Mark Richardson

Rev. Mark Richardson

State Pastor

The Difference of Difference Makers

1 Peter 2:9-10 (NASB):
9 But you are A CHOSEN PEOPLE, A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR GOD’S OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 for you once WERE NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY.

A man once laid a piece of chocolate candy on a table. Then, picking up an ant, he put it near the delicious bonbon. He was surprised to see it take a single bite and then hurry off to inform the rest of the colony. Soon the little creature returned, followed by a long train of other ants who enjoyed the treat with him. Many Christians who have tasted that the Lord is good can learn a lesson from that little insect. Having found God's rich supply of grace, they ought to spread the glad tidings to others.

I once heard and then read a statement that impacted me greatly in my Christian walk. A dear minister friend in Western PA, Rev. David Bish, who sadly went home to be with the Lord suddenly at age 52 both said and wrote it in a book with that as the title. His statement was, “I don’t go to church; I am the church!” Folks, the reality is that the church is not the buildings in which we gather to worship and work. It is the makeup of the people who gather and claim salvation in Jesus Christ for their lives. We are the Church; we don’t attend a church! As the church, we are in a wonderfully exclusive position to impact the culture around us because of the distinctions we have as the church of the Living God.

Contrasted against the world that doesn’t know Jesus Christ, we have wonderful benefits as Christians. We are born again into a living hope. We have indeed the hope of eternal life with Jesus Christ, a living hope of the resurrection to come. We are inheritors of the glories of heaven with the Lord. We are secure in Him, shielded by His awesome presence and power. We have a genuine faith which is burnished to a bright splendor that is made purer through life’s trials and testimonies. This faith endures and will result in praise, glory, and honor to Jesus Christ when he returns. We have been given agape love for God and for others. We have inexpressible and glorious joy even in our persecutions and pain. There is so much more that we have as the church. We have a reason to be a people of praise.

The Apostle Peter shared some wonderful attributes of who we are in the passage from 1 Peter 2 above. In it, he spells out our distinctions, our purpose because of those distinctions, and our praise because of whom He, through His death, burial, and resurrection has made us. What does that indicate about us? We are unique people of God, distinct because of who we are in Him.

Because of our distinctiveness, the Apostle Peter clearly indicates that we have a clear purpose. Our purpose is to be like the ant that discovered the joyful goodness of the bonbon and told his entire ant colony that he had discovered something wonderful. And, that ant brought the rest of them to that which gave him such joy. We are to tell others about Jesus Christ and declare his excellencies because of what He has done through the cross, the grave, the resurrection, His awesome work on the throne for us, and His immanent return to receive us unto Himself. We are to declare to the world that He has relocated us from the dominion of darkness to the Kingdom of His marvelous light. This is a message that the world needs to hear and see in us. We have a message to share about His transformation in us, and because of it we have a new and eternal identity as the people of God. We can share the wonderful message that before we didn’t have the blessing of mercy but, now we do because of Jesus Christ. This is a reason to praise the Lord.

Dear folks, so much can get in the way of this in our daily living and lives together as God’s people. We can let cultural differences, political leanings, worship styles and preferences, power and control, money and so much more. Yet, the distinctions, purpose, and praise of the Church that Jesus died for, founded, and empowered through the Holy Spirit can still be the Church that brings Him joy. I urge us all to do all we can to elevate above all those things that distract us from what He desires for us and divide us. Let us see each other as those for whom Christ died, and be willing to embrace one another in the love of Jesus Christ. It is not easy, but it is possible and the blessings and rewards are incredible. There is a world around us that really needs to see the difference that Jesus Christ makes in our lives to make us difference makers.

With love in Christ,

Rev. Mark K. Richardson, State Pastor

Managing High Stakes Conversations

Perhaps your congregation is in need of professional, Christian mediation concerning conflict. Perhaps your church could benefit from training in Crucial Conversations and how to share even difficult information with others without doing damage. We can help with that through Rev. Dr. Chris Cottrell, who is very well trained and experienced in helping churches through these difficult challenges. His information and contacts are included below. Another good thing to keep in mind is that Chris is a native Michigander, and he always loves to come back home.

