New Staff Spotlight

Dear Friends and Partners,

I’m proud to introduce to you some of the most amazing people in the world. The Lord has led these folks (along with David and Connie Soper) to join Leadership Resources since the beginning of last year.

I’ve told others: “I’m glad that I joined Leadership Resources 25 years ago…I’m not sure that I would make the grade today!”

These are high-caliber team members: talented, experienced, godly, and gifted.

I want to you meet them so you might…

• Praise God with us over the growth that we are experiencing.
• Pray for these new team members…each one mentions a specific prayer request.
• Consider supporting one or more of them.

Melanie Ingland (Assistant to the President) 

Melanie-Daniel-214x300My name is Melanie Ingland I am a Michigan native. Growing up outside of Ann Arbor the only significant time I spent away from home was the 4 years I spent at college in South Carolina earning my degree in Criminal Justice.  That may seem like a mismatch when you see where God has led me!  After graduation, the Lord increased my burden to use my life and skills to further his kingdom on a full time basis.  After seeking the Lord for direction, the Lord led me to Todd Kelly at LRI. He introduced me to the position that I now have which is Assistant to our President, Craig Parro.  I love experiencing life, traveling and acquiring new skills so I spend a lot of my free time trying new things all of which I do alongside my boyfriend Daniel.  I love combining my artistic side with other things that intrigue me like “geek culture” and baking so you can frequently find me creating some comic related art piece or creating cakes to teach me new techniques.  Being a part of the LRI team excites me because it allows me to be a part of the greater kingdom work that God is doing in his church around the world.   Please be in prayer for me as I make long term decisions about what community to settle in permanently. You can read about Melanie’s Ministry Journey on her blog.

To support Melanie, click on her name on the “Designation” area of our donation page.

Kevin Halloran (Content Strategist/Latin America Trainer)

Kevin-Halloran_Nov-2013-228x300Around Christmastime of 2012, five months before I graduated seminary, I anxiously thought about my future and prayed to God that He would lead me to a ministry position that combines my three passions: teaching the Word, speaking Spanish, and blogging/social media. Shortly after graduation, the Lord led me to LRI—who had been praying that God would give them someone like me for months! It is truly amazing how God works. I’m excited to fulfill the calling He has given me on the Communications team broadcasting stories of God’s work around the world and serving as part of the training team in Latin America. (I am also excited to bring down the average age of LRI staffers a few years.) Pray that God would use my online work to share His glory all over the world and connect with many people who can partner with us in our work. You can visit Kevin’s personal blog where he shares Christian thoughts, resources, and book reviews at

To support Kevin, click on his name on the “Designation” area of our donation page.

Tim Henry (H.R. Coordinator)

Tim-Henry-Croped-250x300For as long as I can remember, I have had an awareness that God is efficiently orchestrating my life opportunities and experiences in the present time with an eye to also prepare me for the “next chapter” of His plan for my life. In the first phase of my adult life, there was an overall theme of ministry to children and youth. God brought opportunities to minister in churches, at summer camps, through regional retreats, in prisons, in urban public schools and in a residential institution. Next, God smoothly introduced a new major phase with a focus on developing my administrative and management skills. For about fifteen years, I saw opportunities to practice program management, not-for-profit administration, management of volunteers, team leadership, staff development, quality improvement and organizational development in a well established Chicago area home for youth.  Now, God has led me to Leadership Resources. I’m excited to be at LRI because I see God working mightily through this ministry, expanding its reputation, reach and resources and I cannot wait to see how He will use the unique mix of gifting and experiences he has blessed me with so I can support and serve in this season of Leadership Resources’ growth. When God prompts you to pray for me, please ask Him to increase my trust in what He is doing even when I cannot see very far into the future. After all these years of seeing God’s faithfulness to me and my family, impatience and worry still overtake me more often than I care to admit.

To support Tim, click on his name on the “Designation” area of our donation page.

