Annual Report

From Pastor Steve

Dear Congregation of The Way,
Here we are coming to an end of another fiscal year. What an amazing year it has been! So many new faces and members, so many baptisms and new professions of faith. God is so good and faithful, always. As I review this ministry year, I see an engine that is firing on all cylinders. I see fruit everywhere and I am so thankful!

Thank you as always to all of you who have partnered with the mission and vision of the Way. I think of you as family and every success in ministry is a group effort. The body here at The Way is strong. Thank you for your generosity. Thank you for serving in various ministries through the week and on Sundays. It is of great encouragement to each of us knowing we are a part of something much bigger than ourselves.

As we head into this new fiscal year, I would like to offer a few challenges for you to consider:
1) I would like you to prayerfully consider ways you can take more risk for the Kingdom of God. I am aware this can make some people nervous to suggest such a thing, but complacency is never a good thing. I would like to offer some suggestions if you struggle thinking of something on your own:

A). Praying for people to come to know Jesus. Revival begins with prayer. At a minimum we need to be actively praying for people to come to saving faith. You could join our prayer team or make room in your personal prayers for revival.

B). Make yourself more available to be used by Jesus. Asking God to use you as you go about your life and having the eyes to see are great ways to actively put yourself into God's plan. Maybe it is sharing the Good News about Jesus or maybe it's serving somewhere new.

C). If you do not already serve somewhere in the church, consider signing up to serve. Get more involved. I know life is busy and ministry always begins at home. But if you want to meet more people, bless visitors, and/or get better connected, you could serve on Sundays.
       There are so many needs and opportunities, and we would love to have you.

D). Consider what God may be calling you to do. Do you believe that you have gifts to serve others? Do you believe that God has a purpose for your life? All of these things are told to us in scripture. Start figuring these things out by first believing they are possible.
                Stepping into a calling is the single most satisfying thing I have ever done. I would love everyone to have that same experience.

2) Seek to grow your roots deeper in Jesus. Make it a priority to grow this year. Maybe you need to read more scripture, take a class, or even join a small group. Whatever it may be, every journey starts with the first step. Take it, you will never regret it! It has been the greatest blessing of my life to be your pastor. I love you all because I feel the love Jesus has for each of you. There will be many great blessings ahead, as well as many challenges. I am grateful that whatever we will experience this next year, we will experience it together.

God's blessings to you,
Pastor Steve

Executive Board

A note from the Board

Nick Cummins

CJ Osborn

Rod Van Soelen

On behalf of the Executive Board of The Way this past year, it has been an honor to serve the Church in this capacity.  We could not be more proud of the staff here at The Way.  We got to witness first hand the discernment process and reliance on the Holy Spirit through all of the decision making processes.  The Mission and Vision are held in high regard and always used to reflect on the direction the church is going.  Through all of the challenges that arise throughout the church body, staff and leadership have held true to biblical principles in resolving them, without compromising.


Tricia Groves

Looking back on this past year, I continue to be amazed at the people God has brought to The Way. It has been exciting to watch our church of believers come with excitement to carry out the mission at The Way: "Seek, invite, and welcome others into the unconditional love of God and share with them the Good News about Jesus Christ who is The Way, The Truth, and The Life." As you may know, our entire General Budget is directed at this Mission. But there is a special line item in the budget that is designated to Benevolence, which is a “generous gift of kindness”.

When you give to The Way, you are contributing to this “generous gift of kindness” to fulfill our mission toward specific causes to serve our community, region, and world. This past fiscal year, we gave approximately $100,000 (10%) toward our ministry partners. These partners include: Pregnancy Center of Central Iowa, East Jasper Christian Food Pantry, Discover Hope, Fierce Faith Music, Jasper County Emergency Services, Central Iowa Teens Encounter Christ (CITEC), Impact Iowa Heroes, Many Hands for Haiti, Words of Hope, Voice of the Martyrs, YWAM, and more.
We have blessed our local schools by supporting  Newton Christian School,  Sully Christian School, Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Newton Booster Club,  Newton After Prom, providing meals/support for 8 Team sports (football, volleyball, swimming, cross country, wrestling, basketball, track, and softball), and providing school supplies for 5 elementary schools. We were able to serve meals to nearly 100 youth/leaders each week, host food/events for families in our community, and give away financial aid to those in need.

Our church also stepped up to other needs: we provided cases of Bibles/devotionals to new believers, our ARK Ministry gave away 120 backpacks before school started and provided 200 kids with snow pants and boots before winter; our church adopted 80 kids with Many Hands for Haiti Christmas bags; The Way gave out over 240 Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child Boxes; our Family Experience Night gave away 20 refugee tent bags for Voice of the Martyrs; we gave away almost $4,000 from a special offering for Ukrainian refugees through The Well in Knoxville; and we even financially secured 48 youth and leaders to attend the Summer Youth mission trip to Colorado! We hope to give away another 10% of our annual budget this next Fiscal Year, as we continue to support our community and our local/state/national/world ministry partners.

