Thursday, March 3, 2011


Steve speaking to our Navajo sister congregation in Tsaile AZ
I often introduce myself as "one of the pastors of the Church of God of Landisville." Currently my title (and role) is Lead Pastor.  I have a partner, Barry Sellers, the Associate Pastor.  There are six elders who serve as "lay pastors" of the congregation.  We have five part-time staff members including a Youth Director and a Director of Children's Ministry. And we have many, many "members" (who we prefer to call "disciples") who use their gifts and provide leadership in various ministries of the church.  Now you know why I introduce myself in this manner.

Barry Sellers, our Associate Pastor and our "traditional church" pastor
Since early in 2002, the Church of God of  Landisville has been on a journey from a traditional and inward focused church to a missional church with an outward focus.  These days we have borrowed a term from Rick Russaw and Eric Swanson as we seek to be "the best church for our community."  During that quest, outreach has become our "brand."

Now in 2011, with the addition of Stephen Ministry and two ministries called Real Disciples and T.I.E. (Three is Enough) accountability groups, we believe God is calling us to multiply a second brand - "a healing place."  In posts on subsequent Thursdays, I hope to share with you some things about the Church of God of Landisville and who God is shaping us to be.

Lisa Kilgore, our Children's Director
Stacie Reber, our new Youth Director
Lynn Byers, one of our members on a short term medical mission assignment in Port-au-Prince Haiti
The Church of God of Landisville is a 178 year old congregation with a heritage in world missions (early 1900s) and education leadership (1980s and 1990s).  But in many ways, we have developed an entirely different identity by stepping beyond the traditional and institutional model during this past decade.  The priesthood of all believers has become a core value of the church. We work through missional strategies, leadership development, coaching, and a new volunteer position called Spiritual Gifts/Ministries Counselor to equip and empower persons to carry out their purpose from God by serving Him within the church and within the community that is our primary mission field.

Pierre Payen Hospital in Haiti, a 2002 mission work team helped complete this hospital early in our journey
An intergenerational work team that helped older families and a community in western Pennsylvania get a "new look" last summer
This summer we will send our fourth VBS team to help our Navajo sister congregation

There are lots of stories we can share.  God has given our church (at all levels) a tremendous sense of mission as together we discover "what is the Jesus in us going to do."

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