Contact: Rev. Dr. Christopher Cottrell
chris@crosspointceo.com, (937) 621-2162

Lima Event Followup

On Tuesday, August 17, many ministers in Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana participated in the Lima Event on Zoom. It was a very interesting and informative gathering with three presenters sharing information on discipleship and church multiplication. There was a lot of good information shared on embracing digital technology in the lifeblood of the church, and some challenging presentations on micro-churches and fresh expressions of the church. We also had some testimonies from pastors who shared how they are doing discipleship and multiplication. Our own Pastor Bill Greiner from Eagle Ridge Church of God, shared a great testimony of what is happening at Eagle Ridge, Cultivate Coffee Shop, and the Beaverton Campus of Eagle Ridge. The information in the Lima Event was shared to inform us of different ways that the church has been multiplying and discipling. We don’t specifically endorse what was shared by all speakers, but we want you to be aware of what is going on in some other places in the church. The event was recorded, and many of the presentations and resources mentioned are provided in links which Rev. Tom Planck from Healthy Growing Churches made available for us. Below is Tom’s memo to us with the links for your review.

Hey LLE Attendee!

It was great to see so many participate in the Lima virtual event today. The presenters were fantastic and we trust it was helpful to each of you. Beyond that, we hope what was shared will continue to spark a movement of churches in the Midwest to courageously ask and answer this question, how will my church multiply?!

We did record the event and our presenters shared shared several resources. There is not a great way to share it all in one place so I am going dump it all below.

  1. Here is the webinar recording link.
  2. Tyler Volkers shared The Ridge Church’s discipleship pathway. That it attached to the email. He also shared a few links. They are below:
  3. Jeremy Stephens provided this link to his slide deck. Here are two links to The Underground Tampa that might be helpful if you want to explore microchurches more deeply.
  4. Michael Beck also shared his slide deck and several additional resources. The slide deck is attached and the other resources are below.
    • Micheal has written several books. Here is a great one to get your started.
    • He mentioned a five fold inventory. Here is that link.

We have not set the date for the 2022 Lima event, but it will be on a Tuesday in August. And, we hope we can return to Crossroads Church in Lima for an in-person event. Look for that date soon.

Have a great finish to summer and fall ministry season!

Click to Download Widening the Scope of Multiplication - fresh expressions of church.pptx 506.5 MB

Click to Download 2021-08-17 09-30.pdf 311 KB

~Tom~
HGC Chief Catalyst Engaging leaders to multiply churches www.healthygrowingchurches.com Schedule a time to connect here iPhone | 513.593.1273


An article from Ed Stetzer entitled 6 Marks of Church Disfunction is very insightful. In addition, at the bottom of the article are several other articles that may be of interest and help to those in ministry.(https://churchleaders.com/pastors/402896-ed-stetzer-6-marks-of-church-dysfunction.html)

Pastors, Here’s Why Everyone’s So Mad At You Right Now

by Carey Nieuwhof

We're in a moment....a long moment culturally. People are angrier than ever at you and there doesn't seem to be a break.

Whether it’s a long-winded email, an angry Facebook post from someone you thought was on your side, or people you've led for years storming off, your plate is full of angry people.

When it feels like you’re surrounded by anger everywhere you turn, how do you process the hurt and continue to lead?

Today on the blog, three reasons why everyone is so angry with you right now and three strategies for leading well through the chaos.

You can read the post here.

Cheering for you,
Carey

P.S. My theory? 95% of the problems in your church or business have nothing to do with your church or business. Here's why.

