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2 WWM Pastors JUNE and church 2011 leaders, consider placing this page on your church bulletin board to use in your promotion of the White Wing Messenger.
June 2011 • Volume 87, Number 11
6 A Soul-Winning
by John A. Stone
8 Building People
by Scott Lee
10 From the Community
to the World
by Clayton Endecott
13 What Makes a
Strong Local Church?
by W. E. DeGeer, Jr.
14 Strong Families
Make Strong Churches
by Larry Duncan
20 Youth Ministries: Converged at Emerge
w w w w
16 Encountering and
by H. E. Cardin
19 Is Your Church
by Jan Couch
26 It’s Not What I Do,
It’s Who I Am
by E. C. McKinley
Bringing honor to the WORD by the printed word, the White Wing Messenger
strives to inspire Christian thought and practice as it imparts the “good news” of
the Gospel while serving the connectivity needs of our church community.
Visit us online—www.whitewingmessenger.org
White Wing Messenger Editorial Board: Londa Richardson, Chair; Daniel Chatham;
Hanny Vidal; Cervin McKinnon; Perry Horner; Tapio Sätilä; Shaun McKinley; and Adrian Varlack
Executive Editor/Publisher: R. E. Howard, Managing Editor: DeWayne Hamby, Copy Editor: Elizabeth Witt,
Editorial Assistant: Pamela Praniuk, Graphic Artists: Perry Horner and Sixto Ramirez,
International Offices (423) 559-5100, and Subscriptions (423) 559-5114
Please submit all material to the White Wing Messenger; Managing Editor; P. O. Box 2910;
Cleveland, TN 37320-2910; phone (423) 559-5128; e-mail us at Editorial@cogop.org.
The White Wing Messenger is the official publication of the Church of God of Prophecy.
FEATURES CALENDAR OF EVENTS
22 Children’s Ministries: Children Bring
Strength to the Local Church
25 Women’s Ministries: European
Area-Wide Ladies Retreat
4 Facing Forward:
The Primacy of the Local Church
by Randall E. Howard
A Beggar in the King’s Court
by DeWayne Hamby
5 News: Here & There
28 Local/State/International News
In His Presence • New Churches
June 3–5, 2011
Caribbean Ladies Retreat
June 9–12, 2011
CBL School of Practical &
Advanced Studies III
SE Spanish Region – Florida
June 11, 2011
Fields of the Wood
Murphy, North Carolina
June 12, 2011
“Lead On, Holy Spirit”
Heritage Ministries Simulcast
June 16–19, 2011
CBL School of Practical &
Advanced Studies II
SE Spanish Region – Georgia
June 22–25, 2011
Youth Harvest Training
June 23–July 4, 2011
International Institute of
September 8–11, 2011
CBL School of Practical &
Advanced Studies III
SE Spanish Region – Kentucky
White Wing Messenger (ISSN 0043-5007) (USPS 683-020) is published
monthly as the official publication of the Church of God of Prophecy, 3750
Keith St NW, Cleveland, TN. Send all materials for publication to Editorial
Department; PO Box 2910, Cleveland, TN 37320-2910; e-mail: editorial@cogop.
org, fax: (423) 559-5121. For subscription rates, visit wwm.cogop.org; call
(423) 559-5114; e-mail: email@example.com. Subscription rate: $18.00
per year, payable to White Wing Messenger by check, draft, or money order.
Periodical postage paid at Cleveland, TN 37311 and at additional mail office.
Donations for the White Wing Messenger may be sent to the above address.
All scripture references are from the King James Version unless otherwise
indicated. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to White Wing Messenger,
PO Box 2910, Cleveland, TN 37320-2910.
WWM JUNE 2011 3
The church is
4 WWM JUNE 2011
The Primacy of the Local Church
When Paul described the church to
Timothy, he used some lofty and farreaching
language: “. . . the household of
faith, the church of the living God, and the
pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Timothy
3:15). I believe that Paul used these words
because he understood the vital role God
had in mind for the local church in His
eternal plan. The church is nothing less
than God’s strategy for covering the earth
with His Gospel and building His Kingdom
on earth. The church is the presence
of Christ in the world to do the work of
Christ, transforming life and culture to
There is one facet that is primary to
this purpose; it is the local church. There
we find a community of faith where
believers gather to nurture one another in
the life of Christ while they invite others
to join the family and experience that life.
Being a local church is not easy, but it is
the design of God where relating together
in Christ’s life and purpose as believers
and the “yet to become believers” has
the potential to deliver the world from
darkness. It is just that fantastic and
miraculous to be the body of Christ as a
local church. It is God’s vital key.
No other aspect of God’s Kingdom
has this potential without morphing
into some form of a community of
faith—in other words, a local church.
Denomination and movement centers
have their contributions to make and
can provide healthy infusions to the
local church so that their calling is made
more attainable. Serving accountability,
corporate synergy, mission, vision, and
leadership development are just a few
ways these centers contribute to the
success of the local church. Parachurch
ministries contribute with specific focus
ministry offerings for local churches
to select as they feel called, or as they
feel need. The range of their potential
contributions creates a wide spectrum of
specific ministry ranging from missions
to music and beyond. Still both of these
must understand that they cannot be
the church, but they contribute to the
empowerment of that primary facet of
the body, the local church.
I realize that when the average church
in North America is far less than 100
members, one begins to wonder if God
was thinking straight when He chose
this as His strategy. And we all would
admit that the plan does not seem to
be working at optimal level in so many
places and many times. Yet even in those
less-than-perfect settings, the genius of
the local church can be uncovered if one
looks closely. Believers relating together
to nurture and build up one another in
an environment of grace and love—now
that is powerful! And all of this is done in
the atmosphere of Christ’s presence. He
is there in His church. How many millions
are hurting in this world and would be
drawn to such a community if they only
could “taste and see” firsthand once?
Pastors and lay leaders, we offer this
issue in the hopes that local churches may
renew their realization of this high calling
and critical role to be played in God’s
eternal plan for the earth. As each of
these units, no matter how large or small,
reproduces faith, and even reproduces
themselves, God’s influence will saturate
cities, regions, and, ultimately, the world
as God has designed.
The Global Growth of Islam
According to a January 2011 report from the Pew
Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life,
the growth of the world’s Muslim population will
outpace the non-Muslim population by double in
the next two decades. The world’s non-Muslim
population is expected to rise at a rate of .7 percent
while the Muslim population will grow by 1.5
percent. It is expected that Muslims will make up
26.4 percent of the world’s expected 8.3 billion
population in 2030. One in every four people will
The report also suggests that while the
Muslim growth will outpace the non-Muslim
growth, it will grow at a slower pace than
1990–2000, which was at a rate of 2.2 percent.
News continued on page 28
—Source: Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life
T. J. Eaves, rising senior at Western Carolina University, has been selected
by his classmates as the 2011–2012 Student Government President. T. J.
is a member at The ROC, Rockingham, North Carolina, Church of God of
Prophecy. According to a former Youth Director, Reeves “has always
been the life of the youth group. His
smile brings joy to everyone that he
comes in contact with.”
Simulcast Happening June 12
—Pastor Steve Gilmer
Rockingham, North Carolina
Following the “Pursuing His Spirit” Prayer Event Internet simulcast in January, Heritage Day celebrations in 2011 will be
concluded with a special “Lead On, Holy Spirit” simulcast on June 12. The event will feature historical footage from the
Church of God of Prophecy’s early days, a greeting from General Overseer Randall E. Howard, and a special message from
Church Historian Adrian Varlack.
On June 11, Heritage Day celebrations will take place at the Fields of the Wood Park in Murphy, North Carolina. The
annual celebration includes special singing and messages from Church leaders. Admission to the park is free. The simulcast
will take place the following evening at the Keith Street Church of God of Prophecy in Cleveland, Tennessee. Those who
aren’t able to join the celebration live are encouraged to use the Internet to broadcast to their homes and churches.
“We are excited to have this opportunity to use new technology to celebrate the Church’s rich heritage,” Bishop Howard
said. “The ‘Pursuing His Spirit’ simulcast was so successful, we thought this would be an excellent follow-up.”
To join the Heritage Day 2011 Simulcast, visit www.cogop.org.
WWM JUNE 2011 5
A Soul-Winning Church
Today’s church continues to cry out for God’s blessings, for we long to be led by the Holy Spirit and
experience spiritual and numerical growth. However, the question must be asked, “Why should God bless us
when we refuse to become what He has called us to be?” What concerns God is our effective ministry to the
hearts and minds of unsaved people, not our preferences, procedures, or programs.
We have strayed from our real purpose for existing; our existence is in fulfilling Jesus’ mission to reach the
lost. Our purpose is not in maintaining our churches, but, rather, to invade the world and save the perishing.
William Fay, the author of Share Jesus Without Fear, states, “. . . as few as five to ten percent of the people
in an average church have shared their faith in the past year . . . and one hundred thousand churches will
close their doors this decade.” 1 He goes on to say that the foundational reason for these sad statistics is the
choice church members make in choosing the sin of silence over being obedient to the call and mission
We have forgotten our purpose as Christians, which is to become the disciples in Christ’s priestly prayer in
John 17:20–26 and in the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18–20. Jesus’ commandment to witness to the
unsaved is a constant theme throughout the New Testament. Dr. Jerry Pipes and Victor Lee state, “A verse-byverse
review of the words of Jesus in the four Gospels reveals at least 35 statements that could be understood
as statements of purpose.” 2 They give three of these passages as being central to His declaration: Luke 19:10,
John 18:37, and Matthew 20:28.
“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which is lost” (Luke 19:10 NKJV, italics mine). In this
passage, there are two crucial elements of Jesus’ mission: the first is to seek, for Jesus sought after the lost by
coming to them in the flesh so they may receive the truth; and He came to save them from their sin, giving
them hope for eternal life.
