Opinion—Why I’m Thankful for the General Assembly
By Cindy Magsig
Editor’s note—Views expressed in the following op-ed do not necessarily reflect those of Church of God Ministries, Inc., or its affiliates (in this case, we offer an enthusiastic Amen! to the spirit of this article in support of General Assembly participation). We publish op-ed features to provoke thought, stimulate healthy discussion, and inspire us to be with Jesus, become like Jesus, and do what Jesus did. We’ve asked to hear from a diverse range of voices across the Church of God movement. This op-ed features two of these voices.
As I sit and reflect upon the days of my youth in the Church of God, so many wonderful memories come to mind when I remember the yearly trek to Anderson, Indiana, for Camp Meeting (Church of God Convention). Every year, my parents loaded up four kids for a very long road trip from south Texas to Indiana. Once we arrived, we stayed in the dorms of Anderson University, or with a wonderful host family. God bless those special families that took our family in with four rambunctious kids. They proved that patience really is a fruit of the Spirit!
Looking back at my childhood, I can remember attending Kid’s Place at Park Place Church. When I think back to those days, I am forever grateful for the godly seeds planted in my young heart by the teachers and volunteers who served every child with great love. Every year, my brothers and I looked forward to it. During my middle school and high school years, I remember Youth-In services at Byrum Hall. Even today, I think about how many of us came away from those services completely transformed.
Being that my husband was born and raised in Anderson, he and his family attended the annual Church of God Convention, as well. We have talked about how our lives converged every summer, without knowing we would meet while working at the Church of God Ministries offices, and be married one day.
Throughout my life and spiritual development, attending the annual Church of God Convention has played an important role in my growth as a servant of Christ. Each year I learn from amazing speakers and worship leaders how to better serve in the local church.
One of the most special feelings of being present at the General Assembly is the feeling of belonging to a much bigger family called the Church of God! The feeling is further intensified when we come together internationally—from around the world. There is an overwhelming sense of joy that we belong to each other, and to a global family of believers that is spread across the world. And when we are together, we make up this beautifully connected family of faith.
So much good comes from our meeting together. It inspires and motivates us to continue the good work of the Lord until he returns. I couldn’t love a movement more! I can’t wait to be together in Tampa!
Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” —Hebrews 10:24–25 NLT
Cindy Magsig serves as pastor of Real Hope Church of God in Austin, Texas, and likes to spend free time reading and relaxing on a beautiful beach with her family.