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  • May 2019
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Travis Johnson, lead pastor of Life Pointe Church in Homestead, FL

Tom Sterbens, senior pastor of New Hope Church in Seveirville, TN

Matthew Boyd, Air Force Chaplain in Holloman AFB, New Mexico

Patrick Ballington, lead pastor of The Bridge in Cleveland, GA

Steve Wright, former pastor of Providence Christian Center in San Francisco (affectionately known as “The Hot Dog Church.”) and the now lead pastor of “The Salt Mine Church” in Charlotte, NC.

Jonathan Martin, lead pastor of Renovatus Community in Charlotte, NC.


Carl Richardson, director of Beyond Borders based out of Brandon, FL.

Tony Scott, pastor of The Church on Strayer in Toledo, OH.

Fred Garmon, Executive Director of People for Care and Learning.


25 Responses

  1. Travis,

    I just watched Mark Driscoll’s video about denominations – Awesome! He kept talking about interdenominational networks where people are connecting for support and accountability. I am very excited about that prospect, but have found it difficult to become a part of that as a Church of God pastor. I have a few “loose” associations, but am not sure I know where the true strong “networks” are that are for denominational guys who want diverse connectivity….

    Your thoughts???

  2. Jerry,

    Some of the networks that come to mind are Acts 29, ARC, and other church planting networks. We have some COG guys involved in both.

    What might be helpful and what some guys have talked to me and others about is forming a church planting and ministry development network where we can pool our resources to start new churches and also gather regularly for coaching and relationship development.

    We raise money every Christmas for church planting. I’d love to go in with some other guys as well to do something more significant.

    I also have a coach that works with me once a month. I’m out of that gathering right now. But, I’ll be going back in 4 months. Guys like you should be pouring into the lives of others who are wrestling with doing ministry in a way that is relevant to their community.

    It would be a great thing to do idea excanges, brainstorming, praying for one another’s challenging points of ministry, and working through church systems to better understand leadership issues.

  3. Travis,

    I really think the COG has some great ideas buried in the minds of renegades like yourself. πŸ˜‰

    We just need more forums for discussion, more peer relationships & peer mentoring, and more unity. It would be great if we could put a leadership structure in place in every state and country and send them 15% of our money so that they could set up this kind of……. uh…….er…….. well, maybe we’ll have to try to find another way to make this happen!

  4. Jerry,

    A couple things.

    #1 When are you going to start blogging? Better yet, why don’t you blog here. You have a heck of a story and would add to this discussion. You game?

    #2 Are you going to be at Engage 21? I’ll be there. If you’re there, we need to have a sit down.

  5. Travis,

    Daystar is working on a whole new identity package to be launched by this summer. Part of that package is a new website that will include my blog. However, I would be happy to blog here if you think I could add something. What do we need to do?

    About Engage 21, I was planning on going, but then my wife got me a golf package to the TPC at Sawgrass for Christmas and it is scheduled for that same week. Guess I’ll just have to suffer for Jesus instead!

  6. Jerry,

    Who is doing your new website?

  7. Ahhh? That’s the $30,000 question…. We are talking with: Faith Highway; Planet Bob Studios; Speak Creative Group; Change; and Custom Lithographics. These are also the entities that we are using to develop a new identity package. This is a random assortment to say the least. Faith Highway is HUGE. They’ve done everybody. Change is also big, but more cutting edge. Speak is smaller but also very appealing. Planet Bob is essentially a really cool guy with an awesome laptop. He’s done some stuff for Brownsville A/G, Jentzen Franklin and others. He is, by far, the cheapest. But he has some obvious limitations. And then there is Custom Lithographics. They are the only marketing firm on the list that is designed for industry. They have done a few churches. We wanted them in the mix mainly to see if they offered a different approach than the “church marketing companies.” And, to some extent, they do.

