By Colin Ingram
Franconia Conference welcomes a gardener—who cultivates flowers, leaders, and diversity—to the LEADership ministry team. Loving to see beautiful things grow, Mike plants flowers on his church’s property and works to nurture leaders as a pastor. He will continue this leadership cultivation as a welcomed LEADership minister with the conference.
LEAD is the conference’s oversight direction and platform intended to cultivate healthy and growing Anabaptist congregations by equipping leaders to empower others to embrace God’s mission. Oversight occurs through a team invited by congregational leaders to serve and lead them. This team includes the pastor, a Franconia Mennonite Conference LEADership minister, the chair of the congregation’s governing body (when relevant) and others. LEADership ministers and the LEAD approach equips leaders to empower others to embrace God’s mission through support, accountability, and conflict management for pastors as they move forward in God’s vision and mission.
Mike Clemmer begins his responsibilities as a LEADership minister in Franconia Mennonite Conference this August. He has grown up in the conference, beginning life at Souderton Mennonite Church and now serving for the past ten years as pastor at Towamencin Mennonite Church. He is the chair of the conference credentialing committee and serves as a part of the ministerial committee.
Earning a doctorate in missional leadership at Biblical Theological Seminary, Mike has a passion for leadership and helping a congregation realize the insights it already has for making decisions.
“To give some encouragement to other pastors and other leadership teams is something I have always enjoyed,” Mike said.
Mike appreciates the connections that Franconia Mennonite Conference affords easily between churches. Something he has witnessed over his longstanding relationship with the conference and local congregations.
Mike considers connecting with the community important as well, which aligns with the conference’s focus on mission. In addition to his work as pastor at Towamencin Mennonite Church, he is a chaplain for the Towamencin Fire Company, a way to connect with others outside the congregation. Another indication of his passion to welcome the community into the church is the “no-conclusion” Bible study practice he encourages. Instead of a Bible study instructor concluding with the final answers of a passage, he prefers a more open-ended conclusion that allows the passage to continue to work in everyone’s heart throughout the week that allows for “many people [to] takeaway” insights.
Mike personally aligns with the intercultural goal of Franconia Mennonite Conference; after all, Towamencin Mennonite Church has 14 native languages in a congregation of about 160 people, according to Mike. Persons from Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Korea, China, Germany, and several Hispanic countries attend the congregation.
Before pastoring, Mike spent more than 20 years in business at Moyer & Son in Telford.
While serving as a LEADership Minister with the conference, Mike will continue to pastor at Towamencin Mennonite Church. He may also be found enjoying some of his other passions including running, sports, music, and gardening. Mike is married to April and they have three grown children.