand. Evie (5-year old)<br />

developed a fiercely independent spirit. Nothing will stop her from<br />

completing what she wants. Luke (3-year old) has an ornery, but<br />

incredibly kind heart. He has brought so much laughter to this<br />

grandmother! Then there is Addie Mae (1-year old). The surprise<br />

baby who has a way of bringing joy to everyone. She is the calm<br />

in chaos, but also has a very strong will.<br />

While each child is so very different, developmental milestones<br />

had to be achieved for growth to happen. The interesting and fun<br />

thing is that they did it at their own pace. Their development is<br />

their own story, their own journey. Left on their own, the maturing<br />

and development would not have happened. God provides<br />

parents (AND grandparents) to put things in place that encourage<br />

growth. Nick’s position (Dad) is to lead the family in the ways<br />

of God. Heidi (Mom) provides the physical nourishment and<br />

educational perspective. And, God has<br />

allowed me to pour into them wisdom<br />

from my life experiences.<br />

From each of these avenues a hunger<br />

for more of the good is developed. As<br />

they “taste and see” the satisfaction<br />

that is imparted, an appetite for more is<br />

developed. My two children developed<br />

a love and desire for really good<br />

mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese. It came because<br />

they were exposed to the good. They were raised eating it. They<br />

know the difference between good and mediocre.<br />

GIRLS MINISTRIES | Sharon Poole | sharonp@pdgirlsministries.com | penndel.org/girls<br />