As our world gets darker, the Church becomes brighter, spreading the light and hope of Jesus Christ and His Truth. THANK YOU for partnering with the mission of The Way. THANK YOU for your generosity and allowing God to multiply the resources that He has so graciously given you!


Jenn Cross

What a year! It's hard to describe how incredibly grateful I am to the people at The Way. It takes six volunteers on Sunday mornings to make it go smoothly. From sound to slides to cameras and lights, our people serve with the hope that someone's life will be changed by the Gospel on our campus or online. The tech team tackled new camera gear, new programs, a new website, and a giant LED wall and OVERCAME many technical obstacles. The worship leaders led in a way that encouraged and empowered those around them to want to lead, join the team, write original music, and volunteer in other areas on our team. Our people serve, lead and love with a sense of urgency. Every song they sing, chord they play, slide moved, light changed, mic unmuted, every shot they take; It. All. Matters. They do this knowing they have the world's best news to share! Over 108 services in 2022, bring on 2023!

The blessing of wearing many hats is that I often have the best seat in the house to the fruition of someone's dreams, callings, and goals. It is an honor and a blessing to be a part of The Way, and I cannot wait to see what God has in store for us!

We can't forget about the podcast! Pathways is going strong at almost 200 episodes! Each week for an hour or so, Steve, Marcy, and Aaron recap the message while giving us their candid thoughts on what lifted for them. Often they discuss current events or theology topics, and you can't have a podcast without hearing about all the happenings. Pathways has been a labor of love with a small budget, and this year, I finally got our show on the major podcast platforms!

Administrative and Volunteers

Kathi Talsma

I’m lucky to be one of the first contacts for many people who are new to The Way.   From setting up appointments to leading them to different organizations that can help them within Jasper County. Greeting both new and established people on Sunday and trying to make them feel welcomed and comfortable has been a blessing in my life.

My job varies greatly everyday and I’m never exactly sure what I’ll be doing each day, which I love.  From printing, binding, ordering supplies or running errands each day is an adventure as I fill in and help in ways that I can. I love watching the bonds and growth in our staff and members of our congregation.

Nursery Ministry

Jeri Smith

Our 9:00 service nursery has grown so much that sometimes we have to split into two rooms! We created a secondary nursery room for more space and fun! It is a blessing to get to snuggle and play with the babies and toddlers while knowing their parents, grandparents, guardians are getting time to worship and learn about Jesus. The kids in nursery are beginning their discipleship journey as well as we read stories about Jesus and his disciples. We have formed our own little worship band as well with instruments. They try hard to be louder than the worship team on stage! Snack time in nursery is adorable as you see about 16 babies and toddlers line up and sit down in a line against the wall waiting for their Cheerios.

It is a blessing to see our volunteers step joyfully into serving each week. We have the best volunteers with servant hearts that love Jesus and love kids! I love seeing the teenagers serve in the nursery as well as they are the babies favorites! Talking to the teenagers each week that served in nursery is what prompted my heart to begin serving in middle school youth group this year. God is moving in all of our kids here at The Way! It is also neat getting to connect with the parents and other volunteers and leaders each week and check in on each others lives and form relationships with each other. My heart is full of joy working with our babies, toddlers, parents and volunteers at our church all for the glory of God!

Early Childhood (PreK-K) Ministry

Elisha Biehn

The amount of time and energy the volunteers put in to build up our children's and youth ministries always amazes me.  We have volunteers that show up weekly or biweekly to help teach and serve our future leaders.  We have such an increase in the amount of youth helping teach and lead the younger children this last year. It is one of my favorite things to see.  Watching Middle and High Schoolers connect with the elementary and nursery kids is amazing to witness.  We have had a lot of new families join us this year for so many different events.  I love watching new families being welcomed by kids that have been here and showing them around.

1st Mondays with Mommas - The First Mondays with Mommas ministry has been a blessing for my family and many others. These simple and informal gatherings have provided moms of young children an opportunity to meet together to establish and strengthen relationships. Despite the chaos that our children often provide, we've been able to share our life experiences, care for each other, and pray together. The kiddos make new friends, burn off some energy, and enjoy playtime (and donuts) together.
-Terra Kurovski

1st - 4th Grade Ministry

Sarah Reynolds

This year was my first year leading the 1st-4th grade children’s ministry. I’m so thankful I decided to step up and do this for the kiddos and for the church this past ministry year. Most importantly, I was following what I felt God was leading me to do. It was amazing to see how God worked through the children and helped them to grow their faith. Some “yay God” moments were seeing the children worship and praise God, watching them learn new things from the Bible stories, pray together, connect with their small group leader, and seeing their faith grow at such a young age. They were also able to share what they were going through in their lives, and bring it all to God by talking to their small group leader about it and praying together. Again, I’m so blessed to have led this children’s ministry. I’m looking forward to seeing what this next ministry year brings, and to see how God works in everyone's lives that are part of it.

