By Carl Stagner
How much do you know about what goes on inside the office at Church of God Ministries? Who conducts necessary office work so others may travel the world with the hope of Christ? It’s the behind-the-scenes work that enables Church of God Ministries to carry out the work of Christ. When you support the unrestricted portion of the World Ministries Budget, you support our missionaries, our projects at home and abroad, and so much more. In the following interview, get to know one of the faces behind the scenes. Her name is Tami Byrd, and she’s worked for Church of God Ministries for less than a year.
What is your role at Church of God Ministries?
I serve as the North American youth ministry project coordinator. I do a lot of administrative work on various youth ministry projects, and have also been assigned to create some new materials for the Church of God. I supervise several of our interns, and serve as the director of Spread the Word. I have been involved with Spread the Word since 2009, but just started my position here in December.
Your ministry journey has led you all over the world with the youth ministry of the Church of God. Where have you traveled, and have these experiences shaped who you are today?
Spread the Word trips have taken me to Honduras, Mexico, Paraguay, Uganda, Jamaica, and more. Highlights have included seeing God at work in those places, and having the opportunity to teach at each location. God’s church across the world is a beautiful thing! These experiences have stretched me, allowed me to create some incredible memories, and have opened my eyes to the vast need in our world—both physical and spiritual.
How many years have you worked in local church youth ministry? How did that experience make an eternal impact on your heart?
I served at South Memorial Drive Church of God in New Castle, Indiana, as their youth pastor for almost seventeen years. One of the most powerful lessons I learned was the fact that my efforts were dependent on God’s power to bring change in the lives of others. I’ve been encouraged by 1 Corinthians 3:7, “So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow” (NIV). I felt so inadequate at times, and made more than my share of mistakes, but God’s grace allowed me to see a lot of growth and life change over those seventeen years. The most rewarding thing for me is that some of my former students are now key leaders in that congregation. It brings me a lot of joy to see them serving the Lord!
How were you introduced to the Church of God? What do you appreciate about the movement?
My family came to the Church of God when I was sixteen years old. I appreciate how the Church of God brought me freedom from legalistic thinking, and allowed me to dream “God-sized” dreams, rather than expecting a lifetime of limited opportunities.
When you’re not rounding up rowdy teenagers, or processing paperwork for Andy Stephenson, what do you like to do?
I love to travel, and am a bit of a thrill-seeker. However, there is nothing I love more than spending time with my family and friends. Watching a movie, cooking, or playing a game and simply being together with them are the things that I really enjoy. I confess that I tend to be quite competitive with games and love to win. Bring it on!
Church of God Ministries relies on your financial support of the unrestricted portion of the World Ministries Budget to enable basic, necessary operations to continue. Support the behind-the-scenes work of the Church of God today at www.jesusisthesubject.org/world-ministries-budget. Learn more about the Church of God at www.JesusIsTheSubject.org.