Tag Archives: high school

Church Steps Out in Faith for the Children, Teens of Atwater, California

Some of the youth group of First Church of God.

By Carl Stagner

Take a look at 2100 Fruitland Ave, Atwater, California, on Google Maps. What you’ll find is that First Church of God is literally a stone’s throw away from Atwater High School. The front-row seat the California congregation has to roughly 1,800 students and their families is certainly incredible, but the church hasn’t sat down to enjoy the scenery. They’ve seized a number of opportunities God has presented them to minister to these teens and their families. What’s more, through their preschool established in 1964, they minister to children who one day accept their diplomas right across the street. Recently the church stepped out in faith to expand the preschool facility, as teachers reap the benefits of a Fruitland Christian School early education, and as parents on a waiting list eagerly knock on the door. Continue reading

ONE Gives Students Glimpse of Heaven, Desire to Change the World Together

By Carl Stagner

Some had likely never worshiped in Spanish before. Others had probably never experienced firsthand the high-octane energy of urban gospel. History suggests that few had likely ever been in a setting where three cultures converged in the name of Christ. But that’s exactly what happened at the first-ever ONE event, which took place at Church at the Crossing in Indianapolis, Indiana, on April 21 and 22. The result was a glimpse of heaven and a renewed desire to change the world together. Continue reading

Youth to Participate in Historic Unity Event this April

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By Carl Stagner

It’s at the core of who we are. We preach about it. We sing about it. We read books about it by pioneers of our movement. But we don’t have a flawless record of living it out. The perfect love which unites us all in Jesus must translate to how we function as individual churches and as a movement. A new generation is rising up in the Church of God less connected to “the way we’ve always done it.” They are challenging the status quo; they are daring to do things differently. They’re setting the example for the rest of us as they come together in Indianapolis, Indiana, April 21–22 to worship under one roof. No, it’s not the International Youth Convention. No, it’s not NIYC. And no, it’s also not a youth convention of the Concilio Hispano. It’s ONE gathering, hosted by all three groups, that your church’s youth group won’t want to miss. Continue reading

IYC, NIYC and Concilio Hispano Youth to Hold Unity Event in 2017

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By Carl Stagner

Two of our partners in ministry celebrate vibrant youth ministry outside of involvement in the International Youth Convention, including the National Association’s NIYC (National Inspirational Youth Convention) and the student ministries of the Hispanic Council (Concilio Hispano). For many youth in the Church of God, IYC is not the pinnacle of their year; NIYC or the youth events of the Hispanic Council take that description. It is with great anticipation then, that in 2017, students of IYC, NIYC, and the Hispanic Council will come together for a groundbreaking unity event. ONE will gather youth across ethnic and cultural lines together under the banner of Christ to worship and serve together. When unity becomes more than just talk, incredible things begin to happen. Continue reading

IYC2016: A Generation Rising

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Photo: Worship with thousands of students at IYC2016.

By Carl Stagner

Words fail to adequately describe the total impact of the fiftieth International Youth Convention of the Church of God on students and leaders alike. Four consecutive days at the beginning of July 2016 proved to be transformational for untold numbers gathered in the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in downtown San Antonio, Texas. Reports have already surfaced of first-time commitments to Christ, rededications, renewed hope, and calls to ministry. Though the previous forty-nine conventions were powerful and life-changing, even veteran leaders are citing something uniquely incredible about the move of the Holy Spirit at IYC2016. From the high-intensity worship, to the no-holds-barred messages of truth and grace, to the citywide service projects and the Silent Walk, IYC2016 offered the perfect conditions for life-changing encounters with the living God. Continue reading

Church’s Vision for Children Yields Life-Giving Public School Partnerships

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Collage: Plantation High School outreach.

By Carl Stagner

“I was in one of our Sunday morning worship services in the summer of 2015. The Lord prompted me to look at Judges 2:10, which describes a generation that knew not the Lord nor his works. Then I looked out over our congregation and saw youth and children dispersed among the crowd. Most were engaged in the worship service, but there were a few that were completely disconnected and apparently disinterested. My heart was burdened for them. I was convicted in that moment to reevaluate how we do church, our focus, etc. Are we having church around and above the heads of our children? It was frightening to me to come to the realization that many of our children are ‘church kids,’ but not born-again Christians.” This realization changed Pastor D. H. Dawkins’ approach to ministry planning and practice. Less than half a year into what has been dubbed the Year of Children and Youth, no one at Praise Tabernacle International regrets this fundamental shift. Continue reading

The 50th International Youth Convention: History to Repeat Itself

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Photo: IYC1948 in Charleston, West Virginia.