5th-6th Grade Ministry

Elizabeth Van Wyk

It has been a privilege to see and be a part of the way God has been working in our 5th and 6th graders this year. Michele Worthington and I would trade off teaching the kids every other week. We would usually have between 10-13 kids gather every week to dig into questions that kids their age might have about God, themselves, and the Bible.

One highlight of the year was when we asked Pam Osborn to come in and share about the ministry Many Hands for Haiti. Pam did a wonderful job at describing the culture of Haiti and some of the similarities and differences kids there might have with our 5th and 6th graders. It was impactful to me, and I hope it was to the kids as well.

Another highlight was various men and women from our church being willing to teach the 5th and 6th grade boys and girls separately for a few weeks this past Spring. This will be the 4th year Jeff and others who are involved in Kingdom Builders have planned lessons and activities specifically designed for our 5th and 6th grade boys. It’s always one of the boys’ favorite weeks of Rush. This year was different in that several women of our church do the same thing with the girls. It was wonderful to see everyone’s willingness to serve in such a meaningful way in these kids’ lives.

Middle School Ministry

Julie Kain

God is moving in big ways with the middle schoolers. I lost count of how many Bibles I handed out this year, but it was at least 20. At least 10 youth accepted Jesus into their heart during our Alpha prayer night. Four of them were going to be baptized on Celebration Sunday. Several of the youth have started attending church on Sundays. Weekly attendance grew significantly this year and stayed steady all year - unlike in years past when it usually drops towards the end of the school year. They all love coming so much that we’re meeting over the summer.
God is so, so good!

High School Ministry

Ryan and Terra Kurovski

This past youth ministry year has been full of breakthroughs, growth, and God’s blessings. We have a great group of leaders and an incredible group of youth who show up every Wednesday with a hunger for God’s Word and worship, and a desire to love and serve others. We celebrated the baptism of 4 high school youth students! We had an awesome group of seniors who are leaders in the church and the community. This past year our seniors led their small group discussions, gave messages, shared testimonies, gave announcements, led us in worship and prayer, and so much more.
We are firm believers that part of being a disciple is serving others without an agenda. Our students helped serve a meal at Discover Hope just as we do every year. Last summer we took 17 students to Kansas City for a YouthWorks service trip. We served the communities and people in the Kansas City area by working in community gardens, food pantries, homeless shelters, nursing homes, and other non-profit organizations. God always uses these trips and projects to leave a profound impression on our group.

Together, this past ministry year we explored, studied, and discussed a variety of topics and scripture. We had nights dedicated to prayer and Lectio Divina readings. Also, in addition to topics like “The Lion of Judah” and a video series called “Finding Truth”, we spent 10 weeks in an apologetics series equipping students with tools and knowledge to defend our faith. This Summer we took 42 youth students to Estes Park, CO for a spiritual retreat. Thanks to our incredibly generous congregation who, at our annual Spring Fling fundraiser, fully funded this trip for all of our students and leaders who attended! We can’t wait to see how God continues to work in and through the lives of our youth this summer and in years to come!


Tracy Cross

Over the last year The Way facilities and grounds have experienced updates, storms, and usage of the buildings 7 days a week. We are blessed to have many classes and practices that meet throughout the ministry year. The buildings take a lot of wear and tear from basic scratches in the walls, leaking drainpipes, wore out oven, and many other things that most people don’t think about. The craziest repair so far is removing a toilet after complaints of it being clogged, come to find out a cell phone can fit up to the bent of the drain. Who knew! My favorite addition to the worship center was the LED wall. Not because it is an amazing addition to the stage and because it was a solution to a problem, but because it was completely installed by Way members. God provided us with talented people in all the areas we needed to complete the project without hiring any work done.

The grounds require consistent maintenance from mowing, trimming, weed removal, snow removal, and many other things. Mark Hoffert has been amazing clearing the parking lots the past few winters. With him becoming sick, this next year winter will be up in the air for him. It is covered if he is unable to do it or if he needs to have a smaller snow route. This summer has been much nicer mowing the drainage ditch after installing tile from the road to the retention pond. It also made that area look much nicer. The grounds see a lot of foot traffic throughout the day and overnight. I will find little things like piles of rocks or crosses made from sticks in random places on the grounds. I see these things and ask myself “What was that person going through that made them stop and reflect while passing through?” I also ask God to watch over those who pass through and use our facility to take a moment to talk to God or seek a moment of safety from whatever they may be going through.

