Coming Home, Sending Out: OKC Regional Reflections, Day 1
By Carl Stagner
Bob Brooke, pastor of visitation at Shartel Church of God in Oklahoma City, perhaps put it best: “[Yesterday was the] beginning of two glorious days at Crossings Community Church for the Regional Convention of the Church of God.” A review of Tuesday at the second 2018 Regional Convention reveals a day marked by inhaling and exhaling life—of coming home and sending out. It was a reunion of a portion of the Church of God family, but it was also a rally to mobilize believers for ministry and mission. Considering the moments of inspirational worship led by Josh Edington and the Crossings worship band, the soul-nourishing seminar with Ben Hardman, and the beautiful commissioning of a new missionary for Global Strategy—only a part of the blessings that define the opening day of #LifeOKC—it’s no wonder one would label such an experience glorious.
The sun had already risen by the time praises could be heard in the chapel of Crossings Community Church, “The sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning. It’s time to sing Your song again….” Josh Edington and the Crossings band consistently led the gathered saints in tender and celebratory experiences of worship on Tuesday, experiences that prepared hearts to receive the messages that would be follow. First on the schedule was Ben Hardman and Dan Sadlier of Gravity Leadership. One key point that struck a chord with the congregation was when he spoke from personal experience, saying, “I came to the place that I was afraid I was just making more consumers, and not actually making disciples.” Ben’s session, “Making Disciples in the Way of Jesus” wasn’t just about disciple-making; it was also about the soul-deep needs of disciple-makers. If you’ve missed his interactive seminar in Phoenix and Oklahoma City, you still have three chances to take it all in—Columbus, Ohio; Fairfax, Virginia; and Safety Harbor, Florida. Visit www.chogconvention.org for convention registration.
In the afternoon, Ryan Chapman and Jeannette Flynn of Church of God Ministries led an engaging credentials certification training, about which Handel Smith reflects, “Life-giving exchange with our credentials team and regional pastors! The new credentials certification process is off to a great start.” Jim Lyon’s Town Hall meeting was also well-received, leading Jim to remark, “‘Go Ahead, Ask Anything’ Q & A always draws a crowd and is an important piece of the CHOG Regional Convention pie. Church should always be a safe place to ask questions and search for answers.”
The afternoon would not have been complete without the opportunity to sit under the teaching of key Crossings Community Church leaders. The more than 7,000-person church is making a global impact in ways that truly astound. Its leaders have much to offer, and those who heard from them on Tuesday afternoon couldn’t have been more blessed to absorb key insights. Others, like Pastor Clint McBroom of First Church of God in Newton, Kansas, were simply happy to return to a place called home during a formative season of life. “Thankful to be at Crossings Community Church for a few days to join others from the Church of God for our Regional Convention,” he posted on social media. “Crossings is where I spent time throughout college being an intern. This place helped me narrow down and realize my distinct calling in ministry. I am thankful for the time spent here and glad to be back.”
Not only did the evening session feature an always-compelling message from Jim Lyon, but it also included an unforgettable time of sending out. Sarah Hunnicutt, missionary to Honduras, was surrounded by the family of God at the altar for a prayer of commissioning. The commissioning was a reminder to all that every believer is called not only to come together and receive life, but to go out and give life.
For a schedule of Wednesday events, or to register for an upcoming Regional Convention, visit www.chogconvention.org.