Tag Archives: strategy

A Visit with the Church of God in Hungary

Joe Cookston (far left) prays at the commissioning of the plant.

By Carl Stagner

Joe Cookston has worn a variety of hats in the Church of God in his lifetime of ministry. Currently he’s most well-known across the Movement for his leadership of CARE—the Clergy Advocacy and Resource Effort. But he’s also served faithfully in a number of important areas, including the local church. One role may not be as familiar to many in the Movement, and that is the position he holds as nonresident board member for the Church of God Hungary. In August and September, Joe and his wife Merry visited Hungary, a place that has become quite familiar and beloved by the ministry duo. Joe and Merry have since returned from the encouraging experience, blessed to report on the opportunities God is opening up in the Eastern European nation. Continue reading

Church Pastored by CHOG Ministries’ Handel Smith Celebrates Urban Ministry Renewal

Handel Smith with Paul, sub-contractor for the church’s affordable homes ministry.

By Carl Stagner

Church of God Ministries staff are known for their roles they play in the collective work of the Movement. But among those who report to “base camp” day after day are individuals who are very active in their local churches. Some are Sunday school teachers, board members, worship leaders, associate pastors, and senior pastors. Others are laypeople who volunteer and get involved in numerous initiatives and projects at the local church level. When Handel Smith accepted the call to fill an executive leadership position at Church of God Ministries in Anderson, Indiana, he accepted a massive portfolio—oversight of the Movement’s influence and impact in the United States and Canada. His ministry Monday through Saturday—and countless Sundays, too—is extensive and expansive. Though a faithful attender of one of the Anderson-area churches when at home, it soon became apparent that he’d received a special leadership assignment that would both bring God glory and give life to a life-giving soul. Continue reading

Reclaiming Life, Kingdom Territory in Central California

By Carl Stagner

Like the dawning of a brand-new day, the Holy Spirit is breathing new life into the Church of God in central California. Over the past five months, several structural and functional changes have been received warmly by a family of congregations seeking direction and revival. Under the leadership of their new regional pastor, Michael Guzman, the Central California Association of the Church of God has since developed strategies to increase efficiency, maximize potential, and take back what hell has stolen. The gates of hell have no doubt begun to shake, as these strategies are already beginning to bear fruit. Continue reading

From the Archives: Christmas—A Divine Mission Statement

By Arlo Newell

Christians too often view the Christmas celebration as excessive commercialism. Deluged by advertising and pressured by promotion, we find it extremely difficult to discover the true meaning of the season.

It was while crying over this commercialization of the Christmas season that I was convicted to look for the good and the positive rather than to criticize. I began by giving thanks for the beauty of the season. I began by giving thanks for the beauty of the season. Lights become more meaningful in the dark, depressive days of December. The contrast makes them more distinct and the cold, crisp winter air allows the sound of silver bells to be heard more clearly. And who can fail to experience the joy of children as they anticipate this most magical of all holidays; laughter fills the air as they live in a world of expectancy. Even in the ringing of the Salvation Army bell and the iron kettle help to accentuate the carols sung by choral groups along the street. Continue reading

In the Midst of Revival: Crosspointe Kilgore-Longview, Texas

Baptism at Crosspointe Church is a common occurence.

By Carl Stagner

When you’re baptizing someone nearly every week and the walls must come down to make more room in your sanctuary, you’ve got to wonder if revival is breaking out. At the two campuses of Crosspointe Fellowship Church of God in the Texas communities of Kilgore and Longview, God has clearly been on the move in many mighty ways. Led by Pastor Efrain Cirilo, Crosspointe has seen their worship center and children’s classrooms run out of space. In the past couple of years, total attendance has more than doubled to an average of 400 on Sundays. And, it was just last year that they added the second campus at Longview. While no magic formula exists for revival, the church did enact a handful of specific strategies to become a growing, healthy church. Continue reading

Personal Tribute to Sharon Skaggs

SharonSkaggs_tribute_FORWEB

By Patrick Nachtigall

Editor’s Note: Patrick Nachtigall is Sharon’s son-in-law. Patrick and Jamie Nachtigall are the Global Strategy regional coordinators for Europe and the Middle East. Scroll to the bottom of the page for memorial service arrangements and memorial gifts. This tribute appeared originally on three-worlds.com.

The longer I live, the more I think life boils down to two things: strength of character and love.

We lost our mom suddenly and unexpectedly this past week, and more than anyone I have ever met, Sharon Skaggs exemplified these two things. Her strong character meant that she was exactly who you thought she was and who she said she was. There was no disparity between the public Sharon and the private Sharon. The kind, graceful, gracious, smiling Sharon that you saw in public was exactly who she was behind closed doors. And as far as love is concerned, she had no enemies and showed love to all equally, regardless of their status. Sharon, unlike most of us, was who she needed to be every day in the exact same way. Continue reading

Remembering Sharon Skaggs

SharonSkaggs_tribute_FORWEB

By Patrick Nachtigall

Sharon E. Skaggs
January 9, 1947–January 8, 2016

Sharon Elaine Skaggs passed away unexpectedly in Salem, Oregon, on Friday, January 8, 2016. Born to Ed and Marilyn Gossen on January 9, 1947, she lived a full life characterized by her service to others. Sharon grew up on a farm in South Dakota and, after graduating from Warner Pacific College in Portland, Oregon, financially managed The Double K Ranch, a nonprofit organization providing alternative care to troubled teens in Washington State. From 1981 to 1991, she and her family lived in Cairo, Egypt, serving the church community throughout Egypt. She was a loving caretaker and primary support for her late husband in his battle with cancer from 1988 to 1993. After his passing, Sharon continued serving others, working in missionary care through Global Missions (now Global Strategy) of Church of God Ministries in Anderson, Indiana. She served in many roles including Living Link coordinator, director of personnel and head of finance, and retired in 2011, having served the organization and the greater church for thirty years. Sharon served on the Children of Promise board of directors for fifteen years. She also served on the staff of Children of Promise for much of 2015. Even in retirement, Sharon was actively involved with the local food pantry and traveled internationally as a volunteer for Children of Promise. Sharon recently moved to Salem, Oregon, to be closer to family. She had already begun to serve in another local food pantry and anticipated more international travels. Continue reading