Since we have established a security team on Sunday mornings, we are able to have someone covering all 52 Sundays and Holidays. We are blessed to have 3 sworn officers, 1 retired officer, and one capable member who have stepped up to make sure those in the service are safe and those that may be struggling get help or redirected them somewhere they can be helped. Along with the security team we have made it a priority to know who our EMT’s, Paramedics, Doctors, Nurses, and Firefighters are in case there is a need for medical attention or fire. After having a member go unconscious, we have taken measures to add appropriate equipment for them to respond and assess medical needs prior to emergency responders arriving.

The Way will continue to grow as a body and a facility. Going into the next year many decisions will be prayerfully made and guided with the help of Jesus. We are blessed to have what we do and I’m excited to see what the future brings!

Proverbs 27:17

Cleaning and Food Teams

Jayme Wells

Beth Pline

My role here at the church is split, none of which could be done without the help I received from other people. A-team…. Now those guys are something, let me tell you! I have never met, seen, or had the privilege of working with a better group of gentlemen. They show up every week to help set up and take down for the youth group and anything else that they can help with those days.

Other volunteer times that I have had people set up and help with would be Fall Fest and Fall Fest 2.0. Not only was I able to get 30+ volunteers to sign up for the first Fall Fest but then I had 30+ volunteers to sign up for the second Fall Fest (when the first one was rained out this year.) I was able to find help for serving for the Freedom Retreat, providing and serving a meal at Discover Hope on the last Tuesday of each month, and serving pancakes at the Easter breakfast.

We served Middle and High School youth over 30 meals this past ministry year. Glen and Carol DeZwarte and their team cooked and served 17 meals. They also were our cooks at the Spring Fling this past year. And being able to learn and ask questions has been very helpful and rewarding in several ways.

Every Sunday we have a gentleman who without hesitation wipes the coffee and cookies counters off. He walks around after first service and picks up any trash that might have been left by somebody, straightens up the chairs, and wipes crumbs off of them if needed. He has never been asked to do this, yet he says he enjoys being able to help out this way on Sunday mornings and as long as we are okay with it, and we're so thankful for him!

Having the ability to be a part of and work with all of the individuals this past year has been very rewarding and humbling in their own unique way and it has been nothing short of a blessing, not only to me but also to my family. I am very excited to see what God has in store for next year and being able to develop, grow, and nourish new and old relationships alike.
-Jayme Wells

The church is clean. There has been several people, male and female that have made comments about the cleanliness of and how nice the church smells!
-Beth Pline

Congregational Care Needs

Kim Guthrie

As a congregational care leader I have been blessed to observe the love and strength that people receive through prayer. The strength that is given to the hurting and sick through Christ is an amazing testimony of faith and courage. Perseverance is the word I find most appropriate for those that ask for help and never give up. Again, I am so blessed to walk with others in rough waters.


Aaron Groves

As we close down our 2022 ministry year, I look back and see how God has moved and blessed people through our outreach efforts here at The Way.

I believe Outreach can be narrowed down to two different categories, 1 - Blessing / Meeting the needs of people outside of the church walls. 2 - Finding opportunities to connect with the lost and share with them the Good News about Jesus Christ, who is The Way, The Truth, and The Life. 

I believe this fiscal year our church did an outstanding job of blessing and meeting the needs of people in Newton and surrounding communities. Some of our outreach efforts included: ARK events, laundry day, feeding Newton HS sports teams, providing needed school supplies for elementary classrooms in Newton, making/prepping meals at Discover Hope, and more.

I believe this fiscal year we also did a good job of finding opportunities to connect with the lost, invite them to church, and share with the Good News about Jesus Christ. Some of our outreach efforts in this area included: men’s ministry, women’s ministry, youth group, Chosen viewings at the church, Fall Fest, summer camp, service projects spearheaded by Rooted groups, preaching and teaching at nursing homes, 4th of July Parade, and more. 

As we move forward into next year I want to present a challenge to our congregation. I would like to challenge our congregation to ask God to lay people on their hearts to invite to the church, or, to share with them the Good News. I truly believe a personal invite from a friend or acquaintance is the most effective and successful means to getting people into the church. Outreach events are effective, but your personal relationship and your testimony of how Jesus has changed your life can be more effective. I believe our church is on the cusp of expanding our reach and influence, but I truly believe the individuals in our congregation will be the means God uses to seek and find the lost. 

As we look forward to the future we will continue our current outreach efforts while also finding new opportunities to expand our outREACH in our community and across the world. For example, in August of this year we are partnering with WorldVision to sponsor families and children in the country of Uganda through their CHOSEN program. We feel this is an opportunity to change lives in the name of Jesus, stirring up generosity and love in our congregation. I look forward with great anticipation to what God has planned for our church and our community as He continues to advance His Kingdom here in Newton and across the world.

