Tag Archives: Great Commission

From the Archives: The Great Commission at Home

By Luz Gonzales

Christ spoke to his disciples and said, “Go into all the world and make disciples” (Matt 28:19). The King James Version says, “to preach the gospel.” Either way you want to read it, this is a command to evangelize the world. You and I—men and women, boys and girls, preachers and laypeople—are privileged to be called of God for this world-evangelization task. However, it seems to me that we commonly misinterpret this text to justify “sending missionaries to a foreign field,” and this is a mistake. Continue reading

From the Archives: The Covenant of Mission

By Maurice Caldwell

“But to each other and to God eternal trueness vow” is a line from a song which celebrates a covenant. When we sing the songs of our pioneers, we echo the covenant concept which permeated their lifestyle. Their songs and their writings contain the authentic accent of covenantal relationships.

Our ancestors understood, also, the purpose of their covenant. They talked about “circling the globe with the truth.” In every generation the church has poured out into the world a multitude of people who have caught the vision and the spirit of God’s mission. Church of God outreach into sixty countries today is based upon the continuing desire to be faithful to clear New Testament guidelines. Continue reading

At the Crossroads: Indiana Churches Initiate Plan to Multiply

The crowded entryway of County Line’s new campus church.

By Carl Stagner

Nate Tatman had no idea how pivotal that moment would be. He’d been in the office of Indiana Ministries when something caught his attention. The map of the state on the wall wasn’t anything new; he remembered seeing it before. But what he hadn’t noticed was the distribution of push pins on the map, which indicated counties that did not have a Church of God congregation. In particular, he noticed this time that there were thirty-seven counties in total with no Church of God congregation. And that’s when things began to get interesting. Continue reading

Phoenix, Oklahoma City Regional Conventions Commission All

Friendships, both old and new, are a Regional Convention highlight.

By Carl Stagner

Two of the five Church of God Regional Conventions 2018 are now history, but their impact is still being felt from Alaska to Alabama. Some may have flown to Arizona to escape winter’s clutch on spring, but they stayed to drink from an oasis in the desert. Others may have descended upon Oklahoma City for the fine barbecue, but they stayed because their cravings were satisfied in the life-giving teaching and fellowship. Still others attended, many as first-time guests of a Church of God convention, because this year’s variety of regional locations afforded them accessibility. Challenged to reclaim what hell has stolen, but inspired to fully embrace the Life, attendees of the first two Regional Conventions ultimately climbed in cars or boarded airplanes to return home, ready and resourced to change the world in Jesus’ name. Continue reading

Triumph After Tragedy: A Developing Story in DuBois, Pennsylvania

Tri County Church celebrates one of many baptisms.

By Carl Stagner

January 23, 2016. A day Tri County Church of God in DuBois, Pennsylvania, will never forget. A day that could have dismantled much of the good that had been accomplished since the dawn of the congregation in 1995. Dave Bish, founding pastor, died suddenly and unexpectedly that day while out on a trail run. Devastation swept across the community, but hell would not prevail. Instead of a downward spiral, the church rallied together in an outpouring of love like they’d never seen before. God had a clear mission for Tri County Church, and neither the remaining leadership nor the new lead pastor would be deterred. As they relate the timeless story of Jesus Christ to the stories of those near and far from God, Tri County Church is inviting everyone into their own developing story in DuBois. Continue reading

Church of God in Latin America Experiences Robust Growth

Photo: Bolivia national camp meeting, Easter 2017.

By David Miller

A report on the “220 Challenge”—Desafío 220 in Spanish—presented to the 2017 Inter-American Conference (IAC), a representative assembly of the nineteen countries in the region, suggests that the Latin American church has grown by nearly one-fifth since 2011. Continue reading

Maryland Church Selected to Receive Funds for Community Transformation

Photo: Pastor Kevin (second from right) with state government staff.

By Carl Stagner

On March 11, the pastor of Accokeek First Church of God in Accokeek, Maryland, represented his congregation during testimony before the Maryland State General Assembly in Annapolis. Kevin Wayne Johnson was humbled to present the church’s plans to help bring about community transformation, even if just for a few minutes. Recently the church was one of three in their entire district to be selected to receive bond bills to enhance the lives of their neighbors. While it was certainly exciting to speak before a gathering of state senators, it was even more exciting to first hear of the funds that would come their way. But for Pastor Kevin, neither experience can compare to the thrill of new opportunities to see lives changed for the cause of Christ. Continue reading

Florida Church Embraces All of Great Commission

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By Carl Stagner

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you…” (Matthew 28:19 NIV). Often used to rally believers to evangelize, the Great Commission isn’t just about evangelism. Pastor Greg Sempsrott doesn’t want anyone to miss the second part of the Great Commission—the “teaching them to obey everything” part. That’s discipleship, and Pastor Greg is committed to making First Church of God in Vero Beach, Florida, a church of disciples making disciples. A figure most churches would love to call their own, First Church in Vero Beach is praising God for 50 percent small-group participation. Now they’re shooting for 60 percent, leaving many curious about their strategy. Continue reading

Boldness in Every Season: The Story of Helen Nelson’s Eleventh-Hour Witness

By Becky McCoy

Bold is…leading others to Christ at age 95.

In September 2012, my mother was in the hospital in Indianapolis due to respiratory problems. On a Friday afternoon, her health started deteriorating, and we called in all the family members who were able, to come and see her. Mom also felt that God was getting ready to take her home. She told all of her children and grandchildren who were there just how much she loved them and how she was ready to go be with the Lord. She also asked me to call my brother, Rev. Steve Nelson, who was pastoring in Louisiana. She needed to tell him also how much she loved him and his family. Continue reading

Tell Your Story! Neville Tan Shares Experiences of Global Evangelism, Discipleship

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By Donna Thomas

Imagine a gathering of the Church of God from around the world. Imagine sitting before Neville, Tan, a special man of God from Singapore. Imagine the joy of hearing his story of once a prisoner in solitary confinement. He uses his experience as to how the Lord came to him, brought him to God, and chose him to change the prison filled with sworn enemies into a chapel of faith and reconciliation. Continue reading