It Takes a Team: An Interview with CHOG Ministries’ Debbie Taylor
By Carl Stagner
How much do you know about what goes on inside the office at Church of God Ministries? Who conducts necessary office work so others may travel the world with the hope of Christ? It’s the behind-the-scenes work that enables our missionaries to minister on the field. When you support the unrestricted portion of the World Ministries Budget, you support our missionaries—and much more. In the following interview, get to know one of the faces behind the scenes. Her name is Debbie Taylor, and she’s worked with Global Missions (originally in itineration; now Living Link) for nearly thirteen years, empowering missionaries.
Not everyone is familiar with how Church of God Ministries functions. What is Living Link and how do you keep it going?
Debbie: Living Link is the financial support ministry of Global Missions that gives both churches and individuals the opportunity to be involved in the Great Commission through partnerships with our missionaries. Relationships are key, and partnerships are essential, to accomplishing kingdom work beyond the borders. My role, as the liaison between the missionary and local churches and individuals, is in facilitating the connection with the missionary, and keeping our partners updated on their investment through missionary newsletters and videos. I assist the missionaries as they raise funds and keep them updated on their progress. We trust God to supply the need, and he is faithful to do this through our wonderful partners in ministry. It takes a team!
What motivates you to support the global reach of the Church of God?
Debbie: I’ve always had a love and passion for missions. As a young child, I was intrigued with the stories shared by my cousins who served as missionaries in Mexico. I know that I’m not called to foreign missions, but I have the awesome privilege of serving those who are. I find it a great blessing to support our missionaries through prayer, finances, and words of encouragement. What I value most about my position as Living Link specialist are the relationships that I have established over the years, not just with the missionary community, but also with pastors and laypersons. I love getting to know others and praying for them—especially our pastors.
You’ve not just seen the mission work of the Church of God from behind a desk. You’ve witnessed it with your own eyes. Where did you go and what kind of impact did the experience have on you?
Debbie: Through the encouragement of Bob Edwards, former coordinator of Global Missions, I was privileged to take a ministry trip to Kenya with CBH (Christian Broadcasting Hope) about ten years ago. It was life-changing for me as I witnessed the work of our missionaries firsthand, in a culture so foreign to me, where brothers and sisters live out their faith daily in a struggle to survive. The spiritual impact of my trip was beyond explanation. I left the States with global eyes but returned with a global heart.
Rumor has it that you’re a pretty good singer. What keeps you busy when you’re not at the office?
Debbie: I am a product of two tone-deaf parents, but while growing up, I quickly realized that God had blessed me with a gift to sing in tune. I enjoy being involved in the music ministry of my church, and I absolutely love to sing praise and worship songs. I also enjoy spending time with my grandchildren, playing games, entertaining and cooking, traveling with my husband, and golfing in a non-competitive way. My favorite song to sing is “Gesu Bambino” (Sandi Patty’s version), a medley that ends with “O Holy Night.” While I enjoy contemporary worship, I love the old hymns, and one that is still on my favorites playlist is “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.”
You came to know Christ through some unique circumstances. Explain how the Lord got ahold of your heart. And now that you’re serving the Church of God, what do you appreciate most about this movement?
Debbie: Although I grew up in a Christian home, it was almost thirty-six years ago that my true personal conversion came during a Catholic renewal weekend. It was totally a God-thing, because I was there as a guest, with permission from the priest to attend. It was nothing that the church did—it was what the Holy Spirit did for me. God had prepared my heart, through his Word, the night before I attended the renewal weekend, as I read scriptures that my sister had given me on scraps of paper two years prior. I became overwhelmed with the love of Jesus Christ, and the grace and forgiveness that I received totally transformed me from the inside out. Jesus is my first love, and it’s that love that drives me through the joys and bumps in life.
My sister attends Clarkston Church of God in Clarkston, Michigan. I was interested in learning more about the Church of God and realized that it was similar to my Wesleyan-Holiness background. After becoming involved in the ministry of Church of God, I have a much deeper love and appreciation for the movement. It’s a movement that is constantly changing and moving forward through the Spirit’s leading. The church is a global movement, and it’s so exciting to see young leaders embrace the opportunity to expand the kingdom of God beyond the walls of the church. I truly appreciate seasoned leaders who personally invest in the lives of the younger generation. As an aside, I have a son, who is the lead pastor of a healthy church today, all because of another pastor who poured into his life.
Debbie Taylor resides in Anderson, Indiana, with her husband of sixteen years, Bob. Her greatest joy and love is spending time with her fourteen grandchildren.
Church of God Ministries relies on your financial support of the unrestricted portion of the World Ministries Budget to enable basic, necessary operations to continue—like making travel arrangements and managing fundraising for our missionaries. Support the behind-the-scenes work of the Church of God today at www.jesusisthesubject.org/world-ministries-budget. Learn more about the Church of God at www.JesusIsTheSubject.org.