A.R.K. (Acts of Random Kindness)
The ARK of The Way is a ministry that focuses on providing essentials for children in our community.Over the last year we were able to bless school children with school supplies through direct donations in the church and also a collaboration with the local schools and teachers.I think we helped close to 200 students get a great start to school last August.

In late October we had a sign up through the local schools for a snow pants and boots free of charge.Through the incredible generosity of the people of The Way we were able to bless over 200 children with warm pant and boots for the winter months.

 As we plan for the next year we are looking forward to where God is going to lead this ministry.On a personal level we are always incredibly blessed when we get to be a part of a blessing to a child. - Rod and Marla Van Soelen

Prayer Team

Tricia Groves

Aaron Groves

As most of you know, Prayer is one of our Core Values here at The Way, which states “God calls on his churches to be houses of prayer. We will pray in many ways to connect with God relationally and to participate with him in Kingdom advancement through intercession.”

The Prayer Ministry, which includes over 20 individuals from our church, has been living out this important Core Value as intercessors for our church and The Church over the past year. Daily/weekly, the team prayed for individuals (inside and outside of the church) who filled out prayer requests or contacted the office/website for prayer. There were numerous “Praise God” reports after prayer that we received from individuals going through difficult circumstances.

On Sundays, we organized and offered prayer stations at each service, as the prayer leaders stood ready to intercede on behalf of those who responded to the message and the Holy Spirit’s prompting. We have seen an increase in prayer requests from individuals at Sunday services this past year. Praise God!

Each month, the prayer team hosted a Prayer Gathering, inviting in anyone who wanted to pray or receive prayer. We even offered an 18-hour prayer and worship event on Easter weekend, leading up to our 9:00 AM Easter Sunday service. This event was open to anyone who wanted to sit and be with the Lord in prayer and worship. Many people took advantage of this time/opportunity and had feedback about feeling God’s presence in a mighty way and hearing His voice in ways they hadn’t before.

The Prayer Ministry also partnered with other areas of discipleship to pray for those going through a class/ministry. This includes: youth ministry, children’s ministry, Freedom Class, Nursing Home ministry, etc. Another way the prayer team served our community, and our church, was responding to requests to pray in the homes of those going through a difficult season.

While we are aware of numerous instances where God answered prayer, we also trust that God is working in ways that we cannot see, think, or imagine. He is a God who desires our prayers because He hears our prayers. We will continue to provide opportunities for our church community to pray and receive prayer and we trust that God will respond according to His will, changing lives, situations, and changing us in the process. All praise and all glory to Christ our Lord, Amen!

Connections Team

Dave Wagner

As the Connections team leader, I think it's super important to welcome people, without any kind of judgment, just like Jesus would do. That's been my goal from the very beginning to welcome everyone unconditionally as they walk through those doors. The Connections Team is the first impression people get when they walk through The Way's North and South doors. I am truly thankful to everyone who volunteers every week because they really do welcome everyone unconditionally with a smile and even a hug every once in a while. Showing God's love is what we're all about. It makes me very proud that we as a church prioritize this. Just as a reminder that Jesus knew that it was a priority as well, He has several scriptures regarding this, and here are just two of them below.

Hebrews 13:2- Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some entertained angels without knowing it.

1 Peter 4:9- Be hospitable to one another without complaint.

Worship Leaders

Al Law

Scott Wilson

Amanda Van Zante

It is such a honor to lead our Church into the throne room of God and I am still in awe how the people of The Way worship. God continues to bless our team with amazing vocalists and instrumentalists. I am very blessed to lead a team whose members are so dedicated to the worship ministry while having incredibly busy lives. They are truly all in for Jesus. It is evident that our team members are in the Word and worshipping on a daily basis. It shows in their walk and in the direction the Worship Team is moving. Over the last few years God has brought new vocalists to the team, but within the last 12 to 18 months, God has brought several new gifted instrumentalists which is an incredible blessing. We have just started developing new team leaders so that a future generation can one day take over when God tells Scott and I that it’s time to step down.  It’s been an awesome year and I am excited to see what 2023-24 brings. -Al Law

I’m grateful for the prayer ministers that are faithful to their calling. As we seek God’s mercy and forgiveness, and rely on Him alone, His Spirit fills us and empowers us to give Him ALL the glory for His great grace upon us. He alone is worthy of praise, so that’s what we bring. We are simply broken people, humbly bringing our offering to Him in thanksgiving. -Scott Wilson

