Oklahoma Regional Presents Invitation to the Table, Open Door of Opportunity

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

By Carl Stagner

“God isn’t going to leave you the same way he found you!” These prophetic words, uttered by Deidre Franklin during the opening message of the first session of the Oklahoma Regional on June 18, proved true on multiple levels. Though asserted in the context of Abraham from the twelfth chapter of Genesis, the providential blend of incredible encounters and experiences at Crossings Community Church in Oklahoma City demonstrated specific application during those meaningful moments across several sacred spaces. Spirit-led from start to finish, invitations were accepted not only to participate in Communion throughout the second of three 2024 Church of God Regionals, but also to feast at the table of the Lord’s goodness and grace. Ultimately, however, it was the open door of opportunity for the Church of God, at this precise time in history, which was the culmination of three days of connection, inspirational worship, powerful preaching, and insightful breakout sessions.

A month after the Church of God Regional in Los Angeles, and a few months before the Church of God Regional in Columbus, Ohio, it was Oklahoma taking center stage, but the spotlight remained squarely on Jesus. Though the wind was surely sweepin’ down the plain and the wavin’ wheat surely smelled sweet, it was the wind the Holy Spirit that blew in from the beginning, spreading the fresh aroma of widespread renewal. A stellar lineup of anointed speakers listened intently to the leading of that same Spirit, delivering profoundly resonant messages that addressed directly the critical juncture we as the Movement face in the present hour: Deidre Franklin, pastor of spiritual formation at Crossings Community Church; Marty Grubbs, senior pastor of Crossings Community Church; Jim Lyon, general director of Church of God Ministries; Matt Anderson, lead pastor of McDowell Church in Scottsdale, Arizona; and Tatum Osbourne, outgoing executive pastor at Refuge Church of God in Brooklyn, New York (incoming at Greater Jacksonville Church of God, Florida).

Among the display tables at the Oklahoma Regional.

Worship didn’t serve only to set the tone for the sermons; the meaningful musical moments in the Spirit were exceptional encounters with the living God in their own right. These times of praise, thanksgiving, and testimony harmoniously exalted the name of Jesus, all while under the gifted leadership of worship pastor Larry Harrison and augmented by the artistry of Jay and Amy Rouse in the Chapel. In the Venue at Crossings, Josh Edington and Jason White led the worship band through some of the most heartfelt and dynamic experiences possible in the presence of God on this earth. From the traditional hymns and recurring option to take Communion, to the modern worship songs and dramatic readings of Scripture, every worship session was God-glorifying and church-edifying.

In the Spirit, by the Spirit, through the Spirit, the Oklahoma Regional left guests longing to sit at the table of transformation, then confidently walk through the open door of opportunity. Sermons by Marty Grubbs and Matt Anderson tied together with sovereign precision, connecting the role of the Spirit and Pentecost to the work of the Spirit throughout the book of Acts into the present, pivotal moment in front of God’s one church. Jim Lyon’s presentation and question-and-answer session on sexual ethics (repeated at each 2024 Regional) explored with truth and tact the particulars of holiness in the practice of the church today, and Diedre Franklin’s and Tatum Osbourne’s messages, respectively, bookended the gathering in the framework of functional, fear-defying faith.

Crossings Community Church’s towering exterior Tuesday afternoon.

Full-circle and full of faith—that was the spirit of the Oklahoma Regional, the spirit of the Regional theme verse for 2024 from Revelation 3:8. In the words of Matt Anderson, “Church of God, let’s not miss this moment. Let’s not miss what God has placed before us.” And, in the words of Tatum Osbourne, “We cannot afford to miss the opportunity to walk through the open door God has set before us!”

For more details and conference content, read our daily Regional recaps:

Tuesday, June 18, 2024
Wednesday, June 19, 2024
Thursday, June 20, 2024

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.

Start typing and press Enter to search