“For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the
truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (John 18:37 NKJV, italics mine). His statement, “for this
6 WWM JUNE 2011 WWW.WHITEWINGMESSENGER.ORG
cause,” leaves no doubt that this is a mission statement,
and it carries His central purpose to bear witness to
“Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but
to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew
20:28 NKJV, italics mine). When Jesus sought out the lost,
He did so to serve them. The primary way He served them
was to give His perfect life for the sinful lives of humanity
as a ransom for as many as would believe on Him.
It’s clear that the Evangelists of the New Testament
Gospels understood the importance of Christ’s mission,
and clearly they wanted you and I to understand this
importance as well. The Great Commission is clearly found
in five places, not by chance, in each of the Gospels and
the Book of Acts. 3 In each of these passages, Jesus’ purpose
takes the form of a command for every believer. The
passages are Matthew 28:18–20, Mark 16:15, Luke 24:47, 48,
John 20:21, and Acts 1:8. This clear message presents us
with the tremendous challenge of sharing Jesus.
Jesus always supplies sufficient grace, which is the
unmerited favor that gives us the desire and the power to
do His will, with every command given to each believer.
The Holy Spirit empowers us to do His will, and His Word
provides the principles we need to accomplish His mission.
David Wheeler, in his chapter “Spiritual Farming,” states,
“Effective evangelism never violates the principles of the
harvest. The best way to recapture success in evangelism is
to return to these principles.” 4
The church must return to the process of spiritual
farming if we are to see the spiritual power and growth
we long to see. God has not abandoned us; it is believers
abandoning the principles of the harvest that results in
our lack of fruitfulness. We blame all kinds of sins for our
sterile congregations, but the primary sin we must address
is the sin of silence.
David Wheeler gives us at least four key truths about the
principles of the spiritual harvest:
1. The harvest is a process, not an event.
In modernity, we came to know evangelism as an event
such as a revival service or a personal soul-winning
encounter, but the truth is the harvest requires the
laborious process of spiritual farming.
2. More than one element is involved
in the harvest.
In order to ensure a harvest, someone must plant seed.
The seed must be watered. God has to make it come to
life, grow, and bear fruit. In other words, it is God who
gives the increase of salvation, and it can only come
from Him (1 Corinthians 3:6–9).
3. Different people play different roles
in the harvest.
Some plant, and others water.
4. Every aspect is equally important.
If no one plants the seed, there will never be a harvest.
If no one waters the seed, it will never grow and
produce fruit. 5
According to William Fay, nonbelievers must hear the
Gospel an average of 7.6 times before they receive it. 6 The
process ends with a nonbeliever accepting Christ as their
Savior, but it begins with believers plowing the fields with
prayer and need-meeting service. Then the seed of the
Gospel must be planted, watered, and cared for. The more
believers pray, serve, and plant the seed, the greater
It is our responsibility as believers to be obedient to
God’s command to participate in the process of evangelism.
One caution must be given here: while living a life of
Christian integrity is important to the process of evangelism,
it is not enough to fulfill our calling to Christ’s mission.
“How then will they call on Him in whom they have not
believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have
not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?
How will they preach [verbal communication] unless
they are sent? Just as it is written, ‘HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE
THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD
THINGS!’” (Romans 10:14, 15 NASB, italics mine).
Every believer is responsible for verbally sharing
Jesus with the unsaved. Let’s accept the challenge to
intentionally evangelize the lost for the Kingdom of God.
There is nothing that will bring spiritual fulfillment to your
life like the process of sharing Jesus!
1 William Fay and Linda Evans Shepherd, Share Jesus Without Fear
(Nashville, TN: B & H Publishing Group, 1999), pp. 6, 7.
2 Dr. Jerry Pipes and Victor Lee, Family to Family: Leaving a Lasting
Legacy (North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist
Convention, 1999), p. 27.
3 Ibid., p. 28.
4 Dave Early and David Wheeler, Evangelism Is . . . How to
Share Jesus With Passion and Confidence (Nashville, TN: B & H
Academic Publishing Group, 2010), pp. 85–92.
5 Ibid., pp. 85, 86.
6 Fay and Shepherd, p. 11.
John A. Stone, Pastor
Keith Street Ministries
WWM JUNE 2011 7
Having been the lead
pastor at the same
church for nine years
and the youth minister
for about five years prior
to becoming the pastor,
I had reached a place
of discouragement. We
had seen some significant
growth and purchased
a different building.
With that move, the
immediate growth was
evident, and now I was
experiencing the pressure
from some individuals to
begin another project for
building or buying.
Feelings of inadequacy, coupled with
a perceived need to perform, drove me
to my knees. It was in that moment that
the Spirit of God spoke clearly to my
heart. I know that I heard the still, small
voice instruct me to focus on “building
people, not buildings.” With that, a
great burden lifted, encouragement
flooded my soul, and a fresh vision began
As I processed what I felt God speaking
to me, I was reminded of the scripture
in Acts 17:24 that tells us clearly that
God doesn’t “dwell in buildings.” It is
interesting that when most people hear
or see the word church, we think first of
a building. In fact, sadly, it seems today
many individuals are more concerned
with buildings than they are with people!
I am convinced that there can be strong
local churches that operate out of facilities
that seemingly “aren’t much to speak of.”
I also believe that there can be strong
local churches that have no building at
8 WWM JUNE 2011 WWW.WHITEWINGMESSENGER.ORG
all. Whether you are in agreement with
me on this or not, consider this: if a local
church is going to be strong, it must be
focused on people, not buildings.
After I felt the Lord speak, I shared
this word with our leadership team,
and it was well-received. Since that
time, we have tried to promote that a
strong local church focuses on building
people. At Bethesda, this is done as
much outside of the church’s facility
as it is within our walls. New ministries
have grown through that word from
the Lord. Adopt-a-block, a local churchoperated
food bank, a weekly bus
ministry to the community shelter and
a local substance abuse center, and an
outreach to the state Girl School are
just a few of the ways we have found
as avenues to build people. Adopt-ablock
of Sheridan is a ministry in which
faithful support is offered to a lowincome
housing unit and a mobile home
We try to meet the needs of the people
there both spiritually and physically. We
have provided for the needs and wants
of individuals and families. From diapers
and milk to dog food and light bulbs, as
well as putting a new roof on one of the
mobile homes, we desire to assist these
folks in every way that we can. We have
also been able to pray with these folks
on many occasions.
Some of the people that we are
investing in may never attend our local
church, but we are not concerned with
that. Church attendance is not our goal.
We believe that through investing in
the lives of these precious people, we
are helping them to see their worth to
our loving God. By taking the church to
them, we are assisting them in growing
into the people that God has destined
for them to become.
We are blessed to have a facility from
which to minister. For any first-time guests
who do come through our doors, we
desire that from the moment they drive
into our parking lot until the time they
drive away they will have a meaningful
worship experience with our church
family in every way. From greeters assisting
It has been said that there are two
main reasons that people leave churches—
they feel they have no friends, and their
need for purpose has never been met.
attendees with umbrellas during the
rain and snow to follow-up gifts being
taken to the homes of first-time guests,
we want to add value to those whom
God sends to us. Our guests may never
return, and we are okay with that. Our
focus is not to get them to return; our
focus is to help them understand how
much they are valued by our God!
If someone chooses to return to our
church family, we shift to making disciples
of them. We offer a Discipleship Track
that has something for everyone.
From our First Steps curriculum to our
small group ministries, our hope is to
encourage consistent Christian growth
in those whom God entrusts to us. We
have intentionally designed a plan that
will assist everyone in becoming all that
God wants them to be.
Our Discipleship Track begins with
basic Bible truths, then transitions
into a more in-depth spiritual growth
course, and continues on through
Leadership Development. We desire
that our family know why they believe
what they believe. We desire that
each one would identify the gifting of
God that is upon their lives and then,
through the ministry of the small groups
and outreach efforts, we purposefully
provide opportunities for them to be
used in their gifting.
It has been said that there are two
main reasons that people leave churches—
they feel they have no friends, and their
need for purpose has never been met.
This obviously means that they haven’t
had a meaningful connection with
anyone in the church, and they do not
feel valued. This is why an emphasis on
building people is so effective. A healthy
discipleship ministry can help to meet
these two great needs of individuals.
We have found that new individuals are
effectively assimilated into our church
family, and they are better cared for
when they get connected to one of our
When we can help those whom God
sends us by providing a caring and safe
environment in which to grow and then
offer them opportunities to use their
gifts, then we have found that we are
helping to build people. Sometimes,
God only leaves His people with us for
a short season. Sometimes, we have
individuals who are with us much
longer. Either way, we want to invest
in them while God allows them to be
a part of our family. At Bethesda, we
aren’t trying to “keep people,” we are
trying to “grow them” and then let God
place them wherever He desires for
them to be!
Believe me, it is easy to slip back into
the mindset that a strong local church
must have a nice facility, lots of people,
and a lot of money. We try to make it a
priority to speak often of the vision of
building people. From the pulpit, to the
children’s ministries, to the small group
leader in the home and into every
ministry, we must continually remind
ourselves and those we serve that we
are about growing people.
We are not a perfect church. We are
not a large church. We are a church that
can and will get better. We don’t have
all of the answers, but we are learning
this—God values people, not buildings.
With this vision at the core of our local
church, we have seen God prove to us
time and time again that when we value
what He values and invest in what He
invests in, then He will faithfully give us
what we need to take care of it.
WWM JUNE 2011 9
G General Presbyter Clayton Endecott
moved to Germany as a missionary
with his wife, Wanda, and his sons,
Cortney and Bradley, in 1983. What
was supposed to be a short-term visit
turned into a lifelong calling. With two
more children, Tessa and Christian, born
in Germany, Bishop Clayton dedicated
his life and work to God and missions.
