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Staying Dependent - Why stay with the COG?

 
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Post Staying Dependent - Why stay with the COG? doyle
There is another thread on the board about going independent. To balance that discussion somewhat, a question in that post is featured in the heading of this one.

Basically, why do you stay with the COG? What benefits does that bring to your life and ministry? If you were advising ministers to stay with the COG, what reasons would you give?

In no way was the other post intended to be a hit job on the COG, and neither is this one. Denominations are rapidly being viewed these days as not so necessary as they once were. A lot of that has to do with the incredible and revolutionary increase in the individual's ability to form contacts and friends around the world on their own.

Most denominations are facing ministers and churches leaving. Since most of us who use this forum are COG (and a few former), we focus the question to us. To survive with any strength, the COG will need to answer the question: "Why should local churches and pastors remain COG?"

Is that the right question or is there a better way to phrase it? When asked that question, what do you say?

Doyle
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8/29/15 4:47 pm


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Post Re: Staying Dependent - Why stay with the COG? deltaman
doyle wrote:
There is another thread on the board about going independent. To balance that discussion somewhat, a question in that post is featured in the heading of this one.

Basically, why do you stay with the COG? What benefits does that bring to your life and ministry? If you were advising ministers to stay with the COG, what reasons would you give?

In no way was the other post intended to be a hit job on the COG, and neither is this one. Denominations are rapidly being viewed these days as not so necessary as they once were. A lot of that has to do with the incredible and revolutionary increase in the individual's ability to form contacts and friends around the world on their own.

Most denominations are facing ministers and churches leaving. Since most of us who use this forum are COG (and a few former), we focus the question to us. To survive with any strength, the COG will need to answer the question: "Why should local churches and pastors remain COG?"

Is that the right question or is there a better way to phrase it? When asked that question, what do you say?

Doyle


That is a good question and for one I am looking forward to the answers. The COG does provide opportunities for many of us to fulfill God's call on our life. For others it becomes a restrictive group of men hindering and not understanding where they feel God is leading us. Why stay, if one can work around or within the political system, the COG does provide a large network of pastors, churches, and ministries for one to grow and develop a ministry.The COG does have a strong biblical teaching and doctrinal positions.
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8/29/15 6:12 pm


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Post Change Agent
Looks like this is going to be a very short post. Laughing Acts Enthusiast
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8/31/15 5:57 pm


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Post why i stay Church of God muricewatsonsfriend
1. currently, i still believe in its doctrine.
2. we still have very close fellowship with one another. eg. this discussion board lead to a get together at the G.A.
3. it is my family; both of the flesh and the Spirit.
4. many of my best friends are in the COG and i know that it would change if I were to leave. we'd all like to think that this wouldn't matter one way or another, but relationships change.
5. starting over sounds more terrifying than tempting. (i'm 53)
6. most other groups that i've considered moving to over the years require an Mdiv, which I don't have.
7. friends of mine that have gone to other denoms, and friends i have in other denoms say that the grass isn't greener. i'll take their word on it.
8. if money is the issue then i have an issue with money. the TOT, if kept at home, wouldn't make a significant difference one way or the other for our budget.
9. what cleveland does or fenton does not directly affect reaching the lost in Taylor, MI; however, its a great partnership for reaching the lost in Michigan; by working in a network of churches (districts) and reaching thousands around the world. i couldn't do that alone.
10. great 403b plan.
there's plenty that's wrong, but that's 10 good reasons for me to stay COG
- Darius
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8/31/15 7:01 pm


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Post You Should Stay If... FG Minister
1. You like sending a percentage of your money to an organization that may or may not stand behind you when you need them.

2. You like using curriculum by the COG as opposed to other publishers.

3. You like youth camps sponsored by the COG.

4. You like to support missions personnel in Cleveland with a portion of your TOT instead of actual missionaries.

5. You like a denomination that spends more on printing materials for it's General Assembly every two years than on church planting.

There are lots of reasons to stay with the good ole COG. (But I didn't).
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9/1/15 3:12 pm


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Post Nick Park
I stay in the Church of God for the same reasons that I brought my previously independent congregations into the movement in 1995.

