Columbus Convention Opening Day “Spirit-filled,” “Tremendous,” “Great!”

The fellowship at First Church on Tuesday was sweet.

By Carl Stagner

The first day of the Church of God Regional Convention in Columbus, Ohio, is now history, and the second day is now underway. Nearly five hundred people have enjoyed the numerous teaching sessions, electives, and meetings, as well as the incredible hospitality of First Church of God. Under the leadership of the praise team at First Church, convention-goers have experienced the presence of God in powerful ways—and neither the event, nor the Spirit’s active role, is over yet. As Day Two of the Regional Convention continues, many are still reflecting on the blessings of Day One.

“God isn’t waiting for us to get better; he’s waiting for us to get real,” Ben Harman’s Gravity Leadership team insisted, in the opening session of #LifeColumbus on Tuesday. Like the first two Regionals, they led a group discussion on discipleship and the soul-care of the discipler. The credentials training was yet again a “packed house” with credentials teams and regional pastors from the United States and Canada. The CARE seminar, led by Joe Cookston, also informed and equipped pastors and church board members. In the afternoon, First Church of God leadership offered a variety of electives based on their experience doing life-giving ministry in the Columbus area. The Town Hall meeting with Jim Lyon concluded the afternoon, before Jim returned to deliver the evening message.

Spirit-filled worship at the Columbus Regional on Tuesday.

“Spirit-filled” was a common description of the Tuesday evening experience. Voices and hands were raised across the First Church sanctuary while the words of the classic hymn “It is Well with My Soul” resonated from soul to soul. Jim Lyon’s message not only inspired listeners to fully embrace the life Jesus offers in abundance, but also to give life. An extended time of prayer followed, with both hearts and altars full. Kimberly Majeski (of the Anderson University School of Theology and Christian Ministry) described it beautifully: “So grateful for the sweet, fresh baptism of worship, for the gift of gathering together with my tribe, in these turbulent times, to pray and sing, to dream and lament. Thanks to Church of God Ministries and Jim Lyon for a great conference, and to our gracious hosts Timothy Clarke and First Church of God.”

Clarke, Lyon welcome attendees on Tuesday.

But Church of God Ministries is also blessed to coordinate the convention, and First Church is thankful for the chance to host it. On behalf of the church, Bishop Timothy Clarke reflects, “This week it is our honor to host the Regional Convention. While it has been busy, it has also been a blast and a blessing…First, it has given us a chance to see that we are part of something larger than ourselves. Sometimes, if we are not careful, we can get wrapped up in ourselves…Second, this week has given us the opportunity to partner in something that will outlast and outlive us…Finally, this week has given us an opportunity to engage in something that will lift us. All of us need to be encouraged, inspired, emboldened, and to fellowship with others often helps to make that happen.”

So much more is in store for Wednesday in Columbus. Follow along with #LifeColumbus on social media. Learn more at http://www.jesusisthesubject.org/regional-convention-columbus-2018/.

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