By Carl Stagner
How much do you know about what goes on inside the office at Church of God Ministries? Who conducts the 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 our Lord. 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. His name is Stephen Girt, and your support of the “basic budget” makes his vital ministry possible.
What is your role at Church of God Ministries, and how does it support the overall mission?
I am the information technology director. IT provides desktop support to all internal employees, a redesigned network infrastructure, applications support, and server management. It might come as a bit of a surprise, but our organization is very data-heavy! We serve as historians, as well as present-day data-keepers for many throughout the movement. We provide the organization the ability to adequately communicate with the people we serve, as well as provide information to those who most need it. We currently host a variety of different software platforms that affect our constituents, including Leadership Focus, Be Bold Academy, CHOG 24/7, and Ministry Connector, as well as internal databases that help us connect with our constituents. We provide platforms that help streamline processes and conserve valuable resource dollars.
In what ways have you seen your work make a difference for the Church of God?
For the last year-and-a-half or so, we have been head-deep in a variety of IT overhauls. From addressing some serious internal issues, to creating new environments to deal with some very manually-intensive processes, we have done a lot in a short time. Some changes have been smooth, but like many things, have created some challenges for both our constituents and our internal employees. We have made some large strides in many areas, and continue to evaluate and address many of our weaknesses. We have been able to do a lot of good, but we still have a long way to go in terms of improving our efficiencies, both from an internal perspective and for the people we serve.
What do you value most about working for Church of God Ministries?
Most of all I value that, even if it isn’t always obvious, we are preparing the organization to operate in a way that is cost-effective and relevant in a world that operates very differently than thirty to forty years ago. I value that we are going to create a way to be lean and effective without being impersonal or distant. I also value that, at the end of the day, the people who are leading genuinely want to provide items of value to our constituents—I get to be a big part of a lot of that.
How were you introduced to the Church of God?
I grew up in Anderson, and though I actually grew up in a Quaker church, I had many friends and family friends that belonged to the Church of God. I went to many youth groups and VBS events at South Meridian, East Side, and North (now Madison Park). I also attended and graduated from Anderson University.
How do you spend your time when you’re not at work? And, what role has Anderson University played in your life?
My life has gone through a lot of change over that last twelve months. I got married in February, so learning how to manage my time has been an interesting change! I have also worked part-time as a landscaper for nearly six years, and served as the assistant women’s soccer coach for Anderson University for the past four. I also like to play a fair amount of golf. AU has played a huge role in my adult life. From the day I decided to attend and play soccer, all the way to being an assistant coach over the last few years, I have truly been in love with the place. For me, AU has been a bit of a comfort zone, as well as a place that allowed me to find my own path at my own pace. I have grown up a lot over the last nine to ten years, and a lot of it happened as a result of my time spent there. As far as soccer goes, it’s been a huge and wonderful experience for me. I’ve gotten to stay connected to the game that I so closely identified myself with, and help some of the players deal with things that I can still relate to and remember going through. It’s funny, I do a lot less coaching of soccer, and a lot more coaching of life, than one might anticipate as a college soccer coach.
Stephen and his wife Alicia reside in Fortville, Indiana, with their poodle Chevy.
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 http://www.jesusisthesubject.org/world-ministry-fund/. Learn more about the Church of God at http://www.JesusIsTheSubject.org.