Gearing Up for the Global Gathering
By Carl Stagner
It will be the first world conference of the Church of God held in the United States since 1980. This kind of opportunity just doesn’t come around very often. As preparations are finalized for the Global Gathering, the Church of God is gearing up for a family reunion of brothers and sisters in Christ from seventy countries in which the Church of God has a presence. Will you be there?
Distance and the price of gas aren’t keeping people from making plans to attend the Global Gathering. For David Shrout, the expense of cross-country travel to the Global Gathering is minimal compared to the blessing he expects to receive. He’ll be there, and he encourages fellow believers in Oregon to be there. “It’s about the opportunity to develop relationships with people you may never again see again this side of heaven. I remember when it was the one hundredth anniversary of Global Missions. It was one of the most powerful experiences I’ve had at NAC. I believe the Global Gathering will be a taste of heaven.”
Pastor James Malbone won’t let the distance between Arizona and Indiana get in the way of his family’s attendance at the Global Gathering. He’ll be there, and he’s bringing several members of Valley Community Church of God with him. “It’s important for us to realize that the church is bigger than just our congregation, that we all are a part of the same family and need to be supportive of each other. Most of us look at the Church of God as being an American church. I really think that the fact that we get to see and meet people from all over the world is exciting.”
Che-Che Mobley plans to make the trek from Florida to Indiana for the Global Gathering because it’s just not good enough to watch the services online. According to Mobley, you have to be there in person to fully experience it. “Online I’m sure is good, but there’s just no way you can possibly have that same feeling of connectivity and fellowship sitting in your office. At home, I’m only an observer, but when I’m actually there, I can participate. Online, you can’t ask questions. You can’t feel the person’s spirit. You can’t react with others to what’s going on. Where two or three gathered, there’s nothing like being there live.” Mobley also believes that we must not deprive others of the contribution we bring by being physically present. “It’s not always about what we get for us, but what we can give to others by being there.” Che-Che Mobley will be there.
Will you, too? Will you be there to experience worship in a variety of languages and cultural styles? To hear impassioned preaching representing leaders from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and the Middle East, North and South America, and the Caribbean? At the Global Gathering, you’ll participate in discussion on topics that apply to Christians everywhere, such as evangelism and discipleship. Together we won’t just talk about the needs of the world; we’ll do something about it. Attendees of all ages will be encouraged to help reach a goal of packing 250,000 meals to combat global hunger. We’ll also learn how we can provide clean water for those who don’t have it. Children won’t be left out; there’s another action-packed, missions-focused Kid’s Place on the schedule. Ask your teenagers if they recall renowned Christian illusionist Jared Hall from IYC 2012; he’ll be back for the Global Gathering!
International delegates and guests from far beyond Arizona, Florida, and Oregon have made this summer’s family reunion a priority. It’s not too late for you to make arrangements to attend the Global Gathering, June 22–25 in Anderson. Visit www.chog.org/globalgathering to learn more and to register, or call 800-848-2464, ext. 2130.