Is their financial help if I can’t afford it?<br />

YES! Our gals and churches donate to a<br />

scholarship fund to help others. Talk with Robin<br />

Immel if finances are keeping you from coming.<br />

When does registration open?<br />

JULY 1, <strong>2022</strong><br />

Our desire should be to expose our children and the “spiritual<br />

babes” in our lives to the “pure spiritual milk” so that they develop<br />

that appetite for more. Growth doesn’t just happen. Opportunities<br />

for spiritual maturation are guided by our parents and mentors. I<br />

hope that I am one who is willing to be that to others.<br />

LEADERSHIPconnexion | <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />


“The Older We Get”<br />


717.243.7381 | credding@bccretreats.com<br />

Thank you to all who have<br />

contributed to our Friends of<br />

Bongiorno program. Due to<br />

your faithfulness, we have<br />

completed our new hardscape<br />

with a firepit and furniture. It will<br />

be a favorite meeting space at<br />

BCC for years to come.<br />

Have you had that “the older we get” conversation with<br />

your spouse, kids, or, close friends?? I recently had<br />

a conversation with a good friend where we sat in a<br />

coffee shop reminiscing and “catching up” on life stuff, when it<br />

occurred to him, “man, we’re getting old…” The statement just<br />

made me laugh a little, even though the truth of it made both of<br />

us look inside ourselves. We thought about college, marriages,<br />

grandkids…it’s overwhelming to think about, and we are too<br />

young for this.<br />

The reality that time doesn’t stop for anyone is such a poignant<br />

reminder as the hair is thinning, the skin is wrinkling and the<br />

inner alarm is getting earlier and earlier for all of us. We need<br />

to constantly fight the mental battle of growing too old to<br />

make a difference where God has placed us. As we think<br />

about growing old… young, we love to offer ways at BCC that<br />

you can come and grow. Some people come to us just in need<br />

of a short rest. Some lead their kid’s camp group and that keeps<br />

them young. Some come with the intent of growing in faith or in<br />

leadership abilities. While still others come with the anticipation<br />

of seeing others grow. We love to be able to equip and provide<br />

opportunities for this growth. Our team is always here, willing to<br />

serve whatever needs you may have. If you are considering a<br />

retreat, please contact us. We would love to serve you and your<br />

people. Thank you for the opportunity to serve together in this<br />

great Network.<br />

Network Calendar<br />

AUGUST<br />

1-5 Kids’ Camp Week #4 – BCC<br />

1-5 National Fine Arts Festival (Youth)<br />

1-6 RR Junior <strong>Leadership</strong> Development Academy<br />

Merit Camp – Honey Grove<br />

12-14 Youth Bible Quiz Camp – BCC<br />

25-28 RR Aviation Action Camp<br />

26-27 PennDel Women Dream Team Meeting – BCC<br />

27 RR Camp Work Day – Honey Grove<br />


2-5 Family Camp – BCC<br />

5 PD Ministry Center Closed – Labor Day<br />

9-11 RR West Division Fall Camporee<br />

12 Presbytery Meeting – BCC<br />

13 Credential Interviews – BCC<br />

16-18 Women In Ministry Retreat – BCC<br />

16-17 RR East Division Fall Round-Up<br />

18 Campus Awareness Day (Youth)<br />

24 RR Camp Work Day – Honey Grove<br />

28 See You at the Pole (Youth)<br />


1 Ministers’ Appreciation Month<br />

1 Junior Bible Quiz Meet #1<br />

8 RR Camp Work Day – Honey Grove<br />

8-10 Youth Convention – Kalahari Resorts Poconos<br />

13 RR Camp Council & Leaders Web Conference (Zoom)<br />

14-15 Men’s Conference – CLA/Camp Hill<br />

14-16 RR George Washington FCF Fall Trace – Honey Grove<br />

15 Youth Bible Quiz Meet #1<br />

15 Credential Apps due for January Interviews<br />

16 National STL Day (Youth)<br />

17 Boss’s Day<br />

21-22 ACTS 2 Journey Retreat #4 (West) – Riverside/Oakmont<br />

21-23 Chi Alpha College Age Fall Retreat – BCC<br />

24-26 THRIVE Conference – BCC<br />

24-26 CE Bookstore @THRIVE – BCC<br />

26 World Missions Reps Meeting @ 1pm – BCC<br />

28-29 ACTS 2 Journey Retreat #4 (SE) – Evangel/Glenolden<br />

31 STL Tour (Youth)<br />


PennDel Royal Rangers<br />

What standard do you use to determine truth? There are<br />

so many ungodly cultural trends that boys are exposed<br />

to, they need to know how to determine the truth. Royal<br />

Rangers seek to disciple boys like Jesus discipled his followers.<br />

Our goal is to not only evangelize, but to equip and empower the<br />

next generation of godly servant leaders.<br />

Work has progressed on a shower house and the camp is being<br />

used by Outposts more and more, Church groups, and the first<br />

Girls Ministry group later this summer. Below are a few photos<br />

from the PennDel Royal Ranger PowWow held on June 24-26.<br />

Upcoming<br />

Events:<br />

Aug 1-6:<br />

Junior <strong>Leadership</strong><br />

Merit Camp<br />

Aug 25-28:<br />

Aviation Action<br />

Camp<br />

Although it has been<br />

a challenge coming<br />

back after COVID<br />

shutdowns, we<br />

have seen six new<br />

Outposts begin.<br />

If your church is<br />

interested in the<br />

premier discipleship<br />

program for your boys,<br />

please contact us and<br />

we will be happy to<br />

show you how you<br />

can customize Royal<br />

Rangers for your<br />

church.<br />

ROYAL RANGERS | Steve Steffel | 302.379.1580<br />

pdrangers.org | Facebook: PennDel District Royal Rangers<br />

Pennsylvania-Delaware Ministry Network<br />

4651 Westport Drive<br />

Mechanicsburg, PA 17055<br />

Read online: penndel.org/connexion<br />

Editor: . . . . . . . . . . Donald J. Immel<br />

Managing Editor: . . . . . Carole Bongiorno<br />

Volume 68 Number 2–(USPS 165-700) is the official periodical published<br />

quarterly by the Pennsylvania-Delaware District Council of the Assemblies<br />

of God. Periodical postage paid at Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.<br />

Circulation Stands at Approximately 5,000. POSTMASTER, Send address<br />

changes to: Pennsylvania-Delaware District Council, 4651 Westport Drive,<br />

Mechanicsburg, PA 17055-4887<br />

Executive Presbytery<br />

Superintendent . . . . . . . . Donald J. Immel<br />

Assistant Superintendent . . . Steven DeFrain<br />

Secretary/Treasurer . . . . . .Jeff Marshall<br />

Timothy Bunney Southwest Suburban–SWS<br />

Mark Caston East Central–EC<br />

Ryan Coon At-Large Under 40<br />

Jeff Dyer Delaware–DEL<br />

James Goodman North Central West–NCW<br />

Wayne Jackson Southwest Metro–SWM<br />

Brad Leach Greater Philadelphia Area–GPA<br />

Dwan Newsome South Central–SC<br />

Kwaku Owusu-Boachie At-Large Ethnic<br />

James Pentz North Central–NC<br />

Randall Rhoads South Central East–SCE<br />

Lisa Rodriguez At-Large Female<br />

Wayne Schaffer South Central West–SCW<br />

Allan Thorpe Northwest–NW<br />

David Twiss Northeast–NE<br />

General Presbyters<br />

Donald J. Immel<br />

Jeff Marshall<br />

Jason Lamer<br />

Honorary General Presbyter<br />

Philip Bongiorno<br />

PennDel Superintendent Emeritus<br />

LEADERSHIPconnexion | <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 23

Pennsylvania-Delaware Ministry Network<br />

4651 Westport Drive<br />

Mechanicsburg, PA 17055<br />

Find us online: penndel.org<br />

Join us on Social Media:<br />

PennDel Ministry Network<br />

PennDelMinistryNetwork<br />

#penndelag<br />

GROWING BY Design<br />

We Value<br />


HIS Fund can help<br />

you renovate or<br />

expand children’s<br />

and youth space.<br />

We can help you with financing for your building needs<br />

as you communicate your values…<br />

We Value<br />


HIS Fund can help you<br />

create spaces for people<br />

to connect in a café, lobby,<br />

playground, patio or<br />

multi-purpose facility.<br />

We Value<br />


HIS Fund can help you<br />

upgrade your sanctuary<br />

sound, projection,<br />

lighting and<br />

seating.<br />

Call us today and we’ll find a way to help you with flexible and competitive<br />

financing to help you meet the needs of a growing congregation!<br />

Investment Interest Rates<br />

5 Year Note 3.75%<br />

4 Year Note 3.25%<br />

2½ Year Note 3.00%<br />

1 Year Note 2.75%<br />

6 Month Note 2.50%<br />

Demand Note 1.50%<br />

($500 minimum investment for all notes)<br />

www.hisfund.com • 866-219-0820 (toll free) • 717-796-9784<br />







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