Now Germany has two COGOP churches
in the cities of Langen and Erlangen,
and, in February, the churches joined
together to start a missions school.
Samson Chen, the director of the
mission school in England where more
than 150 short-term mission team
members have been trained and have
already visited several nations on
four continents, brought teams from
England to help establish the German
missions school. The two local churches
in Germany are now focusing on
evangelizing in their local communities
and on their mission outreach countries,
Armenia and Georgia.
Bishop Clayton was interviewed on
the topic of the role of missions in the
small church by his youngest son Christian,
who has been appointed missions
leader of the Langen Church and
serves as a freelance journalist for the
Offenbacher Post in Dreieich, Germany.
Why should a local church
be mission-minded, and how
important is this work to
reach the nations?
I feel it is an essential part of our
DNA as a Pentecostal church, a church
of “Spirit and Word.” The Word of God
is clear, from the call of missions from
God to Adam (“Where are you?”), and
the call for the nations in Yahweh’s
covenant with Abraham. The prophets
say God will give us the nations. Of
course, the words of Jesus are clear in
all four Gospels and then Acts, which
for me as a believer and for us as a
10 WWM JUNE 2011 WWW.WHITEWINGMESSENGER.ORG
to the World
not only historically
how the church of
Jesus Christ will act
Luke writes in
Acts 1:8 (NIV), “But
you will receive power when the
Holy Spirit comes on you; and you
will be my witnesses in Jerusalem,
and in all Judea and Samaria, and to
the ends of the earth.” The prescribed
missions method of Jesus can be best
explained with concentric circles.
Mission work starts at home—our first
circle of influence—and moves on to
the community, to the region, to the
state, to the country, and then on to
the outermost circle of influence, the
rest of the world. God is always looking
for the lost, and that is what His
A Conversation With Clayton Endecott
Our local churches in Germany have
been experiencing growth since we
have been committed to missions. This
is always a matter of prayer, giving,
raising leaders, and going out. A good
example for the growth in the local
body is the Emmanuel Church in Kiev,
Ukraine. Last year, the church sent
out more than 500 mission teams
into neighboring communities where
they gave witness and, in many cases,
planted new churches and have also
gone to surrounding nations.
Our small local churches in Germany
cannot send out so many mission teams
as a large church like Emanuel Church
in Kiev, who enjoys around 3,000 in
attendance, but we can train our teams
to evangelize in Germany and to assist
in church-planting in neighboring cities
and send them out to the nations each
year as well. Our size should not hold us
back from doing our part for missions at
home and abroad. Both large churches
and small churches can always trace
growth back to their true calling
to be mission-minded.
How can focusing on missions
also help the local church?
Missions, just like every other
ministry and value of the church, should
not only be preached and taught, but,
most importantly, be modeled by pastors
and leaders. We all learn better by
modeling than in the classroom; learning
by doing, just like Jesus and His disciples.
When pastors and leaders engage in
missions, it helps them to recognize and
focus their training on their emerging
leaders. The vision of the church will be
broadened. As we say in Germany, we
begin to think “beyond the rims of our
own soup bowl.” And, again, this starts
first at home, in your local “Jerusalem,”
and goes on to the world.
WWM JUNE 2011 11
What about churches that are
struggling financially? How
can they still be encouraged
to support missions?
Here the biblical concepts of
sowing and reaping through giving
come to mind, even when it seems
impossible. Giving is an act of God that
we personally and as a church need
to follow in obedience to love God. I
believe if we do not give lovingly to
others, the will of God for our own lives
and for our local church will suffer. We
simply close the doors of His abundance
when we do not give. Jesus is the
perfect example of generosity. The truth
is, when we give we always receive.
I love the story of a church in West
Texas I read about who decided to give
50 percent of their income to missions.
Since that time, the church has grown
in numbers and spiritually and supports
many mission projects all over the
world. They are also the largest church
in their city and have sent out many
church-planters and missionaries. Even
churches that are struggling financially
will receive more than they can imagine
from God when they are generous in
How can a church be mindful
of the global call and at the
same time not forget to reach
its own community?
People have often come to me in the
past and told me, “I have a heart for
Burma; I need to go to Burma.” After
they tell me they are from Birmingham,
I ask them, “What are you doing in your
home city?” Usually, I receive the same
reply: “Not much, I can’t really do
much here because I am not
where I belong yet
12 WWM JUNE 2011
It is as simple as it sounds. If it doesn’t
work in Birmingham, it is not going to
work in Burma. Yes, the church needs
to be mission-minded and also give
lovingly to missions, but let us again
not forget Acts 1:8. Missions starts at
home and emerges systematically to the
ends of the earth. The church that has a
heart for the lost on the other side of
the world will have a heart for people
across the street.
In February, the two churches in
Germany began a mission school with
more than 30 students ready to serve
the Lord in their local community and
abroad. During the years, both German
churches have had the privilege of
hearing from missionaries from around
the world and now hope to strengthen
Missions is the heart of
a thriving local church.
That is what makes
their heart beat.
their heart for evangelizing the lost in
Germany and around the globe. They
invite Christians from other nations every
year to participate in their children’s
and youth camps and experience God
together. The heart for missions seems
to be a natural part of their faith from
During Easter of last year, the church
in Langen sent a group of young adults
to Georgia and Armenia to serve and
witness there. For all of them, the trip
was a life-changing experience. They
came home and shared their testimonies
to the church where the whole church
was motivated to missions in a personal
way, and from all that the mission team
now participates in the mission school.
This year and next year, the churches are
planning to send out mission teams not
only to Armenia and Georgia, but also
to other countries while they engage in
evangelism and discipleship in their home
churches and neighboring communities.
I guess, for me, missions is the
heart of a thriving local church.
That is what makes their
What makes a strong local church? What makes attendance rise and fall? In my
opinion, these two questions have the same answer.
The impact a church has in a community will determine the strength of the
church and its numbers. A church that has little impact on a community will be
weak, but a church with great impact will be strong.
What is impact? Some individuals might say we cannot have impact without
money or without a lot of people to help. However, impact is more than what we
are able to give and do for a community; it is how we exist in that community.
Churches with the mentality that God will just bring people in don’t seem to
catch the fullness of Revelation 22:17: “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. .
. .” The Spirit of God is already at work in our communities, but it is still up to the
bride to go and say, “Come.”
Take the parable of the wedding feast in Luke 14:16–24 in which the master
tells his servant to go and say, “Come . . .” (v. 17). When we pray for God to go and
bring people to the church, we are taking the place of the Master; telling God to
go and say, “Come” makes Him the servant.
If our church’s community does not even know it exists, then we have failed to
live up to what the calling of our church is. The community should know about
our church. They should at least know the name and location, and preferably the
pastor and doctrine.
Regarding resources, one may say, “We have nothing to give people when they
come.” I was once asked by a pastor, “What can I give them when they show up?
I have nothing at my church to give them—no music, no teachers, and a building
that is in need of repair.” To any pastor who is in the same position, give them the
only thing you can ever give—Jesus! He is all that truly matters. The rest helps, but
if we are Jesus’ body, then we have to be Him to the world.
Give people love, compassion, and Jesus. Skillful music, exciting multimedia,
and impressive structures will all pass away, but the words of God are eternal.
How can you impact your community? Share the Gospel. Going door-to-door
has seemingly become a lost art in the church today. When a church is planted in
a new area, attempting to connect with potential members should be one of the
main focuses of the church.
The Church of God of Prophecy has gone back to its core values—Prayer,
Harvest, and Discipleship. In these values lie the direction for the greatest impact a
church can make. First, pray and ask for God’s direction, blessing, and Spirit as you
go into the community. Second, spread the Gospel and win souls. And, then, teach
others to do the same.
One thing that is perhaps lacking in some congregations is the ability to
minister. We are saved not to be pew-riders, but to be workers. A. J. Tomlinson
once wrote a message titled, “Every Member a Worker,” in which he stated that
we are to not have inactive members who just come to church and pay tithes
and offering, but active, soul-winning members. In the world we live in, there
is no reason why we cannot try to reach our communities. With resources such
as computers, telephones, and flyers, we can work on doing something to press
forward in the Kingdom of God no matter how old we are, how much money our
church has, or how many people help us.
Do you love the community in which you attend church or do you just love
to attend a church that happens to be located in that community? What would
be the impact on the community if your church were to shut its doors for good?
Consider the impact your church is making, and pray for wisdom and laborers to
help make it more.
W. E. DeGeer Jr.
WWM JUNE 2011 13
The family is God’s primary institution
on earth. A God-centered family within
a vibrant local church is the best place
on earth for teaching, nurturing,
evangelizing, making disciples, building
relationships, equipping for service,
instilling godly principles, living out the
Great Commandment, and fulfilling the
Local churches become stronger
as they place a renewed emphasis on
healthy families. While the church can
offer a variety of ministries and programs,
the best service the church can provide
is to help families help themselves. The
church should teach and model basic
biblical principles and then encourage
each family to apply and live out these
principles in daily life.
The Need for
Families are in crisis, and they
need help. Unfortunately, the church
doesn’t always function as an authentic
community bound together by the
intimacy of Godly love. Therefore, the
church hasn’t always been equipped to
meet those needs.
This is reflected in the fact that
even though we’ve stood strongly in
opposition to divorce, it has now invaded
our families and churches in proportions
barely distinguishable from the rest of
society. As we move into the second
decade of the twenty-first century,
concerns about the destruction of
marriage and the breakdown of families
have moved to center stage. Sadly,
very few voices, even those of religious
leaders, have dared to speak up.
Biblical teaching aside, the breakdown
of marriage has social consequences.
