OKC Regional Wednesday Wrap-Up: Believers Beckoned Back to the Book of Acts

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

By Carl Stagner

Saturated by songs, stories, and Scripture, the second day of the second Regional of the Church of God this year disappointed neither God nor the cross-section of his people turning their attention heavenward. On the heels of a terrific Tuesday of opening events and activities, Day Two wrapped up with a clear theme woven throughout in tapestry indicative of a Master Designer. Not only did the Holy Spirit fall fresh on pastors and ministry leaders expecting to lift up the Lord and hear from heaven, but he also underscored in testimony and teaching his essential role in the mission of the Movement going forward. From Pentecost to the Acts of the Apostles (or of the Spirit) in today’s paradigm, Wednesday’s takeaway beckoned believers back to the blessed old Bible, the kingship of Christ, and total dependence on the Third Person of the Trinity.

Hearts warmed by the extraordinary hospitality of the Crossings Community Church staff and volunteers, guests of the Oklahoma Regional were primed to hear and respond to the prompts of the Spirit on Tuesday. Appropriately directing praise to God from the get-go, Josh Edington and the Crossings band kicked off the morning leading “How Great Thou Art” among other familiar contemporary classics. In combination with an evening session overwhelmingly sensitive to the presence of God—hands raised and shouts of joy pervasive—the band proved again to be the best for the occasion. When passages from 1 Peter were read aloud in proximity to the singing of Phil Wickham’s “Living Hope,” listeners were inspired to incline their ears even closer to the voice of the Lord. But the voice of the Lord wasn’t only heard in the music, but also the stories.

Marty Grubbs on screen

The setting of the Oklahoma Regional was perfect for gathering and learning, not only from the speakers and workshop facilitators, but also from the host church. Crossings Community Church celebrates so much good taking place for the advancement of God’s kingdom, it would be a shame not to hear from them, too. Throughout the Regional on Wednesday, video testimonies captured various aspects of their ministry operation, giving glory to God and demonstrating the possibilities of what can happen when a people are fully surrendered to the kingship of Christ.

Fully surrendered to the kingship of Christ—that’s what the Spirit makes possible, and that’s a concept upon which the evening speaker, Matt Anderson, expounded. He wasn’t the only one, however; Marty Grubbs, morning speaker and senior pastor of Crossings, did the same, and only from slightly different vantage points. In fact, Pentecost was the theme of the morning session, proving once again that the Spirit, whose nature and role were emphasized this year following a resolution from the General Assembly in 2023.

“The Holy Spirit turns theology into experience by drawing us into the life of Christ,” Marty insisted. “We must take into account the delicate balance,” he also intimated: “What we know and what we believe cannot replace our experience with God.”

Recounting the incredible story of what’s become known as the “Mayfair Miracle,” Marty insisted, “God’s at work. You may have to pray for sixty years, but God is always at work.” The testimony of how the once Church of Christ congregation sovereignly came into the fold of the Crossings family communicated the need for all to keep listening, keep praying, and keep trusting. For more about the Mayfair Miracle, click here.

Matt Anderson

Matt Anderson, pastor of McDowell Church in Scottsdale, Arizona, has a history with Crossings as well, one he wouldn’t trade for anything. But his heritage in the Church of God movement he loves is what compelled him to stress several vital warnings and opportunities that lie before us as a family of faith. Beginning by reading from Matthew 5:13–16 about being “the salt of the earth,” Matt’s message then provided insights from a broad overview of the entire book of Acts, observing that the Acts of the Apostles are really the Acts of the Spirit.

“If we miss Jesus, we miss everything,” Matt said of the role of the Spirit in pointing to, and exalting, Christ.

“It’s unbelievable what can happen when a people fully submit their hearts and minds to the kingship of Christ,” Matt said, reflecting on the amazing stories shared about what’s happening at Crossings, as well as the broader Movement.

Referring to Acts 1:8, he said, “We are a Holy-Spirit people who, I’m afraid, at times, have tried to work through our own power. And we wonder why our efforts aren’t getting us anywhere!”

Observing the present challenge with understanding and living out our core value of holiness, Matt noted, “For some, holiness has become Old Covenant legalism, leading to condemnation, rather than transformation. For others, holiness has been set aside, leading to an embrace of sin, a misapplication of God’s grace.”

Therefore, “Church of God, let’s not miss this moment. Let’s not miss what God has placed before us. Let us be filled with the Holy Spirit as we submit ourselves to the kingship of Christ!”

Wow. Much to consider, much upon which to act. Bolstered by numerous breakout sessions on a variety of practical ministry topics—from practicing unity in a deeply divided world to recovery ministries, from sexual ethics to preaching and teaching—these events rounded out the day and surely shaped the people of God.

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.

Feature (top) photo: Josh Edington and band in the Venue at Crossings Wednesday evening.

Start typing and press Enter to search