In 2016, Reverend Lane Sander had a dream. Since he and his family had found themselves at Sonlight Wesleyan Church in Bluffton, Indiana, he had been dreaming of starting a private practice counseling center as a ministry to the community. While serving the church as an associate pastor, he was able to get additional schooling and start this new ministry.

Through Rev. Sander’s commitment to the hope of seeing people Made New, the support of Sonlight Wesleyan, and the encouragement of the church’s lead pastor, Reverend Lyle Breeding, Renovate Counseling Services launched in September 2016. It began as a part-time service operating once a week out of the Sonlight Wesleyan building. The church office shared space (and supplies) with Renovate Counseling’s reception area and Rev. Sander met with clients in his office.

As time went by, however, Rev. Sander encountered opportunities to further develop the ministry, and two years later he had a second full-time job on his hands. Realizing he had underestimated the need for such a service in the community, Rev. Sander began adding new staff. Today, Renovate Counseling operates with 10 therapists, two interns and three administrative staff.

Rev. Breeding, who shared Rev. Sander’s dream of bringing Christian counseling to their county, said that a highlight of watching the ministry develop “was seeing God take control of Renovate and this idea of Biblical counseling in Wells County and cause it to explode far beyond our wildest dreams.” He added that while he and Rev. Sander had dreams, “God’s dreams were much bigger.”

Such incredible growth led to another concern, however. The service had outgrown the space Sonlight Wesleyan could provide. It was time for Rev. Sander and his team to look for a location of their own.

In September 2021 — almost exactly five years after Renovate Counseling first opened its doors — they purchased a building. The structure needed considerable remodeling before it would be usable, and several months of work went into making it the home that Renovate Counseling needed. While continuing to see clients at Sonlight Wesleyan, they had the whole building renovated, from replacing the flooring to repaving the parking lot.

At last, on January 17, 2022, they were able to open their new doors for the first time. Since then, their impact has continued powerfully. In the words of Rev. Breeding, “What started out as Pastor Lane meeting one or two people in his office has turned into a huge blessing to our community and beyond.”

From seeing only a handful of people each week, Renovate Counseling has grown into a service that sees several hundred people on a weekly basis. They are even in the process of launching a second site through a partnership with another Wesleyan congregation, Hope Rising Church, in Huntington, Indiana.

Renovate Counseling works with individuals, couples, families, teens and children. Their therapists are equipped to address a variety of struggles, including addiction, anxiety, depression and behavioral issues. Each of their staff members cares deeply about helping their clients grow and become better able to embrace the hope and holiness of Christ.

Rev. Sander notes that he loves “being invited into the lives of hurting and broken people, to be able to hear their stories and offer hope and healing.” He also finds joy in the chance to lead such a talented team of individuals who are passionate about seeing people Made New.

He says, “It is important to emphasize the need for churches and pastors to care about mental health and those specific struggles in the lives of hurting people. I think that counselors and mental health professionals are on the front lines now in ways that often result in open doors to speak truth and hope into the lives of people.”

For more information about Renovate Counseling Services, visit

Jerah Winn is a communication assistant in the Communication and Administration Division of The Wesleyan Church and studies writing and honors humanities at Indiana Wesleyan University, Marion, Indiana.