The disappearance of a marriage culture,
and its replacement by a post-marital
culture, is the driving force behind almost
all the gravest societal problems—
crime, poverty, welfare dependence,
homelessness, spousal abuse, child
abuse, educational stagnation, and
The rapid decline of marriage is based
on a central myth sold by intellectuals,
politicians, feminists, psychologists,
lawyers, and even some ministers—that
it’s not declining, but merely changing for
the better. We’re told that marriages are
happier and healthier, children are better
off, and people have more freedom and
choices now that the taboos against
divorce, same-sex marriage, and unwed
motherhood have been discarded.
As society accepts these myths, the
implications are clear: marriage has
become disposable. If we believe divorce,
the break-up of families, and illegitimacy
are inevitable, then no one needs to take
responsibility for the devastation. And
if there’s no solution, there really is no
problem. So we tend to treat the collapse
of marriage like a natural disaster such
as earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis,
tornadoes, or floods—all of which cause
pain and destruction that cannot be
prevented, only relieved somewhat after
Ministering to Families
Ministry to the family must become
a major issue for our local churches.
However, effective ministry can’t be
provided simply by expanding the church’s
roster of activities, or by appointing an
14 WWM JUNE 2011 WWW.WHITEWINGMESSENGER.ORG
individual to oversee family ministries.
There must be a change in the mindset
of the pastor and local church if ministry
to families is to become effective.
Family ministry must have a two-fold
focus—to care for, support, nurture,
and empower families, and to bring
people together as a body of believers
in a way that enables authentic, biblical
community to take place.
There are several key elements that
are required for a local church to begin
formulating a response to the needs
• A theology of family—a fully
developed statement that
documents what we believe the
Bible teaches concerning marriage
and the family.
One reason why many churches
have been such poor caretakers
of marriage is because they have
never had a fully developed
theology of marriage. If we can’t
explain why marriage really matters
theologically, why maleness and
femaleness have real meaning,
and how marriage is God’s way
of completing these two sides of
humanity, then the only posture
we will have to stand against the
tidal wave of divorce, the rise
of illegitimate births, and the
homosexual onslaught is one of
A theology of marriage must be
more than a list of Scripture verses
on the topic. We must develop
and draw from a comprehensive
understanding of God’s creation of
male and female, why and how “the
two become one flesh,” and how
this “mystery,” as Paul calls it, is so
significant as to represent Christ’s
relationship with His church. If we don’t
live from this position, we are no
different from the world around us.
Other elements needed for an
effective local church ministry to families
include the following:
• A mission of family ministries—a
statement of why ministry to the
family exists in the local church.
This statement may also be
accompanied by specific objectives
that are expected to be fulfilled
through the mission.
• A vision of family ministries—a
statement of how things would
look if the church were effectively
carrying out its mission of
ministering to families.
• A passion for families—a burning
desire for families to grow spiritually,
relationally, and emotionally.
• A champion of families—an
individual, or group, within the
local church who is committed
without reservation to the welfare
and growth of families. Ideally,
the pastor would be the primary
champion of the family in each
church, but there should be others
as well. The pastor sets the agenda.
• A mindset for families—a way of
understanding what church is all
about that takes into account the
centrality of families.
Notice that none of these elements
are programmatic. Programs aimed at
families will not, by themselves, achieve
the objective of building strong, stable
families. Activities and programs aren’t
the foundation of family ministry;
intimate, loving relationships are.
Most often, a local church is a
collection of ministries and programs
designed to be supported by families. In
order to become most effective, however,
the church must become a network
of families supported by the church’s
ministries and programs.
Such thinking is a radical departure
from our current understanding of
church. For many years, we’ve relied
on our strong stand against divorce
to ensure strong families, and while
we should stand firmly on scriptural
principles regarding the sanctity of
marriage, that by itself has proven to be
ineffective in saving our families from
stress and break-up.
We’ve now reached a point at which
what we do must match what we believe.
It’s not enough to be against divorce;
we must be for families, and that means
reinventing church in such a way that
the needs of families are considered
in the design and operation of all we
do. This doesn’t mean that the church
becomes the focus of the family, but
rather that the family becomes the focus
of the church.
George Barna suggests that a key
principle the church must keep in
mind is to equip the family to minister
to itself. His contention is that most
churches attempt to solve the problems
of troubled families instead of helping
families solve their own problems. This
creates a co-dependency, or addiction, in
which the family never becomes able to
function on its own without intervention
by the church. Family crises don’t occur
at the church, so families must be
equipped to deal with crises when and
where they happen—in real life.
The church must enable the family to
meet its own needs so the family, in turn,
can bring life and strength to the church.
In this way, families become contributors
to the life of the local church rather than
consumers of the church’s resources.
There’s so much work to be done.
Satan is attacking families more heavily
than at any other time. Again, I believe
this is because he knows that families are
at the very heart of God’s purposes here
on earth. The enemy knows that if he can
destroy marriages and families, he has
gone a long way toward destroying the
church. Please join us in the fight for
The time has come when we are going
to have to put our beliefs into action
and bring all our resources to bear in the
fight against the forces that are bent on
destroying God’s primary institution,
the family. Together, with God’s help,
we can do it.
Larry Duncan, Pastor
WWM JUNE 2011 15
Local churches are like families, but even the best families
sometimes have heated disagreements that change the
course of the relationship. As a leader, what can you do when
you encounter conflict? Your thoughtful, measured response
How do you respond to disagreements? What is your
conflict resolution style? You may gravitate toward one of five
responses. Take a quick break from reading this magazine,
and take an online test. Go to www.selectpro.net/index.php/
How did you do? In this article, we’ll look at some of
the advantages and disadvantages for each response. The
following are the five responses—avoiding, competing,
accommodating, compromising, and collaborating.
16 WWM JUNE 2011
Dr. H. E. Cardin
The possible mantra is, “If you ignore it, it will go away.”
This style is unassertive and not very cooperative. The
positive aspects of an “avoiding” style are that it
reduces stress, saves time, side-steps danger, and waits
for better conditions. The negative aspects of this
style are that it generates a loss of respect, builds
potential resentment, or delays or creates a decline in the
Scripture talks about avoiding in several instances. If you
see evil, and it will bring conflict, avoid it (Proverbs 4:14,
15). Should you see where you might go head-to-head with
someone causing trouble, avoid them (Romans 16:17). We
are also told to avoid vain rhetoric (1 Timothy 6:20), and
avoid questions that create strife (2 Timothy 2:23; Titus 3:9).
When might you consider avoidance? When the issues are
unimportant. When the issues are really symptoms of other
issues. When the issues are something someone else can
handle. When issues are just too sensitive. When it’s an issue
that you simply cannot win (a lose/lose situation).
Should you respond with avoidance, exercise caution. Be
careful to not be judgmental and blame others; control your
anger, and stay focused on clearly declared goals. When you
postpone, set the time. I remember a time that any degree
of tension or conflict would arise during business meetings,
the moderator would say, “We will table this at this time.” A
mentor to me once said loudly, “How big is that table?” Set a
time. Use humor to diffuse the tension.
How do people avoid? They quit jobs, leave a church, lose
contact, withdraw from participation, and become more
absent. They give the appearance that they’re not aware
(didn’t see, didn’t hear, hasn’t spoken).
Dr. Fred Garmon of the Pentecostal Theological Seminary
said that among Church of God ministers who were surveyed
for their style of handling conflict, avoidance scored numberone
(38.5 percent). Pastors who leave because of conflict
were 29.2 percent. Of these, 42.1 percent will leave a second
church. Those who would change professions because of
conflict were 33.7 percent (Evangel, Volume 8, Number 3).
The possible mantra of those with this style of conflict
resolution is, “My way or the highway.” This style is very
assertive, but not very cooperative. The positive aspect of
this style is that a quick decision is reached. However, the
negative aspects are many: feedback may not be given;
low empowerment; reduced learning; restricted influence;
indecision; slow to act; and low empowerment. The
“competing” personality may be surrounded by “yes men”
and have strained relationships with others.
Scripture is used many times with the competing style:
“Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit
yourselves . . .” (Hebrews 13:17); “. . . but I would not stretch
forth mine hand against the LORD’s anointed” (1 Samuel
26:23); “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord,
and not unto men” (Colossians 3:23); and “. . . there was also
a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the
greatest. And he said unto them, The kings of
the Gentiles exercise lordship over them . . .” (Luke 22:24, 25).
When should you consider using the competing style?
When there is only one response (based on polity, procedure,
etc.). When an unpopular action needs to be taken. When
a quick decision is needed. When consensus fails. When
people are too reserved. You have asked for input, but little
to nothing has been shared.
If the competing style is used, be careful to lay the
groundwork, explain your motives, appeal to shared concerns,
be specific, be focused, be respectful, listen and respond,
don’t threaten, and outline healthy boundaries.
The possible mantra of the accommodator is, “I really
want to help.” This style is not very assertive and is quiet
cooperative. The positive aspects are that it is greatly
appreciated when help is needed, when harmony needs to
be restored, when building relationships, and when you need
a quick ending. The negative aspect is that it could lead to
loss of respect. (“Just tell me what to do, and I’ll do it.”)
The Bible speaks of accommodating in Romans 15:1: “We
then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak,
and not to please ourselves.” It is also addressed in Romans 12:21:
“Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” Other
verses that touch on it include the following: “Let no man seek
his own, but every man another’s wealth” (1 Corinthians 10:24)
and “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love;
in honour preferring one another” (Romans 12:10). We are
also reminded that Christ took “. . . upon him the form of a
servant . . .” (Phillippians 2:7). Regarding lawsuits, Paul
asks, “. . . Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be
cheated?” (1 Corinthians 6:7 NIV).
When might you consider accommodating? When you
are doing a favor to help someone, when you have been
persuaded, when you are obeying authority, when you
are deferring to someone else’s experience, when you are
appeasing someone who is dangerous, when you have been
outvoted, when you have been convinced, or when you need
to repair any damage you may have caused.
Should you respond with accommodation, be careful to
not be a sore loser. If you have wronged someone, apologize.