Michigan Ministry Wives Retreat

September 17 and 18, 2021

(Arrive 6:00 p.m. Friday, 17th; Leave 7:30 p.m. Saturday 18th)

Our theme - "Ministry Wives - One Body United in Christ"
Colossians 3:12-17

Speakers

Minister Sharon Richardson,
Rev. Crystal Colp,
and Rev. Chariese Matthews

Minister Sharon Richardson
Minister Sharon Richardson
Rev. Crystal Colp
Rev. Crystal Colp
Rev. Chariese Matthews
Rev. Chariese Matthews

"Ministry Wives - One Body United in Christ" is this year's theme for the Ministry Wives Retreat. Our theme is taken from Colossians 3:12-17. Whether you are new to the Church of God in Michigan, whether you live in the city, suburbs, or country; whether your church is large, small, and multicultural or not, ALL of us as ministry wives are vital to the ministry of God's Church. There is diversity among us, but we are united through Christ. We are God's chosen ones, holy and beloved of God. We must put on God's love and let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts to which we are called in one body. The word of Christ in all its richness must live in our hearts and everything we do or say then should be done in the name of Jesus. As one body we must stand together against the evil tides of racism, violence, immorality, injustice and secularism that are permeating the church in this dark, post-Christian era. We are overcomers and we must press the battle on for Truth, Righteousness and the advancement of God's Kingdom! This retreat offers prayer for healing from the wounds we have experience within the church and the admonition to forgive those who have wounded us. With thankful hearts for the position we have in Christ and in the church, let's gather together for fellowship, fun, teaching and praise/worship so we can be refreshed to serve. I would love to you see you there.

For questions and suggestions - Contact Minister Sharon Richardson 412-334-3805 or brownriches84@gmail.com

Please come and join us.

Total cost $105.00. Includes registration, meals, and double occupancy room.
For single occupancy room total cost is $120.00.

GA Meeting

Pursuing Christ and Demonstrating Unity

101st General Assembly

November 5-6, 2021 | Crowne Plaza Lansing West, Lansing, Michigan

Registration Packets are Not Being Mailed

Dear Colleague and Member of the Michigan General Assembly,

The 101st General Assembly of the Church of God in Michigan is Friday, November 5 and Saturday, November 6, 2021. We will be meeting, Lord willing, at the Crowne Plaza Lansing West. Our theme is “Pursuing Christ, Demonstrating Unity. We will be focusing on the crucial aspects of unity in the Church, especially in light of the incredible division and discord in the culture.

The Crown Plaza Lansing West, as you have seen in previous General Assembly gatherings, is a beautiful venue for our gathering. It has a state-of-the-art exercise room, pool, game room, and indoor basketball court. We believe your time at the General Assembly will be exciting and inspiring. It will also offer you an opportunity to refresh and recharge while spending quality time with your brothers and sisters from across the Church of God in Michigan. As we have in the past, we are handling both the General Assembly Meeting registration and the hotel accommodations. We will be underwriting the additional costs and eliminating your sales tax. Be sure to register for your hotel room(s) through the online registration process. If you register directly with the hotel you will not get the room discounts. We have negotiated a great price for the hotel accommodations. Even though we have a large number of rooms reserved, we expect them to be taken quickly. Please register with us and get your room(s) reserved before October 15, 2021. Your registration fee includes accommodations, a continental breakfast upon arrival, lunch Friday, and a continental breakfast on Saturday. There are significant discounts if you register early. Register online with the link listed below.

Our assembly time this year will be one of celebration, education, and inspiration. We are excited that two of the key leaders of the Church of God Reformation Movement, Rev. Jim Lyon, our General Director, and Bishop Timothy Clarke, Senior Pastor of the First Church of God in Columbus, OH and most recently the Ministry Council Chair for the Church of God Reformation Movement. State Pastor Rev. Mark K. Richardson will speak on Friday morning, Bishop Clarke will speak on Friday night, and Rev. Jim Lyon will speak on Saturday morning. On Friday afternoon, Rev. Lyon and Bishop Clarke will hold a seminar on the theme Pursuing Christ, Demonstrating Unity with discussion among the group gathered as a part of their presentation.

