A Letter to EVUSA
“It seems like a rhetorical question. The answer seems simple. Of course, we all want our conferences to grow. But the answer is not really that simple. Our conference was not only not growing, it was shrinking! At one time we had 28 churches in the Pennsylvania Conference (now River of Life Conference). Over the past two decades we found ourselves with just 14 churches and some of those didn’t look to healthy. So what did we do? We reached out to EVUSA.
The reason the answer to my question is not so simple is because there is usually a reason why your conference is not growing. It takes courage to ask the hard questions or to allow someone else to come in and ask the hard questions. Here is where I have to tip my hat to our former Bishop, Charles Hawes, and the rest of the executive council I now work with. Charles had the courage to invite EVUSA into the equation.
In 2010, we invited Garry Bryant from EVUSA and Dayton Birt from Redemption Ministries to lead us on a three day prayer and planning retreat. For three days they prayed for us, instructed us and asked us the hard questions. It was not the most pleasant three days. However, the outcome of those three days were the turnaround for our conference. We came away from that weekend with six action points we felt were absolutely vital if we wanted to change our direction. Over the next two years, we implemented all six of those action points.
Over the last four years, the EVUSA team has exhorted us and challenged us but I also know they have prayed for us. Their response was one of genuine care and concern. They did not come and “hijack” our conference. They simply helped us become the conference we could be.
I am happy to say our conference is growing. Finances are up 17%. We revitalized one church this year and planted a new one. We have another one scheduled to go in the first quarter of 2015. It may not seem like a huge difference, but it sure is nice to be headed in the right direction. I want to challenge the other bishops and their executive councils to call on EVUSA if you want to grow your conference.
Thank you Chris Thompson and the EVUSA team. We seriously could not have done it without you.
Bishop Dale Adams”
“It has been the sincere pleasure of EVUSA to “come along side” the River of Life Conference. Members of the EVUSA have made several trips each year to Pennsylvania. We have carried them in our hearts and offered many prayers up to the Lord for them. It is a joy to share in their joy and their sense of excitement.
The Lord is at work in Pennsylvania.
D. Chris Thompson
Executive Director of EVUSA”