Tag Archives: Healthy Growing Churches

A Visit with the Church of God in Hungary

Joe Cookston (far left) prays at the commissioning of the plant.

By Carl Stagner

Joe Cookston has worn a variety of hats in the Church of God in his lifetime of ministry. Currently he’s most well-known across the Movement for his leadership of CARE—the Clergy Advocacy and Resource Effort. But he’s also served faithfully in a number of important areas, including the local church. One role may not be as familiar to many in the Movement, and that is the position he holds as nonresident board member for the Church of God Hungary. In August and September, Joe and his wife Merry visited Hungary, a place that has become quite familiar and beloved by the ministry duo. Joe and Merry have since returned from the encouraging experience, blessed to report on the opportunities God is opening up in the Eastern European nation. Continue reading

Church Merger a Stark Contrast to Divided Culture

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Photo: Brad Ruggles (left) and Matt Gaylor (right) celebrate unity!

By Carl Stagner

“People can find all kinds of reasons to be divided today. But we found one to be united.” Matt Gaylor, engagement pastor of the new Nspire Church in Westfield, Indiana, couldn’t be more excited about what God is up to in the growing city just north of Indianapolis. As the pastor who helped restart and reclaim New Life Church of God as CitySpring Church in the early part of this decade, Matt had every reason to continue down the successful path he was on. But God had other plans. These plans wouldn’t involve him leaving CitySpring, but they would involve change. And they would prove to be a powerful witness for Christ. Continue reading

No Ordinary Church Plant: The Table, St. Peters, Missouri

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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

Releasing Southeast: Indiana Church Learns to Delegate Responsibility

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By Heidi Tarin

Today, I spoke with Ryan Carrell, founding pastor of the Southeast Project, a church on the southeast side of Indianapolis, Indiana. I tried for two weeks to connect with Ryan to hear about their recent three-year anniversary. As a church planter in a portable church, he has many irons in the fire. When I finally caught him, he so honestly shared some of what was keeping him busy—he was releasing Southeast. 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

Maximum Impact: Virginia and Maryland Congregations Unite

By Carl Stagner

Harvey Edge was a young evangelist in the Church of God who once spoke at a series of revivals in northern Virginia. Out of his work, the Fairfax church was born. It was his preaching at another revival in Maryland that led to the birth of the Church of God congregation in Rockville, Maryland. That Rockville congregation ultimately became Lakewood Church of God in Clarksburg, Maryland. Now, eighty-five years later, Fairfax and Clarksburg join a common heritage with a common ministry. Continue reading