During the General Assembly Sessions, we will conduct our normal General Assembly activities of honoring those who have served well among us, sharing our ratification ballot for new leaders, presenting ordination candidates, presenting our financial report and budget request, and briefly celebrating again our 100th Anniversary which was cut short last year due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. We will also have a time of consecration for those candidates who are approved for ordination.

To help emphasize our theme of unity, we will have some combined music ministries providing the worship during our three services. On Friday morning, prior to Rev. Richardson speaking, musicians and singers from the Alma Church of God and the Millington Church of God will lead us in worship. On Friday night, prior to Bishop Clarke speaking, musicians and singers from the Community Church of God in Ypsilanti and Metropolitan Church of God in Detroit will lead in worship. To culminate our exciting time together, on Saturday morning, just prior to Rev. Jim Lyon speaking, musicians and singers from Lighthouse Community Church of God in Redford and Southwestern Church of God in Detroit will lead us in worship. These services, the seminars, and the General Assembly sessions will be a great time to worship, learn, fellowship, and grow together. We believe the Lord will meet us there for a powerful two days of gathering.

If you have new resolutions or business for the Assembly, please direct them to our Business Committee Chair, Harold Lockley, through the State Office at 517-393-7020 or micog@micog.org for email. We are a delegated Assembly, and below are the prescriptions for who may represent your congregation. It is vital for all of our churches to be fully represented.

One layperson chosen as an official representative of each Michigan Church of God congregation with an average weekly attendance to 100; two laypersons from each congregation with and average weekly attendance of 101-500; three laypersons from each congregation with an average weekly attendance of 501-1000; and four laypersons from each congregation with an average weekly attendance of 1001 and above. All licensed and ordained ministers are also voting members of the Assembly.

We look forward to a great celebration of ministry and growing closer together in the Lord Jesus Christ. Again, please register early, as we expect a great turnout for our 101st General Assembly!

Yours in Christ,
Rev. Mark K. Richardson, State Pastor

Registration

2022 Barbados Mission Work Camp

Silver Sands Church of God - Barbados Mission Work

Silver Sands

January 15-25, 2022 / Limited to 20 People
Silver Sands Church of God (only 10 spots remain available)

View our YouTube promo video

Only 5 spots remaining

During our years of going to Barbados we have had 64 participants from Michigan Churches of God.

Contact Jim Walters at Vision Ministries.

Women Clergy

Women Clergy Conference

Mark your calendars! E2022 is March 10-12, 2022
Registration is now open!

Wesleyan Holiness Women Clergy has a long history of creating events for women exploring and living out their call to ministry and the ministry leaders who support them.

The WHWC team is excited to announce our next event, E2022:[HER]STORY, will be held March 10-12, 2022 in Grapevine Texas and registration is now open!

REGISTER NOW

E2022:[HER]STORY is a unique opportunity to connect with like-minded women clergy spanning many denominations. This is a place where you will be re-energized, reaffirmed, and re-ignited as you explore and live out our diverse callings.

In Grapevine, you will experience:

Powerful keynotes from gifted preachers and leaders, including Jo Saxton and Kadi Cole.

Practical workshops from experts in their field.

Spirit-filled worship that represents God’s global heart.

Spanish translation of keynotes and workshops.

Formative experiences like prayer spaces and breakfast leadership panels.

Networking opportunities for connecting with peers and creating life-long friendships.

E2022:[HER]STORY promises to be a life changing event for all who attend and we want you to be there!

We know attending a conference can feel like a risky investment of time, money, energy and expectations. With each new opportunity you probably ask yourself, “Will it be worth all the effort and financial investment?” Please know that our conference team is working hard behind the scenes to make sure every attendee finds what they need most at this event.

Register now to take advantage of Super Early Bird pricing and save $110 off the regular registration cost. Discounts are also available for students and first time WHWC conference attendees.

Interested in bringing a group? Register a group of 10 or more and receive a $50 gift card upon arrival at the conference!

REGISTER NOWClick here to register for this value packed event designed by women in ministry for women in ministry.