The possible mantra is, “Let’s make a deal.” This is
somewhat assertive and somewhat cooperative. The positive
aspects of this style are that it can be faster, it can be fair,
and it can help to maintain the relationship. Negative aspects
include losing the big picture and compromising on items
that shouldn’t be allowed. You could also lose long-term
goals, and you could become cynical.
In the Word, we are told to “submit yourselves one
to another . . .” (Ephesians 5:21), “. . . live peaceably . . .”
(Romans 12:18), and “. . . be ye transformed by the renewing
of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and
acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (v. 2).
When might you consider compromise? When people
need to “save face,” to avoid embarrassment, when you
need a temporary solution to a complex issue, when you
need a quick decision, when being more assertive would
harm relationships, or when other methods (competing,
collaborating, etc.) have failed.
WWM JUNE 2011 17
If you plan to compromise, there are things to consider.
It’s very important to remember that compromising isn’t
weakness. Make concessions as long as they are reciprocal.
Insist on fairness up-front. Determine the facts as objectively
The final conflict style is a popular one for bringing peace
into a situation. The collaborator’s possible mantra is, “Two
heads are better than one.” This style is very assertive and
very cooperative. Positive traits of collaborating mean
that you will have a higher quality of a decision, be able
to integrate a solution, learn by merging perspectives, and
gain commitment. You can also move past the conflict to
strengthen relationships. Collaborating creates a win-win
atmosphere, and combines the insights so as to reach a
richer understanding. Though this style is most encouraged,
there are still possible negatives. You can spend too much
time on trivial matters. Also, others may take advantage of
your spirit of cooperation, and you may wind up overloaded
The Bible tells us, “. . . how good and how pleasant it is
for brethren to dwell together in unity” (Psalm 133:1), and
instructs us to “. . . keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond
of peace” (Ephesians 4:3). In the familiar passage of Romans
8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to
them that love God, to them who are the called according to
his purpose,” the phrase, “work together” is from the Greek
sunergeo (soon-erg-eh’-o), where we get our word synergy.
When should you consider collaborating? When both
concerns are vital, when learning is needed, when there is
a need to merge insights from diverse perspectives, when
you need commitment to a decision (ownership), and when
relationships need to be restored.
Should you respond with collaboration, be careful to set
the right tone when addressing the issue. Identify both sides
of the concern, and state the conflict is a mutual problem.
Encourage brainstorming, and then pick the best ideas
from all. Be firm, but also allow for some flexibility. During
collaboration, use “we” language without blaming. Listen
rather than jump to conclusions. Restate the other person’s
concern, showing your understanding. Stay away from
language such as, “We need to . . .” or “We should. . . .”
Instead, use phrases such as, “What if we were to . . .” or
“Suppose we. . . .” Then agree on the best ideas. It’s also a
good idea to use humor to ease the tension.
In whatever conflict style you find yourself using, proceed
with prayer. Realize that our enemy is ultimately not of this
world, and his goal is to divide us. Be confident of your
role as a leader in seeking the best possible solution to
For more information, visit “Ministry Helps” at www.
tomlinsoncenter.com/ministryhelps.htm and see the many other
items that address the subject of conflict.
Need a greater understanding in dealing with conflict? Consider
some of the CIMS courses offered by the Tomlinson Center.
Leading With Integrity: Church Leadership and Administration—A study of contemporary concepts of spiritual
leadership with emphasis on scriptural models for varied administrative and leadership functions, including
communication, decision-making, conflict management, delegation, financial accountability, stewardship, and
operational procedures. Christ should be at the center of the leadership role. 2 CIMS credits. The portion dealing
with conflict resolution includes Conflict Is Universal; Unresolved Conflict Escalates; Poor Communication Causes
Conflict; A Model for Conflict Resolution, Part 1 and 2 by Dr. Mary Ruth Stone.
Helping People in Crisis; Pastoral Care and Counseling—A study of helping skills for pastors. This course reviews
basic counseling principles in working with people in crisis situations, in times of grief, and in times of death and
dying. The course also reviews referral opportunities, community resources, and ethical guidelines, including
confidentiality and reportable offenses. 2 CIMS credits. The portion dealing with conflict resolution includes
Marital Crisis—Covenant and Marriage and Marital Crisis—Conflict and Marriage by Dr. John Vining.
Understanding Yourself and Others: Understanding Human Behavior—An introduction to the study of human
personality and behavior from a Christian perspective. The goal of such a study is to help the student to attain a
better self-understanding and to gain a knowledge of the personality attributes of the individuals with whom he or
she interacts. 1 CIMS credit. The portion dealing with conflict resolution includes Conflict Resolution, Part 1 and 2
by Dr. Paul Conn.
Take these courses for credit, and learn how to have them transferred for full college credit.
Visit tomlinsoncenter.org for more information.
18 WWM JUNE 2011 WWW.WHITEWINGMESSENGER.ORG
Is Your Church Fiscally Fit?
Is your church fiscally fit? To
determine whether or not it is, you
must look at the average of giving in
relation to your attendance. A rule of
thumb minimum, as a starting point,
is $1,200 per person for the highest
weekly gathering, which is usually
Sunday morning. If your Sunday
morning attendance is 150, your
reference point to see if your church
is fiscally fit is $180,000 per year.
Anything less than this is a wakeup
call for you to teach and preach
stewardship as soon as possible.
A strong local church will experience
generosity from people who give freely,
joyously, regularly, expectantly, and
even sacrificially. Good stewardship
doesn’t just happen, nor is it developed
in a vacuum.
There are three foundation stones
upon which a fiscally sound and
strong church is built:
1. People are experiencing a
deeper commitment to Christ in dayto-day
living. Stewardship is so
important because it reveals outwardly
what’s inward. Sound churches
are filled with committed believers
who are continuously growing in
their spirituality and discipleship.
Obedience and faithfulness prevail
over personal agendas with a “what’s
in it for me” attitude. Generosity was
the first genuine response to the
outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
“And when they had prayed, the
place in which they were gathered
together was shaken, and they were
all filled with the Holy Spirit and
continued to speak the word of God
with boldness. Now the full number
of those who believed were of one
heart and soul, and no one said
that any of the things that belonged
to him was his own, but they had
everything in common” (Acts 4:31, 32).
When they were all filled with
the Holy Ghost, they immediately
lived out the bedrock stewardship
teaching that God is the owner of
everything. They were able to be very
generous because they no longer saw
themselves as owners. Everything
they had became available to God
and others. Their hands opened over
all that had been placed in them—no
grasping, possessing, and locking up.
2. There is a clear and compelling
vision of what God is calling the
church to be and to do. The mission
statement of your church must be
more than a cliché. It must be more
than ink on paper or projection of
the PowerPoint statement. Prayer
and fasting have identified God’s
vision for your church so clearly, it is
easily articulated to the even casual
attendant. People will give to vision,
especially when it has been formed
from God’s heart. Everyone delights in
partnering with a passionate, fulfilling
ministry that is changing lives and
making a difference in where people
3. There is a high level of trust that
leadership is handling the finances
in a God-honoring way. An effective
finance and stewardship committee
that consists of a true representative
of the church is at work. A budget
that is driven by the vision is the
centerpiece of a church that operates
with a level of openness that leaves
no room for lack of
accountability. A budget
that stretches with faith,
yet is realistic, communicates
that good stewardship is
practiced at all levels in all areas
of ministry. Every member can
know how much money comes into
the church, how it is used, and the
results realized. Safeguards such
as two offering counters and two
authorizations of each check are
Strong churches are a reflection of
strong leaders and strong decisions. A
strong church recognizes its work is
not done until the people are handling
their money, time, and talents according
to biblical principles. An annual
stewardship emphasis month that
teaches children, youth, and new
converts tithing and giving is on the
calendar. Stewardship is a year-round
part of the ongoing discipleship
ministry as well. Bible studies and
small group ministries help people to
discover their motivational gift with
an in-depth study of Romans 12:6–8.
In strong churches, people are
taught to live by God’s principles such
as tithing first fruits, minimizing debt,
and giving sacrificially. No church can
be strong if the biblical mandate for
good stewardship is feared, ignored,
and neglected. The pastor must put
forth the vision. A stewardship director
would also be a good addition to the
core of the church’s leadership team.
WWM JUNE 2011 19
More than 1,200 youth and youth workers from the Caribbean and all over North America gathered at the Marriott
World Center, Orlando, Florida, for the Church of God of Prophecy International Youth Conference March 25–27, 2011.
The conference’s dynamic, four-fold theme, “Discern, Develop, Devote, Deliver” served as a strategic building block for
creating the four-dimension youth. Each Spirit-filled session was designed to engage and prepare today’s youth. Friday
night spotlighted “Discern,” Saturday morning focused on “Develop,” Saturday night promoted “Devote,” and Sunday
morning concluded with “Deliver.”
With great expectations and enthusiasm, Friday morning registration was a grand success. The youth of the church
were ready to EMERGE to a higher level in God and in ministry. The vision for the conference was to have an encounter
with God, allow Him to reveal His call in the lives of His youth, and be released to fulfill that calling in the world.
Angélica Maria Dorantes, Chile, said, “Wow, Emerge was a beautiful experience that I’m still remembering 4D. My
husband and I are grateful to God for the opportunity to attend Emerge, to see young people with high skills, preaching,
teaching, prayer, and praise, beautiful talents, and a beautiful feast. We shared with many young people from different
latitudes together with the sole purpose of learning, sharing, proclaiming, and blessing the name of our God.”
Gospel Worship Pastor of Destiny Church, Texas, Freddy Rodriguez evoked the presence of God on Friday night and
for the remainder of the weekend. The atmosphere was filled with pure worship and adoration as he was led by the
Holy Spirit. He sang songs like, “I Will Run,” “You Make All Things New,” “How He Loves Us,” and “Wrap Me in Your
Arms” among others.
