Six years ago, The Wesleyan Church (TWC) was preparing for its 13th General Conference. I prayed, planned and waited to learn God’s will for TWC and me as revealed through the discernment of the voting delegates. My emotions varied but my faith was steadfast.

My faith remains steadfast as we prepare for our 14th General Conference this May. I have declared to the General Board my willingness to serve God and The Wesleyan Church for another term as General Superintendent, if elected by the General Conference.

I believe current realities and the possibilities of these next four years call for “continuity with a courageous pursuit of our mission” which God has entrusted to us. Continuity requires a brief look back before looking forward.


In the summer of 2016, TWC was called to pray for 50 days, asking God to help us collectively discern out of all the things we could do, what should be at the core of what we do? Our desire was shaped by the Apostle Paul’s challenge to “… make the most of every opportunity” (Colossians 4:5, NIV). God graciously and clearly led us to two missional priorities above all others — to go and make disciples and to multiply churches.


We affirmed our mission: “Transforming lives, churches and communities through the hope and holiness of Jesus Christ.” And we honed our strategic focus: “Celebrating every time a disciple makes a disciple and the church multiplies itself until we have a transforming presence in every ZIP code.”

We clarified the values that would shape how we do our work:

  • Spirit-led focus requires prayerful obedience;
  • God’s vision requires big relationships;
  • The Gospel Gap requires a Kingdom Force.


As General Superintendent, the mission was guided by how my role is described in “The Discipline:”

The General Superintendent is the spiritual, executive and administrative leader of the Church (350:1). As such, the General Superintendent must communicate through preaching, writing, teaching and various uses of technology the four-fold mission and vision of the Church — evangelizing the lost, discipling believers, equipping the Church and ministering to society. The result will be that hope and holiness will spread throughout the globe producing transformed people, communities and cultures (211).

With a spirit of mutual voluntary submission, together we will unleash those “Christ gave to us as apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds and teachers to prepare God’s people for works of service so the body of Christ may be built up …” (Ephesians 4:11-12).

As the Holy Spirit has empowered the church from its beginning on Pentecost, we will be a Kingdom Force of witnesses — multigenerational, multiethnic, multieconomic, women and men, lay and clergy, everywhere to everywhere.

As one, we intentionally celebrate our increasing Kingdom Force!

In October, a Hispanic movement roundtable involved 18 Hispanic leaders from 12 districts. Nine different nations of origin were represented around the table hosted by Pastor Abel Ledesma and the Centro Familiar Cristiano Church, San Diego. The event’s purpose was to do a S.W.O.T. analysis and identify potential next steps for great connection across North America and alignment of the “islands of strength” in our various districts. According to the latest U.S. census, Hispanics make up nearly 20% of the population. … what a great opportunity for The Great Commission!

Wesley Seminary this fall reported a record enrollment of 551 students; 114 (21%) in Spanish language programs, 47% students of color, 40% female and 190 Wesleyans (34%)!

Carrie Whitcher, a gifted and passionate lay leader, stepped up at the invitation of her pastor to lead Marketplace Multipliers, a lay movement initiative launched in 2020. Marketplace Multipliers is catalyzing a lay movement of “disciples making disciples,” not only within the walls of the church but beyond the walls of the everyday spaces of life.

We ask God to make The Wesleyan Church a movement once again — to reactivate our connectional and entrepreneurial DNA to have the flexibility and unity needed to be his church and fulfill his mission.


This last “Co-word” was nowhere in our strategic plan! COVID was unexpected, unpredictable and dominant.

The realities of the pandemic are yet to be fully realized, but they have impacted us statistically even while God has provided for us so graciously.

Our ministry colleague, Dr. Steve DeNeff, pastor of College Wesleyan Church in Marion, Indiana, shares what he describes as a “simple” definition of the kingdom of God. “The kingdom of God is the presence of God in a particular place where the people of God do the work of God in the power of God.” Profound words, yet easy to grasp.

God is present within each of us. We do serve in the particular place where God has led us. God does gives us the power to do the work to which we are called.

My life verse echoes the words of Jesus in conversation with his Father in John 17:4, “I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.”

We still have work to do here, even as we set our sights on eternity. I admire you and celebrate with you what God has yet to accomplish through us.

Wayne Schmidt is General Superintendent of The Wesleyan Church.