Tom Pelt and Jonathan Absher hiking in Colorado.
By Carl Stagner
At 14,000 feet, the views are breathtaking, but so is the air. Lower levels of oxygen—considered “thin” air—combined with unpredictable weather and potentially hazardous trail conditions, can pose health risks, at minimum, to even the most avid athlete. Hiking alone is not recommended at such altitudes, though many insist on doing so. Church of God pastors Tom Pelt and Jonathan Absher have reveled in the mountaintop experience among Colorado’s highest peaks and have recognized the vivid parallels to ministry. In an effort to see pastors minister at their peak, they’ve championed the holistic health vital to the daily climb. Without reinventing the wheel, but with intentionality and a genuine love for fellow pastors, they’ve taken specific strides in recent years to come alongside pastors, pull them out of isolation into community, and help them reach new heights of wholeness and wellness. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Southeast
Tagged accountability, adventure, adventuring, AL, Alabama, Andrew Pelt, Bessemer, Blog, body, Bradenton, burnout, coach, coaching, cohort, Colorado, community, conversations, discipleship, discussion, emotional, exercise, fitness, FL, Florida, group, health, healthy, heart, hiking, holistic, intellectual, isolation, Jonathan Absher, meeting, meetup, mentoring, mentors, mind, ministerial health, ministers, mountains, outdoors, pastoral health, pastors, Peak Pastors, physical, relational, resource, Rock Creek Church of God, Rocky Mountains, soul, spiritual, strength, summit, TCAB, team, The Church at Bradenton, Tom Pelt, tool, trail guide, training, video, website, Zoom
Tom Planck leading a CHOG conference at Exponential 2019.
By Carl Stagner
We’re simply not keeping up. Statistics show 4,000 churches are planted each year in the United States and 3,700 churches close. That leaves a gain of only three hundred churches. The overall population continues to rise, while the number of churches to reach people with the gospel lags behind. Perhaps now, more than ever, it’s time to change the conversation on church planting. That’s precisely what Tom Planck and Healthy Growing Churches are doing. The Church of God pastor and church planter is now actively pouring into the hearts of churches and regions to reverse a trend through basic math—multiplication. The numbers are starting to turn in their favor, as multiplication in the Midwest has captured fresh interest and mobilized existing churches like never before. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God
Tagged church growth, church multiplication, church planter, church planting, coaching, Crossroads 37, disciple-making, discipleship, discipling, evangelism, expansion, Greg Weins, Healthy Growing Churches, HGC, Indiana, Indiana Ministries, mentoring, Michigan, Midwest, multi-site, multiplication, Ohio, partnership, regional pastors, relaunch, reproduction, Tom Planck
Photo: Dale Gruver
By Carl Stagner
You know it when you see it—that deep love for Jesus, visibly overflowing from a heart that understands the gravity of what the Savior has done. It’s truly contagious, clearly communicating the reality of Christ to a world devoid of hope. Dale Gruver’s got it, and believes everyone can have it, too. Widely known for high-energy, joy-filled worship leading, Dale was called first and foremost to preach the gospel. After nearly a decade-and-a-half of providing worship leadership for the local church, camp meetings, and conferences, Dale accepted a senior pastorate in Alliance, Ohio, with similar enthusiasm. Though Dale’s full embrace of God’s call only came to pass a couple of years ago, extensive investment from mentors and his wide variety of ministry experiences prepared the man who rises to the pulpit at First Church of God. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Great Lakes
Tagged Alliance, associate pastor, Ben Murphy, Clint Dunn, coaching, Dale Gruver, enthusiasm, First Church of God, impact, influence, Jim Lyon, Jimmy Swogger, joy, mentor, mentoring, music, OH, Ohio, senior pastor, singing, vision, worship, worship leader
Photo: Worship at The Table.
By Heidi Tarin
When Jon Simmonds felt the call to plant a church, he didn’t know what he was getting into. He didn’t necessarily follow the set play book for planters and his church, The Table, in St. Peters, Missouri, is not your average church plant. Jon had been in ministry for over a decade and was serving as a youth pastor when he felt led to plant a church. He gathered a team and they began meeting as a small group in January 2015. Just a few months later, the Table’s story starts to deviate from normal. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Central
Tagged church plant, church planting, coaching, Gary Kendall, Healthy Growing Churches, Heidi Tarin, HGC, Jon Simmonds, merger, Missouri, Rory Romine, Saint Peters, St. Peters, The Table