By Carl Stagner
In the years since Jim Lyon’s 2013 speech before the General Assembly, the phrase “Jesus is the subject” has proven to be far more than a tagline; it’s now part of the language that unites the Church of God as a movement. It’s a statement that encapsulates and energizes the Christ-centered focus that’s helping churches from coast to coast take giant steps to advance the kingdom. At the same time, the church visitor brochures Meet Us at the Cross and Who is the Church of God? are in high demand, though their content is becoming more and more outdated. Especially as congregations are sensing new wind in the sails of the Movement, a desire to inform the first-time guests and person-in-the-pew about the Church of God has only increased. On the heels of the popular “Jesus is the subject” word search puzzle books, Warner Press has responded to the need by producing a booklet that churches can buy in bulk for informational displays, guest gift bags, and discipleship classes.
“As we thought about updating Meet Us at the Cross and Who is the Church of God?, and perhaps combining them into a single product, we determined it would make sense to consider the current themes and language coming from Church of God Ministries,” Regina Jackson, vice president of product marketing for Warner Press, explains. “What we found was a good bit of difference between what was important to address in such pamphlets in years past and the things that need to be addressed today. For example, the old products devoted considerable space to explaining why the name ‘Church of God’ is the most biblical; people today are less concerned about why a congregation’s name was chosen. Conversely, the old products didn’t spend much time explaining who Jesus is and how to have a relationship with him; today, we can’t assume that newcomers to a church know who Jesus is or how to receive him as Savior and Lord. Church of God Ministries has already identified themes and language describing the Church of God in ways that resonate with today’s world and answer the questions being asked by today’s world. It was natural to adopt such language for this booklet that helps people understand who the Church of God is.”
Today’s iteration of the “Church of God brochure” is a sixteen-page booklet, shaped and sized differently than the standard brochure. Not only does the slightly more square booklet grab the reader’s attention better than the traditional shape, but it also fits into Bibles, bulletins, burses, and gift bags perfectly. Filled with colorful pictures and characterized by a clean, contemporary design, the Jesus is the Subject: Exploring the Church of God booklet starts with Jesus, includes brief discussions on core doctrines and common practices among Church of God congregations, and now includes a statement about women in ministry. For further information and opportunities, readers are encouraged to visit both Church of God Ministries and Warner Press online.
“New people coming into one of our local congregations still want to know what the Church of God, as a whole, is about,” Regina explains. “We believe the Jesus Is the Subject: Exploring the Church of God booklets are a strong tool to help answer that question. They would be useful for handing out in visitors’ packets, making available in the church lobby, or even distributing and discussing as part of a class focused on orienting people to the Church of God.”
Then there’s the “Jesus is the Subject” word search puzzle book. Have you seen these yet? The “itty bitty” Jesus is the Subject Word Search book is designed to encourage Bible reading and test the reader’s word-finding skills! “We wanted to create a fun activity book as a tool for churches to use with the same message of ‘Jesus is the subject’ to coincide with the message for adults,” Regina explains. “Our itty-bitty word search puzzles are very popular, so in trying to come up with a different idea, we felt it was important for kids (and some adults who like these puzzles) to know the story of Jesus from the prophecies concerning his coming as a baby, through his childhood, ministry, death, and resurrection. I prayed that God would use that little word search book to bless and challenge all who worked those puzzles to actually read the whole portion of Scripture included on each page.”
Order your copies of Jesus is the Subject: Exploring the Church of God online or by calling 800-741-7721. Bulk pricing is available! While placing your order, don’t forget to also order copies of the “itty bitty” Jesus is the Subject Word Search book!