By Marc Sundstrom
When I first heard the announcement that the Church of God Convention was moving to Oklahoma City this year, I was, like many people, more than a little surprised. It was a bold move, but I believe it is a good move, and I am excited about the changes I see from Church of God Ministries in the last six months. The rationale and the data that was later shared in support of the move gave me even more confidence in the future of the Church of God. We have an excellent new leader, and I am delighted that maintaining the status quo is not on the agenda for Jim Lyon or the Ministries Council. I’m not an advocate of the “change for the sake of change” model at all, but I’m refreshed by the courage to try big things in order to bring much-needed change to one of the most important internal elements of the Church of God.
I had the privilege of working on a North American Convention (NAC) taskforce prior to NAC 2012 that evaluated the viability of an alternate location, as well as other opportunities to revive the NAC and make it more appealing to the younger generations. I then attended the 2012 and 2013 NACs and was, for a variety of reasons, looking forward to a year (or two) off. I could see why my generation has been largely absent from the convention in recent years. The thing that I like the most about this change is that it addresses a number of the apparent roadblocks we encountered for an alternate location by holding the Church of God Convention at Crossings Community Church and streaming to Madison Park in Anderson.
With a mission trip to Nicaragua planned for early June, the feasibility of my traveling to Oklahoma City is low, but I decided right away that I would at least be in Anderson, and I am looking forward to a fantastic convention experience.
Mark Sundstrom is the lead pastor of Southridge Church in South Charleston, West Virginia.