By Levi Scott

On June 20, 1924, what we now call the International Youth Convention of the Church of God was just beginning to take shape. For the first time in the history of the Church of God, there was an entire day of Anderson Camp Meeting devoted to young people. Back then it was called the Convention Youth Day. Influential leaders of the time, such as J. A. Morrison, Frances Tallen, and others spoke to both youth and other church congregants about the challenges that youth faced in their context. These speakers encouraged, warned, and ministered to many young people that day, but they were likely unaware of the plans that God began to put into action at that time. Shortly thereafter, Convention Youth Days became an annual occurrence. A look back over the past fifty IYCs reveals an experience that has shaped not only the life of young people who attended these services, but the Church of God itself. Continue reading

IYC2016: The 50th International Youth Convention

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By Carl Stagner

The Super Bowl won’t be the only event celebrating number fifty in 2016. The Church of God is excited to announce its fiftieth International Youth Convention, July 2–5 in San Antonio, Texas. IYC first came about in the early 1920s and has taken different forms, locations, and frequencies. Anticipating an extraordinary move of the Holy Spirit at the next IYC, churches are taking advantage of early-bird savings on registration, available through March 24. Continue reading

EndZone: A “Fifth Quarter” Ministry of First Church, Tallmadge, Ohio

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By Holly Schoenstein

A ministry program for Tallmadge Middle School and High School students after the high school’s home football games on Fridays is continuing to grow. “EndZone, Tallmadge Fifth Quarter,” a program of First Church of God in Tallmadge, Ohio, takes place at the church after all of the high school’s home football games from 8:30 PM to 11:45 PM. October 9 and October 30 are the last program dates for this season. Continue reading

Ohio Church Offers Prom Dresses Laced with Love

Recently, Maiden Lane Church of God in Springfield, Ohio, held a prom dress giveaway. Many teen girls were afforded the opportunity to attend prom which, for some, might have otherwise been cost-prohibitive due to the expensive nature of prom dresses. Though atypical of what churches typically donate, each dress was laced with the love of Christ. The video above tells this encouraging story.

Learn more about the Church of God at www.JesusIsTheSubject.org.

Marysville, WA, Congregation Responds Swiftly to School Shooting

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Photo: The Living Room Coffee House, used lately as a place of comfort and healing for those grieving after the Marysville, Washington tragedy.

By Carl Stagner

“Exactly two weeks after our grand opening, I was at work at the golf course and I received a text from my daughter Jordan, who is a sophomore at Marysville Pilchuck High School. The text said, ‘HELP!’” The urgent message sent to Mike Reynolds, pastor of Hillside Church in Marysville, Washington, was certainly not the kind that any parent hopes to receive. The October 24 school shooting hit too close to home for the Reynolds family, who had just celebrated the opening of a coffee shop ministry adjacent to the worship center. While Jordan’s life was spared, the trauma and grief left in the wake of the shooting has led the four-year-old Church of God congregation to offer their coffee house as a place of comfort and healing. Continue reading

Church of God Students Gear Up for Community Service at IYC2014

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On July 5, nearly five-thousand high school students and their youth leaders from all over North America—with representatives from Italy, Bangladesh, Australia, and Jordan—will gather in Nashville, Tennessee, for the 49th biennial International Youth Convention (IYC) of the Church of God (Anderson, Indiana). On the afternoon of Monday, July 7, these students will give back to the city of Nashville by serving the community in hopes of making a difference. Continue reading

Post-Game Party…at the Church!

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By Nancy Crass

In 2011, our pastor, Marc Rice, left on a sabbatical in the summer. We believed this sabbatical could serve Marc and his family as a time of refreshing and renewal, and it could serve the church in a similar manner. A “Dare to Dream” dinner was held to help solicit some fresh ideas regarding how our church could better minister to each other, the community, and beyond. One suggestion put forth by our serving interim pastor, Dr. David New, was a “Fifth Quarter” activity to be hosted by our church after each Friday night home high school football game. Certainly the proximity of the Montesano High School campus and athletic fields lent itself well to the idea. It was a bit of an aha moment, accompanied by, “Why didn’t we think of that?” Continue reading