Tag Archives: Be Bold

Canadian Church Invests in Kids, Seeks Community’s Welfare

Pastor Kevin (far right) hosts the dedication of the children/youth area.

By Carl Stagner

Compared to some of the major metropolitan destinations across Canada, the isolated city of Swift Current, Saskatchewan—population 18,000—may seem insignificant. But there’s really nothing insignificant about the community, home to Eastside Church of God, a thriving congregation actively making Swift Current a better place to live, work, and raise a family. Under the visionary leadership of Pastor Kevin Snyder, and without compromising their Jesus-centered message, the church has dealt a serious blow to the forces of darkness as they’ve reclaimed territory—including actual property—from the clutches of hell. Continue reading

Columbus Convention Calls Church to Courageous, Contagious Christianity

Altars in use at the Church of God Regional in Columbus.

By Carl Stagner

Salt does no good inside the shaker. A candle is useless unless it’s lit. Though Jesus called the church both salt and light, many in the Church of God have observed that we’ve not lived up to that description, often shirking back, afraid of the darkness. At the Church of God Regional Convention in Columbus, Ohio, pastors and lay leaders were present, but the especially powerful presence of the Holy Spirit was what really got people talking. The worship, the fellowship, the electives, and the spoken messages seemed finely tuned, clarifying the charge to the Church of God to boldly reclaim what hell has stolen. At a time when life is so widely taken for granted, when signs of true life are hard to find, and when lives are at stake for people around the world, the Church of God Regional Conventions this year are championing life at all stages, all ages, among all races, and under all circumstances. Perhaps like no convention before it, the Regional Convention in Columbus called the Church of God to courageous, contagious Christianity. Continue reading

Missouri Church’s Sports Outreach a Slam Dunk for Local Kids


Photo: Little Hoops basketball competition.

By Carl Stagner

The first time they did it, 72 kids participated. The next year, 93 showed up. This year saw 153 local children! The Little Hoops basketball outreach of First Church of God in Doniphan, Missouri, has exceeded any and all expectations since that first bold attempt at something new a little more than three years ago. While sports ministries have certainly been around for a while, this is the story of a church that decided to do things a little differently. It should be no surprise then that this small-town church with a passion for reclaiming its community for Christ is winning both games and souls. Continue reading

New Book by Jim Lyon Challenges Believers to ‘Jesus B.’

JesusB_by_Jim Lyon_FORWEB

A new book by Jim Lyon, general director of Church of God Ministries, challenges Christians to act with the boldness of Jesus Christ in today’s world. Jesus B. takes the reader through the gospel of Matthew, where Jesus tells his disciples, “I will send you out to fish for people” (Matt 4:19) and challenges us to be “as shrewd as snakes and innocent as doves” (Matt 10:16 NIV) to accomplish his will in the days to come. Continue reading

Change the World: Grant Awardees Revealed at CHOG Convention 2015


By Carl Stagner

Sixty applicants from across the Church of God submitted applications for Change the World, a grant-making initiative announced at last year’s Church of God Convention. In an effort to bring innovative and transformative ministries to fruition, Change the World was designed to give ministry leaders the financial foundation to get off the ground. The question was posed, If there were one thing you could do to change the world, what would it be? Of sixty applicants, six were selected to receive grants. So, who are these grant awardees? Continue reading

CHOG Convention 2015: The Momentum Continues


By Carl Stagner

Last June, sparks from heaven ignited a fire of fervor within the heart of the Church of God. The Church of God has enjoyed more than a century of rich tradition and heritage in the annual convention held in Anderson, Indiana. A landmark relocation to Oklahoma City in 2014 was not the catalyst for this new hope for the future of the movement, but was certainly emblematic of a new day dawning from above. Since the 2014 gathering, the Church of God has embraced “Jesus is the Subject,” congregations have taken new steps to be bold in Jesus’ name and, in many congregations, signs of revival have emerged. Continue reading

CHOG Convention 2015: Deadline Approaches; Clergy Spouse Info


By Carl Stagner

Attention, General Assembly members, pastors, and churches: The deadline for early-bird registration for Church of God Convention 2015 is March 31. Visit www.chogconvention.org today to secure your early-bird rate. Attention, spouses of ministers: You’re not alone. Your unique story—with all those wonderful, and not-so-wonderful, moments—isn’t so unique after all. Wives and husbands of ministers fromacross the Church of God will soon have the chance to meet, share common experiences, and encourage one another. On Tuesday, June 23, during the convention in Oklahoma City, share in the blessing of a special breakfast, as well as the company of some special guests. Continue reading

CHOG Convention 2015: What the Buzz is About


Photo: Convention 2014 attendees in fellowship.