We look forward to seeing you in Grapevine,

The E2022 Conference Planning Team

Church Health Resource Videos

How many times in the last 15 months did you hear the word unprecedented? It seems like it was used so much that it became a joke. The reality is the last 15 months of our lives have been unprecedented, no matter how cliche that might sound. We have experienced things that none of us could have imagined.

We have lost loved ones, worshiped from living rooms on cell phones, distanced ourselves from our family to keep them safe, and delayed weddings and funerals. Church, school, and work were moved to online and our homes became sanctuaries, classrooms, and offices. On top of all of this we had a very difficult and dividing election cycle. All of this has taken a toll on our mental health.

As we start to come back together and restrictions are being lifted, we will continue to see the ripple effects of this unprecedented year on our mental health and the mental health of our congregants.

The Church Health Ministry team created video resources for you and your congregation to use, as you navigate the effects of the last 15 months. We prayerfully considered how to approach these difficult but important topics. We understand that it is often daunting to speak with someone about their mental health, let alone as a pastor considering caring for oneself during this difficult season.

Pastor Jaime Cervantes, First Church of God Benton Heights Campus Pastor, sat down with Dr. Marcia K. Wiinamaki, PhD, and Richard Watson, LPC to discuss the impact of the last 15 months on our mental health. Both Dr. Wiinamaki and Mr. Watson are Christians who work as professional counselors.

The extensive conversation between Pastor Jaime and Dr. Wiinamaki and Mr. Watson has been edited into three videos to serve as a resource for you and your congregation.

The first video covers the topics of depression, loneliness, and fear. The second video is a conversation about social media and politics. The final video is a discussion on pastoral care and self-care for pastors.

As we begin to heal and recover from the unprecedented nature of the last 15 months let us not neglect the healing and restoration of our mental health. The Church Health Ministry team hopes these videos will serve as a tool to help with that healing and restoration.

Church Health Ministry: Tom Bader; Chris Slosser; Matt Chesney; Jaime Cervantes; Emily Clark; David Colp; Tom Whitesel; and Jerry Lyon, Church Health Minister






Our Michigan Churches seeking Pastors:

Interested? Contact Rev. Mark K. Richardson, State Pastor. 800.369.5890

Church of God United | Muskegon, Michigan
Job Description of Pastor

General Description

The position of Pastor shall be considered a divine call to leadership and servanthood as well as an agreement of mutual responsibility carried out between the congregation and the Pastor. The purpose of the position of Pastor shall be to lead the spiritual development of the congregation; to foster its commitment to Jesus Christ in accordance with the word of God and to represent the congregation and its mission in the local, state and national community.

As a member of the Board of Directors, the Pastor shall support creative, constructive and compassionate approaches that are in accordance with biblical principles and the mission of the church as specified in the church bylaws. The areas outlined below are general responsibilities.

I. Preaching and Teaching

II. Pastoral Care

III. Administration

IV. Community and Church Relations

V. Church Health

These goals may include various degrees of emphasis over time of the following, but are not limited to them:

Send resumes to Rev. Mark Richardson, State Pastor. Thank you.

Childrens Director Position at Clarkston Community Church | Clarkston Community Church, in Clarkston, Michigan

Clarkston Community is looking for someone who is passionate about leading Childrens Ministry. For a full job posting and application, go to https://www.churchstaffing.com/job/251377/childrens-ministry-director/clarkston-community-church/.


Clarkston Community Church | Clarkston, Michigan

Worship and Communications Director/Pastor - Job Description

Purpose: The Worship and Communication Director/Pastor (WCD  The title is dependent on qualifications) will be tasked with the development, management, and execution of a successful, integrated worship, marketing, and communication strategy for Clarkston Community Church. The chosen candidate will work with employees and volunteers to develop content and coordinate all marketing and communication plans.

