hope for churches in stress
Warren Hoffman grew up in the Church and accepted Christ at age 10. At 25, his heart caught fire. Since that time, he has nurtured an intimate walk with Jesus. He firmly believes that a primary aim in building the Church must be bringing people to saving faith in Christ; everything builds on changed hearts and transformed lives.
Warren’s ministry experience has been extensive and varied. While attending seminary, he spent three years as a youth pastor. He then led a team of young adults for four years, assisting a small church in a low-income community near Salem, Oregon. For another four years, he worked with Navajos at a remote mission near Bloomfield (NM). For ten years he led a church planting endeavor in Oklahoma City.
For the next 24 years, Warren served in the leadership roles of bishop, general secretary, and moderator with the Brethren in Christ Church, a faith community at the time of about 35,000 believers in 300 churches across the United States and Canada.
Warren graduated from Messiah College (Grantham, Pa.) in 1968 with a bachelor’s degree in biology. In 1972 he received his Doctor of Ministry degree from the American Baptist Seminary of the West (Covina, Calif.) He is the author of The Secret of the Harvest (Evangel Press, 1988) and Rooting for the Underdog (Barnabas Initiatives, 2018).
Through 45 years of service in the Church, Warren found joy in giving encouragement. In 2014, he founded Barnabas Initiatives as a way to encourage and assist churches in stress. This nonprofit ministry helps churches to persevere through difficulties to a measure of health and vitality.
Since 2014, two dozen churches have benefitted from this ministry, including three with the intensive support of interim pastorates—Speedwell Heights BIC (Lititz, Pa.), Millersville (Pa.) BIC, and Bright Hope BIC (Middletown, Pa.). Warren is convinced that efforts to encourage and revitalize stressed churches help to strengthen the life and mission of the whole Christian faith community.
Warren lives in Elizabethtown, Pa., with his wife, Connie. They have four adult daughters and 16 grandchildren. Although Warren claims he has no hobbies, he and Connie greatly enjoy camping, gardening, reading, and music. True to his Lancaster County and nearby Hershey (Pa.) roots, Warren is a pretzel and chocolate enthusiast.