Across the Nation: A chaplain’s commissioning, a bus to serve homeless and more quick takes
Across the Nation is our monthly rundown of news briefs,…
Across the Nation is our monthly rundown of news briefs, links and quotes from Churches of Christ across the U.S. Got an idea for this column? Email Bobby Ross Jr. at [email protected].
Church leaders gather: Craig Ford, preacher for the Billings Church of Christ in Montana, attends Bismarck Leadership Workshop in North Dakota with his wife, Jeri.
“There is a temptation to judge success in ministry by comparing bodies, budgets and buildings. Our foundation must rest in Christ and a leader’s faithfulness to their service in Christ.”
Ministers, elders, deacons and their wives met at the recent workshop to learn from and encourage each other. Many of the 53 who attended were from small congregations in areas with few Churches of Christ.
“There is a temptation to judge success in ministry by comparing bodies, budgets and buildings,” said Scott Laird, minister for the Great Falls Church of Christ in Montana. “Our foundation must rest in Christ and a leader’s faithfulness to their service in Christ.”
Laird said one of the many blessings that has come from the workshop over the years is that it has also served as a reunion of sorts for “PKs” — preacher’s kids.
Two families brought their 18-month-old babies, Laird noted. “And so we begin another generation.”
Hungry? Grab a ‘blessing box’: The Childress Church of Christ in Texas has a food pantry, but members aren’t always around when people need to take advantage of it.
“This seemed like a simple way to help.”
So the church erected a “blessing box” outside its building and invites anybody to take whatever they need.
“I saw the idea on the internet … and we ran with it,” minister Trey Morgan said. “We have a lot of lower-income families in our community … and this seemed like a simple way to help.”
MCCONNELSVILLE — The historic Twin City Opera House was transformed into a venue for an old-fashioned gospel singing on a recent Friday evening. Twenty-one songleaders from area Churches of Christ led a cappella favorites.
Tom Butterfield, minister of the Seventh Street Church of Christ in McConnelsville, said more than 400 attended. Many of the guests were from the community and had no previous connection with the host church, Butterfield said.
“Our event has been the talk of the town, and our elders are even now working toward the next such program,” he said, adding that the theater has been “a vital part of life in this community” since its completion in 1892.
WOODWARD — A Woodward Church of Christ support group serves people who deal with chronic pain.
“One aspect of the ministry is to allow people to participate from afar or from their homes because their pain limits them.”
The ministry, dubbed Broken and Mended, focuses on encouraging those managing ongoing health issues, minister David Heflin said.
“One aspect of the ministry is to allow people to participate from afar or from their homes because their pain limits them,” Heflin said. “It is still a very new ministry, but others already have been blessed. I do hope one day it will bless hundreds, maybe thousands of people, not just in Woodward but around the globe.”
For more information about the group, visit www.BrokenandMended.com.
BECKLEY — Most Sunday mornings, attendance at the North Beckley Church of Christ is about 55.
“Engaging our young people is necessary for the future. If we do not … the church will cease to exist in the near future.”
However, minister Jerry Stumpf worries that not many of those in the pews are younger than the average attendance figure.
So Stumpf, the church’s two elders and a handful of volunteers are on a mission to encourage young adults and families with small children. The group is planning events and activities — and providing babysitting. Ten members participated in the first of several such gatherings planned in the coming months, the preacher said, adding that the response was heartwarming.
“We want to help them spend time together away from the (church) building to form stronger bonds,” Stumpf said. “Engaging our young people is necessary for the future. If we do not … the church will cease to exist in the near future.”
“It’s insane to me that in four weeks I went from hardly walking, using crutches and barely going to school to running a mile. It’s changed everything I do and how I do it.” — Suzie Lynne, youth group member at the Mountain Home Church of Christ in Arkansas. Read the full story.
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