Category Archives: Leadership Development

Excellence in Ecuador: Seminary Intensive Trains Growing Number of Leaders

Ecuador Seminary Intensive 2018

By Timothy and Angelita Downing

We tried something different, and…it was a success! Each year, the Church of God seminary in Ecuador offers a week long intensive to help train leaders in the Ecuadorian church. This year, we expanded the reach of the seminary by offering more class options, moving to a more spacious location, and including more Ecuadorian leadership. Last year, we had a total of twenty-five participants, with one international student. This year, we had seventy-six participants, with several international students! Continue reading

Youth Pastors, Regions Unite to Prepare Students for Christ-Centered Leadership

Students worshiping the Lord at 3SLI.

By Carl Stagner

IYC and state youth conventions do a tremendous job inspiring students to come to Christ, to rededicate their lives to the Lord, and to accept the unique call God has placed on their lives. Most of the students leave these mountain-top experiences having experienced life change to one degree or another, but some also leave recognizing God has called them to lead. Just after the turn of the new century, several youth pastors from the Midwest came together to identify the best way to prepare such students for lifelong Christ-centered leadership. In 2003, 3SLI (then the Tri-State Student Leadership Institute, now Tri-Level) was launched to serve students in Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio. When West Virginia was added, the name 3SLI didn’t change—and neither did its resolve to come alongside emerging leaders. Continue reading

Grant Gives Movement Opportunity to Participate in Worship Arts Symposium

By Carl Stagner

Want to attend a preaching clinic, church health seminar, or theological dialogue in the Church of God today? You’ll find plenty of options throughout the year. Want to be a part of an experience designed for worship leaders and their praise teams? Those opportunities may be hard to find—until now. The Church of God Ministries U.S. and Canada Strategy team is excited to spread the news of the first-ever Worship Arts Symposium offered by the National Association of the Church of God (NACOG). The event, scheduled to take place August 2–4 at the National Association Campground in West Middlesex, Pennsylvania, will offer theoretical and practical insights to strengthen the worship ministry of the local church, give opportunity to practice those insights during the NACOG Camp Meeting that follows, and return worship ministers back to their home churches refreshed and renewed. Continue reading

Students Experience Cross-cultural Community, Ministry at A.One.8

The A.One.8 group of students and leaders!

By Andrew Gale

On July 6, twelve students began their journey to Lake Wales, Florida, for the start of A.One.8 2017. The students came from nine different states from across the country. For some, it was their first-ever flight, beginning a journey of firsts. Continue reading

Partnership Plots New Course for Georgia Fellowship

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Photo: Handel Smith, Joyce Smith, Jason McClendon, Jeff Robinson.

By Carl Stagner

Kingdom-focused ministries demonstrate a keen ability to look beyond their own plights, plans, and programs. They see God working out his big-picture plan on a much grander scale. Competition isn’t on their radar, and when another church or assembly needs a hand, they don’t hesitate to help. Sparse growth, little involvement with each other, and diminishing hope had characterized the Georgia Fellowship of the Church of God in recent years, but kingdom-focused ministries weren’t far away. Eager to see God on the move once again in the Peach State, Church of God Ministries, Florida Ministries, and Illinois Ministries have reached out with love, generosity, and a challenge to embrace a bold turnaround. Continue reading

Three Indiana Churches Unite for Urban Renewal

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Photo: Ad for New Life’s community block party.

By Carl Stagner

A Sunday morning and Wednesday evening preacher. That’s how Stephen Terry, pastor of New Life Church of God in Fort Wayne, Indiana, described his default function at the church for at least four years. As a bivocational pastor, Stephen Terry struggled with what most bivocational pastors struggle with—balancing work, continuing education, family, and the divine calling to shepherd a flock. While there are many great blessings that come with bivocational ministry, it wasn’t long before Pastor Stephen found himself working fifty hours per week in the school system and looking for remaining moments to keep up with his master’s program. Then one day when he was examining the declining health of his congregation and the continuing decline of the community around the church, he realized something had gone wrong. Without opportunity to lead the church, they’d come to a place in their life cycle that required immediate attention. That’s where Church of God Ministries, the National Association of the Church of God, and Indiana Ministries spoke life into the future of New Life Church of God—and ultimately two other Indiana churches. Continue reading

Bringing the Message and the Mission Back into Focus

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Collage: Handel Smith, Ryan Chapman, Paul Dreger, David Ferguson.

