Growth Groups: Covenant and Fall 2015 Groupings

growth groups

The Covenant

As a Growth Group Leader, you are promising to:

  1. Provide a safe and clean environment for effective biblical discussion to take place.
  2. Prepare well for each Growth Group session by means of staying organized and exercising time management skills.
  3. Maintain confidentiality of any and all sensitive information that is given to you by your Growth Group members.

As a Growth Group Member, you are promising to:

  1. Endeavor to make it to each Growth Group session and to make these sessions a priority in your life.
  2. Prepare well for each Growth Group session by means of Sunday morning church attendance and by bringing your Bible to each Growth Group session.
  3. Maintain confidentiality of any and all sensitive information that is given to you by other Growth Group members.

Fall 2015 Groupings:

We will have full-time Growth Groups from Sunday, September 13 – Sunday, November 15. We will meet every Sunday in this time frame except for Sunday, September 20 (i.e. Ordination Sunday). Thus, our Fall 2015 Growth Groups will be 9 weeks in length. These sessions will coincide with our fall sermon series entitled, “Pivotal: Discovering Genesis 1-11”. Below are the groupings for this fall:

Growth Group #1:

  • Pastor Dave and Heather Cotner (Growth Group Leader)
    • Mike York
    • Bill and Linda Fiordelise
    • Ed and Rita Luers
    • Mary Case
    • Linda Grice
    • Craig and Ila Capps
    • Duane and Susan Davis
    • Gertie Loder
  • Growth Group #1 will meet at the church (1909 Larch Ave in Washington) at 6 PM each Sunday.

Growth Group #2:

  • Pastor Jon and Julia Rocha (Growth Group Leader)
    • Klint and Kendra Gingerich
    • Dillon and Bailey Gingerich
    • John Hardt
    • John and Jackie Morgan
    • John M. Morgan
    • Jim and Jan Rosien
  • Growth Group #2 will meet at Pastor Jon’s home (135 A Ave in Kalona) at 6 PM each Sunday.

Growth Group #3:

  • Doug and Julie Tinnes (Growth Group Leader)
    • Arlena Tinnes
    • Linda Woodruff
    • Marcy Juniper
    • Mary Walker
    • Milo Luers
    • Mark and Cheryl Tinnes
    • Steve and Diana Fordham
    • Matt and Sarah Latcham
    • Steve and Andi Klein
  • Growth Group #3 will meet at the home of Arlena Tinnes (404 North Davis Street in Keota) at 6 PM each Sunday.

Growth Group #4:

  • Brian and Nancy Wilson (Growth Group Leader)
    • Ron and Kay Gates
    • Darwin and Lori Carroll
    • Wayne and Julie Zieser
    • Rick Fields
    • Boos Family
    • Audiss Family
  • Growth Group #4 will meet at Brian’s home (1745 200th Street in West Chester) at 6 PM each Sunday.

Growth Group #5:

  • Ryan and Shanon Walker (Growth Group Leader)
    • Marion and Christine Hayes
    • Jason and Elisabeth Tinnes
    • Steve and Cheryl Bohn
    • Tad and Heather Zieglowsky
    • Rosemary Luers
    • Janine Rosien
    • Witthoft Family
  • Growth Group #5 will meet at Ryan’s home (821 North 2nd Ave in Washington) at 6 PM each Sunday.

Growth Group #6:

  • Steve and Bonnie Donnolly (Growth Group Leader)
    • Zach and Beth Shepherd
    • Will and Melissa Luers
    • Jesse and Sarah Neitzel
    • Nathan and Michaela Tinnes
    • Jess Caster
    • Erin Bower
    • Braden Carroll
  • Growth Group #6 will meet at Steve’s home (821 South 15th Ave in Washington) at 6 PM each Sunday.

If you are not in a Growth Group, and would like to be, please see either Pastor Dave or Pastor Jon. You may also indicate your desire to be in a Growth Group via a connect card on any given Sunday. Also, if are not on this list (and should be), please forgive us as this oversight was unintentional.

What is Ordination?


In light of my upcoming ordination on September 19-20, many of you have asked the question: “What is ordination?” This blog post is my attempt to answer this important question.

Ordination, according to one source, “is an act of the local church confirming their confidence in the call of God to a man for specialized service. Through special examination of personal testimony and knowledge of the doctrines of scripture that confidence is validated.” Another source states, “Ordination is the public recognition of a man called to and qualified for ministry…It confers no ecclesiastical or spiritual power, but does recognize the work of God in his life. It is a solemn and blessed time in the life of a man and his church and should be approached with diligent prayer and preparation.” Both of the these definitions provide a succinct and holistic explanation of ordination.

