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The Initial Impact of Focus 40

 In All Church of God, Leadership Development

Focus-40-Logo-2012

By Carl Stagner

The impact of Focus 40 is only beginning to be realized across the Church of God. As nearly seven hundred congregations committed to fast and pray over the forty days leading up to Easter, God was already doing an incredible work. Praise reports are coming in, and the body of Christ is celebrating transformation of hearts and lives. The following testimonies give a glimpse into the widespread life change brought about during Focus 40.

In the Rustic Hills Community Church, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, a woman who had fought serious health issues turned to the Lord after considering the fragility of life. Pastor Michael Smith reported that “as she searched, she concluded that she needed to commit her life to Christ and be baptized. That all happened, but in addition she has brought several of her adult children, their spouses, and a bunch of grandkids. We have yet to see where this will go, but we see it as another network of relationships that God has opened up to us.”

Pastor Cynthia Arkord of Ark Ministries Church of God in Fredericksburg, Virginia, reported that as a result of God’s hand at work during Focus 40, three visitors joined the church, one member’s relative was healed of cancer, Sunday school attendance increased, and one minister was ordained. LifePoint Church in Goshen, Indiana, reported three salvations and one rededication. First Church of God in Dewey, Oklahoma reported one heart surrendered to Christ and healed of disease. Abounding Grace Church of God in Indianapolis, Indiana reported several rededications, spiritual healings, and a baptism. North Apollo Church of God in Saltsburg, Pennsylvania, shared a testimony of someone who led a friend to Christ via Facebook.

Several salvations and baptisms were reported at Sharon First Church of God in Cabin Creek, West Virginia. Pastor Mark Crider, of First Church of God in Franklin, Ohio, rejoiced after fasting on a liquid-only diet for all forty days and witnessing six people accept Christ on Easter. New believers were reported at Thursday Church in Vincennes, Indiana, and at the Church of God congregation in Mooresville, Indiana. Numerous salvations were also reported across the state of Florida.

The number of lives touched by the Lord through Focus 40 is too great to list in entirety, but the Church of God is celebrating across the country and around the world as the effects are still being felt. In Albuquerque, New Mexico, for example, New Beginnings Church of God is still rejoicing after a powerful baptism service. “Hallelujah, what an amazing evening!” was Pastor Richard Mansfield’s enthusiastic Facebook post. “Thirty-four people were baptized tonight as a result of our Easter outreach service! GOD IS SO GOOD!”

While the Church of God congregations certainly refreshed their connections with one other through their united participation in the Focus 40 effort, the desired outcome has always been to see souls saved and lives renewed with Christ. The Church of God eagerly anticipates hearing more stories and witnessing more transformation of church and culture through the year. It’s not too late to share your transformation story at www.chog.org/Focus40.

As hearts are surrendered to Christ, individuals and churches are taking advantage of the free resources provided through NextSteps Discipleship (www.chog.org/next-resources). And at this year’s North American Convention, believers will learn about their unique place in the body of Christ through the spiritual gifts discovery offered at the “Uniquely You” ministry training. Learn more about this conference, schedule for Monday, June 25, at www.chog.org/NAC, or call 800-848-2464, ext. 2130. An advance registration of $35 is required.

 

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