Page 1


2


3


F

ebruary 1, 2015 was the official date of our transition of leadership of Transformation Church to Pastor Michael Todd (now Lead Pastor). In September, the church hosted an awesome honoring service for us, celebrating over 40 years of ministry, including the 17 years of laying the foundation of what is now Transformation Church. It was a wonderful evening to remember! It was humbling, fun and meaningful all rolled into one night! But most of all, it reminded us of how grateful we were for all that God has done in the last 41 years! Looking back over the last two years, my wife and I have experienced several smaller, yet exciting and challenging transitions. “Next” can seem like unfamiliar territory sometimes. It’s part of our walk of faith. We certainly have had a myriad of emotions! We have had some tearful nostalgia and more than a few “victory dances!” Some days we have had great understanding and other days we have operated in total trust. My daily patterns and weekly routines, after 16 years, did not change overnight! For a while on Sunday mornings, I still arrived at the church at around 7 a.m. and went through my morning routine, only to realize I was not preaching that morning! I even went to the office on Monday mornings to check in and get all the updates. Some days I went to my office, sat for an hour, only to realize I was free to do whatever I wanted! But that

4

didn’t last too long. My wife soon realized, after days of seeing my smiling face at home, that we really did have some newfound flexibility. She began calling me her “boyfriend” and planning vacations! We have cruised, visited family and made some great memories with lifelong friends. But the real process of “next” begins when you start to see and hear from God concerning your days ahead. God began showing me and speaking to us about going to another dimension. He gave us several strategies to help pastors and leaders bring transformation to their lives and churches. This includes a vision seminar called “SOS” for pastors and their leaders and a communications seminar called “Life Languages.” I’ve launched my new website and I am shooting a 12-week course called “Ministers In Training” (MIT). Prayerfully, this will be online by the end of this year! The church and Pastor Michael are doing great and everything is moving forward. We meet every week, and I enjoy our time together as I see legacy unfold. Pastor Michael is becoming, not only a great visionary, but an awesome preacher and communicator. We really enjoy his ministry when we are home.


It’s one thing to believe by faith you did the right thing, but another to see it unfold with God’s blessing and anointing! We are godly proud of Pastor Michael and Natalie and their leadership as true legacy unfolds, and God’s kingdom is built!

5


6


A

s many of you know, my wife and I became the Lead Pastors of Transformation Church on February 1, 2015 and since then, we’ve experienced a wide range of emotions from excitement to being nervous, but more than anything, hopeful for the future and the limitless possibilities of what God could do through this vision. When God called us to RE•PRESENT Him to the lost and found for transformation in Christ, we didn’t fully know what that meant, but we were inspired, and we understand God’s vision for this ministry now more than ever before. God is up to something special at Transformation Church, and we are honored that God chose us to be the lead servants. It has truly been a joy to serve you and to serve with you. I can’t tell you how proud my wife, Natalie, and I are to pastor a church that continues to trust God, carry the vision and display the culture that reflects an authentic relationship with Christ. It’s been exhilarating to see what was once an idea is now actually coming to life and we are truly excited to see how it will unfold! 2016 was a great year at TC! My expectations have increased, my understanding has enlarged and my faith in God has become the most dependable thing in my life! We have seen many miracles, we’ve met so many new people and we’ve had to deal with the reality of transition, but through it all, God has been completely faithful! By God’s grace TC has not had to face some of the “normal trends of transition.” Our membership/partnership has grown, our generosity and influence in the community has increased, as well as our finances have expanded our ability to see lives transformed and for us that’s what it’s all about​—​PEOPLE. I’ve always heard “keep the main thing ...the main thing” and in the foundational stage of our ministry, the main things are our: Weekend Experiences, Meeting Place Prayer and Belong Groups. It was with​much counsel and wisdom that we simplified to focus on the health of our ministry, while maximizing what makes TC so great! As these areas have been strengthened, we have seen synergy and growth in every area of our church! The church in Acts 2:42 worshiped in temple courts and from house‐to‐house, which added to them daily. While numbers aren’t our motivation, they are an effective measurement tool. We understand that attached to every number is a soul and to every soul is a person, and every person matters to God. So everything we do is for one soul and I believe we are just scratching the surface of what God wants to do in growing His church! The Bible says, ​where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint​. Two years ago, we began saying that our church would be a “multi-church”, meaning we would be a multi‐generational, multi‐ethnic, multi‐campus and multiplying. We are seeing grandparents worshiping in the same service with their children and grandchildren. We are seeing more diversity in our ministry than ever before. I am excited to see this is now becoming a reality! Just in case you didn’t know, you are a part of something that God is doing! I just want to take this time to say thank you! Thank you, because without you TC is nothing, but with you TC can do everything God has called it to do! Your partnership, faithfulness and generosity make all of this possible. Thank you for your sacrifices, for your time, for believing in Natalie and me, and more importantly, believing in the vision that God has given. This is just the beginning of what God wants to do, and 2017 has already been off to an amazing start! My prayer is that you would become a vision‐carrier and help us build what God has called Transformation Church to become, and I promise you in the process God will continue to train, shape and transform you into the best version of you!

