Tag : potw-pastor

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Pastor of the Week: Todd Render

By: Dezaray Barr

Todd Render and his wife

Rev. Todd Render is the pastor of the Alliance Church. He graduated from the University of Rochester with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. He also graduated from Purdue University with a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering and from Grace Theological Seminary with a M.A. in Ministry.

“In engineering school, I was both awed and humbled by the great minds and the affability of some of the professors. And by some of the other students for that matter,” Render said.

Render became a Christ-follower when he was 39 years old, and he didn’t start seminary until after he was 40. “I was taking night classes while I was working for an orthopedic company in Warsaw, Indiana. That whole idea of allowing yourself to be transformed, of stepping courageously into something new, but something vital and important – well that’s the whole message of being a follower of Christ, and being transformed into His likeness, isn’t it?” Render said.

Render’s time as a pastor has been out-of-the-ordinary. “I’m still doing the bi-vocational thing, working full time in research and development and as part-time senior pastor (which is an oxymoron),” Render shared. “There are so many times when I am affirmed and encouraged and just uplifted by being a pastor. Last year, I performed two marriages, three funerals, and just yesterday, got to do two baptisms, my all-time favorite part! Yet each one is incredibly significant in the lives of people, to share in and bring out the magnitude of those events, to enter into the most significant moments of a person’s life, to point them to Jesus and affirm what God has done – and wants still to do in their lives. One of the hardest challenges is trying to lead the turn-around of a shrinking organization. This is true whether it’s for a department, a company or a church. To take the time to build relationships, to work together to see that vision of what God wants for the community, to love everyone and see them with the eyes of Jesus… I tell you what, some people are easier to love than others! But the Lord reminds me where I am on that spectrum, so I am often reminded of His mercy and grace.”

Alliance Church was born out of a prayer meeting in which three couples gathered 60 years ago in a family’s home. The first building was just a small sanctuary. Although the building has expanded a few times, the original sanctuary has been dubbed Tozer Hall, because AW Tozer preached there, as well as Ravi Zacharias. “I’ve been here only a year and a half now,” Render explained. “We have several congregants in their nineties, but at the same time a thriving children’s program on Wednesday nights with many kids from the community who don’t currently attend our church. After changes in leadership, the people who were left are devoted and love to serve, and eager to see God bring new believers. I will work and worship with a community like that any day.”

Render’s advice to students is simply stated. “Pray that God lead you to that place and to those people, and pray God give you such a love for them. That makes all the pain, and the struggles and the celebrations worth every moment,” he said.



Written by Dezaray Barr, PR Specialist for the Alumni Office. Dezaray is a junior Strategic Communication, Journalism and Honors Humanities triple major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. Visit Dez’s website at www.dezaraybarr.weebly.com.

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Pastor of the Week: Phil Tague

By: Emily Neideck

Phill Tague is the lead pastor at The Ransom Church in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He and his wife, Stephani, planted the church in 2009, and the church has flourished since.

Tague attended Wesley Seminary’s online program for his Master in Ministry. His group was one of the first cohorts to go through the online program, and although his time on campus was limited, he stated, “The program allowed me to not just feel like I received my degree, but that I actually graduated from Indiana Wesleyan.”

The Ransom Church began in a movie theater with only a few people. Tague said, “Since then, we have watched this church grow into only something that only God can get the credit for.” The church now has around 2000 people, two campuses and ministries in nursing homes, as well as a local jail.

Tague stated, “The words we most hear people saying as they enter our church are ‘authentic, relevant, real.’” The Ransom Church focuses application of The Gospel to everyday life, whether in sermon, small group or service. “We are trying to show them how Jesus is part of everyday life. It isn’t in a bulletin on a random Sunday. It is a lifestyle.”

Tague’s call to ministry came the summer before college when he was attending a youth camp. He said, “I did not want to study ministry. I went into the program kicking and screaming. I was playing all the stereotypes in my head.” He spent the majority of his freshman year studying ministry while talking himself out of his faith. All he had seen from Christianity was hypocrisy.

One day, the Holy Spirit softened Tague’s heart. He realized that his answer for hypocrisy shouldn’t be hypocrisy. Tague corrected his fault and began to pursue Christ with his whole heart and mind. “I haven’t looked back since,” said Tague.

Wesley Seminary played a large role in Tague’s journey. He said, “My time laid a foundation for me and gave me the desire to not just be the best pastor, but to also be the best leader that I could be.” Seminary blurred the lines between leadership and ministry for him. Tague stated, “If there is a season when you’re not putting out fires, then you’re not moving. As long as you are chasing what God has for you, you’re going to face difficulties, but you’ll grow, too.”

Tague will speak in Chapel at Indiana Wesleyan on October 4th.

Check out his interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSWQqIuvhJQ.


Written by Emily Neideck, writer for the Alumni Center and a junior Writing major at IWU. She is active on the cross country and track teams. She is passionate about using her writing skills to share the good news of Christ with others and writes often on her personal blog at www.emilylehner.wordpress.com.