Church of God in Michigan
January 2023
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State Pastor Article Image
 
Rev. Mark Richardson
 

Colossians 3:10-17 (NLT)
Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him. In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us. Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.

Have you ever met someone that you really didn’t like the first time you met them, or had more than one encounter with the same experience? I had a new classmate in the 8th grade who irritated everyone in the class when he first arrived. I remember talking about him to my mother. She told me to not judge him, but rather attempt to make him a friend. I took her advice, and over the course of the school year he became a good friend. Our lives went in different directions because we ended up going to different high schools, but, looking back, I learned a good lesson that relationships require intentionality.

Relationships are vital in life, beginning with our relationship with God. God also desires that we have good relationships with those around us in our families, churches, communities and beyond. Let’s face it though, relationships are challenging at best. We all probably have people around us, perhaps even in our families, that are on our difficult list. If we are honest with ourselves, we would probably rather deal with others who aren’t as much drama. It is not easy, but it is worth it. Ironically, some of those same people might be thinking the same thing about us. In the 3rd chapter of the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Colossian Church, he shared intentional things we can do to make sure that our relationships with God and others are fulfilling. The Apostle Paul gives some wonderful things that we can do, indeed that we must do for our relationships to thrive. There are three challenges that I want to share that emanate from this passage.

First of all, embrace who Jesus made you to be. Paul wrote, “Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him. In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.” Folks, Christianity 101 informs us that when we surrender our lives to Jesus Christ we are new creations in Him. The old you has passed away and you have a brand new life in Him. Even this requires that we intentionally believe this and turn away (repent) from the old sinful life we lived. Paul’s exhortation is that we are literally live like we truly know we are new in Christ… put on our new nature, an intention act.

We need to convince ourselves that in Jesus Christ we are all the same; it doesn’t matter your background. Paul stressed this to this church because there were people bringing false teaching, like the Gnostics who were teaching that there were special people to whom God gave special insight and privileges. In Christ, we have great value in Him, so don’t put yourself down for where you might have come from or out of, and don’t let anyone else do it either. You are a child of God, and as such, you are precious in His sight. You are so precious that Jesus died on the cross for you because of His love for you. Armed with that knowledge, believe it and the fact that it is Jesus Christ that matters and nothing else. Embrace this, live it out even when it might not seem as it should. Trust that you are a new creation in Him. I know this is very basic, but even we members of the clergy struggle with the identity of Christ and the calling, especially when we deal with attacks, struggles, and mental health anxieties. We are not immune, but we are redeemed! Let’s act like we believe it!

Secondly, build up your capacity for authentic, loving, Christian relationships. The Apostle Paul wrote further, “Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others." As we are encouraged to embrace who we are in Jesus and live out the privilege of that transformation, we are also exhorted to understand that the Lord Jesus Christ wants us to be in relationship. We are to be in authentic relationship with God and with others around us, and it is not easy on either account.

With God it is hard because in authentic relationship with Jesus Christ, He is focused on getting us ready for heaven. This means the Holy Spirit works conviction in us to clean up and move out all of our stuff that does not honor Jesus Christ. He wants us to understand the reality that we are to intentionally pursue resembling the image of Jesus Christ in holiness and purity. This is hard, often painful work, because He wants to get all the way below all the junk, hurt, pain, difficulties, bad experiences, attitudes, agendas, indeed everything that doesn’t look like Him. This stuff has stigma, emotions, and memories attached to them, and getting rid of them is very difficult. It takes us to places that we would rather forget, or pretend that we don’t struggle with them. We need to realize, however, that they affect everything in our lives. If we don’t deal with them, we will hinder the authenticity of our relationships. We pastors are not immune, but we are redeemed. Let’s act like we believe it!

With others, we need to be ready to overlook a lot of who they are, how they act, think, and respond to us if we are going to have loving, authentic relationships with them. Does this mean that we embrace their lifestyles and struggles, no, but it does mean that we have to allow the Holy Spirit the latitude to do His job of convicting them and us not condemning them. Paul encourages us to take some further intentional and demanding steps to build the capacities for authentic relationships. He states it in a way that helps us to see that we can do these things, because he says that we should clothe ourselves with them. Think about the power of clothing our hearts with tender-hearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Can you imagine how people would respond to these from we holiness preaching, unity espousing Christians? These are some of the character attributes of Jesus Christ, and we are to intentionally make them a part of the fabric of our lives. Trust me, we will have many opportunities in life to develop them, and we must intentionally submit ourselves to them as our schoolteachers. As we develop them, we will develop the capacity to do the difficult things of relationships, specifically, make allowances for each other’s faults and forgive others as God has forgiven us. This is challenging, but intentionally do so builds capacity for genuine relationships. It is hard even for us pastors and leaders, as we are not immune. But we are redeemed! Let’s act like we believe it.

The third challenge that the Apostle Paul gives us in this powerful passage of scripture is to determine to Live in the Place of Grace. He wrote further, “Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.” This is a wonderful encouragement to us as we are giving our best effort to live in authentic relationships.

