Tag Archives: relationships

When Ministry Gets Messy: A Washington Church’s Incarnational Approach

RCC team at work on a Service Project Sunday.

By Carl Stagner

“In the beginning was the Word, as the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1 NIV). Community was whole and pristine, at the beginning, in the Garden of Eden. But the thief, who comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10), did exactly that. Community was ruptured between humanity and God, and between one another. Since the Fall, God has been working to restore that community, to bring people back to himself. Did you know he’s chosen to use you and me to accomplish the task? But we’ve lost our sense of community, downplayed the power of presence, and ignored the methods of Jesus. Our neighbors are crying out for hope all around us, we hear their voices, but we’d prefer to write a check to the nearest charity. We don’t want to get our hands dirty. In contrast, Roosevelt Community Church, a modest-size Church of God congregation in Bellingham, Washington, is taking back what hell has stolen and destroyed in their neighborhood. They’re boldly giving life where the enemy of our souls has snatched it away, simply by being in, for, and with their community. Continue reading

Delaware Church Strategy: Surprising the World with God’s Love

Pastor Edward and Jean Cross.

By Carl Stagner

After forty-seven years shepherding the flock at New Community Church of God in Wilmington, Delaware, Pastor Edward Cross has made more than a few observations about the surrounding culture. For example, there’s a prevailing suspicion that nothing’s ever really free, and if you’ve got something to offer, you must want something in return. But by building authentic relationships in the community, not just hosting events and doing more programs, the Delaware congregation is catching a few people off guard—in a good way! They’re demonstrating that they really do care, surprising the world with God’s love. Continue reading

Marriage Matters and Miracles in Bolivia

Chris and Trini

By Paul Jones

We met Chris and Trini about five years ago. The Lord had impressed upon us the desperate need to start working in the area of marriage and family. We were looking for ten couples that could be trained to serve in this important ministry. Kattia had taught the ladies’ group at one of our local congregations when she saw a young lady, Trini, that caught her attention. After talking with her, Kattia invited her and her husband to form part of our marriage courses. Trini explained that her husband Chris was no longer attending church, but they were included anyway. This couple showed up to the first seminar. When we had a meet-and-greet time, Chris could hardly speak; we found out he was very introverted and speaking in front of even a small group made him panic. But God’s ways are always right, and his plans are perfect! Continue reading

From the Archives: If We Are to Change the World

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By Ann Smith

When did you last talk about changing the world? We say that winning people to Jesus Christ is the most important thing in our lives. We say that is why the Church exists. But I don’t think we actually practice it. Maybe we don’t really believe it.

If we really believed that winning the world for Christ is the purpose for which the Church exists, it seems to me that we would be living and operating in entirely different ways. We are concerned about perpetuating our programs. We want to make sure that everything goes smoothly and that our programs survive. Sometimes our programs just get in the way of what God wants us to do. Continue reading