By Carl Stagner

Imagine a world where churches were less focused on method, and more focused on message. Picture a scenario where more congregations were so busy with the mission that they didn’t have time or energy to bicker over which programs get the largest share of the budget. What if believers were known everywhere as disciples who make disciples, who make disciples? It’s possible. It’s even biblical. But it’s not commonplace. In mid-October, three members of the Domestic Ministries Team of Church of God Ministries returned from a pastoral leadership summit in Akron, Ohio, that zeroed in on this divine dream. Several Church of God leaders are now gearing up for training over the next year to help Church of God congregations bring the message and mission back into focus. Continue reading

Leadership Focus Impact Expands to Nearly 200 Ministerial Candidates

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By Jeannette Flynn

Leadership Focus is a training program for candidates in the Church of God credentialing process. There are now sixteen states that are using Leadership Focus to train their candidates. In addition, Church of God Ministries has developed a partnership with Indiana Ministries and the School of Theology, so that all SOT students headed for ministry in the Church of God can go through Leadership Focus at no cost to the student while they are concurrently pursuing their master’s degree. This is not only a financial advantage to the SOT student, but positions them for ordination within a short time following their graduation from the SOT and accepting a ministry position. Continue reading

Leadership Focus: Taking Credentialing (and Leaders!) to New Heights

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By Carl Stagner

Credentialing ministers in the Church of God is nothing new. The Church of God has always championed developing leaders and pastors. Over the years, however, it has become increasingly difficult to get the most out of credentialing systems that were adopted more than fifty years ago. Sure, many have been updated here and there, but when three states came together and said, “We can do better together,” they effectively launched an initiative that would revolutionize credentialing in the Church of God. Continue reading

CHOG Youth Enable Kingdom Advancement in Mexico

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Photo: Spread the Word team on Mexico trip this year.

The Youth Network Team of the Church of God recently traveled to Eagle Pass, Texas, and crossed the border to Piedras Negras, Mexico, for a time of training, planning, and outreach. This effort was part of the Spread the Word (STW) initiative. Since 2002, Church of God students and their leaders have given more than $775,000 through STW for tools for evangelism. One of the primary reasons for this trip was to see STW funds in action and to hand off the Five Principle Training system.

Continue reading

Keys to Establishing a Multigenerational Congregation: Part Two

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By Sean Johnson

Josiah enjoyed eggs, hash browns, sausage, and a liberal bowl of strawberries, as he intently watched the e-mail icon on his iPad. Pastor Johnson’s last blog post brightened his countenance, and he looked forward with great anticipation to continuing the discussion of maintaining community while building a multi-generational congregation. How did Soul-Winning do it? Can it be done at South Haven Church? The waitress placed another steaming cup of coffee in front Josiah, and before he could take a sip, “Bing!” Up popped the second blog post from Sean G.L. Johnson, associate pastor of Soul-Winning Church of God, with the subject line, “Four (More) Keys To Establishing Soul-Winning Church of God as a Multigenerational Congregation: Part Two.” Continue reading

Mid-Year Leadership Conference Comes to Cincinnati

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We hope you are making plans to attend the 2015 Mid-Year Leadership Conference, March 3–5 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Please register as soon as possible to ensure special low-rates on rooms.

This year’s conference format features two tracks of study that allow for specific dialogue on leadership issues related to pastors and ministry leaders. These sessions offer a fantastic opportunity to dialogue with some of our most respected leaders—Milton Grannum, Ronald Fowler, and Gideon Thompson—on the vital topic of leadership. Their combined service represents over one hundred years of excellence in ministry. We are deeply fortunate to have this time to learn from, and share with, these leaders. Continue reading

Dare to Lead! Healthy Growing Churches

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Leaders from around the country will gather in sunny Orlando, March 11–13, for an amazing time of inspiration, challenge and networking. This three-day event, sponsored by Healthy Growing Churches, will feature a fantastic lineup of speakers and workshop leaders. Continue reading

Native American Ministries Advances with New Advisory Board

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Photo: Ryan Chapman prays for the Place of Promise at a groundbreaking ceremony in September 2013.

By Carl Stagner

Alcoholism, domestic abuse, and high unemployment are just a few of the issues that plague Native American culture in the United States. As if historical devastation and upheaval weren’t enough, today the communities that surround Church of God ministries on and near reservations deal with social ills that demand our attention. In recent years, the Church of God has taken steps to strengthen Native American Ministries. Next week, a team of Native American ministry leaders, advocates, and Church of God Ministries staff will convene in Rapid City, South Dakota, to plan strategically for the advancement of the kingdom on the home front. Continue reading

Six-Week Devotional Journal Coming from Warner Press

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The six weeks before Easter are an ideal time to renew our Christian discipleship practices. In early February, Warner Press will release A Devotional Journal for Daily Spiritual Apps to guide Christians in this Easter season tradition. Continue reading