Doug Johnson (Director of Church Partnerships)

Doug-Johnson-225x300In 1999, while serving as Associate Director of Missions for the Church of the United Brethren, the Lord used pastors and lay women and men to confirm a calling on my life to preach and teach the Word of God.  Because of my passion for biblical preaching, in 2013 it brought me great joy to be called to serve with Leadership Resources, a ministry dedicated to training pastors to preach and teach the Word of God with God’s heart. One of my responsibilities as Director of Church Partnerships is to meet with church mission commissions and boards, inviting them to partner with Leadership Resources in launching indigenous-led pastoral training movements worldwide.  We always need partners to pray for our Church Partnership Team, that we would effectively communicate the mission of Leadership Resources to the glory of our Savior and King, the Lord Jesus Christ.

To support Doug, click on his name on the “Designation” area of our donation page.

Sean Martin (Program Coordinator)

Sean-2-300x225In our little family of five, there are three dual citizens and three nationalities represented.

Between us we have lived in eight cities and five countries. So we feel very much a part of the international focus of LRI! We arrived in Chicago in April and have really enjoyed settling into our new life and ministry. We sense that God has been preparing us for working with LRI for many years and are delighted to be part of a ministry that is training others to spread the gospel to nations and generations. Our focus will be on training preachers in North America as well as developing a partnership with Matthias Media which will help LRI train pastors to train their congregations in reading and sharing the Word of God. We are excited to see how this will work out over the coming years. We would be grateful if you would pray that The Lord would equip and strengthen us for the work that He has given us to do and that our family would keep our eyes firmly fixed on Him.

To support Sean, click on his name on the “Designation” area of our donation page.

Scott Polender (Curriculum Writer/Trainer)

Apr-2013-Polender-Fam-2-300x199I came to know the Lord Jesus my junior year at Wheaton College.  The next year God’s Spirit broke out on campus in what is known as the 1995 Wheaton Revival.  Christ had already completely changed my life, but there my love for the church grew and I felt compelled to give the time I’m given to build his church.  I would be called to Kathmandu, Nepal for two years before working in local pastoral ministry in Sydney, Australia, Wisconsin and the Chicago area. I’ve been involved in training pastors in the States, but I’m overjoyed to be called to LRI because of the extraordinary fruit we see, immeasurably more than I would have asked or imagined (Eph. 3:20).  Please pray for my wife Jodi and me in the midst of several transitions including joining LRI and the arrival of our third daughter, Tabitha, in February!

To support Scott, click on his name on the “Designation” area of our donation page.

Phil Smith (Field Director)

Phil-Smith-300x199We’ve moved from one extreme to another: From pastoring a church on an isolated island in S.E. Alaska, to life and ministry surrounded by millions of people in the Chicago area; from moderate temperatures near the Pacific to the extremes of a polar vortex last winter and hot and humid days this summer here in the Midwest; from focusing on a ministry in a small town to a ministry that impacts congregations around the globe.  We’re very thankful to join the team at LRI as it seeks to launch movements of the Word in churches around the world.  Please pray for our whole family as we develop new friendships and settle into life and ministry here (and for strength as we welcome a new baby girl to our family mid-summer!).

To support Phil, click on his name on the “Designation” area of our donation page.

I told you that they were pretty special people! Each one is in the process of raising their personal support. They are trusting the Lord and the Lord’s people to provide for their monthly financial needs. LRI does not guarantee their salary. We wish we had a big pot of money from which to pay their salaries, but we don’t.

Would you please consider a special gift or a monthly or quarterly commitment to support one or more so that they might continue to work with us for years to come, to the glory of God.


With gratitude in Christ,

Craig Parro


PS: Please also pray for them as they continue their personal fund-raising process. It’s hard asking people for financial support. It’s sometimes discouraging, but always faith-stretching to trust God for their daily needs.

Craig Parro

Since joining Leadership Resources International in 1989, Craig directed its international ministry, and as of January 2010, he now serves as President. A graduate of TEDS (M.A., Mission), Craig is a stimulating teacher and has equipped and encouraged pastors and churches throughout the U.S., Latin America and Asia. Craig also serves on the Board of Directors of TOPIC (Trainers of Pastors International Coalition), an association of pastoral training organizations focused on accelerating pastoral training worldwide. Craig has authored articles appearing in several magazines. His first book, Unlikely Warriors, was published in 1992. He is also co-author of Finishing Well in Life and Ministry: God’s Protection from Burnout.