Master Illusionist Harris III blew the audience away as he displayed how easily people can be deceived. Through his
purposeful performance, he reminded the youth to walk by faith and not by sight.
As the weekend was filled with diversity in the body of Christ, Rhema Soul, Gospel HIP HOP Sensation rocked the
conference room. They brought their own flavor and style. Some youth were seen bouncing and nodding their heads as
Who could forget the children? The children’s ministry had Spirit-filled and dynamic sessions throughout Emerge. The
kids were energized and excited about praise and worship, the Word, and other engaging activities like balloon-twisting
20 WWM JUNE 2011 WWW.WHITEWINGMESSENGER.ORG
Setting the pace for the conference, the first speaker was
Robert Madu from Texas. His message was based on discerning
your gifts from God. “There are three people that want our gift:
God wants our gift, the enemy wants our gift, and other people
want our gift.” How do you determine your gift? These are the
steps: “Identify what you like to do: What comes easy to you
that is hard for others? What do other people like about you?”
Saturday morning was a series of holistic workshops peaking
the interest of all in attendance. It was clear that some people
could not make up their minds on which workshop to attend
while others were very passionate and knew exactly where they
wanted to go. There were power-packed sessions such as, “Warfare
Praise Dance,” “Spiritual Warfare,” “He Has Called You,” “Friends
With Benefits,” “Successful Me,” “Cultivating Your Call to
Preach,” “I’m a Missionary,” and “Gym Shoes and Tired Knees.”
As the Church of God of Prophecy core values are to glorify
God through prayer, harvest, and leadership development,
it was a great honor to have the General Overseer, Randall
Howard, in attendance at the conference. He also conducted an
enlightening and empowering workshop under the theme, “Your
On Saturday night, eyes were closed, hands lifted, and hearts
chased after God as renowned Gospel Recording Artist William
McDowell ministered his hits, “I Give Myself Away” and “We Say
Yes.” His ministry brought a shift in the service, and the Word of
God was brought through His servant, Jerry Chalk, from Ukraine.
Chalk challenged the young people to encounter God because
“Your calling becomes your challenge to change your world,
your encounter brings your confirmation, your encounter brings
your transformation, and your transformation brings God’s
desire in your life,” he said.
After Saturday night’s General Session, there was an “After-
Glow.” Gifted youth from the represented countries hit the stage
and displayed their unique talents. A memorable moment was
when The British Virgin Islands Worship Team “caught a fire,”
and the youth were so blessed by their ministry that they left
the conference room singing praises to God.
On Sunday morning, the final session of the conference was
powerful. Rodriguez was accompanied by a Worship Ministry
Ensemble, and there was a dynamic drama presentation by
Battlefront Ministries. Trevor Reid, International Youth Co-
Director, released the youth to deliver through the Word. He
said, “This army will deliver, heal, prophesy, be visionaries,
anointed, and powerful. No weapon formed against us could
prosper, we are a mighty army.”
Chains were broken, lives were healed, eyes were opened, and
Christ was revealed. After the four-dimension weekend, the goals
of the conference were achieved. Gifts were stirred up, the call
of God was acknowledged, and tools were provided to nurture
the call. Operation Omega Youth Ministries has EMERGED!
—Katherine Beneby II
Church of God of Prophecy (Bahamas)
WWM JUNE 2011 21
Strength to the
One of the greatest resources available to the
local church is the contribution made by a child
servant. Many of us focus on the responsibility
that we have to minister to children. While this
is certainly a necessary and biblical pursuit, we
must not forget another part of the equation.
God is calling children to minister and bring
strength to the local church. It is not necessary
to wait until our children reach maturity before
they are used by God. Children have so much to
offer, and it is time to capitalize on it. One needs
to look no further than the child Samuel to see
what God can do, not only for the young harvest
but through the young harvest.
of Children Causes
Samuel’s mother Hannah vowed, saying, “. . .
remember me, and not forget thine handmaid,
but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child,
then I will give him unto the Lord all the days
of his life . . .” (1 Samuel 1:11). A year after
Hannah’s prayer, Samuel was born. Two years
later, Hannah dedicated her son to the Lord.
Samuel was not the only person who was
dedicated that day. The mother’s commitment
to God was so influenced by this child that she
gave him back to God for His service. Her life was
changed! Children have a way of influencing their
parents in this way. Focusing on the spiritual
needs of children not only blesses them, but it
the voice of god.
Samuel heard God’s voice, but his
inexperience led him to the Priest Eli to answer
the call. This young child said yes, even before he
knew who he was answering. He was listening;
he was eager to be obedient and to serve. He
eventually discovered it was the call of the Lord,
not the call of the priest that he was hearing.
God is still calling children for His service, and
they are willing to say yes with no questions
asked. Children are energetic servants, capable
of hearing from the Lord. Now, consider what
would have happened if Eli had discouraged
Samuel’s experience. Eli could have very easily
discounted what Samuel was hearing by saying,
“You are just too young.” However, Eli said,
“Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he calls thee,
that thou shalt say, Speak, Lord, for thy servant
heareth . . .” (3:9). For every modern-day Samuel,
God has selected an Eli that will encourage the
child to be obedient by saying “yes.”
the word of god.
When Samuel did as Eli instructed him,
the Lord told Samuel about the things He
22 WWM JUNE 2011 WWW.WHITEWINGMESSENGER.ORG
was going to do in Eli’s house. Eli’s sons
were unrestrained, and judgment was
coming. Even though Eli had been told this
previously by the Lord, when the words
were spoken by the child Samuel, Eli was
willing to listen. When Samuel spoke, Eli
confessed, “He is the LORD; let him do
what is good in his eyes” (v. 18 NIV). It took
the words of a child to bring the message
home to Eli. God used Samuel long before
he was recognized as a prophet. God
will use honest, unassuming children to
speak His truths to us if we will only listen.
Perfect praise can come through children
as evidenced in Matthew 21:16: “Out of
the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast
Churches that make room for children
to minister have hope. Children are more
than capable of leading us in the Word
and worship. We must simply learn to look
and listen for what God is saying to and
Greenville, South Carolina
Make plans now to attend
the 2011 Institute of
September 22–25, 2011
Ridgecrest, North Carolina
Reasons Children Are
Essential to a Healthy
1. Serving children in the local church is an opportunity to
serve Christ Himself. “And whoever welcomes a little child
like this in my name welcomes me” (Matthew 18:5 NIV).
2. Children assure the future of the local church (Judges 2:10;
Psalm 78:1–7). Neil Postman said, “Children are the living
messages we send to a time we will not see.”
3. Children are the reservoir from which the local church will
draw future ministry leaders. If the local church effectively
disciples its children, within ten years there will be an
overflowing reservoir of leaders to serve in the local
church and to send out from the local church.
4. Believing children are gifted by the Holy Spirit just as
adults are. When their ministry gifts are recognized,
developed, and released, they will be used to bring the
body of believers into unity and spiritual maturity
• Grow in your ability to lead from a place of spiritual
and emotional health.
• Discover ways to lead up, influencing your senior
pastor and those who serve alongside you.
• Become better equipped to lead children’s ministry
strategically, creatively, and relationally.
• Learn ways you can lead families in creating faith
environments in their homes.
Skilled leaders are essential to the
accomplishment of God’s purposes in
the lives of our children.
For more information, visit the Children’s
Ministry website at http://children.cogop.org.
WWM JUNE 2011 23
Vision 2020: For Such A Time As This
Pastors and Pastors’ Wives Conference
September 26-29, 2011
Clarion Hotel, Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Receive training and ministry from quality, proven leaders on the following topics:
• Church Growth
• Children’s Ministries
$250/per person at Clarion Hotel, two to a room ($475 for married couples)
For special arrangements, contact Damaris Feliz at (423) 559-5521 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Register by completing the form below or online at www.cogop.org/hondurasconference.
REGISTRATION FORM (Must be postmarked by July 1, 2011)
City: _______________________________ State: _____________ Zip:_________ E-mail: __________________________
Accommodations: ___ Hotel ($250/person or $475/married couple)
Payment Enclosed: ___ Check ___ Money Order
Gabriel E. Vidal,
Pastor of Christian
Elim, El Salvador
David Bryan, Global
Rene Peñalba, Pastor
of Central Christian
• Youth Ministry
• Leadership Development
Hector Ortiz, Center
for Biblical Leadership
Pastor of Lluvia de
Church of God of Prophecy International Offices
Central America General Presbyter’s Office
P.O. Box 2910
24 WWM JUNE 2011 Cleveland, TN 37320-2910 WWW.WHITEWINGMESSENGER.ORG
European Area-Wide Ladies Retreat
Every other year, the International
Ladies Retreat team is blessed to join women
from the nations of Europe, Eastern Europe, and the Middle
East for a celebration of ministry. This year, the nation of
Cyprus hosted the bi-annual event at the Palm Beach Hotel in
Larnaca. The team of ministry included Soula Charalambous,
Wanda Endecott, Judy Gregorio, Lyena Chalk, Athena Petrou,
Loula Petrides, Diana Hutch, Donna Howard, myself and
my husband, John, and all the national leaders from the
nations of Europe, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East. We
were blessed to have our General Presbyter, Bishop Clayton
Endecott, and the Presiding Bishops of five nations to join us
(Cyprus, Egypt, Bosnia Herzegovina/Italy/Macedonia/Malta,
Germany, and Greece).
The Friday evening service began with a powerful manifestation
of the presence of God through celebration and worship. We
also celebrated the supernatural healing and restoration of
Ximo Gregorio, and the attendance of Samir and Eatedal Rizk
from a chaotic and violent national crisis in Egypt. As these
and others began to testify about the work of the Spirit in
their lives, ministries, and nations, faith began to rise.
