OKC Regional Day One: Spirit Invites Movement to the Table of Transformation

 In All Church of God, Central, CHOG, Church of God Convention

By Carl Stagner

The Spirit was there, and the Spirit moved. From the deeply emotive worship experience that echoed through the expansive Chapel at Crossings Community Church to the compelling preaching, the Spirit inspired and empowered. From cinematic testimony to both dramatic and introspective Scriptural presentation, the Spirit guided into all truth. From fellowship to the practice of the Lord’s Supper, the Holy Spirit continually invited guests on Tuesday at the Oklahoma Regional to the table—not of remembrance only, but also of transformation.

Before the evening kickoff service ever commenced, people from across the country had gathered in Oklahoma City for the start of the second of three Regionals this year. It was apparent that people were hungry for the Word, for connection with sisters and brothers not seen in a while, and for spiritual rejuvenation. Many met in the middle of the afternoon at Crossings Community Church only to pile into shuttles and caravan to the Crossings Community Center and Clinic. The insights offered about the gargantuan ministry operation taking place round the clock at this hub of neighborhood and metropolitan activity is encouraging and staggering. For more information, visit https://clinic.crossings.church/.

The Chapel filled with Regional guests Tuesday night.

Seven o’clock chimed and the first main session of the Oklahoma Regional was underway, with anticipation high for what the Spirit would accomplish. Expectations were blown away from the start as Jay and Amy Rouse, among several other gifted musicians and worship leaders—backed by a choir—brought the house down, compelled hands to clap and raise, and prompted others to their knees. The throwback medley of 1990s and early 2000s worship songs got everybody started, hymns of faith like the Wesleyan classic “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling” set the mood for reflection, and an enthusiastic reading of Psalm 73 spoke to the core of God’s holy interplay with humanity. So, when the choir and congregation began to cry out to the Lord, distractions seemed to fade while the glory of God lingered: “Your name is the highest, your name is the greatest, your name stands above them all…you are lifted high, holy, holy forever!” If you know, you know.

Even Deidre Franklin, pastor of spiritual formation for Crossings Community Church, expressed overwhelming emotion upon taking her place at the podium. Her message would prove surprisingly simple yet profound; the classic Bible story and character of Abraham, expressed in a manner broadly appealing, deeply introspective, incredibly enlightening, and rather convicting. Genesis 12:1–4 served as the Scriptural text, and the extrapolation led listeners to conclude that God’s pattern of activity with Abraham extends to followers of Jesus today. God still (and continually) calls us on a journey with him, to leave many things behind, without knowing where we’re headed, but to embrace a bountiful blessing.

Deidre Franklin

“God is not going to leave us the way he found us!” she asserted.

“God’s calling and invitation is for a lifetime!” she insisted.

“The influences around us are constantly forming us,” she observed, begging the rhetorical question: so, what are you being formed by?

The challenge to follow the itinerary of God and take the road he’s mapped out for us, the challenge to “let it go” and yield to God’s control, to embrace the mystery, and to receive his blessings, was heard loud and clear. As the Communion elements were consumed, it was clear the Spirit’s activity had astounded all who had encountered him in a special way Tuesday night.

The tone for transformation the rest of the week has been set.

Learn more about the 2024 Regionals at www.chogconvention.org. Follow Church of God Ministries on social media and CHOGnews.org for the latest Regional updates.

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