He lets us know that we have the ability to live in a place of grace, the grace that is extended to us because we belong to Jesus Christ. We are to clothe ourselves with love, which binds us together in perfect harmony. We are to intentionally let peace that comes through Christ rule in our hearts. It is amazing how often I see people that forsake the peace that Jesus Christ gives us, and allow worries and doubts to overtake them. Paul says let it rule, and we can intentionally do this. We are to always be thankful, because there is always something to be thankful for. Let the rich message of Christ fill our lives. Allow the wisdom that Jesus gives us to teach, counsel, and enrich the lives of those whom we love. Encourage each other with songs, hymns, and spiritual songs of praise and worship with thankful hearts. We are to be mindful of whatever you do or say, that we are the representative of Jesus Christ in all thankfulness through Him to God the Father. We need to celebrate who we are, who He is, and what He has, is, and will do for us. As a part of that, we need to constantly rejoice in the God of our salvation, as this is living in grace, and it makes our life in him rich and joyful.

Folks we need to really embrace the fact that God loves us, Jesus saves us because of that love, and our eternal lives are rich because of His loving grace and mercy. Embrace who you are in Jesus Christ. Dedicate yourself to building greater and greater capacity to love the Lord and others. Determine to live in a place of grace. It is well worth the effort. God has given us the gift of relationships, with Him and those around us, but they take work. They take intentional effort to bring the fulfillment that they have the potential to provide. In this, and in so much of the life, I have found that there are two types of people. There are those who look back on their lives and say, “I wish I had.” There are those who look back on their lives and say, “I’m glad I did.” Which of those will you be intentional about when you look back? Remember, even as Pastors and leaders, we are not immune to missing the mark on these three challenges, but we are redeemed. Let us please act like we believe it!

With love,
Rev. Mark K. Richardson, State Pastor

Pastor and Wives Event

Monday, January 23, 2023 | Redeemer OPC
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Invite your spouse and be refreshed in the freedom of God's design for wholeness as you are equipped for practical emotional and relational care in a broken world.

Join us in-person or via livestream at Redeemer OPC in Ada Michigan as we welcome Dr. Sara Lynema, Licensed Psychologist, for a day-long event geared toward equipping pastors with information and practical steps for walking with those they've been called to serve. Build knowledge and skills on how to care for others, as they wrestle with emotional and relational struggles, while maintaining your own integrity and health.

In an age of amplified emotional and relational conflict, pastors are frontline in navigating the fear, fractures, and disillusionment of those they serve. Invite your spouse and be refreshed in the freedom of God's design for wholeness as you are equipped for practical care in a broken world.

You can sign up by going: Walking With Your Congregation (Without Losing Yourself) | Rooted Integrity

Download Flyer

February 19, 2023 | 12:30 p.m.

Farmington Hills Church of God

 
Melissa Daniel
 


10:00AM - Sunday Morning Worship Service

11:30AM - Church Potluck Dinner in Kirby Hall

12:30PM - Installation Service/Presentation in Kirby Hall

February 19, 2023 | 3:00 p.m.

First Church of God, Saint Joseph

Chaplain Andrew Thompson
 
360MLC
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This would include the maintenance of the grounds, mowing, trimming, painting, some electrical and plumbing. Some experience in these areas is helpful. The manager position includes, some book keeping and administration, registration of campers and maintaining communication with the campers about all camp policies. Also, to maintain communication with the board of directors.

Position includes:
Salary and incentive package, housing allowance, utilities.

This is an ideal position for retired couples looking to supplement their income or a Young couple looking to serve the church.

If you are interested contact:
Tim St. Cin: Board chairperson, 810-610-8356 or
Kelly Munger: Vice chairperson, 616-824-6699.

Warner Camp Hiring

We are in an exciting season at Warner Camp! As we move farther into the Life to the Full initiative, we are adding two year-round staff to facilitate the growing ministry. We are praying for wisdom from God and seeking His guidance as we look for passionate, enthusiastic Christians to fill each role. These are the positions we hope to fill as soon as possible:

Ministry Administrator
     • Serve as Registrar for the Youth Summer Camp Program.
     • Serve as contact person for Retreat groups.
     • Oversight of the Campgrounds.
     • Oversight of the Camp Store.
     • Oversight of general office operations.
     • Facilitate communications with the Warner Camp greater community.

Program Director
     • Oversight of Summer Camp ministries and programs.
     • Recruit and hire Summer Staff and Volunteers.
     • Create an environment for Summer Staff that facilitates unity, trust, and spiritual growth.
     • Assist with hosting Retreat groups, and assist groups in accomplishing their goals.   
     • Enhance and expand Warner Camp retreats and year-round ministry programming.

We are praying that God will guide these individuals to Warner Camp – individuals who will assist the current team in providing a place for “Life Changing Experiences” to happen! Please pray with us, and let qualified people know of these opportunities.

For a more detailed Position Description, please contact Scot Bale (Camp Director) at scot@warnercamp.com or call the camp office (269) 434-6844.