As I look back on this past year I have seen so much growth, blessing, and transformations. It has been a true reflection of John 4:23 "But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him." The unity within our worship team family has extended beyond our musical endeavors. As a worship team, we try as often as we can to have a worship evening and prayer session apart from our regular practice nights. We pray together, for each other, and the congregation. These are times I cherish and know are necessary for our growth as a team and preparation for what God has in store. We have sought to deepen our understanding of God's Word and grow closer to Him individually and as a collective body. This intentional focus on spiritual growth has not only impacted our worship experiences but has also strengthened our personal relationship with God and with one another. Leading and serving on the worship team has been a beautiful journey. Each week, I have seen individuals and families engage in worship with greater fervor and vulnerability. It's a joy to celebrate the testimonies of those who have encountered God's healing touch, Salvation in Jesus Christ, and those who have experienced breakthroughs in their lives and relationships. Recently, I have had opportunities to sit down with some of my brothers and sisters in Christ and hear their own testimonies and breakthrough moments. Hearing these testimonies and knowing we are all linked together is such an incredible reminder of God's faithfulness and the blessing of community. As I anticipate the coming year, I am filled with a sense of expectancy and excitement. I believe that God has incredible things in store for our Worship Ministry and our congregation as a whole. -Amanda Van Zante


Marcy Milburn

How are you growing in your relationship with Jesus? It has been so awesome to see how God has been working in the lives of people here at The Way! From young kids to teens to young adults to older adults, there has been so much evidence of how God is on the move.

In the area of Adult Discipleship, we continue to see people deepening their relationship with Jesus and strengthening their faith through Christian community. Rooted was launched with lots of “yay God” stories. Men’s and Women’s Ministries offered various Bible studies this year.   Specialized Discipleship classes and  were also offered, like GriefShare, DivorceCare, Hope for Hurting Parents, Financial Peace University, Operation Finding Freedom, and the Spirit Led Work Ministry.

Here are a few highlights from Adult Discipleship.

This year we launched Rooted and we had 81 participants on the Newton Campus. The 7 rhythms of Rooted are daily devotions, prayer, repentance, sacrificial generosity, serving the community, sharing your story, and worship. Rooted seeks to help us to develop these as regular rhythms in our lives and does so in the context of Christian community. It has been impactful to see how God has worked in people’s lives.

“Rooted has been a great reminder of our basic principles of the disciplined Christian life and to go deeper in reflection and personal growth.”  -Rooted Spring 2023 Participant

"Rooted made me realize I need to share my story to others so they may also be able to trust in God.”  -Rooted Spring 2023 Participant

“I think He showed me my need for community and discipleship.”  -Rooted Spring 2023 Participant

“God has been speaking to me to keep pushing out of my comfort zone and to be connected to others.”  -Rooted Spring 2023 Participant

“This was an experience that at first I didn’t know if I wanted to take it, but I am so very glad I did. The Spirit was on the move, and it was amazing to be a part of.”  -Rooted Spring 2023 Participant

Specialized Discipleship Updates

Divorce Care - As the leader of DivorceCare, I have seen over the past 11 years that God does amazing things in 13 weeks of the class. As a person that has been divorced and has gone through this exact program 2 and three times, I understand totally what each and everyone is feeling when they come through those doors. People come in hurting, discouraged, angry, depressed, lost, separated and have lost all hope and think that there isn't any way out. I can honestly say that every time I have held the DivorceCare class, God shows up and transforms lives. It doesn't solve all of their issues, but it does give them a sense of hope and understanding that this is just a moment in their life that God is with them. He will never ever leave them or forsake them during this time. He even says in his word, that he is with the brokenhearted. He shows up every time and I am so blessed to be God's servant that can pour out my love for all of these people. I am truly blessed to know each and every one of these people. -Dave Wagner

Spirit Led Work - The Spirit Led Work ministry is a group of individuals who share our struggles and blessings at work, and then look at what scripture says about how we are to be in the workplace.   We consider how the Holy Spirit can lead us in our business decisions, and how we can share Jesus at work, either through our behavior or with our words.   We currently meet monthly on Monday night, so we can review how we have started our work week, and then look at the rest of our week through the word of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  If you aren't seeing God's plan in your workplace, then join us, because He cares about all aspects of our lives. -Julie Jones

Financial Peace University - Last fall we had a great group join us for Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University (FPU) class! This class was life changing for us personally and we continue to see it change the lives of those who take the class. Money is a tool that will either make us slaves or set us free and we were blessed to walk alongside the group through the “7 Baby Steps” to financial freedom!  We had people from all walks and stages of life - single and married, new careers and nearing retirement, young and formerly young - all come together for the 10 week course to learn how to manage their finances to meet their life goals! -Ryan Kurovski