A couple of thoughts based upon the above definitions:

  1. Ordination is an act of the local church – It is important to realize that you, as Prairie Flower Baptist Church, will be ordaining me (Lord willing), not the council of men we are inviting. The ordination council (which meets at 9 AM on Saturday, September 19) is simply going to examine my life and theology (for approximately 3 hours in a verbal examine) and give a recommendation to you (the local church) on whether or not they believe I am called of God to the Gospel-ministry. These men on the council are highly educated, respected, and experienced men in the fields of pastoral ministry and theology. Their recommendation should be carefully considered, but it is not binding or mandatory. As a side note, it is strongly recommended that you (i.e. the individual church member) attend the ordination council meeting for two primary reasons: 1) You (not the council) will be voting on my ordination, and 2) You will find yourself greatly encouraged and blessed as you hear many good questions (and hopefully good answers) on the full spectrum of Bible and theology. My goodness…some of the questions will be so deep and involved that I won’t even know how to answer them (fun, but let’s hope these type of questions are few and far between).
  2. Ordination is all about instilling confidence – Please know that ordination has more of a benefit to you (as a church) than to me (as a candidate). It is important to note that ordination is not mandated in Scripture (nor is it prohibited) and in no way bestows upon me any special grace, abilities, or power. Yes, I will be personally blessed by the act of ordination and in some states (not Iowa) I will receive legal benefits, but that is not my reasoning for pursuing ordination. My main reason for seeking ordination is pastoral in nature, namely, I want you to have increased confidence in my God-given ability to shepherd and lead you as the Lead Pastor of Prairie Flower Baptist Church.
  3. Ordination confirms the call of God on my life, it does not qualify me to serve – It is vital to understand that the act of ordination does not make me qualified or equipped to serve in pastoral ministry, it simply confirms my qualification and equipment for pastoral ministry. Essentially the council and you (i.e. the local church) recognize in a formal examination and service the call of God on my life.
  4. Ordination is a solemn and blessed time for both the candidate and his church – Ordination is a solemn time, not a boring time. Ordination is a blessed time, not party time. Thus, both the candidate and his people should approach this event in passionate prayer and with serious joy.

Also, it’s important to note that ordination is not without biblical precedent. We see forms of ordination littered all throughout the biblical narrative, specifically, in the book of Acts (cf. Acts 6:6, Acts 8:17, Acts 13:3). Again, ordination, in its present form, isn’t mandated in Scripture, but it’s not without biblical merit.

So there you have it. Ordination is an act of the church in order to instill confidence in the church by means of confirming an individual’s call to serve in ministry. Such an act is a blessing to all involved. Thus, I trust that I will see you at both the ordination council and ordination service on September 19 and 20!

Can you help?

helping hands

The letter below is from our supported missionaries to the Ukraine – Vova and Laura Kisarets:

We are working on our next update, but it’s after 11pm here and we just got word that a group that we thought was going to be able to come teach English for a week in October won’t be able to because the team member don’t have passports and don’t feel they have sufficient time to get passports and then purchase tickets.

A church about an hour north of Ternopil requested that we partner with them to do a HOPE English School October 12-18th. It is a church of about 140 and they are expecting about 200 unsaved students (16 years and older). This is an awesome opportunity for us to help the church reach out and make contact with their community to be able to share the Good News with them.

If possible we’d like to go ahead as planned, but we need 5-10 people to help us. It is teaching conversational English so if you’re a fluent English speaker it’s easy. But, it looks like the other requirement at the moment would be that they already have a passport…We’re willing to piece a team together from different churches if possible too. If we can’t get a team together we’ll probably try and put it off until spring and try and get that team from Kentucky that really wanted to come.

Also, PLEASE let us know if your church would be interested in partnering with us for an English school or camp in the future. We now know that we need to plan a little further in advance. This one just came up suddenly and we may have pushed it a little too fast. If you have an interest, let us know and we can begin communication and we’ll see where God leads.

Thank you so much for your prayers, God is leading us and we KNOW that, but like Abraham we don’t always see the complete picture.


Laura (and Vova) Kisarets

Who: You.

What: Teaching Conversational English to 200 Unsaved Students AND Sharing the Gospel With Them!

Where: The Ukraine.

When: October 12-18.

Why: 1 John 3:18.

Can you help? Maybe you can…maybe you can’t…it’s just an opportunity.