By Carl Stagner
Pivotal. Historic. Monumental. Different. New. Bold. These words accurately describe the one-of-a-kind gathering of the Church of God scheduled for June 23–26. The necessary conditions are coming together at just the right time for dynamic change, with the potential for movement-wide revival. In this time of transition, pastors and congregations from Seattle to Miami have a tremendous opportunity to speak hope into the future of the Church of God. As the convention continues to take shape, a sense of anticipation is building, reflected in the great number of Church of God people who are making plans to meet in Oklahoma City this summer.
God has blessed the Church of God, and our brothers and sisters outside the movement, with incredible gifts and talent. This year’s convention will give the Church of God the opportunity to hear from God through Anne Graham Lotz, Reggie McNeal, Diana Swoope, Dave Stone, Marty Grubbs, and Michael Thigpen. Worship is sure to be Spirit-led and spirited, as the talents of Alanna Story, Sidewalk Prophets, Sandi Patty, Ashmont Hill, and Jay Rouse are put to use.
Even if the lineup of speakers and worship leaders doesn’t capture your interest, you’ll want to attend in order to be a part of a milestone in the life of the Church of God. This year, Jim Lyon, who will be concluding his first year as general director of Church of God Ministries, hopes to inspire fresh vision and outlook for the movement. General Assembly sessions will be tailored to effectively address the business of the church, and a town hall meeting with Jim Lyon—called “Go Ahead, Ask Anything”—will precede the convention kickoff on June 23. Non-delegates will love the Heritage Sing-Along on June 25, featuring worship leaders Joe Gregory, Jean Shackleton, and friends.
While you’re in Oklahoma City, be sure to visit Mid-America Christian University—one of four excellent institutions of higher education in the Church of God. You’ll note that the Church of God in Oklahoma has a rich history and a legacy that continues to this day.
The Church of God will also be challenged to tangibly make a difference in the world by rallying around causes that touch the heart of our Lord. You won’t want to miss the revealing of how God is using, and will continue to use, the Church of God to radically change the world.
“Be bold,” Jim Lyon asserts. “Yep, changing up our General Assembly and summer convention plans for 2014 in this way is a bold step. But it invites the church to a new day as we face a challenging new world. The world around us is not always welcoming; the values regime of the secular culture is often at odds with what we hold dear. It is a day in which we are at risk and must take risks. Much is at stake. Time will not wait. This is the hour. We can take the dare. Jesus is the subject. And he is calling us to be bold.”
Register for the Church of God Convention at www.chogconvention.org/default. There you’ll also find an event schedule, lodging information, promotional materials, and more.