By Carl Stagner
Even the most dedicated leaders in the church recognize the vitality of rest and renewal. When sunshine and warmth cloak the country from coast to coast during the summer months, opportunities for rest and renewal commonly come in the form of Church of God conferences and camp meetings. But often the most trying times in ministry arise in the midst of those long winters, and not just the kind that bring snow and ice. The Mid-Year Leadership Conference has faithfully served the Church of God movement as a respite for pastors and lay leaders needing a boost; sometimes, for instance, you simply can’t wait until Camp Meeting at West Middlesex, Pennsylvania. This year’s Mid-Year, which annually moves to different winter-havens, will take place in Charleston, South Carolina. Not only can attendees expect rest for body and soul, but also the chance to take a closer look at the role of evangelism in the church today.
Bishop Robert A. Culp (First Church of God, Toledo, Ohio), Rev. Dr. Arnetta Bailey (Christian Women Connection), and Rev. Ragen B. Mitchell (Sherman Street Church of God, Anderson, Indiana) are the featured speakers scheduled for the March 3–5 event in Charleston. Year after year, the worship is dynamic and inspirational, and the receptions and other opportunities for fellowship are sweet. Chuck Myricks, chief operating and development officer for the National Association, encourages every pastor and leader in the Church of God to get to Charleston.
“Charleston is the birthplace of African American engagement with the Church of God movement,” he explains. “Come and experience all the history and Gullah culture that is unique to the low country and isles of South Carolina. We will explore ways to raise our effectiveness in the vital area of evangelism on both the individual and corporate levels.”
Additionally, Chuck urges participation in a special business meeting of the National Association as input and wisdom are sought concerning proposed updates to the bylaws. But the business of the National Association, and the business of the Church of God movement, is ultimately to make disciples.
“You can’t turn a page in a book lately without hearing the term post-Christian,” Chuck reflects. “We’ve been trying to focus on discipleship for several years, but we view evangelism as a front door to discipleship. Considering the priesthood of all believers, this is a call on every believer’s life. We understand that, in our pluralistic, consumer-oriented society, a lot of folks feel it’s impolite to share their faith. We want to help people be comfortable sharing their faith, and the first step is the integrity of their lives and witness.”
The title of the conference communicates the event is designed for leaders. Chuck assures the Church of God that the services are for the whole body of Christ. The content and experiences are designed for “anyone the Lord has called to his work.” Chuck elaborates, “Come to love and be loved. For the encouragement through fellowship. The inspiration through worship. Empowerment through teaching. And the relationship-building. We are better together!”
February 11 is the deadline for hotel group rates! Learn more and register for the Mid-Year Leadership Conference, March 3–5, in Charleston, South Carolina, by visiting www.nacog.com.