1. I believe it to be a spiritual principle that you have to be under spiritual authority in order to exercise spiritual authority. The members and ministers that I serve in Ireland show me a lot of love and respect (even when they respectfully disagree with me and tell me so). I believe that it I should model a similar attitude to those over me in the Lord.

2. I have a heart for missions and want to connect with ministries overseas that are doing something mighty for God. Church of God has some of the finest missionaries and national workers in the world - and being part of the Church of God has given me the opportunity to visit, and to train and minister to, amazing Kingdom builders all over the globe.

3. I want to be under a covering that will correct and discipline me if I ever go astray concerning morality or false doctrine. I have seen too many independent ministry leaders become ship-wrecked because they had no one with sufficient authority to set them on the right path when they started to err.

4. When I joined Church of God I was not looking for an organization with a lot of superstar preachers. I had previously moved in circles where there were plenty of celebrity pastors who, if you stood in their way, would not hesitate to stab you in the back. I was looking for a spiritual family. I found that in Church of God, and I value the wonderful friends I have made. Not everyone is perfect (myself included) but the positive relationships have far outweighed the negatives.

5. In 1995 I perceived that Church of God allowed a wide variety of cultural styles and methodologies. They would not force churches in Ireland to behave like clones of American churches, but supported us in building a culturally-relevant indigenous ministry. That is still the case today. My travels worldwide have convinced me that the Church of God, perhaps more so than any other denomination, have a particular gift for reaching ethnic minorities and immigrant groups. This, to me, is a God-given miracle given the culturally narrow Appalachian roots of the movement.

6. I joined a denomination that was Pentecostal, biblically sound, and with a strong emphasis on holiness. I still believe that I am part of such a denomination.

That's why I joined in 1995. And it's why I stay in 2015.
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9/2/15 11:01 am


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Post Re: why i stay Church of God Old Time Country Preacher
muricewatsonsfriend wrote:
most other groups that i've considered moving to over the years require an Mdiv, which I don't have.


Darius, son, don't let at stop ya, they is degree mills everwhere. I can help ya git a MDiv fer less than $500. Its worthless. It has no legitimate utility. Folk with a real one is gonna giggle. But hey, preacher boys get em like this ever day.
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9/2/15 2:08 pm


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Post Re: You Should Stay If... deltaman
FG Minister wrote:
1. You like sending a percentage of your money to an organization that may or may not stand behind you when you need them.

2. You like using curriculum by the COG as opposed to other publishers.

3. You like youth camps sponsored by the COG.

4. You like to support missions personnel in Cleveland with a portion of your TOT instead of actual missionaries.

5. You like a denomination that spends more on printing materials for it's General Assembly every two years than on church planting.

There are lots of reasons to stay with the good ole COG. (But I didn't).


I would think these would be reasons to stay and make an effort to change the system. If everyone left, then would we ever effect any change?
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9/2/15 6:24 pm


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Post Why I Stay... 4thgeneration
I was saved, Spirit filled, called, and given a place to do ministry in the COG. (I didnít say sanctified because Godís still working that part out in me- lol) My great grandparents were good Baptist believers who were Spirit filled (and spoke in tongues) during their evening bible study and prayer time. They sought God who led them to the book of Acts, and gave them understanding of their experience. Sometime later they heard of a brush arbor revival and that those people spoke in tongues. They visited and joined fellowship with the Church of God (which is why I am 4thgeneration).

I grew up in the COG and found there a fellowship of people who made room for me to learn about God, come to know Him through a personal, life-changing salvation experience, and grow in my faith. Iíve been in the Christmas programs, sang in the youth choirs, played in the band during services, taught Sunday School, attended and later worked in VBS, sang and ministered in COG churches all my life. When it came time to enter into ministry it only seemed the right thing to do, entering into ministry in the denomination that had done so much to bring me to where I was in the faith.

With nothing to prove myself by other than the connection of this faith family, the COG gave me a place to preach and pastor, and the opportunity to prove my calling. It was small, and required that my wife and I both work, but it was a start- the opportunity I wanted.

Twenty five years later, and I pastor a church of several hundred. At this point the TOT that I send in is significant enough that it would make a big difference in my local budget. But I sit in my office typing this, thankful that the COG has given me the opportunity to live out my faith and ministry. And so I thankfully support the same denomination that gave me that opportunity.
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9/3/15 3:22 pm


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