GriefShare – Grief Share has given many people an opportunity to find hope and comfort through their personal journey. They are able to share how grief has affected their lives. Through the materials and discussion they see they aren't alone. We hope to see them go from mourning to joy.  We're planning a fall session as well as a Holiday session.  -Barb Wisgerhof

Operation Finding Freedom 3:17 – Over the past year, Operation Finding Freedom has had consistent attendance of diverse veterans, from the Korean war years through the Global War on Terror. We have been working through the Old Testament, concentrating on the stories with a military twist and finding Jesus in nearly every book. The bond often found in veteran groups has played a part in our discussions, as well as the friendly inter-service rivalries. We are nearly evenly divided between Army & Navy, but the Navy gets some help from the Marines from time to time. Operation Finding Freedom continues to meet over the Summer on the first Friday of the month and all veterans are welcome to join us for some Christian fellowship and veteran camaraderie. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 2 Cor 3:17 –Kirk Douglas

Hope for Hurting Parents – We have continued the Hope for Hurting Parents support group each month of this year. We will continue to meet as long as there are hurting parents due to prodigal children, adult children with mental challenges, drug abuse and the list goes on. We continue to share with one another, in confidence; go to God in prayer; and work through lessons in our Hope for Hurting Parents Study Guide. We have heard of some having interest in joining, but we also understand how difficult it is to open up and work through pain. We are always open to meet with people one on one for coffee, or wherever they feel comfortable with, before they come to the group. We are committed to using our experiences to walk with others, making sure they know that with God, they can continue to have hope. He is with them through this sometimes long and never ending journey and we just want to be the hands and feet of Jesus and love and listen to each hurting parent. –Mike and Lisa Van Sant

Sewing Ladies - Our sewing group meets on Thursday mornings during the ministry year and makes quilts of many sizes to give to those in need. We have been able to donate many quilts to a variety of places. We have sent some to Hope Ministries in Des Moines and Discover Hope in Newton. We've also been able to help individual families and children in need. We donated 36 quilts to an organization that was sending them to help Ukrainian refugees. We have a desire to help additional families and children in need. If you know of a need, please let us know! We would be happy to give them a quilt and share the love of Jesus with them in this way! Also, if you're interested in helping us make quilts, we would love for you to join us on Thursday mornings! --Vivian Huisman and the Sewing Ladies

Small Groups at The Way | Connect, Serve, and Invite Together
At The Way, we want to be people who live out our mission and vision and embody our core values. We realize that this happens by being connected and in fellowship with God and with other believers. Small Groups are one way to create community with other followers of Jesus. These groups also provide an entry point where anyone can join at any time because we should be continually welcoming and inviting new people into fellowship. This past ministry year, we reorganized our Small Groups into mixed-age groups, with 82 people participating in a group. Each group decided on the devotional they would do when they met. It was great to connect with new people, grow in Jesus together, and serve our local community. We look forward to this coming ministry year, when we will be reorganizing groups again! If you're looking for a way to get connected, consider joining a small group!

Christian Ethics: We finished up our third session of Christian Ethics at the beginning of June. The topics are at times challenging but it is always rewarding to see what God has to say about the issues with which many struggle in our postmodern world. This session we tackled topics like Capital Punishment, Abortion, Euthanasia and Suicide, along with many others. As time brings us closer and closer to the return of Christ, it is vital to develop a Biblical WorldView and that is exactly the challenge given to us in the Christian Ethics class. Next session we will deal with the topic of marriage. -Marlys Popma

God's Glory Through the Lens: We once again had a great time in our photography class. In our first class we learned that not only are each of us distinctly composed by God but that each good photograph is not only shot, but composed. We learn about the rules of photography which in part include: The Rule of Thirds, The Rule of Odds, etc.  We also learn about Aperture, ISO, and Shutter Speed (if you don't already know what these are, you will have to join us in a future class to discover their meaning). In our last lesson we learned about different types of light - Transmitted Light, Reflected Light, Hard Light, and Soft Light. In this class we also learned that not only is Jesus the Light of the World but WE are also the light of the world. That is done by reflected light. Jesus shines his light on us so that we can shine that reflected light on others. -Marlys Popma

The Bridge Young Adult Ministry: We opened up our year without a structured Bible study, and decided to have sermon discussions instead.  This was a little different than what we’ve done previously, but we decided to let the Holy Spirit lead more, and the conversations we had were such a blessing! The young adults that have regularly attended welcomed new people without judgment, prayed for each other during trials, got together outside of our meetings, and dove into volunteering in ministries and getting plugged into classes. We’ve seen an eagerness for fellowship in the young adults at The Way.  We feared when we mentioned stepping down from leading that there wouldn’t be a push to keep the group getting together, but we saw just the opposite.  We can’t wait to see how the group grows and how the Spirit moves! Leading this group seemed like it was going to be too big for us at first.  We feared no one would show up or if someone showed up, it would be a total flop, but this was never the case!  There was so much love and support from the congregation and church staff that it was almost overwhelming at times.  The prayers, the provided meals, the wisdom and guidance from guests who spoke at our gatherings — they’ve been such a blessing to our group.  The young adults in the church need Biblical guidance, Christian fellowship, the love of Jesus, and a place they can get it all, and we are so glad that The Way supports this need.  Thank you so much to everyone at the church for supporting The Bridge! -Mitch and Steph Roush

