Chili Cook Off!

Since the dawn of time, men have been making chili and competing with one another for accolades. Here at Winona Lake, we honor that tradition by hosting the Annual Chili Cook-Off! On Sunday, November 11 we will crown one chili with The People’s Choice Award. A panel of judges will select others for awards as well.

This event is a fundraiser for our youth ministries, so your participation is desired. You can enter the Chili Cook-Off by signing up in the Lobby. Or you can make a pie or cheesecake, as we will also auction off those to the highest bidders. Come and join us for a fun afternoon, with plenty of chili and cornbread!

Contact Pastor Rick or Lynette to sign up.

Thanks to God For His Mercy

by Pastor Roland

I was born in Oakland, California, the third of seven children. My parents were attending the Oakland F M Church and so I began my spiritual journey?growing up in Sunday School, Morning Worship, and the activities of the church. I still have a Bible that was presented to me by the church when I was three years old for regular attendance.


6 Steps to Connecting with Teens

We finish up our Teen Week series with a post about relationships. Here is a recent one from Aaron Crumbley. Remember, you do not have to be an official part of the youth ministry team to take an interest in teens.


My first experience in youth ministry was taking a group of guys out for pizza, and then a sleepover full of snacks, movies, video games and conversation.  No one in the church I was attending told me to do it, I just did it.  The time I spent with those students and the things we did, was basically based off of what I would’ve loved to have happen to me when I was a student.  I wanted to be someone they could share their struggles with but also enjoy a lighthearted conversation.  I wanted to be able to speak into their lives God’s truth and also be the one they came to when they had questions.


Parents of Teenagers….Thank You

One word answers. Shrugs. And these can be the good answers.

More often it is the eye rolls and the ‘whatever’ that can drive parents crazy. So if it hasn’t been said to you lately, here it is.

We appreciate you. You’re doing a great job. Keep up the good work.

See, even when it doesn’t come that often, it can help you get through a day. Here at Winona Lake FMC, we want you to know that we are here for you. You can find resources to help by signing up for the Youth Ministry Newsletter, at the bottom of the Youth Ministry page. When you do, you are automatically signed up for our monthly Parents Newsletter, besides keeping up with weekly youth ministry updates.

Just to show you we know what you’re experiencing, here are some recent ads from shoe-maker Adidas, who apparently gets it.


Teens and Social Technology: Searching for Intimacy, Part 3

by Andrew Zirschky

Editor’s Note: Read Teens and Social Technology: Searching for Intimacy – Part 1 and Part 2 here.

In a faceless face-to-face world, young people are turning to technology to search for relationships that are meaningful and intimate. This was among our conclusions from part 1 of our look at teens and social technology, and we ended part 2 recognizing that the church has focused more on having a Facebook presence than being a “community of the face” or what the New Testament might term koinonia. You’ve likely encountered the Greek work koinonia in its common English translation of “fellowship,” such as in Acts 2:42 which speaks of the believers devoting themselves to the “fellowship” (koinonia). There’s nothing wrong with that translation except we’ve reduced “fellowship” to cups of coffee and doughnuts between services, or we sometimes call fun youth ministry events that have no spiritual component “fellowship events.” But when early Christians talked about koinonia they didn’t have doughnuts and coffee in mind. Rather, they were talking about communion (another English word used to translate koinonia), which means an intimate relational oneness of community. The Christian community is supposed to be a koinonia, a deep and intimate communion together.


Teens and Social Technology: Searching for Intimacy, Part 2

by Andrew Zirschky

Editor’s Note: Read Teens and Social Technology: Searching for Intimacy – Part 1 and Part 3 here.

Teenagers don’t want technology, they want what technology promises:  Meaningful access to real people and relationships. This was our conclusion in Part 1 of this series as we surveyed the findings of recent ethnographic research on teenagers and social technology. We found that the rise of social media points to an adolescent hunger—not for new and novel gadgets—but for relational intimacy not easily discovered in the disconnected landscape of modern American society—or in many of our churches, for that matter.


Teens and Social Technology: Searching for Intimacy, Part 1

Welcome to Teen Week here on the Winona Lake FMC blog. You might assume this is a week to check out, but hold on. This stuff is not just for teens, or even for those who have or work with teens. There are important truths here for all of us to ingest.
by Andrew Zirschky

It should be no surprise that many youth workers believe that social media hold the key to better connections and more effective ministry with young people. After all, the average American teenager owns 3.5 digital gadgets and daily engages in screen time equivalent to roughly two months of youth group attendance.[1] In light of this, we outfit our youth rooms with the latest gadgets and turn to Facebook and Twitter as “essentials” hoping to approach teens with relevant ministry. However, in paying attention to how youth connect, we’ve failed to understand why they connect. We know they use Facebook and Formspring, Twitter and text, but why do teenagers use social media? The answers might surprise you and turn your approach to the social media revolution upside down. In this three-part series we’ll explore some answers to these questions and some ways that youth ministers might more faithfully engage young people in a digital age.


Free the Spirit

This week we have presented blog posts and articles about the Holy Spirit. We strongly believe in the power of the Holy Spirit and in the power of relationship. Connect with our larger family. See how below.


If you were a Free Methodist in the 1970s or early 1980s, you may remember hearing Free Spirit in concert or on record, cassette or eight-track.

The denomination-sponsored music group performed not only at FM churches but also at venues such as the world’s fair and the White House. Several Free Spirit album covers include a dove evoking the Holy Spirit descending on Jesus (Matthew 3:16, Mark 1:10, Luke 3:22 and John 1:32).

These musical ambassadors have long since gone their separate ways (although one Free Spirit song can be heard online at, but the Free Methodist Church continues to promote the Holy Spirit around the world.


The Promise of Presence


For the majority of human history, the Holy Spirit was not widely and immediately available to all believers. That’s easy for us to forget. Considering that past era of relative scarceness of the Spirit will help us appreciate our current blessing of His presence.

In the Old Testament, the presence and work of the Holy Spirit is readily identifiable for the same reasons it was remarkable. In those days, long before the Spirit’s outpouring at Pentecost, He occasionally descended on particular people for a short time. Then, just as quickly as He came, He departed.


It’s Windy Outside

Bishop David Roller

by Bishop Roller

The Holy Spirit moves into us when we accept God as our sovereign. As we invite God into His rightful place in our lives, He inhabits us. His will, presence and voice enter our lives. He dwells in us.

Yet many of us live a miserly spiritual existence. Why?

Before Jesus, the Holy Spirit visited certain people and empowered them for service. Now followers of Jesus have the gift of His presence.

Yet many of us live destitute, from handout to handout. Why?