Ministry Leadership Conference Energizes Michigan Ministers

 In All Church of God, CHOG, Great Lakes

By Jerry Lyon

On Saturday, March 18, 2023, in Lansing, Michigan, 350-plus Church of God ministry leaders from across the state gathered to be engaged in an annual training event, the Church of God in Michigan’s (MICOG) 360 Ministry Leadership Conference. “360” MLC is a full 360-degree offering of ministry training. This event began in 2009 and has gained momentum year to year. A “don’t-miss-this!” kind of opportunity brings energy to the Churches of God in Michigan each spring. It bookends with our fall General Assembly, creating another venue for fellowship, worship, and learning. Propelling the church into clarity, creativity, and passion for their ministries is the thrust of each 360.

It was a great day for the Church of God in Michigan, with the theme focused on Luke 19:10, “The Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost.” Attendees were rallied around the goal of revitalizing evangelism in their local ministries and truly being about the business that Jesus was all about, to seek and save!

360 began at 8:30 AM with a catered lite breakfast and moved rapidly into a rousing opening rally of Spirit-filled music, instruction, introductions, and prayer for the day. Hosted at South Church, a non-CHOG friend to the Church of God in Michigan, attendees enjoyed a great facility that allowed them to spread out across 30-plus sessions in 11 tracks, with 27 different presenters.

After a full day of fellowship and learning, attendees gathered back together for a closing rally reflective of the hearts in the room. Genuine praise and passion were expressed. There was something more in that place, having spent the day with a single-mindedness among the people. During the closing, a call to be anointed, and prayed over to be commissioned, to passionately pursue personal evangelism, was offered. Many came forward and stood to the front to take up the mantle in their daily lives and in their church ministry. What an encouraging sight it was to see so many respond to the call to the “incredible cause!” The event concluded by 4 PM.

Comments from attendees:

  • “Best 360 yet!”
  • “This was my first one and I can’t wait for next year’s!”
  • “Want more time for worship!”
  • “MORE!”
  • “Needs to be a two-day event so we can really soak it up!”
  • “Just love being with all my Church of God brothers and sisters!”
  • “Can we do this again in six months?”
  • “The weather was bad coming and will be going, but I’m so glad I didn’t miss it!”
  • “I’m grateful I was asked to be a presenter. This was a fantastic day!”
  • “Just…WOW!”

Breakout session during the conference.

This year’s 360 task force, which built the content for the event, included Rev. Tom Bader, Chippewa Valley Church of God; Rev. April Crump, The Hub Owosso; Rev. Rhyan Glezman, Clio Community Church; Debb Lyon, New Horizons Community Church; Sharon Richardson, Pennway Church of God; and Rev. Jerry Lyon, church health minister for MICOG. This team recruited excellent session presenters, and three of them were also session presenters!

Numerous people were involved to support the effort of the day. Debb Lyon and Sharon Richardson led a team that moved registrants through the signing-in process and greeters pointed the way to breakfast. Becky Adams did much “behind-the-scenes” leg work securing food contracts, online registration collection, and organizing. Erin Glezman was the photographer, taking still photos and creating video content. A special thank you to South Church’s staff of janitors, their tech guy, and facility coordinator for the grace extended to us in support of this day of ministering to ministry leaders!

Rev. Jerry A. Lyon serves as church health minister for the Church of God in Michigan.

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