Tag Archives: teaching

Drunkenness: A Sobering Reality in Church and Society

By Carl Stagner

A November 16, 2018, article published in USA Today spells out the latest statistics on the rise of alcohol-triggered deaths in the United States, especially over the last decade. While the media has shone the spotlight on the horrific and very real epidemic of opioid abuse, the article suggests the alarming truth that alcohol kills far more people each year through liver cirrhosis, cancer, pancreatitis, and suicide—not to mention traffic accidents. Meanwhile, the conversation about alcohol has started again in the Church of God, as the general director of Church of God Ministries issued a column on the subject in the October issue of Move! in the wake of the hotly debated Kavanaugh Supreme Court hearings. David Sebastian, dean emeritus of Anderson University School of Theology and Christian Ministry, has talked about the subject for years in the classroom, at conferences, and at camp meetings. As he’s observed, drunkenness is a sobering reality in church and society. That’s also the title of his new book, which challenges Christians to re-examine the issue of alcohol use and abuse. Continue reading

New “Jesus is the Subject” Resources for the Local Church

By Carl Stagner

In the years since Jim Lyon’s 2013 speech before the General Assembly, the phrase “Jesus is the subject” has proven to be far more than a tagline; it’s now part of the language that unites the Church of God as a movement. It’s a statement that encapsulates and energizes the Christ-centered focus that’s helping churches from coast to coast take giant steps to advance the kingdom. At the same time, the church visitor brochures Meet Us at the Cross and Who is the Church of God? are in high demand, though their content is becoming more and more outdated. Especially as congregations are sensing new wind in the sails of the Movement, a desire to inform the first-time guests and person-in-the-pew about the Church of God has only increased. On the heels of the popular “Jesus is the subject” word search puzzle books, Warner Press has responded to the need by producing a booklet that churches can buy in bulk for informational displays, guest gift bags, and discipleship classes. Continue reading

Excellence in Ecuador: Seminary Intensive Trains Growing Number of Leaders

Ecuador Seminary Intensive 2018

By Timothy and Angelita Downing

We tried something different, and…it was a success! Each year, the Church of God seminary in Ecuador offers a week long intensive to help train leaders in the Ecuadorian church. This year, we expanded the reach of the seminary by offering more class options, moving to a more spacious location, and including more Ecuadorian leadership. Last year, we had a total of twenty-five participants, with one international student. This year, we had seventy-six participants, with several international students! Continue reading

AU’s President Pistole Provides Vision for School’s Second Century

Anderson University President John Pistole

By Kylie Osborne

Distinctive. Compelling. Relevant. When President John Pistole stepped onto campus as head of Anderson University in 2015, those three values were his compass for what he would strive for the university to be. “In everything we do, how can we be a distinctive, compelling, and relevant institution?” In his first three years with AU, Pistole and his staff have found a multitude of answers. Continue reading

Warner Press Releases Children’s Ministry Author Tina Houser’s 18th Book

Warner Press and author Tina Houser continue to grow their relationship with the release of Tina’s eighteenth book, Fascinating Preschoolers. Houser’s latest connects Sunday school teachers to a group of kids that are often overlooked as “too young” to connect to Jesus. She teaches us how to embrace their “fascination” and show them the wonder of the world God created. Continue reading

Steadfast in Scottsbluff: An Unwavering Love for the Lord and the Lakota

Louise Deines

By Carl Stagner

Louise Deines is ninety-eight years old. That hasn’t stopped her from continuing to love the Lord and the Lakota people. Her ministry through the Church of God in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, has stretched fifty years across both seasons of challenge and blessing. Though she was never ordained as a minister, her ministry of presence, teaching, and encouragement has proved vital to home missions in the region. While her qualifications could have taken her anywhere, her heart is with Native American ministry in Scottsbluff. Accolades aren’t what matter to Louise, though she was recently honored for fifty years of home missionary service. What really matters to Louise is love. Continue reading

Warner Press Releases Outreach Resource for Children’s Ministry

Warner Press continues to grow its church and ministry books category with the recent release of Go: Beginning a Kid’s Outreach Ministry by Rachael Groll. Go will add depth to teaching resources for the church, bringing together new ideas and solid experience while working with often overlooked youth. Groll’s book can transform entire communities through a hands-on “sidewalk” ministry. Continue reading

Allen, South Dakota: Learning from the Culture You’re Called to Teach

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Photo: Tim and Kim Wardell with local child.

By Carl Stagner

Near the corner of BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs) Road 22 and Allen Road on the Pine Ridge Reservation of South Dakota, you’ll find a spiritual intersection where cross-cultural connections take place. Tour the region and you’ll be amazed by the vast open spaces and breathtaking vistas, but your jaw will drop at the evidence of destitution that dots the landscape. It’s into the midst of such poverty and a variety of related social ills—alcohol and drug abuse, joblessness, lack of education, general despondency—that Tim and Kim Wardell were called. Not a situation that just anybody would be vying to jump into, it was a golden opportunity for high-impact ministry and teaching. But since the Wardells arrived in September, they’ve discovered that they’re not the only ones with something to teach. Continue reading

Warner Press Announces Two New Curriculum Series Coming This Fall

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Understanding the Bible and its stories is a key component in developing a strong, lasting faith. To help churches teach these ancient, yet still relevant, stories in interactive, engaging ways, Warner Press is pleased to announce that it will release two new curriculum series, one for children and one for adults, for fall 2016. Continue reading

Still Teaching Sunday School After 72 Years

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Photo: “Miss Bea” teaching Sunday School.

By Carl Stagner

Retirement is not an option. At least it’s not an option when it comes to service of the King. There’s always a work the Lord has for us to do. For Beatrice Nitchman, this sentiment has translated to seventy-two consecutive years of teaching Sunday school. She may be up in years, but she’s not allowing her age to hold her back from doing what she loves, for the children she loves, to the glory of the Father she loves. Down through the years, the children she’s taught may not remember all the facts, figures, and biblical illustrations, but they do remember her love for them. They simply call her “Miss Bea.” Continue reading

Florida Church Embraces All of Great Commission

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By Carl Stagner

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you…” (Matthew 28:19 NIV). Often used to rally believers to evangelize, the Great Commission isn’t just about evangelism. Pastor Greg Sempsrott doesn’t want anyone to miss the second part of the Great Commission—the “teaching them to obey everything” part. That’s discipleship, and Pastor Greg is committed to making First Church of God in Vero Beach, Florida, a church of disciples making disciples. A figure most churches would love to call their own, First Church in Vero Beach is praising God for 50 percent small-group participation. Now they’re shooting for 60 percent, leaving many curious about their strategy. Continue reading

IMPACT Materials Now Available: Reaching Your School for Christ

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It is here!

Impact is a six-week curriculum and campaign that challenges your ministry to be world changers and to show Jesus to their friends at school.

Months ago the campus ministry team caught a vision of empowering students to impact their school for Christ. What if a few students got serious about impacting their school? What could God do in that school, community, or city?

This month we begin a campaign to get students across North America to be missionaries in their schools. Continue reading