Tag Archives: stewardship

A Year of Living with Less: Ohio Pastor’s Family Accepts Radical Challenge

The Deeter family.

By Carl Stagner

No more trinkets or toys. No more new clothes or that pair of shoes you’ve just got to have. No more DVDs, home décor, or kitchen appliances—even if they’re on sale! Absolutely no more trips to the department store or the mall simply to browse the selection—that would be too tempting. Josh Deeter, pastor of First Church of God in Tallmadge, Ohio, and his wife Emily, accepted the challenge early this year to make 2018 their “year of living with less.” The goal: to stop buying things for an entire year. Don’t worry—they’re still buying deodorant, tooth paste, food to eat, and necessary items that break. Half-way through the year, they’ve learned a lot about themselves, how much God has truly blessed them, and that living with less can mean living for so much more. Continue reading

Jesus, Stewardship, and KFC: Minnesota Church Seizes Local, Global Opportunities

Children’s ministry at New Life Church of God.

By Carl Stagner

In a town of fewer than 500 people, 100 to 110 children and youth can be found hanging out at one local hot spot in Bertha, Minnesota: New Life Church of God. A hub of community activity and a beacon of hope, the church is uniquely positioned to reach the next generation for Christ. Seizing the opportunity God’s given them, they’ve placed special emphasis on their youth ministry and their children’s ministry, which is called Kids For Christ (KFC). While New Life Church of God nears their final mortgage payment this year, they’re definitely not waiting to walk through every open door for the kingdom locally, nationally, and globally. Continue reading

Christ’s Birthday Observance Readies the Church of God for Christmas

By Shelly Short

The word Advent is derived from the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming.” The Advent season lasts for four Sundays. This year’s Advent begins on Sunday, December 3, and, as always, ends on Sunday, December 24. The Advent celebration is both a commemoration of Christ’s first coming and an anticipation of his second coming. As Israel longed for their Messiah to come, so Christians long for their Savior to come again. Please join Christian Women Connection for the 2017 Christ’s Birthday Observance as we celebrate the birth of Christ collectively and say, “Come Lord Jesus.” Continue reading

Missouri Church Takes Bold Step to Eliminate Debt

Photo: First Church mortgage going up in flames.

By Carl Stagner

Two thousand years ago, Jesus paid the debt we could not pay. His victory over death became our victory, setting us free to experience new life and share it with others. Until freedom reigns, debt has a way of holding us back, enslaving us to our past. First Church of God in Jefferson City, Missouri, found themselves in this very predicament. While thankful for the grace that covers their spiritual debt, the debt that stared them down, barring the way forward, was financial. This debt kept them from experiencing God’s best and embracing the future he’d planned for them. Then, early last year, the capital city congregation fixed their eyes on Christ and boldly stepped out of the boat. Continue reading

South Korean Chooses Generosity Over Knee Surgery

Photo: Pastor Moon and his wife with Bokja Lee (center).

By Carl Stagner

If you’ve ever stood in need of knee surgery, you know the kind of pain she was in. She’d saved approximately $17,000 (US) and used it all. Every last penny. Today she’s still in tremendous pain, but not because the surgery was unsuccessful or because she’s on a long road to recovery. She decided to forego the operation, but not because it was too risky or because she got cold feet. Instead of using the money for herself, she was impressed by the Spirit to give it all away. Bokja Lee chose to support a building project in the Philippines over paying for knee surgery, and she puts up with the constant reminder every day. This is the story of her radical generosity. Continue reading

Children of Promise Establishes Endowment with CHOG Foundation

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Photo: Art Clawson and Kirk Bookout celebrate the new endowment.

By Carl Stagner

This year, Children of Promise celebrates twenty-five years of forever changing the course of children’s lives around the world. Since the beginning, more than 12,000 children have received nutrition, education, medical care, and spiritual formation because of the child sponsorship ministry of the Church of God. Kicking off a year of celebrations that will give God glory for the past twenty-five years—and looking ahead to what God will do over the next twenty-five-plus years—Children of Promise established an endowment with the Church of God Foundation. The Sidney and Jean Ratzlaff Johnson Endowment will enable transformational ministry to continue for generations to come, all the while honoring the legacy of two exceptional individuals. Continue reading

Olympia-Lacey Children’s Ministry Joins the Movement

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Photo: Children on the move at Olympia-Lacey block party.