Saturday began with the ministry of Diana Hutch
(Columbus, Ohio), Donna Howard (Odenville, Alabama) and
Soula Charambous (Larnaca, Greece) and continued into
the evening with the testimonies of the miraculous work of
God throughout the nations as each national leader of this
Samir and Eatedal Rizk
region shared. The evening continued with celebration and
miracles as prayer led us to witness the power of salvation,
sanctification, Spirit baptism, healing, restoration, provision,
and many other blessings and works of the Spirit.
As we gathered Sunday morning for our last service
together, the witness of the Lord came, and we were once
again ushered into His presence as He worked among us.
Our special thanks go to Bishop and Sister Charalambous
and their national staff as the host nation for organizing
a beautiful conference site and extending a warm and
Shortly after this retreat, we received the news of the
unexpected death of Tetyana (Tanya) Voznyuk, the wife of our
Presiding Bishop in Ukraine and co-pastor of our local church
in Kiev. Tanya’s investment in and influence through the
women’s retreat/conference ministry has been amazing and
life-impacting. Within her own nation, she had become an
example of creative, anointed, and excellent ministry. While
we mourn her departure from earth, heaven rejoices in her
victorious arrival in eternity.
Tetyana (Tanya) Voznyuk, far right
WWM JUNE 2011 25
What I Do . . .
Recently, an incident happened
that brought me to a profound
realization of what being a minister is
I had a full day planned. This is not
so unusual, but the way it unfolded
led me to what I like to call a “divine
appointment.” I started out my
morning at Vanderbilt University
Hospital with a visit to one of our
friends, Bill, who had been taken
there in the middle of the night
by ambulance. He had been in the
emergency room all night long, and
his family waited anxiously to hear a
diagnosis from the doctors.
I left there and started on my way
home. I needed to be in Cleveland by
4:00 p.m. that afternoon, and it is a
three and one-half hour drive.
Earlier, I had ordered a specific book
from Amazon.com that I needed for
research, and it had not yet arrived,
so I decided to visit Barnes and Noble.
After walking to the section where
the book should have been, I decided
to go to the information desk and ask
if they had it in stock. There was an
older man standing at the information
desk asking about a book, and the
clerk could not seem to find it in
their system. I waited patiently and
overheard the man give the name
of the author. It was a name I had
been familiar with since studying
this author more than 20 years ago
I said, “Excuse me, I don’t mean
to intrude, but I believe I can help
you with this.” The man turned and
said, “Please do.” I then stated, “That
book has probably been out of print
for many years, and you will have a
hard time finding it. It was probably
published before World War I.”
The clerk then said, “Do you know
the author’s name?” “Yes,” I replied
and shared it with her. She typed
the name of the author in, and the
computer pulled up the title of the
book and the author’s other works
and excitedly said, “It was published
in 1918; you were right.” Then she
said to me, “He is looking for a book
to give as a gift to his granddaughter.”
This man then looked at me, and
his face saddened. He said, “It’s not
really for my granddaughter, it’s for
me. I am trying to find a book that will
26 WWM JUNE 2011 WWW.WHITEWINGMESSENGER.ORG
help me find God. I can’t seem to find
I looked around the large store
(I must admit it was on purpose and
a bit dramatic), and I said, “Do you
see all of these books in this store?
There are thousands.” I then said,
“I know the God that gave all of this
knowledge, and in fact there aren’t
enough books to contain Him.”
A huge tear dropped down the
man’s cheek as he said, “I just don’t
understand.” I smiled and said, “May I
share something with you?”
By now, the other staff had
begun to gather at the information
desk. Three ladies were watching
intently and listening to every word. I
continued, “Sir, what is your name?”
“John,” he answered. I said, “Well,
John, let me tell you the two basic
truths about all true theology.”
I continued, “First, God is. He
exists; He is real. And second, you can
find Him.” At that point, he said, “I’ve
tried a lot of churches—Evangelical,
Lutheran, Catholic, even Pentecostal,
but I can only find a lot of noise.
Nothing is speaking clearly with me.
I am lost.”
I then said, “John, I am not talking
about religion. I am talking about a
real relationship with the true and
living God, and He wants you to
know Him. He wants you to know
By now, John’s tears were flowing
freely, and the women around the
counter hadn’t moved. Now, there
were two other individuals standing
behind me, and I noticed they were
paying attention to every word. I
said, “John, can I pray with you?” His
answer was the one I expected and
the one I hoped for: “Yes, please.”
As I placed my hand on his shoulder
and began to bless him, John met the
Lord right there in the middle of the
store. To God be the glory!
After spending a little more time
with John and sharing good resources
for his newfound faith, he said, “I’ve
found what I was looking for. I can’t
believe you were standing right
there when I was searching for an
answer.” My reply was simple. “John,
that’s just how much God loves you.
He had a divine appointment with
After John left, the woman said,
“Is there a book you were looking
for?” I said, “Yes, but I doubt you
have it in stock.” She checked and
found they did not have it. I realized
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CCI Area Representative
that the search for a book was never
the object of the trip to Barnes and
Noble. John was the object of the
search, and the Good Shepherd found
Later in the afternoon, I made the
trip to Cleveland for the memorial
service of a great man of God, Bishop
As I sat in the church, listening to
the songs, listening to the sermon,
and looking around the room at the
multitude of ministers both active
and retired, the thought of my
encounter with John that day was
fresh in my mind. I realized that so
much is expected of ministers, but
the recurring thought kept coming to
my mind: This is not what I do . . . it’s
who I am.
And so it is with all of us who carry
the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We care
for His people because it’s not what
we do . . . it’s who we are.
E. C. McKinley
State Overseer of Tennessee
WWM JUNE 2011 27
Called Out of Darkness
Tameka Scotton Shares Story of Healing
Tameka Scotton knows what it means to come out of the darkness and “. . . into His marvellous light”
(1 Peter 2:9). And she wants everyone to know it.
Longtime COGOP members and delegates of the International Assembly are familiar with the 39-year-old.
Tameka, an alumnus of Tomlinson College and the daughter of Ron and Gladys Scotton, has ministered in
churches and events through North America and beyond with her amazing musical talents.
On December 3, 2010, however, her life changed. In recovery for a routine medical procedure, Tameka’s
heart stopped. Although she was revived, she also suffered a stroke, adding to an already grave situation. With
her family and friends at her side, Tameka began a long journey back to her normal life, most notably with her
eyesight, which had been impaired because of the stroke. “I was unable to see anything,” she said. “I was in
darkness. And yet the Lord told me this was happening for reasons. That caused me to be still and be at peace.”
In therapy, Tameka became familiar with her medical records, as a way of coming to terms with what
happened. As she questioned the listing of “slow heart rate, flat line, and PEA,” she discovered that it meant
“pulseless electronic activity.” “That hit me so hard,” she said. “I had died. When I realized that, I just walked
into a private room and cried.” Still, in the midst of that fear, Tameka proclaimed, “I died, but God . . . I just
have to thank Him for reviving me. He didn’t have to do that, but He did.”
Although Tameka still has a few hurdles yet to cross, including white spots in her vision and settling back at
her own home, she is grateful for the hand of God she felt even through the darkness. She is also overcome
with emotion when speaking of the support of her family, friends, and church that rallied behind her in prayer.
“God is real, and He allowed a chain of prayers to go across the world on my behalf,” she said. “I want the
people to know that the prayers have been and are being answered. Thank you everyone for the calls, prayers,
hugs from a distance, whatever your contribution. To God be the glory!”
Revival Meetings Spark
We had a wonderful week with Joseph “Bo” Robinson and
David Smith. We had special meetings in which our theme
was Luke 4:18, 19—“Let the People Be Delivered!” This was
definitely happening there. People were prayed for, and
they found deliverance in Jesus. We had four meetings and
approximately 70 different persons in attendance.
Bo and David ministered to our leadership team as well, and
that was very encouraging. God gave wisdom and direction
to us. We are so thankful for Bo and David and for those who
made it financially possible for them to come.
Some special prayer requests: Pray for the local church to be
birthed in Hameenlinna. Pray for the meeting place for monthly
worship services. Pray for wisdom on how to reach people in
Hameenlinna. Pray for common, united vision. Pray for three
young leaders, who are going to attend a youth camp and
training in the U.S. next June. Pray for the new believers, new
disciples, and new members. Pray that barrenness will be over
and that God will give a great harvest for us here.
—Tapio Sätilä, Overseer of Finland
28 WWM JUNE 2011
New Church-Plants and New Believers
Congo Brazzaville National Overseer Jean Pierre Mukendi
reports that new churches are being organized in Epinansa with
a founding membership of 50 and the official organization of
the church in Elouna with 96 members. Bishop Mukendi stated,
“We were told the Church of God of Prophecy is the first church
in the area and that I am the first missionary to come to Elouna.
During a series of services in the Okah Village, Bishop
Mukendi was approached by a woman who repented of
practicing sorcery. She told him, “My father was a great killer
sorcerer, and me and my brothers and sisters were brought
up in sorcerer practice. Our father put by food something in
my womb and those of my sisters, which troubles and makes
us suffer a lot. Every night, we go in forest and enter in deep
pit to practice witchcraft. The Church of God Prophecy is my
first church to attend, and I confess and repent because I the
sorcerer and prostitute girl, I want from today [to] receive Jesus
Christ and to be saved and healed.”
Saturday, March 26, 2011, in the city of
Springfield, Massachusetts, a new Church
of God of Prophecy was organized in the
Northeast Hispanic Region, District 1. This
is the 47th church in the region; it was
established thanks to the work and efforts
of Pastor Henry García and his family,
who sowed God’s Word in hungry hearts
and began meeting through Bible studies
and services in homes with a group of
brothers and sisters.
Bishop Rahadamés Matos, Regional
Overseer, and Pastor José Ferreras,
District Overseer, were present at the
inauguration and were able to enjoy with
us a service full of worship and joy
for what our Lord is doing in the region.
