Mission, Partnership Motivate New Executive Director of Advancement
By Carl Stagner
Sure, fundraising is one of his skills, but it’s not what drives his life and ministry. When Jason McClendon wakes up in the morning, he’s not thinking about charts and graphs or deadlines and dollar signs. A cursory glance at the far-reaching impact of this pastor of Community Church of God in Macon, Georgia, reveals the integrity of a man motivated by something greater, something higher. As morning dawns each day, it’s the mission of Jesus and the endless opportunities for partnership in God’s kingdom that put spring in his step. After all, the new executive director of advancement for Church of God Ministries has seen for himself just what can happen when the people of God come together and walk together for the cause of Christ.
Jason McClendon’s résumé is impressive, but his heart for people even more so. As head pastor of Community Church of God—a role he will retain as he adds to his plate of responsibility—Jason has spearheaded numerous successful efforts to usher in positive change to the surrounding community. Even as he’s chaired the credentials team for the fifty-six-congregation Georgia Fellowship of the Church of God, Jason has himself practiced the strategic, outward-oriented ministry he espouses to both emerging leaders locally and longtime pastors across the nation. The partnerships he’s forged with ecclesiastical, civic, and community agencies have bridged gaps and opened avenues of communication to progress otherwise unattainable. With a track record like that, it should come as no surprise, then, that Jason’s wealth of experience also includes the role of urban missions director for the southeast region of the Church of God.
Of all the hats he’s worn, the two that hit closest to home are most fulfilling. “I’d say pastoring and working in the community,” he explains. “I love to solve problems and see people’s dreams come true, seeing people come to a place of peace and a relationship with God.”
Among the ways he’s been a shepherd both to the church and to the surrounding community is by launching and leading numerous ministries with a direct impact on neighbors. Among numerous works, Community Church of God has proven it’s name is no misnomer by offering a GED program, computer skills classes, résumé workshops, tax preparation, and a summer feeding program for children who rely on school lunches. When the COVID-19 pandemic posed the problem of limited access to disease testing, Jason McClendon led the effort to bring testing sites to their church parking lot and other localities. To further combat the economic hardships worsened by the pandemic, Community Church of God partnered with regional food banks to meet the need. All the while, they’ve established and nurtured partnerships with a wide variety of groups outside the four walls, as Pastor Jason provides the necessary leadership of Community Empowerment Center—a mechanism for the church and community to work together to make their city a better and safer place to live, work, and play.
No doubt about it, partnership matters for Jason McClendon and Community Church of God. “One of the things the Bible says is that two are better than one,” he reflects. “When you look at that scripture, there’s a return, or a reward for their labor. In the Hebrew, there’s a strong emphasis on the labor part of that statement. In other words, in partnership, you’re not going to burn out. When all of us win, there’s a greater opportunity. Right now, the Church of God has a great opportunity to sow into the ministry of Jesus, especially with COVID. We know that for everything we sow, there is going to be a harvest. People are questioning everything and see what’s wrong with the world—they are more open to the gospel than ever before. I believe Church of God Ministries is strategically positioned to equip our churches to do effective, strategic outreach in our communities.”
Thankfully, Jason McClendon is more than qualified to offer his expert counsel on the subject. In fact, that’s one of the things he’s most excited to do as he takes on the role of executive director of advancement for Church of God Ministries.
“We have so many untapped resources to share Christ,” Jason explains. “There are things all churches can do to reach out. We’re going to show you how to harness a dilemma in your community and use it as a way to spread the gospel. I’ll be available to come and preach to congregations, meet with leadership teams and boards, and answer questions about how we’ve been able to reach our community here in Macon. I want to see churches grow and prosper, so the idea of being able to work with a group of phenomenal leaders through Church of God Ministries to help push the church forward and meet the issues of our day is just amazing. We want to invest in churches, partner with them, and find solutions for them. It’s a great time to be a part of God’s church around the world. I’m excited like a kid in a candy store. Who wouldn’t want to see the kingdom expanded?”
Jason McClendon resides in Georgia with his wife Sylvia, who is a teacher, and their two children—a son who’s a junior in high school, and a daughter who is a sophomore in college. When Jason has spare time, he loves to relax with his wife and watch Lifetime movies or take a drive through the country.
Learn more about the Church of God and the vast opportunities for involvement at www.JesusIsTheSubject.org.
*Feature (top) photo: Jason (right) is motivated by mission and partnership! Improving access to COVID-19 testing is one of many examples.