By Carl Stagner

The Be Bold fervor that has swept across the Church of God over the past six months originated at the convention in Oklahoma City in June 2014. A new wind began blowing in the movement that has continued to gain strength to propel us into a brighter future together. Perhaps none can better express this fresh spirit than those who attended the landmark Oklahoma City gathering. Continue reading

CHOG Convention 2015: Be Bold. Reclaim.


Photo: Hands raised in worship at Convention 2014.

By Carl Stagner

Be Bold. Reclaim. These two challenges to the Church of God are the theme of Church of God Convention 2015, June 22–25 at Crossings Community Church in Oklahoma City. Though the 2014 convention is now Church of God history, the need for the movement to be bold in the name of Christ has not ceased. At this year’s convention, a stellar lineup of speakers and worship leaders will encourage pastors and their congregations to boldly reclaim what hell has stolen. It’s time to take back spiritual territory that the devil has conquered. It’s time to stake our movement on Jesus Christ alone. It’s time to rally together for the cause of Christ. CHOG Convention 2015 will be our launch pad. Continue reading

CHOG Convention 2014: A New Day for the Church of God


Photo: Jim Lyon prays over the CHOG TraffickLight team at CHOG Convention 2014 in Oklahoma City.

By Carl Stagner

In Isaiah 43:19, the Lord’s message is heard loud and clear: “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” (NLT). What was true for Judah and Jerusalem still rings true for the Church of God today. The same Creator who brought new life to the Israelites generations ago is still making all things new. Church of God Convention 2014 signaled the onset of a new day, and the creation of new life, for the 134-year-old movement. Continue reading

CHOG Convention 2014: Wednesday Wrap-Up, Thursday Thoughts


Photo: Danny AL-Naser speaks with Jim Lyon in an interview format. Danny shared Wednesday about his amazing conversion from Islam to Christianity.

By Carl Stagner

Guests of the Church of God Convention 2014 were doubly blessed on Wednesday, June 25 as Anne Graham Lotz returned to the pulpit for a second message. From Lotz’s presentation of Revelation 2 to the opportunity for every church to “Change a Life, Change the World” in their own innovative way, Wednesday could be characterized as practical, purposeful, and powerful. Wednesday also included the first business session of the General Assembly, the Heritage Sing-Along, several receptions, the commissioning of missionaries, and a compelling call to evangelism from speaker Dave Stone. Continue reading

CHOG Convention 2014: Tuesday Turns a Page in Our Unfolding Story

Photo: Jim Lyon leads prayer for the new CHOG TraffickLight team, formed to respond to the epidemic of sex trafficking.

Photo: Jim Lyon leads prayer on Tuesday, June 24 for the new CHOG TraffickLight team, formed to respond to the epidemic of sex trafficking.

By Carl Stagner

Better than a cappuccino from the coffee shop at Crossings was a spiritual jolt from God’s Word through Michael Thigpen on Tuesday morning. The second day of the Church of God Convention 2014 began with our movement’s history and rounded out with Revelation. Jesus our Subject transcended all the activities that took place and challenged the Church of God to take up the cause of rescuing children from the epidemic of sex trafficking. Continue reading

CHOG Convention 2014 Opening Day: Refocusing on the Subject


Photo: Jim Lyon speaks on Monday, June 23, 2014.

By Carl Stagner

“The church isn’t the subject. Our history isn’t the subject. Our traditions aren’t the subject. Our location isn’t the subject. Our name isn’t the subject. Jesus is the subject!” Jim Lyon’s words to the Church of God on Monday were clear: the Church of God must make the proclamation of Jesus through word and deed priority again. From the afternoon town hall meeting to the kickoff service with Sidewalk Prophets, the opening day of the Church of God Convention was full of energy, people, and contagious enthusiasm. Continue reading

David Sebastian to Be Honored During CHOG Convention 2014


Photo: David Sebastian

Guests of the Church of God Convention 2014 (June 23–26) in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, will honor the ministry of a pillar of faith in the movement. Plan to attend a reception for Dr. David Sebastian, retiring dean of Anderson University School of Theology and longtime Church of God pastor. Continue reading

CHOG Convention 2014: Reunions, Receptions, and Refreshments


By Carl Stagner

Behind the lights, sound, big-name speakers, and programming of the Church of God Convention 2014, is a family. When Church of God people gather together from coast to coast, inevitably some saint will address another as sister or brother. Even Bill Gaither recognized the family nature of the church in his classic “Family of God” tune. When the Church of God plans a convention, it’s impossible for the family members not to mingle, reacquaint, and make special connections based on shared experiences. Thus, there is now a list* of reunions, receptions, and times of refreshment (and refreshments!). Continue reading