Men’s and Women’s Ministry 

Jeff Guthrie

Vickie Heerema

Men’s Ministry
It was an exciting ministry year for Kingdom Builders as we explored weeks of impactful lessons from scripture while experiencing pre-Covid participation levels. We spent significant time studying the book of Ruth, Galatians, and Jesus’s own words through a series on the parables. We continued to host a monthly men’s breakfast which featured another 12 men boldly standing among their peers to share their testimony, which is always a blessing. This year we had over 30 men make the commitment to attend the 2 night men’s retreat which highly impacts all who attend. Kingdom Builders also once again received the opportunity to spend a few weeks studying scripture and building projects with the 5th and 6th grade boys which is always a highlight of the year. 
However, the true impact from the year has been the incredible work of the Holy Spirit among the men. We have witnessed men overcoming sin and strongholds, developing strong friendships that support, encourage, and challenge one another, and an incredible strength in prayer that extends beyond our weekly gatherings. We have seen men actively engaging in the church, their homes, and their communities for the purpose of advancing the gospel and honoring Christ. We’re thankful for the grace, the mercy, and the work of the Holy Spirit that has greatly impacted our gatherings and we look forward to seeing what the Spirit will be doing next. -Jeff Guthrie

Women’s Ministry
The last year in women's ministry has been filled with glorious truths about God that can only be learned by digging deep into his word.  We spent 9 weeks in the book of Romans and listened to what Paul had to teach us about salvation, being transformed into the image of Jesus, and being sent out to share the good news. We then did an 8 week study called Everyday Theology where we learned more about who God is, what he has done, and what he will do. What we know and think about God touches every part of our lives. We walked away with a deeper relationship with God and a better understanding of what we believe. We finished the year in a 9 week study on the churches in Revelation. This study taught us the truth of God's desire for the church and our part in it. Being in bible study with other women makes us better. God plucks us out of our individual lives and puts us in fellowship with our fellow sisters in Christ. We pray together, seek Jesus together, and do life together. We are more alike than we are different. One of the most comforting things to hear from someone is "I have been there too". God speaks to us through his word and each other, weaving our lives together so that we can all be more like Jesus. -Vickie Heerema

Baxter Church of The Way

Julie Brandt

Mike Brandt

What a great year it has been at Baxter Church of the Way. We have had several exciting ministries moving forward to serve this community. In the fall we hosted a Rooted group, where 10 people gathered each week and learned, laughed, cried, shared and served together. We completed another year of The Rock Youth Group serving between 3-16 area youth each week, as well as a year of Waymaker Children's Ministry leading several local children each week. Our Women's Ministry is growing and we are currently working through a study on the Book of Ruth.

Baxter Church of the Way has experienced growth in attendance at church services each week and we have recently spent 9 weeks in a Fruit of the Spirit series, led by Julie Jones. God is moving in Baxter and we are excited to see where He takes us next. - Mike and Julie Brandt

Fiscal Year End Financial Information

Tricia Groves

Fiscal Year 2023 Financial Report
The Fiscal Year 2023 runs from July 2022-June 2023.

2023 Offering Annual Totals
$1,044,146 Budget
$1,059,715 Received*
+$15,569 Offering Surplus

2023 Annual Operating Totals
$1,059,715 Income*
$947,508 Expenses
$112,216  Surplus**

*The Offering Received includes the $49k in Youth Missions offering. It does not include the $4,000 from a special offering for Ukrainian refugees through The Well in Knoxville. This money was collected directly to The Well.
**There was a $41K surplus budgeted for loan debt. The mortgage was paid off in June 2022 after the budget was created.

Year End Cash Balance
2023 FY Cash Balance: $660,548

We have no current loan balances and all debt is paid! Thank you for your generosity in helping us meet our budget as we move forward into a new fiscal year of mission and vision!

Fiscal Year 2024 Financial Budget
The Fiscal Year 2024 runs from July 2023-June 2024.
$1,140,627 Budget*
This budget is a 9.2% increase to include the assumptions of inflation, a line item for the Baxter Church of The Way expenses (accounted separately in FY 2023), building vision casting expenses, and less capital expenditures.
*If you wish to receive FY 2024 Budget Summary, please contact Tricia Groves: Tricia@theway146.com.

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