    We are still bouncing a lot of stuff around, but right now, I like Speak the best. However, it will be a group decision for our staff. I am far from the most creative member of our team, so on something like this we make a group decision. One great thing we have going for us right now is the addition of a new staff member who is a graphic artist. His name is Kip Potter, formerly the youth pastor at South Metro Ministries in the Atlanta area with pastor Alan Mathura.

    That’s probably a bit more than you asked for, but I’m all about short questions and LONG answers!

  8. We’ve been talking with Church Plant Media and Discover Sky…can’t get over the pricing. It’s crazy. We’ll have our new site up before Easter one way or another.

  9. About Engage 21, I spoke too soon. Dr. Culpepper asked me to participate in a panel discussion, so I’ll be cutting my golf vacation short to be there by Friday morning.

  10. I saw that.

    I got an invitation as well. Mine was to participate in a video along with Marty Baker, and Chuck Collins. That;s probably a good thing. It’s easy to edit and I won’t get in trouble for saying what I’m thinking. πŸ™‚

  11. Shameless plug here…but if you guys are looking to get websites I would love to give you a quote. I just recently started on a new site project with David Boggs and New Vision. I don’t have a portfolio up yet, but if you want to see some of the work I am doing for them you can see it at:


    This is only a week old so it is a layout and general look, but I would love to give you guys a quote. Who knows it maybe what you are looking for.

    you can go to http://www.jbirdmedia.org to contact me or through here is fine to.


  12. Jason,

    That looks great. What CMS is New Vision using to manage it? I’m definitely interested in hearing more. Give me a shout.

  13. I build all my sites using expression engine.


    Easy upkeep.

    What’s the best way to reach you?


  14. Better yet here is my #


    Give me a call.


  15. I am in search if a full-time youth pastor. I would be great if they did some music/worship but they would not have to carry the load of music ministry — just looking for more edge in our music and worship expressions.

    Here’s the post I placed on the COG HQ website:

    Looking for someone to join the pastoral team that
    will contribute to our continued efforts of rediscovering, redefining and revolutionizing church. This person will lead Student Ministries assist with or lead Worship on Sundays. We are a growing emerging-missional community of faith. If you have to ask or look these terms up this probably isn’t for you. We are very community minded and make reaching people who are far from God, far from faith, and far from church our priority. This is a fulltime position with adequate but modest salary. The greatest benefit is being on a team and serving in a church that gets it, is going for it, gaining influence, and making an impact in the community and Kingdom. Go to http://www.TheBridgeOnline.cc to get a feel for us.

    Need you guys to help since there a great liklihood that the person we are looking for doesn’t even view the COG HQ website.

  16. I fully support you statement of objection on the abuse of the funds we raise for Home Missions. 33 years, 8 overseers in our state. Rarely arre these funds used for the inteded purpose.

  17. Ron,

    Thank you for the well-spoken, courageous encouragement. They are much appreciated…and unfortunately too on target. Now, let’s do something about it.

  18. It’s important for us to be flexible on non essential issues. The landscape is changing and we need to be able to adjust accordingly.

  19. I would like to have a link to my blog posted. I am the Office Manager and Elder of Disicpleship for Murphy Church of God and former Pastor of Andrews Church of God, Roberta Church of God, and East Wendover Church of God in WNC. This is awesome.

  20. I have been following with great interest the discussion about the lack of financial transparency on the national level. I am fairly new to the Chruch of God and I love the fellowship and have found the leaders and pastors I have met to be extraordinary men. This lack of transparency on the national and state level though has been troublesome to me. I had been wondering if I was the only one who wondered about the “secretive” nature of financial disclosure that is not only prevelant on the aforementioned national and state levels, but also seems to be encouraged on the local church level.

  21. totally off the subject I would like for everyone to read my blogsites newest blogs. One gives and update on our disabled infant son and the other is a vent of things brought to my attention

  22. That sight is billsnewsandnotes.blogspot.com

  23. Tom and Travis,

    Thanks for a site that is deeply involved in the discussion and reforming of a missional mindset within our church.

    Pastor Steve Gardner

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