By Carl Stagner

There’s no question the children’s ministry at Olympia-Lacey Church of God in Washington State is a part of the Movement. After all, it’s a part of Olympia-Lacey Church of God. But there’s another kind of movement taking place among us; a movement within the movement. It’s that movement which is presently making waves across the Church of God and inspiring the young to set an example for the young at heart. Continue reading

It Takes a Team: An Interview with CHOG Ministries’ Elizabeth Miller

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Photo: Elizabeth Miller

By Carl Stagner

How much do you know about what goes on inside the office at Church of God Ministries? Who conducts the necessary office work so others may travel the world with the hope of Christ? It’s the behind-the-scenes work that enables Church of God Ministries to carry out the work of our Lord. When you support the unrestricted portion of the World Ministries Budget, you support our missionaries, our projects at home and abroad, and so much more. In the following interview, get to know one of the faces behind the scenes. Her name is Elizabeth Miller, and your support of the “basic budget” makes her vital ministry possible. Continue reading

Church of God Ministries Announces Relocation Plan

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In consultation with the Ministries Council and a variety of advisors, Church of God Ministries has made the difficult decision to relocate from its present location. The decision was reached following months of meticulous research, dialogue with ecclesiastical and community partners, and careful consideration of every plausible option. Due to the excessive and increasing costs of building operation and maintenance, the Ministries Council unanimously endorsed the decision of the Church of God Ministries executive team to relocate the organization. A five-year lease is now pending with the Madison Trace office complex located near Exit 219 along Interstate 69. Continue reading

Faith Promise: Embark on a Spiritual Adventure

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By Carl Stagner

Money unusually attained, deliberately retained, surprisingly regained, or intentionally maintained. For some it might be a tax refund or a holiday bonus. For others it might be an unexpected gift or a time of fasting from eating out. All are just a few of the ways Church of God people have met and surpassed pledges to give back to the Lord through a spiritual adventure known as Faith Promise. Beyond regular tithes and offerings, Faith Promise offers the chance to exercise faith’s muscle and walk with God into the unknown, believing he will provide. As you help your church reach its goal, the Lord might lead you to step out of the boat, but rest assured! On this adventure, participants find themselves walking on water. Continue reading

Anonymous Gift Floors Colorado Congregation

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By Carl Stagner

For as long as they can remember, their church put up with cracking, crumbling concrete. Like many churches, the fellowship hall was located in the basement, and hosted many a church potluck and reception. In 1957, the current church building was constructed, and almost since the beginning, parishioners had to tread carefully among the visible results of shifting and settling. Springfield Church of God in Springfield, Colorado, desperately needed a new basement floor, but like many churches, simply didn’t have the available funds for the job. But when a sizeable donation came in from an anonymous source, the church knew it was time to use their God-given facility for more than potlucks and traditional church functions. Continue reading

Virginia Beach Church Celebrates Mortgage Burning

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Photo: Former pastors join Steve Roby as they burn the church’s mortgage papers.

By Carl Stagner

On Sunday, May 17, a huge burden was lifted off Water’s Edge Church of God in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Witnessed by the gathered saints, Pastor Steve Roby, and two previous pastors, financial prison doors were opened to a future of flexible ministry freedom. Accompanied by shouts of praise and thunderous applause, the church’s mortgage went up in flames—literally. It was a trajectory-altering moment in the church’s history that deserved nothing less than a pull-out-all-the-stops celebration. The entire congregation celebrated with worship, ceremony, and a barbecue feast that followed. Though they ate well that afternoon, reaching such a noteworthy milestone was no piece of cake. Continue reading

CGM Welcomes Art Clawson as Director of Advancement

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Photo: Suetta and Art Clawson

By Carl Stagner

Art Clawson is no stranger to the Church of God. His ministry has touched countless lives in Haiti, both as a missionary and later during the Church of God earthquake disaster response, reached into Africa through Global Missions, and spread across the campus of Warner University. Church of God Ministries (CGM) is honored to announce that Art Clawson has accepted the position of director of advancement. His broad experience, leadership skills, and love for the Lord and the Church of God make him an outstanding pick for a position vital to the ongoing ministry of the movement. Continue reading

Ohio Church Holds First-Ever Faith Promise; Smashes Goal

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Photo: Pastor Eddy Howard rejoices (left) as Ron Baker announces the total Faith Promise commitment.

By Carl Stagner

New to the church, one member of a northeastern Ohio congregation wanted to know what would happen to offerings designated to missions. One Sunday, this congregant approached the treasurer, whose blank stare indicated unfamiliar territory—the church had no mission account. Discussion about the faith promise concept followed, and as a result, a faith promise week was scheduled for the fall. Continue reading