Amanda (far left) and team wearing aprons symbolizing servanthood.
By Carl Stagner
They don’t have their own building, and they won’t be renting a school or a movie theater as they grow. They have no ambition to get big; in fact, they’ll multiply before they ever attract a crowd. They’re not looking to raise up associate pastors who will open a second campus. If they had a website, you wouldn’t find service times listed. The Foundry, based in Columbia City, Indiana, is not your typical church plant. It’s a “fresh expression” of church, and it’s designed to train disciples to use their spiritual gifts to make more disciples—at home, at work, and at play. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Great Lakes
Tagged Amanda Daniel, church multiplication, Columbia City, community, creative, creative approaches, creativity, discipleship, discipleship groups, Doug Talley, everyday discipleship, everyday evangelism, experiment, experimental, fresh expressions, fresh ideas, Healthy Growing Churches, HGC, house church, IN, Indiana, Indiana Ministries, leadership development, missional communities, multiplication, multiply, network, new ideas, outreach, spiritual gifts, The Foundry, Tom Planck
Photo: Lillie S. McCutcheon
By Megan DeBruyn
The Church of God movement is one born out of a devout commitment to telling the ongoing story of how God is at work among his people. The Church of God is in the business of changing the world around them by making Jesus the subject, and by demonstrating the love of Christ, just as Jesus did. A large part of this narrative, that is both historical and still permeates into congregational discourse communities today, is the role of women within the scope of the movement. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God
Tagged female, gender equality, Lillie McCutcheon, Lordstown, Newton Falls, OH, Ohio, Shannon New-Spangler, spiritual gifts, women clergy, women in ministry, women ministers, women pastors
Photo: Nowata laypeople ministering to kids through VBS.
By Carl Stagner
The forces of hell have stolen a lot from God’s church over the years. One is the notion that the work of the local church is the responsibility of the whole congregation, not just the pastor. Indeed, the job of ministry does not rest solely on the pastor’s shoulders! Over time, many churches have fallen prey to the lie that the pastor is charged with doing just about anything and everything for them—after all, he or she does get paid, right? Inevitably we’re left with a shepherd on the verge of burnout, and a congregation devoid of disciples. But one Oklahoma congregation, in particular, is doing it right. The pastors of First Church of God in Nowata have unleashed their laypeople to reclaim what hell has stolen in their community. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Central
Tagged body of Christ, church growth, community, congregational ministry, First Church of God, Jared Fields, lay leaders, laypeople, Nowata, OK, Oklahoma, outreach, recovery groups, service projects, spiritual gifts, transformation, Wendell Abbott
Would a woman pastor be welcome “in your neighborhood”?
By Jeff Matas
How did we fall so far? Mention women in leadership in the Church of God, or more pointedly, women in senior leadership, and you will hear the same response from pastors and congregants: “Nothing wrong with women in leadership. Nothing wrong with women as lead pastors. But that won’t work here.” Continue reading
By Carl Stagner
His home church is Church at the Crossing in Indianapolis, but he’s not on staff. He loves to creatively share the gospel with others, but he’s not a pastor. Larry Holycross is just one man, doing the work God has called him to do. Using his spiritual gift of creative communication and the arts, as well as his gift of teaching, Larry reminds every person-in-the-pew that God’s kingdom advances through the whole body of Christ, not just the pastor. Continue reading
Church of God Ministries (CGM) is delaying the full release of its new generation of discipleship resources known as New Life Together to allow the new CGM general director and his team to assess the ministry needs of the church. Details about that strategy will be announced in the coming months. However, two core books of the New Life Together program are being released in November. Continue reading
By Barb Ferraro
Everyone is divinely designed! The Bible tells us that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Ps 139:14). God has created and designed us with a purpose in mind. As followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, we have been wired to care about some things more than others. When you know your God-given passion, spiritual gifts, and personal style, you have a better idea of how you can serve others in a fruitful and fulfilled way. Continue reading