Volunteers from Highland Park assist local community for veterans.
By Carl Stagner
Sometimes, on the scale of size and influence, smaller churches can feel insignificant. The truth is that the impact of the smaller churches among us cannot be overstated. The Church of God in Gloucester City, New Jersey, for example, has a rich history of impact for the kingdom. Highland Park Church of God also has benefited from pastoral longevity; as senior pastor Bill Dilks prepares for retirement later this year after twenty years, associate pastor Debra Conner surveys the faithfulness of Highland Park, encouraging the congregation to press on in ministry during this time of transition. Through community partnership, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, the New Jersey church believes God will do many more amazing things in their midst. But they’re not waiting for some elusive big breakthrough to live out their purpose—Highland Park carries on the work of the gospel, even in the face of adversity. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Northeast
Tagged adversity, Bill Dilks, blessing, celebration, city, community, Debra Conner, dreams, faithfulness, Gloucester City, GriefShare, growth, healthy churches, Highland Park Church of God, hurdles, interim, longevity, meeting needs, men's ministry, ministry transition, mission, missional, need, New Jersey, NJ, outreach, partnership, pastoral longevity, Philadelphia, plans, programs, small church, smaller church, struggle, the struggle is real, turnaround, urban, Vacation Bible School, VBS, victory, vision, William Dilks, women's ministry, youth
Photo: Handel Smith speaks at First Church of God.
By Carl Stagner
Pastor Scott Andrews farms for a living. He also serves as interim pastor for First Church of God in Poplar Bluff, Missouri. His experience as a bivocational interim pastor hasn’t precluded him, however, from ministering through some of the most challenging and blessed times. In fact, it’s often the interim pastor who is called to walk congregations through the difficulties of church-wide transition. But the story unfolding at First Church of God isn’t just about an interim, bivocational pastor who sows seeds of hope in addition to corn. The story there is about a church that was struggling, uncertain of its future, and nursing the wounds of broken relationships. This is a story of reconciliation and restoration at the southeastern edge of the Ozarks. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Central
Tagged bi-vocational, bivocational, boot camp, farming, First Church of God, Handel Smith, healing, interim, Missouri, Poplar Bluff, Reconciliation, Scott Andrews, unity