Baby Bishops: Aye or Nay?

July 20, 2016 by  
Filed under Featured, News

Rev. Dony K. Donev, D.Min.

A lot was said about ordaining younger ministers around the 2012 Assembly. The proposed Item 25, properly numbered recommending lowering the age requirement to 25 years, did not pass. Naturally, discussions stopped perhaps in wait for the next Assembly. But the question still stands open before our church.

My personal opinion was like many others on the floor. If we had to wait, they should have to wait too. But this self-centered conviction changed suddenly as we were invited to preach at the Higher Praise church in Cherry Log, GA pastored by Rev. Stephen D. Henderson (age 28 at the time).

This goes against every organizational rule we have, because when an active pastor is not allowed to vote in business sessions, the congregation he pastors is left voiceless. Alas, all business carried at the assembly affects the said church, which basically has no representation in General Council. So if a church pays for its young pastor to be sent to Assembly and represent the congregation, but without the right to vote this representation does not amount to much in the end. There is something fundamentally wrong with this.

The argument of age is of course connected with one’s experience. But let’s face it, multitudes of pastors leave the ministry for one reason or another having already gained both age and experience. And unfortunately, so many of them leave exactly because of the experience they have had aging within the church. Actually in today’s world, if you have not gained enough life experience and if you don’t know yourself by age 25, you will most probably not gain what’s needed by age 30.

Therefore, if a man is appointed a pastor of a church by consideration and approval of the Administrative Bishop, he should be allowed to vote. If he is trusted enough to take care of the church’s spiritual life and business, surely he must be trusted to represent his congregation and vote toward its betterment as a part of the whole organization. Not doing so is not simply discriminative against the minister on the basis of age, but against the church he leads as well. And yes, this argument goes further to support women who have been entrusted and appointed to serve as church pastors as well.

8 Things Christian Believers and Churches Can Do in Light of Recent SCOTUS Ruling on LGBT

August 15, 2015 by  
Filed under Featured, News

1. State Level

2. Personal Level

  • Inform yourself and your family of the clear Biblical principles for love and holiness applicable in this situation
  • Pray daily for the protection of your family and the salvation of many souls
  • Be faithful to your husband/wife and children

3. Corporate Level

  • Hold on to your Christian standards for doing business
  • Support other Christian businesses
  • Forgive and forget, but watch and pray

4. Local Church Level

  • Join in corporate fasting and praying in the Spirit
  • Uphold the Biblical standard of holy living
  • Preach the truth as you have received it
  • Adopt local church resolutions on the sanctity of the family

5. Denominational Level

6. Christian Alliances Level

7. International Organizational Level

8. Get good insurance with adequate coverage and experience in the matter

• A good example from Brotherhood Mutual Ins. 

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Missions for the Third Millennium (2009-2010)

February 5, 2014 by  
Filed under Featured, Missions, News

This is a re-post of popular articles on Missiology from 2009-2010:

M3: Missions for the Third Millennium – A Public Position (2010)

8 Simple Rules for Doing Missions in the Spirit (2009)

Church of God Eastern Europe Missions: Leadership, Economics and Culture (2009)

Bible Studies on the Church of God Declaration of Faith

May 1, 2013 by  
Filed under Books, Featured, News

51uu38EZtQL._SY300_This small book has been over ten years in the making. It is a commentary and study guide for the doctrinal teachings of the Church of God aligned with our Declaration of Faith. It was initially prepared for Bible School and seminary students due to the lack of Sunday school and teaching literature in the Bulgarian vernacular. Through the years however, it has became the standard teaching tool in Sunday schools and programs across the country being used in several Bulgarian churches across Europe as well.

The Bible series was initially published in single lesson leaflets for the Church of God in Sofia. Our team would prepare the lessons every week and print about a thousand copies of each to teach at the beginning of each Sunday morning service. As we gathered information from the local churches at the 2002 Church of God national minister’s meeting, it was reported that thousands of leaflets were being copied, distributed and taught each month without us even knowing about it. Our team has further presented the complete series in the Church of God congregations of Sofia, Pravetz, Ruse, Gabrovo and even Chicago. We are grateful that after all these years it has finally seen its publication as a book accompanied with the video teachings of our weekly Bible Hour broadcast program.

Lessons accompanied with video presentations included in volume 1:

Lesson 1: My Bible
Lesson 2: Holy Trinity
Lesson 3: Jesus Christ
Lesson 4: Repentance for Salvation
Lesson 5: Difficult Questions
Lesson 6: Fasting
Lesson 7: Prayer
Lesson 8: Holiness
Lesson 9: Holy Ghost Baptism
Lesson 10: Giving and Charity
Lesson 11: Water Baptism
Lesson 12: Divine Healing
Lesson 12: Divine Healing
Lesson 13: Holy Communion
Lesson 14: Last Days
Lesson 15: Resurrections
Lesson 16: Fruit and Gifts of the Spirit
Lesson 17: Theology with Melody
Lesson 18: Ministry and Praxis
Lesson 19: Angels
Lesson 20: Pentecostal Primitivism

Higher Praise Church of God Revival

September 5, 2012 by  
Filed under Featured, News

    

Revival Harvest Campaign 2012: Revival Must Go On…

September 1, 2012 by  
Filed under Featured, Missions, News

Labor Day weekend marks the beginning of our annual Revival Harvest Campaign. The purpose of the campaign is to reach lost souls and to encourage the local congregations through prayer and ministry. We appreciate the response from all churches who have participated in our Revival Harvest Campaign in previous years.

We will be opening the 2012 Campaign at a location that has been in our prayers over a decade now and our visit has been long anticipated. We have received similar invitations from other churches and we are praying that the Lord opens a door for us to minister there again in due time.

