May Ministry Manifest: New Month Spotlights Prayer, Pentecost, and Pastors

 In All Church of God, CHOG

By Carl Stagner

Easter has come and gone, but the impact of the Resurrection remains on vivid display across the Church of God movement. Reports of life change, baptism, healing, and hope continue to inspire pastors and leaders everywhere, driving the grateful to their knees in prayer; after all, thanksgiving is due the Lord not only for what he’s accomplished, but also for his unchanging nature and the implications of such glorious truth. Maybe that’s why, for so many in the Movement, the National Day of Prayer hits differently this year than before—anecdotally, more Church of God congregations are conducting prayer initiatives and teaching on prayer in 2024 than previous years. Perhaps historically underrated in the Church of God, Pentecost, too, approaches with potent opportunity for powerful preaching and practice only fifty days following Easter. And, as tremors of cultural and political division shake more and more violently with November on the horizon, the unifying and clarifying role of the Holy Spirit in the Church of God resonates with renewed urgency. Thankfully, the Church of God pastor by and large is choosing not to run the race solo. The month of May signals the start of the season of networking-rich and spiritually rejuvenating conferences and camp meetings as prayer, Pentecost, and pastors fall under the spotlight.

In addition to local events and opportunities, Dayspring Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, is one of several churches conducting their own National Day of Prayer experience. Their twenty-four-hour prayer vigil is engaging online participants with regular published prayer prompts. The church offered some rationale Thursday: “Prayer is imperative because our nation is broken. Division is undeniable and unity is missing. It is prayer that precedes and forwards the advancement of the gospel. It is prayer that precedes any great movement of God. In this desperate and urgent hour, when turmoil and division are evident in our nation, it is imperative that we do all we can to mobilize unified public prayer for our nation.”

Pentecost Sunday need not be a celebration exclusive to the more “charismatic” among us. After all, the Church of God is a Holy Spirit people! The incredible events described in the second chapter of Acts apply to all believers today, and the implications are astounding for that which the Church of God movement has historically championed—think women in ministry, Spirit-infilling and the holiness that results, Christian unity, mission to the whole world, and the gifting of the body of Christ to do the work of the church at home and abroad. Several Church of God congregations are already preparing to pull out all the stops for Easter, and one example is in the same city as the general offices of the Church of God of the United States and Canada. As many cultures were together in one place on Pentecost, all hearing the gospel clearly, such unity, inextricably tied to the work of the Holy Spirit, has inspired Main Street Church of God to hold a Pentecost unity service and pitch-in potluck lunch with a local, predominantly Black, Baptist church that has been meeting in their facility for a few years until construction is completed on a new building.

Pastors are preparing this month of May to be inspired, refreshed, and equipped for ministry through a variety of events, with the pinnacle of convocation being the kickoff 2024 Regional at Center of Hope LA in Inglewood, California, May 15–18. The partnership experience with the highly acclaimed Misfits gathering is sure to prove providential among pastors and across the Movement for years to come. In addition to other camp meetings and revivals taking place at the local level, a large contingency of the Movement is also making Pastors’ Fellowship in Winchester, Kentucky, their destination May 6–7.

May ministry manifest! If you’ve got a story worth sharing, please let us know by filling out this online form! Learn more about the Church of God movement at www.JesusIsTheSubject.org.

Feature (top) photo: Convention 2021 prayer gathering (file image).

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