Photo: Kevin Earley celebrating at NIYC 2019.
By Carl Stagner
Every year, while others are recovering from Christmas and preparing for New Year’s Eve, teens and adults from across the Church of God meet up for one of the most important events in the life of the movement. December 27–31 may seem like an unusual time* for a church convention, but those who make the effort to travel to the host city of the National Inspirational Youth Convention (NIYC) of the Church of God for the last few days of the year are never disappointed. NIYC 2019 was no different; souls were refreshed, leaders were developed, and lives were forever changed. The ball may have dropped for a tightly packed crowd of partiers in Times Square, but the year ended with preaching, prayer, and praise in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God
Tagged African American, black, Brian Burton, Carron Odokara, Cheryl Sanders, conference, convention, Ed Foggs, gathering, Kevin Earley, Leo Robinson, Michael Copeland, Miosha, multi-ethnic, multicultural, NACOG, National Association of the Church of God, National Inspirational Youth Convention, New Year, New Year's Day, New Year's Eve, NIYC, NIYC 2019, NIYC2019, PA, Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, Precious Earley, Ron Fowler, Timothy Clarke
By Carl Stagner
“I’ll be home for Christmas” might be the popular refrain among families spread across North America this time of year, but often included among those who can’t be home for the holidays are our Church of God missionaries. While there are some aspects of the season they miss—family, friends, foods, and familiar sights and sounds—there are some things about Christmas in America that they’ve learned to live without. Looking past the rampant commercialization and materialism attached to the holiday here, Christmas celebrations in many other countries have their own appeal, and have much to teach us, too. The Church of God in Côte d’Ivoire offers one example. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Global Strategy
Tagged Advent, Africa, African, all-night, all-nighter, Bobby Mihsill, Children of Promise, Christmas, Christmas Eve, Cote d'Ivoire, Global Strategy, holiday season, Ivory Coast, Jenny Mihsill, Larry Sellers, LeAnn Sellers, memories, Mihsills, New Year, New Year's Day, New Year's Eve, Sellers, Sellerses, traditions, vigil, West Africa
Launch Day at Avenue Church back in September.
By Carl Stagner
For many, the New Year is a chance to start over. Until recently, the Church of God in Ontario, Ohio, had experienced a season of decline and desperately needed a fresh start. But this congregation wasn’t about to wait until the dawn of 2019 to get moving again. A new pastor, a new name, a new structure, and a new vision—all in just seven months—have proven catalytic in the turnaround Avenue Church is currently experiencing. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Great Lakes
Tagged Avenue Church, baptism, baptize, change, church growth, church health, Church on the Ave, church turnaround, community, discipleship, Jesus Is the Subject, Logo, Mansfield, name change, Nate Hultz, Nathan Hultz, new, New Year, OH, Ohio, Ontario, relaunch, revival, spiritual growth, stories, turnaround
Worship at the NIYC.
By Carl Stagner
In the Church of God, the summer months are known for conventions and camp meetings. A variety of retreats and conferences often take place in the spring and the fall. But as the chill of winter sets in across much of the country, few spiritual retreats and getaways are available. In the wake of the commonly exhausting Christmas season, in view of the blues caused by all the grays outside, and in response to cabin fever, perhaps winter is when retreat is most vital! Thankfully, the Church of God has an answer—the National Inspirational Youth Convention (NIYC). Between Christmas and the end of the year, believers spanning generations and racial lines come together for an annual experience of worship, community, and renewal as the New Year dawns. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Youth Ministries
Tagged Christmas, convention. conference, Diana Swoope, generations, Kevin Earley, multicultural, multiethcnic, multigenerational, National Inspirational Youth Convention, New Year, New Year's, NIYC, NIYC 2018, oneness, race, racial unity, Reconciliation, retreat, student ministries, unity, VA, Virginia, Virginia Beach, winter, youth leaders, youth ministries, youth ministry
By William H. Jones
If churches and ministers take on these resolutions as goals and work hard at achieving them, it will go a long way in bringing much fruit in the coming year.
1. We will keep our church clean. We will check regularly to make sure restrooms, children’s areas, and the kitchen are clean and not cluttered.
2. We will teach the blessing of the tithe. God promised to bless us if we did it. You find this in Malachi! Fear of speaking about tithing and generous giving robs Christ-followers of experiencing God’s promised blessing. Continue reading