Partnership Distinguishes 2024 Regionals as Kickoff California Conference Approaches

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

By Carl Stagner

Even years—when the General Assembly doesn’t gather formally to conduct the business of the Church of God—present a recurring opportunity otherwise rarely realized in the Movement. The flexibility of taking Regionals “on the road” has offered Church of God Ministries the chance to refresh and reframe the who, what, when, where, why, and how of our “family reunions.” As the kickoff California conference approaches, a triad of partnership, innovation, and choices best characterizes the role the 2024 Regionals are playing in opening doors for the edification of God’s people and the advancement of the gospel.

There’s so much good going on at the grassroots of our Movement. Some of the strongest and most strategic ministries and events within the Church of God family are coordinated by local churches, regional districts, and state assemblies. Instead of reinventing the wheel, attempting to conjure up yet another hefty production apart from existing operations, Church of God Ministries is linking arms with cutting-edge and proven ministries made and managed by people like you. The Berean Leadership Conference, for instance, powered and produced by Bishop Timothy Clarke and First Church of God in Columbus, Ohio, will welcome Church of God Regional partnership this October 3–5. The highest attended Church of God congregation in the United States, Crossings Community in Oklahoma City, offers not only impressive infrastructure, staggering statistics, and jaw-dropping global impact, but also tested methodologies, invaluable insight, and a wealth of wisdom; their partnership with Church of God Ministries to pull of the second of three 2024 Regionals, June 18–20, is also attracting fresh attention. But the first Regional this year takes place in Inglewood, California, just outside of Los Angeles, and represents one of the most unique opportunities the Movement has had in both context and content.

Geremy Dixon serves not only as General Assembly chair-elect, but also as the more-than-twenty-year pastor of Center of Hope LA, the California congregation eager to welcome Church of God people from near and far to their thriving facility, May 15–18. Misfits is the name of the emerging, innovative conference striving side by side with the Regional template to engage and equip the pastor and lay leader in ways not traditionally associated with vocational ministry.

Church of God Regional worship (archive photo 2018).

“More and more I am noticing the gravitational pull toward inauthentic ambivalence when having to confront the uncomfortable issues facing culture today,” Dixon has expressed. Daring not to mince words out of concern for the current climate of the church and country, Dixon moves beyond mere talk; the theology he espouses has been tested by fire, and the practicality of the gospel and all its implications has been proven in a setting of tremendous diversity—the haves and the have-nots, the hopeful and the hopeless, the famous and the forgotten, together representing an international spectrum of ethnicity. Out of such a setting, stemming from his experiences, and overflowing from a deep love for those who want to see real change take place in our lifetime, the Misfits Conference was born.

Julieian Alexis-Roberts, Ken Love, Gary Kendall, Paul Sheppard, Handel Smith, and Jim Lyon are each slated to augment the Church of God Regional side of things in southern California. But Lisa Fields, Rod Stafford, Tim Ross, Nate Parker, David Oyelowo, Andre and Lisa Johnson, April Showers, and Ben Sand are each scheduled to present at the Misfits Conference, coinciding with the Regional, and in collaboration with each other. “When your industry gives you no choice, you innovate or die.” The provocative statement headlines the Misfits Conference website, suggesting conference content outside the traditional framework of a church leadership event.

“This annual event,” the website description continues, “though relatively new to the scene, brings together ‘entrepreneurs, market-disruptors, and influencers’ to encourage and equip Christ-centered leaders. Whether providing ‘affirmation for all who have struggled with their misfit nature—that is, to fit in where God has designed and placed them—or by ‘giving actionable intel on how to mobilize their unique set of skills, insight, and strategies toward their intended destination,’ the Misfit experience will take leaders to new heights in areas perhaps not previously explored by most Christian leaders, all while ‘building an authentic community/network of these marketplace pioneers.’”

…Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut.” —Revelation 3:8 ESV

The Movement is preparing for a major move of God at each of the Church of God Regionals this year. Learn more about each event, and register, at www.chogconvention.org.

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