By Carl Stagner
It stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design. Though TED talks began about thirty years ago, they’ve really taken off recently in an online video and social media world. Limited to just under twenty minutes each, TED talks attract listeners who don’t have time—or the attention-span—for an hour-long lecture. Pithy, witty, persuasive, and often accented by personal vignettes, official TED talks now cover an endless array of topics. In an effort to make this year’s annual meeting of Indiana Ministries of the Church of God especially relevant and compelling, state leaders selected a variety of speakers to briefly cover a variety of topics through TED-style talks. As a result, Indiana ministers left the early October conference more informed and inspired than ever to carry out the Great Commission.
“I was talking to Chris Denney of Catalyst Church in Pendleton about the next state meeting,” Doug Talley, Indiana Ministries executive state pastor, explains. “He said he wondered if TED talks would work. Sometimes people get a little fatigued from one speaker all day. It would be a fun thing to do. It would help people who struggle with attention deficit to stay focused. It would allow us to cover many topics in just one day. And it would allow people to come and talk about a specific idea.”
Debbie Salters, lead pastor of Thursday Church in Vincennes, Indiana, spoke passionately and persuasively about the Great Commission. John S. Pistole, Anderson University’s recently inaugurated president, offered experienced insights on leadership. Stephanie Collins, NextGen pastor at The Gathering in Muncie, spoke with conviction and clarity about women in ministry. Jean Hartley, Servant Solutions trustee and tax specialist, took a dry subject—church and clergy taxes—and made it interesting and practical. John Newton and Aaron Perry, South Creek Church of God (Kokomo, Indiana) senior pastor and associate, together weaved humor and intellect in a duo presentation on the sometimes tenuous relationship between senior pastor and associate pastors. Breadth did not sacrifice depth, as presentations were well-prepared and to-the-point.
TED-style talks at this year’s Indiana Ministries meeting weren’t part of some gimmick or sales presentation; they were all about serving the congregations of Indiana in the best, most-helpful ways possible. Like other local, regional, and national ministries—including Church of God Ministries—the overarching goal is to come alongside ministers and churches for the mission of the kingdom. “I’ve found that sometimes people look at state ministry as the ‘policing’ entity that’s supposed to keep everybody in line,” Doug explains. “That’s kind of preposterous, really. It’s never what state ministries were created to be. They were created by the states so that they can serve the churches and be more effective in the mission. There are so many people who keep state ministries at arm’s-length. The only time they think of us is when there’s a conflict and they need somebody to step in. That is a function, but that’s not all we do. We are created by them to serve them. We are one of them. Churches provide the leadership on our boards. We are in this thing together.”
Indeed, we are in this thing together. So whether it’s innovative strategies implemented at your state meeting, or fresh resources coming from Church of God Ministries, you make it all possible. You are Church of God Ministries. Thank you for your ministry.
Learn more about the Church of God at www.JesusIsTheSubject.org.