Since Bulgaria became a member of the European Union five years ago in 2007, hundreds of thousands of Bulgarians have emigrated in search for a better life. We’ve been ministering with these communities and helping them organize local Bulgarian churches. We ask that you join us in prayer for the Bulgarian congregations marked on the map below, as we are prayerfully working on a strategic program for reaching Bulgarian emigrants and establishing new churches abroad.

In midst of crises, confusion runs rampage, insecurity floods thoughts and spiritual warfare is greater than ever. And there exists doubt in well established faith that all is well. However, it is our prayer that this oppressive spirit be broken, that lies be reveled and that hope returns with great power from above. It is with this prayer that we receive this vision for revival to break the bondage of the mind. We continue to believe, regardless of how circumstances may appear or distractions which arise, that revival must go on . . .

Also read:

Our Ministry in the Gipsy Ghetto of Yambol

August 30, 2012 by  
Filed under Featured, Missions, News

[slideshow]
1990 We began serving in the Yambol area along with the local Pentecostal churches in the early 1990s after the Fall of the Berlin Wall

1992-93 Our team participated in a number of revival campaigns in the Gipsy Ghettos of Yambol, Sliven and Stara Zagora

1996 Along with Dr. Miroslav Atanasov of Sofia, we invested into the purchase of a building that is used for the meetings of the local Church of God led by its first pastor, who had mixed Gipsy-Turkish roots, brother Mitko Mohamed

2000 This was a turning point for the local congregation and many other minority groups in the region, as we led a Church of God campaign in several of the neighboring villages and regions stretching our outreach all the way to the Black Sea and the border between Bulgaria and Turkey

2001-04 In the years that followed, we completed a number of evangelistic campaigns in the Strandja Sakar region in South Eastern Bulgaria populated with predominantly Bulgarian speaking Turkish and Pomak people groups

2005 We renewed holding services in the Gipsy Ghetto of Yambol where by that time there were a dozen active Pentecostal congregations

2007 We helped restore the local United Church of God congregation after it had burnt down in a fire.

2008-09 After collaborating with local social services workers, our team devised an ethical guideline proposal for working with abused and abandoned children while consulting on project “Care for Orphans,” which worked with gypsy children of the area Ghettos

2010-11 We held services with many local youth groups, preaching the Gospel and praying for the people after showing the film Jesus for Children, after which dozens of people, both children and adults, accepted Christ as their personal savior confessing their sins and joining the local churches

2012 We have written extensively on the subject of Forming a Roma Gipsy Evangelical Identity in Bulgaria and our book on the subject is coming out for publication in the near future

Bulgarian Churches in North America

April 15, 2012 by  
Filed under Books, Featured, News

bulgarian-churchBulgarian Churches in North America results from a comprehensive dissertation work on emerging Bulgarian American congregations. The book incorporates some twenty years of research, which the author began while involved with the establishment of the first Bulgarian Church of God in North America initially located in the city of Chicago. The work presents an overview of the historical presuppositions and immigrant dynamics associated with Bulgarian churches is offered to enlighten the current problem of ministry. Next, a detailed contextual analysis describes the churches participating in the project. The project model design explains the research methodology and the study’s findings, which provide the first ever statistical overview of Bulgarian American congregations. The work concludes with a series of prognoses of the explored movement of evangelical churches, various considerations and an A-to-Z church planting proposal to serve as a paradigm for ministry and church planting among Bulgarian immigrant communities in North America.

Revival in North Dakota

June 25, 2010 by  
Filed under Featured, News

We successfully returned from a mission trip to the Native American reservation in the Turtle Mountains of North Dakota. Our participation there was in partnership with long-time friends in the ministry from Matters of the Heart and upon the invitation of Rev. Daniel Bean, founder of Wind of the Spirit Ministries and pastor of the Dunseith Church of God.

We held a three day revival, as at the same time participated and helped with the work on the reservation. For all revival services, we were blessed by Jeff Harrison from Matters of the Heart with his ministry in worship and special songs for each occasion. One of them was specifically dedicated to the ministry of Bro. Bean and his family, and Jeff was able to present them with the original hand written lyrics after his performance. We brought a brief sermon every night with a special message on Father’s Day Sunday.

Meeting new people and ministering to them was a true blessing. At the same, we were encouraged by the work of Pastor Bean, his family and his team. Their testimony and the ability to continue the ministry, even in hard times as the ones we live in, are commendable. For it is important that faithful Church of God people lead by the Spirit continue to build the local church as a ministry to our communities wherever they may be located. As we are preparing for the 73rd General Assembly of the Church of God, it is our prayer that such ministries are given further consideration and support by the general Body of Christ.

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Ministering at the Newly Founded Church of God in Veliko Tarnovo

September 20, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured, News

As soon as the national leadership training in Rouse was over, we traveled to the ancient Bulgarian capital of Veliko Tarnovo and held service at the newly found Church of God there. The church was started six months ago by Rev. Vasil Petrov, who serves as the pastor of the Gabrovo Church of God and regional bishop for the Bulgarian Church of God. The humble beginnings in the midst of economic, political and church crises have not stopped this congregation of growing and they are now looking for an appropriate size building for meetings. While together we did a practical Bible lesson from the New Bulgarian Translation of the Gospel of John and were encouraged by noticing the eagerness of the people to learn and practice the Word. We were asked to return to Veliko Tarnovo for another Bible training module in the near future. Giving the urgent need for leadership development in the area, we are planning to implement our mobile ministry training strategy in order to support the development of this newly founded local Church of God and to ensure its continues growth and effectiveness in ministry.

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