Worship on Easter at the Black River Coliseum (credit: Nico Cuevas).
By Carl Stagner
Last Easter, West Side Church of God in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, welcomed a crowd of about 640 people between two services. With average attendance running 17 percent higher this year than last, they expected about 750 people to be present on April 1. Leadership had to prepare for sufficient seating and ample parking, all of which could not be found at their facility. As they dreamed of the possibilities, they concluded that capacity crowds would require booking the local coliseum for their Easter gathering. Good thing they did—some 1,400 people showed up! That’s especially remarkable when you consider the church had declined to just 25 people less than four years ago. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Central, Give Life
Tagged Black River Coliseum, church growth, Coliseum, discipleship, Easter, Jason Jordan, Jesus Is the Subject, Missouri, MO, multiplication, Poplar Bluff, revival, risk, salvation, Volunteers, West Side Church of God
Volunteers from local churches help sustain the ministry.
By Carl Stagner
Another title of this article could have appropriately been, “Local Churches Set Aside Differences, Discover They Can Do More Together.” That’s because this is exactly what happened when Operation Love Ministries was formed in Anderson, Indiana. The collaboration and unity among churches representing multiple denominations and cultures make this yet another Jesus-is-the-subject story, and a potential model for other communities. Today, twenty-seven area churches prayerfully and financially support the parachurch organization, also giving governance to the work. As a result, these local churches have access to a tried-and-tested resource to more effectively help neighbors in need. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Give Life, Great Lakes
Tagged Anderson, Andrea Baker, better together, collaboration, community, cooperative, IN, Indiana, Jesus Is the Subject, needy, neighbors, Operation Love Ministries, poverty, unity, urban, Volunteers
Pastor Eric knows by name many who attend Jackets for Jesus.
By Carl Stagner
Sometimes we’re compelled to offer the spare change from the car console, though our default response might be to look the other way. Homeless people are a part of our towns and cities, yet even the Christian community too often turns a blind eye. Everybody’s encountered a homeless person at some point in life, but few choose to respond. Fear isn’t always the cause; it’s often simple lack of know-how. How do God’s people effectively minister to those who don’t have a place to lay their heads at night? Pastor Eric Denton and Central Community Christian Fellowship, a Church of God congregation in Riverside, California, wholeheartedly embraces Jesus’ command to love “the least of these.” Perhaps that’s why they’re willing to hang out on the streets of downtown Los Angeles every Sunday night. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Western
Tagged CA, California, Central Community Christian Fellowship, Christmas, community, Eric Denton, gentrification, homeless, homelessness, Jackets for Jesus, meal delivery, outreach, poverty, Riverside, servanthood, soup kitchen, Southern California, Thanksgiving, urban, volunteerism, Volunteers
By Becky Fauntleroy
Since the first Church of God camp meetings, with the raising of tents, preparing meals, donating food, preaching, singing, and teaching, volunteerism has been exemplified. Decades of memories accumulate and traditions continue as people today step up to volunteer in widened and changing needs of programs, logistics, and technology. The central focus remains—ministering to people. Continue reading