Church of God Ministries, The Church of God in Michigan, and several other states have entered into a partnership with a group called the Full Strength Network. As most of our pastors and ministers know, we have offered the Ministry to Ministers Program through our Pastoral Health Team for years. Many of our ministers have utilized its counseling support resources over the years. In particular, the challenges of the past several years have greatly impacted the mental health and vitality of our ministers, and the counseling has been helpful. The Full Strength Network offers a significantly less expensive and much richer opportunity for not only counseling, but coaching and support resources for our pastors and ministers. The Church of God in Michigan, through the Pastoral Health Ministry Team, has purchased 10 licenses for our credentialed pastors and ministers, and spouse or teen living within the home. It included online access to fully accredited counselors and coaches in a fully confidential manner. There is no cost to you for these excellent resources. You simply need to fill out the registration form and they will follow up with you to begin providing you with excellent ministry service. The website for the Full Strength Network and The Church of God in Michigan Registration links are listed below. Please take the time to see what great offerings they have for you at no cost to you, and register. You will be glad you did.
     https://fullstrength.org/micog
     https://fullstrength.org

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. 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.

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Rev. Dr. Christopher Cottrell
 

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

 
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Detroit, Metropolitan Church of God
Ithaca Church of God
Livonia, Riverside Park Church of God
Monroe, First Church of God
Saint Johns, First Church of God
Sears, Sears Church of God
Vandalia, Vandalia Church of God

Interested? Contact - Rev. Mark K. Richardson, State Pastor
517-393-7020


First Church of God | Monroe, Michigan
Pastor - Job Description


The Pastor shall serve as the chief under-shepherd and overseer of this local Church, feeding, leading and nurturing the flock. The Pastor's main responsibilities will be to communicate God's Word, minister to spiritual needs and provide spiritual leadership to the Church.

Minimum Training and Experience:

A Bachelor's Degree and/or previous training experience in ministry which would qualify a person to lead and administer a Church of God, Anderson, Indiana congregation.

Special Requirements:

Personal conversion and call to pastoral ministry
Licensed and ordained as a minister of the Gospel in the Church of God, Anderson, Indiana. (or able to pursue licensing and ordination)
Spiritual integrity and maturity
An ability and willingness to share Christ, and disciple others
Good human relations skills
An ability to inspire and motivate others
The ability to communicate through the preaching ministry
A proven love for the fellowship of the local church
The desire and ability to enter into the struggles and deep concerns of the local congregation

Duties and Responsibilities:

To proclaim the Word of God through the preaching ministry in a clear and understandable way
To provide leadership and vision for the church, and to develop plans and programs for the spiritual and numerical growth of the church
To motivate, equip and nurture the congregation through personal example, preaching, teaching and personal counseling as qualified
To spend significant time in prayer and personal study of the Word of God
To facilitate regular contact/visitation of church families, including crisis, marital and spiritual counseling as qualified
To officiate at Weddings, Funerals and other significant events
To oversee church discipline and manage conflict in the church; to seek to reconcile damaged relationships and to promote unity in the Body of Christ
To plan and participate in evangelism efforts through preaching, invitations during Worship services, revivals and other services and outreach efforts
To manage his/her finances with integrity so as not to bring reproach upon the church
To chair all business meetings (regular and special called) of the church
To work with all Boards and standing and special committees in the accomplishing of their respective duties
To lead in the observance of all ordinances of the church
To cooperate with local, state and national church leaders in matters of mutual interests and concerns; to represent the local congregation in spiritual, social and civic matters

The Pastor will be permitted (2)two weeks of paid vacation
Resumes may be sent to our State Pastor, Rev. Mark Richardson.


Sears Church of God | Sears, Michigan
Pastor - Job Description


The Sears Church of God is seeking a full time Senior Pastor. The church is in beautiful Osceola County in central Michigan on approximately 8 acres. Evart/Sears is known for the Dulcimer Funfest held every year in July and for a rich logging history in years gone by.  The beautiful Muskegon River flows through the area and is enjoyed by many during the summer months.

We believe that the Pastor of our Church is called by God to lead the church and will need a combination of experience and ability to change “hats” often to meet varying needs.  Community outreach, ministry to the sick, shut-ins and elderly, ministry to children and youth are also a priority.

Our congregation is made up of middle to older adults with a few younger people. Our vision is to see the church grow.

We place a high priority on sound biblical teaching and preaching that provides a meaningful experience with God that promotes spiritual growth.

Education Required: College graduate, credentialed by Church of God, (Anderson IN)

Experience: Preferred Qualifications: Effective preacher/speaker, continues to develop theological and biblical skills, encourages members to develop their spiritual life, effective in planning and leading worship, ability to provide counseling, mature and emotionally secure, cultivates a close relationship with God through teaching.

Primary Responsibilities: Preparing and preaching clear biblical messages to encourage spiritual growth.  Practices personally and teaches others how to effectively communicate the gospel to others. Loving and caring for the congregation and community.

Salary: $50,000-$60,000


For Questions or to apply: Please email Angie Moore, angiemryh@yahoo.com