7


8


B

eing a wife and mother requires balance, creativity,

matter how fast or how long that full transformation takes, it

caffeine and a lot of wisdom and direction from God.

She is still learning the art of juggling a busy life. “And that

determination, optimism, love, positivity, a little bit of

Juggling it all is art, an art that Pastor Natalie Todd is learning one day at a time. Being a wife and mother

has taught her how to live the life that God has called us all

to live. “I’m continuously being taught patience, love, grace, forgiveness, and truly learning to be selfless.” As a stay-at-home mom to two children – a one-year old and a pre-schooler, she

says there is never a dull moment, but she wouldn’t trade it for the world. “I love being able to be the biggest influence in my

children’s lives. They are my greatest investment, and the return

I get is truly priceless. Seeing all the “firsts” – the first smile, laugh, steps… This job is so challenging in every way, but so

rewarding by the little everyday things.” But the job does come with some challenges. “The other side of that comes with the constant anxiety we can sometimes have as mothers. Anxiety of not being able to do everything ‘perfect,’ how it seems other

moms have it all together. That unspoken expectation we put

on ourselves of having to do it all and the fear of am I doing enough?

“As women, we must stay anchored in the Word and have our quiet time with the Lord.”

Along with raising her children, she has the honor of pastoring

alongside the love of her life. Working with Pastor Michael

Todd, she is tapping into another passion in her life – ministry. “What I love about ministry is seeing people’s lives being

transformed. I love witnessing God being so omniscient that in a single moment He can comfort, heal and deliver hundreds of people at the same time in a service or during an altar call.

“I just love being able to join my faith with someone in their encounter with God and invest in that transformation. No

is priceless.”

might be a major key itself, remaining teachable.”

She says another major key is allowing God to be the ultimate teacher in her life.

“I have never been a mother before or worked in full-time

ministry. I’m from a single parent home; I didn’t grow up seeing the wife and husband dynamic, so I’m still learning how to better love and serve my husband.”

Finally, it’s important to surround yourself with a strong support system, she says.

“It seems like it takes a village to help the Todd family function.” It all comes down to priorities.

“The order of life has to go God first, yourself second, husband

third, and children fourth, and then comes the career and the church. We are gifted and created to be nurturers, and we give

of ourselves to make things flourish. This amazing gift we have

to nurture can sometimes be our downfall, if we don’t take care of ourselves first.

“We can’t expect to pour out of a dry place. Honestly, giving

of yourself to those different areas and more can be draining, but it doesn’t have to deplete you. We can only give out what we put in.”

She will always be open to any opportunity God places before her, but for now, her family remains her biggest focus.

“I know I am called to my family and to support my husband

and do the job no one else can do – being his number one cheerleader. I am called to cultivate these little humans into

God loving, purpose filled, kind, loving, generous people, and that’s a job I don’t take lightly as God entrusted me with their lives to instill into them Godly character.”

9


Q: WHY DID YOU BECOME PARTNERS (MEMBERS) OF TC?

Q: WHAT SERMON SERIES IMPACTED YOU THE MOST AND WHY?

A: We felt like this ministry was a perfect fit for our entire family with great leadership, great praise and worship and solid teaching. There was always something for each one of us (children included) each time that we attended and could apply it to our everyday lives.

A: Mario – I have three. The Blessed Life: It gave me a better understanding of tithes/offerings and the power of giving; Grace Like a Flood: It gave me insight on what grace really means and how much grace I have received in my life; The Expect Effect: It raised the bar on how to believe and receive from God. A: Khalilah – The Blessed Life: It explained tithing and its true purpose; Grace Like a Flood: It taught me to let go and let God and not to hold on to hurt from other people because it can distort my perception and dictate my action; The Expect Effect: It taught me that there are no limits on what God can do if I choose my words wisely and stop doubting Him.