Accountability: Reports to the Executive Pastor and works closely with Senior Pastor. Responsible for coordinating with staff members about all church events. Responsible for communicating with church ministry leads for event promotion planning. Responsible for leading all digital church and worship ministry teams.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities (Not comprehensive):

Worship Arts

Communications

(Please note: The WCD doesn't have to do all of these things themselves but can recruit and oversee volunteers who do them)

Communication:

Marketing:

Design:

Required Qualifications and Minimum Skills:

Bachelors degree in worship from a Bible college or seminary with a minor in communication (Experience can be substituted for the minor).
Musical Competency
Strong written and verbal communication and presentation skills
Excellent interpersonal skills to work effectively with others
Ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously
Strong computer skills required.
Adobe Suite (i.e. Photoshop, Premiere, InDesign, Illustrator)
Microsoft office (Word, Excel, Publisher)
Social Media Management/Marketing (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, etc.)
Ability to lead & manage teams
Ability to write great content
Must adhere to the churchs doctrine and policies
Must love Jesus and get fired up about the mission to help people find God and grow in their relationship with Jesus

Preferred Skills

Organization and Scheduling Previous Marketing, communication, social media and website experience preferred
Graphic Design
Video Production
Web Design
Proclaim Presentation Software

This is a full-time, salaried position.

If you are interested in applying for this position please send your resume and cover letter to search@clarkstoncommunity.com. In the meantime, feel free to get to know us a little bit at Clarkstoncommunity.com

New Creation Church of God | Flint, Michigan

Lead Pastor - Job Description

Dear Potential Candidate:

New Creation Church of God (NCC) is prayerfully searching for a Lead Pastor. We are a Bible believing, Bible preaching, and Bible practicing church. We are a place where all races worship, for we believe the church should be as diverse as heaven. We are a community of Christians located in Flint Township, Michigan approximately 60 miles north of Detroit. We are committed to intentionally model the life of Christ in every face we see.

New Creation Church of God was established in 2006 under the Church of God - Anderson, Indiana. On-going ministries include a worship team, mid-week Bible study, weekly prayer meetings, men, women, and children’s ministries, as well as a varied host of small groups.

If you feel God is calling you to consider this position, please send your resume to the NCC Pastoral Search Committee at PO Box 1026, Grand Blanc, MI 48480, or by email to nccpastoralsearch21@gmail.com. Please include a recent photo and recording of your teaching.  The position will remain open until filled.

This man or woman must have a passion, “To see every person transformed and mobilized by Jesus.” The ideal candidate will fully embrace and build upon the church’s mission, vision, and values while celebrating the unique DNA that has developed over 15 years. The potential Pastor will have:


The Lead Pastor (Presiding Elder) is a servant of God called to pastor the church full time, with their primary responsibilities in teaching and exhortation of the saints and giving their attention to prayer and the ministry of the Word.

S/he is expected to lead persons to Christ and to develop Disciples.

Job responsibilities include but not limited to the following:

Qualifications

The Senior Pastor shall possess the qualifications set forth in I Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:5-9 and I Peter 5:1-3; a definite and clear call to the pastoral vocation; and the appropriate training and pastoral experience. They shall subscribe to the By-laws of this church.

We look forward to receiving and reviewing your application materials.

Sincerely,

New Creation Church of God Pastoral Search Team

Resumes may be sent to our State Pastor, Rev. Mark Richardson.

LINKS

Arise - Women in Ministry

Bridge Builders Restoration and Reconciliation Ministries

Celebrate Your Marriage

Children of Promise

Christian Women Connection

Church of God Ministries

Messenger - Eastern Canada

Michigan Singers

National Association of the Church of God

National Youth Ministry

Vision Ministries

Warner Camp


Crucial Conversations

Healthy Growing Churches

Missional Church

Discipleship

The Timothy Initiative

The Bonhoeffer Project


Anderson University

Mid-America Christian University

Warner Pacific College

Warner University


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General Assembly of the Church of God in Michigan
4212 Alpha Street,
Lansing, Michigan 48910
517-393-7020
micog@micog.org