Several pastors and representatives of the
local churches in the region honored this
celebration with their presence. Bishop
Anastasio Matamoros, pastor of the church
Pastor Reports Healing of Leukemia
I wanted to take a minute and share with you what
happened in our Sunday morning service. During the altar call, a
grandmother asked that we pray for her four-year-old grandson
who had been diagnosed with leukemia. They had found 13
lumps on his body and were scheduled to go back to the doctor
to discuss treatment and to run more tests. She was able to
bring him to church, and we got him out of children’s church
to be anointed and prayed for. He went back to the doctor
again, and most of the lumps had already disappeared, and the
rest were dissolving away! I felt so strongly in my spirit while
we prayed for him that he had been healed, and by faith we
declared that during the service.
Part of this was so amazing to me because the little boy’s
name was Joshua. My little brother’s name is also Joshua, and
he was diagnosed and healed of leukemia at almost the same
exact age. I remember as I prayed for him, I said, “God, I have
seen You do this once before, and I believe You can and will do it
again!” Praise God for His infinite mercy!
—Pastor Jonathan Brown, Claxton COGOP
in Georgetown, Delaware, delivered a
powerful message. Brother Anastacio,
along with his wife Carmen, traveled
eight hours to join in this celebration.
Visitors included Pastor Rafael and María
Díaz, along with a group of brothers and
sisters from Dover, New Jersey; Pastor
Juan and Jacqueline Melo from Lawrence,
Massachusetts; Pastor Rubén and Virginia
Báez from Providence, Rhode Island;
Pastor Marisol and Marcos Severino from
Worcester, Massachusetts; Pastor Eduardo
and Estela Cáceres from Lynn, Massachusetts;
as well as ministers and district leaders,
missionaries, and evangelists.
A highlight at this event was the
presence of Reverend John Richards,
pastor of Christian Life Center, and his
wife. Reverend Richards offered words
of encouragement, affirmation, and
fellowship, motivating us to work and
make the city shine with God’s Word.
Reverend Richards affirmed the importance
of Hispanic churches because this ethnic
SEND NEWS ITEMS TO EDITORIAL@COGOP.ORG
Youth Doing Doorto-Door
At the Chickasaw, Alabama,
Church, some of our youth knocked
on doors in our neighborhood
giving out tracts and inviting people
to come visit us. One lady was sick,
and they prayed with her. This
touched her, and she plans to visit
us. Another came and said she
was so impressed by our youth,
and she could feel the Spirit of the
Lord as they came into her home.
We praise the Lord for the zeal
and willingness they have to do
something for the Lord. They
came back and shared stories
of their visits. They have ordered
Bibles to give out to those who
may not have one.
—Source: Alabama Update
group makes up approximately 54 percent
of the city’s total population. During the
service, brothers and sisters of the
newly organized church shared testimonies
of how Pastor Henry ministered to them.
Two young people from Dover, New
Jersey, presented choreography of a song
that spoke about the importance of the
Holy Spirit in the work that we do,
allowing a beautiful time for worship.
The Holy Spirit ministered to us in a
wonderful way when we all sang the song
titled, “Santo Jesús” (“Holy Jesus”) led by
At the end of the service, 29 people
became members of the church. Bishop
Rahadames Matos, Regional Overseer,
assisted by the local pastors, officiated the
ceremony with great enthusiasm. Pastors
Henry and Jacqueline García were appointed
pastors of the new church. We hope to
continue to see God’s grace in the lives of
our pastors and the Springfield Church.
WWM JUNE 2011 29
Dr. Raymond McRay Pruitt, 88, died
Wednesday, March 9, 2011, at his home
in Oxford, Mississippi.
Dr. Pruitt was married to Aleda Pruitt.
He studied at the University of Hawaii
and the University of Tennessee before
receiving an honorary doctorate from
the Church of God Theological Seminary
in Cleveland, Tennessee. As a Sergeant,
Dr. Pruitt served in the United States
Army during World War II in the
Dr. Pruitt was an ordained minister
in the Church of God of Prophecy since
November 14, 1940, and authored
Fundamentals of the Faith, Disciplined
Disciples, and Present Help Sermon Outlines
and was involved in various other
writing projects for the Church of God of
Prophecy Sunday School Department.
Santa Lucia Cotz, Guatemala; March 24,
2011; licensed minister for 47 years.
Feliciano Ixpatá G.
Escuintia, Guatemala; March 28, 2011;
licensed minister for 50 years.
Laura E. Lord
California, Missouri; March 30, 2011;
licensed minister for 37 years.
William J. Norton
Taylorsville, Kentucky; April 4, 2011;
licensed minister for 33 years.
30 WWM JUNE 2011
In His Presence
Eugene Weakley, 83 years, of
Murfreesboro, Tennessee, passed away
on March 28, 2011, after a short illness.
Bishop Weakley was married to Juanita
Faye Cowan Weakley on November 19,
1955. He attended Trevecca College in
Nashville and Cleveland State Community
College and Lee University in Cleveland,
Tennessee. He was a veteran of the
United States Army and served in World
War II from 1945–1947.
Bishop Weakley began his ministry in
1948, serving in various capacities
in the Church of God of Prophecy,
including pastor, State Overseer for
Tennessee, District Overseer, and Small
Group Ministries Director, among other
responsibilities. Even after retirement,
Bishop Weakley continued to minister
and faithfully served the Church for 63
years as a minister.
Gilbert Loraine Smith
Saint Augustine, Florida; April 4, 2011;
licensed minister for 56 years.
Aimee Grace Cathy
Dickson, Tennessee; March 18, 2011.
(One out of four people who were
saved in Tent Revival at Burns in 1950.)
Isabelle A. Croyle
Karns City, Pennsylvania; April 4, 2011.
She was the mother of Bishop C. Jay Croyle.
Kiev, Ukraine; April 8, 2011.
Tanja was the wife of Bishop Vitaliy
Voznyuk, Overseer of Ukraine.
“Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be
done. . . .” As prayers go up, the
blessings come down. God has
been doing great and mighty
things in our midst. . . . Anointed
preaching, powerful study of
the Word, miracles of healing,
deliverance from strongholds,
repentant souls . . . we come in
anticipation of what God will do
next. Nothing is impossible! God
is also blessing us financially as
we are working to pay off our
renovation loan. Sister Kay Pate is
heading up our fund-raiser dinner
each Friday. This month, we raised
a little more than $1,500. To God
be the glory!
Praise the Lord! We are being
blessed continually with healings
and people turning their lives
over to God and seeking a closer
walk with Him. Prayers are being
answered amid a sweet and
powerful moving of the Holy Ghost.
Our church began January with
a 21-day corporate fast. This was
the first time we had done this as
a church, and it was a humbling
experience. We ended the fast
with a Celebration Service, which
included worship, drama, and
The Williams Family. This was a
celebration for what God is going
to do during 2011 in our church
DeWayne Hamby, Managing Editor
A Beggar in the
I love to travel. One of the highlights of
my life is discovering new locations and
soaking in the beauty of the world that
God has created. Sure, there are some
parts more exciting than others. Moving
through an airport security line is low on
my list of fun activities, but arriving at the
destination helps erase that anxiety.
During one vacation, I was particularly
bubbly and upbeat, mostly due to the
incredible savings we received when we
booked our trip. Imagine paying for the
janitor’s closet and getting the king’s
quarters, and you get a clue of how I
felt. I was walking around in paradise,
determined not to miss a moment. I even
told my wife, “I feel like one of those
beggars that got invited to the king’s feast
because no one else showed up.”
You’ll remember that Jesus told the
parable of the Great Banquet in Matthew
22. The king had prepared a wedding feast
for his son, only to be disappointed in
those who ignored his invitation. When he
realized those who were invited weren’t
found worthy and did not treat his
invitation with due respect, he filled up
the banquet hall with random attendees.
While I enjoyed my moment in the sun,
I’m at a loss for creating a winning
and successful life plan that allows me
access to eternal life.
not everyone shared my
enthusiasm. I could see it
in their faces and even
overheard random complaints. This place
wasn’t quite as nice as they thought it
could be or the service wasn’t as detailoriented
as they would have liked. I knew
many would hit the Internet to offer
scathing reviews while I would relate my
own experience as glowing. We shared
the same location and most likely identical
accommodations, but our assessments
were polar opposites. Why?
There are people who think they
deserve the best and people who know
that they don’t. I landed on the latter end
of that, especially in that instance. It was a
random blessing that placed us there, not
anything I could have orchestrated on my
own. I hadn’t invested the same amount
of time or resources that some of them
had, but I was enjoying the benefits all the
same. It reminds me of another parable
found in Matthew 20 of the workers in
“So when evening had come, the
owner of the vineyard said to his steward,
‘Call the laborers and give them their
wages, beginning with the last to the
first.’ And when those came who were
hired about the eleventh hour, they each
received a denarius. But when the first
came, they supposed that they would
receive more; and they likewise received
each a denarius. And when they had
received it, they complained against the
landowner, saying, ‘These last men have
worked only one hour, and you made
them equal to us who have borne the
burden and the heat of the day.’ But he
answered one of them and said, ‘Friend,
I am doing you no wrong. Did you not
agree with me for a denarius? Take what
is yours and go your way. I wish to give to
this last man the same as to you. Is it not
lawful for me to do what I wish with my
own things? . . .’” (vv. 8–15 NKJV).
God never said this life would be fair.
Things are not just going to “even out.”
I’m glad because I’m at a loss for creating
a winning and successful life plan that
allows me access to eternal life. Left to
my own devices and resources, I would
It’s the grace of God that makes all the
difference. I need to constantly remind
myself of that to maintain the proper
perspective and have an attitude of
gratitude to the One who is giving me
exactly what I don’t deserve.
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