Detroit-area Church of God leaders gathered together.
By Carl Stagner
Unity, one of the Movement’s foundational doctrines, has, for too long, been preached but not practiced. The move from theory to practice, from conceptual to functional, is desperately needed, and is possible when Jesus is the subject. Church of God congregations in the Michigan cities of Detroit and Flint, for example, understand this. That’s why they’ve come together to worship the Lord and to partner for the betterment of the cities. When the people of God are united, not only is the community better off, but so is the church. In southeastern Michigan, a historic fall gathering demonstrated this blessed reality. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Great Lakes
Tagged Albert Grant, better together, Church of God of Detroit, community service, cooperation, Detroit, doctrine, Flint, laity, local churches, Metropolitan Church of God, MI, Michigan, parachurch, partnership, relational connectivity, revival, southeastern Michigan, united, unity
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
Posted in All Church of God, Youth Ministries
Tagged Andy Stephenson, CHOGY, Church at the Crossing, Concilio Hispano, conference, convention, functional unity, high school, Hispanic Council, Indiana, Indianapolis, IYC, Kevin Earley, middle school, multi-ethnic, multicultural, NIYC, ONE Event, Ramon Rivera, relational connectivity, student ministries, students, together, unity, youth, youth ministries
Photo: Pastor Carlos Lamelas baptizing a believer on Feb. 5.
By Carl Stagner
Pastor Malcolm Tyree described it as a “Super Sunday,” but not because of a certain football game between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons. What happened on Sunday, February 5, at New Vida Church of God in Dallas, Texas, was nothing short of incredible, especially in light of all that had transpired over the past year. Eleven people were baptized, ranging in ages from six to sixty. Wonderful, sure. But not so uncommon. Uncommon was that these individuals represented multiple cultures originating from the United States, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Cuba. Such celebration came on the heels of a year of transition which saw the finalization of the merger between a Spanish-speaking and an English-speaking congregation. But for New Vida Church of God—once New Life Fellowship and Iglesia de Dios Vida Abundante—this wasn’t the grand finale. This is just the beginning. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Central
Tagged baptism, baptized, bilingual, Carlos Lamelas, Dallas, diversity, functional unity, Iglesia de Dios, Jesus Is the Subject, language, Malcolm Tyree, merge, merger, multicultural, multiethnic, multilingual, New Life Fellowship, New Vida Church of God, ONE, oneness, relational connectivity, Spanish, Texas, united, unity, Vida Abundante
By James Earl Massey
[Be] eager to maintain the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. —Ephesians 4:3 RSV
Human contacts can at times be burdensome. Strained relations can happen in many ways: there is strain when our opinions clash, when our cultures differ, when our individual expectations are diverse, and when our personal interests are separate—and strong. Unless the spirit of community prevails in these times of strain, any oneness is thwarted. Unity is a divine gift, but we believers can experience that oneness only as we let it happen through open sharing with one another. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God
Tagged community, diversity, divided, divisions, fellowship, From the Archives, functional unity, James Earl Massey, multicultural, oneness, relational connectivity, together, togetherness, united, unity, Vital Christianity
Photo: Youth worship at Arizona Youth Camp 2016.
By Carl Stagner
Incredible things happen when churches sacrifice their own agendas and ministry plans to unite under the banner of Christ. Apart from each other, congregations are making great strides to advance the kingdom. But together, they can do what none could accomplish alone. In Arizona, students and youth leaders are setting the example for their older counterparts. Organized youth gatherings had ceased, yet the need for relational connectivity was palpable. The budget for a major production did not exist but, working together, several churches could make a life-changing convention possible. For the past five years, they’ve made it a reality. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Western, Youth Ministries
Tagged Arcadia City, Arizona, better together, Cody Bracy, Gathering Place, Glendale, Kayla Harden, MCDowell Mountain, Mountain Park, North Hills, Phoenix, relational connectivity, Scottsdale, state youth convention, students, united, unity, West Side, worship, worship band, worship team, youth, youth camp