Q:  WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?  A: Mario - Seeing my children actively participating in prayer, fasting, worship, tithing, and making God number one in their lives. They want to come to church and hear the word being taught. A: Khalilah – Seeing our family collectively involved in church and consistently tithing, raising two children as a single mom, my great husband, completing college as an adult and being able to have another child for my husband.

Q: WHAT HAS BEEN THE IMPACT ON YOUR LIFE AND/OR IN YOUR RELATIONSHIPS SINCE JOINING TC AND WHY? A: My focus has shifted so much more to the power of God to change me and my life—areas that are completely out of my control. The Word that is brought every week and the reminder in the Belong group always points to God’s ability to change and make a way, not mine. My friendships have created an anchor when I’m weary. They encourage me to remain in the Lord and not focus on facts around me but focus on the promises of the Lord.

Q: WHAT DO YOU DO FOR FUN? A: Hang out with friends, watch movies, read books, enjoy the outdoors—anything from snow skiing, hiking through the woods, or exploring a new park. Q: WHAT SERMON SERIES IMPACTED YOU THE MOST AND WHY?   A: Juicy Fruit. It built my trust in God’s ability to change my heart by growing the fruits of the Spirit in me, instead of me trying to squeeze out some joy, goodness or other fruit all on my own. It all comes down to spending the time with the Lord to allow Him to change me. My personal time with the Lord has become a lifeline I can’t give up. 

11


14


15


1haveAdrian: I am very proud of my family. Bea and I been married 36 years ( June 21, 1980) and have TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAMILY. WIFE? KIDS?

known each other for 39 years (May 22, 1977). She exudes the beauty of Christ through God’s grace. She is an example of a Godly woman, mother and wife. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. Together we raised 2 kids who are born again and love the Lord: Arriel (30) who lives in Baltimore, Maryland attending University of Maryland completing a MSW (Master’s Social Work); and Brian (28) living in Tulsa with his wife Rachel and their 13 month old daughter, Evelyn Grace. Brian has a MBA (Master’s with focus in Finance and Marketing).

2 Adrian: I met Bea on a Sunday morning at her church, HOW DID YOU AND PASTOR BEA MEET? WHAT’S YOUR LOVE STORY?

16

Greater Metropolitan Church of God in Christ (COGIC) in Detroit, MI. It resulted from a challenge I gave to Faye, my sister-In law (Bea’s cousin) about finding me a good woman. I was 18 at the time and hadn’t really ever been in a serious relationship. Bea was sitting in the choir but came out to meet me in the foyer.

The moment I laid eyes on her I knew she would be my wife. We dated 3 years before marriage. During the latter part of those 3 years, God rearranged my life; I heard the call to attend Rhema Bible College in Broken Arrow, OK. I relocated and our relationship became long distance until our wedding. I remember many stories of trusting God as a student to travel back and forth.

3 Adrian: I began my ministry experience as a singer in the Followers of Christ (FOC) at the age of 14. The HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN MINISTRY?

Followers of Christ was a male chorus of teenagers and young adults. At one point this group had around 20 members. We all attended Anderson Memorial COGIC under the pastorate of Bishop C.L. Anderson, Jr. originally singing and ministering at various churches, street crusades and revivals in the Detroit area and Canada. I became a licensed minister at the age of 20 through Faith Christian Fellowship here in Tulsa under the Leadership of the late Buddy Doyle Harrison. I attended Rhema Bible College and upon graduation traveled full time in ministry for 5 years with the Followers of Christ. The group advanced and at one point traveled nationwide and even went to Trinidad. At that time we recorded


5 albums, hosted a TV show and participated in seeing thousands come to the Lord. Bea: I realized a call on my life when I was 10 years old. I accepted Christ when I was 8 years old. My childhood pastor helped to guide me in answering my calling as a teenager. I’ve experienced a lot of ups and downs but I’ve always acknowledged a relationship with the Lord since my intial conversion.

4 Adrian: I’ve been a senior pastor for 7 1/2 years, served as assistant pastor for 10 years under the leadership HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A PASTOR?

of Dr. Emile Hawkins, Sr. Bea: Since 2009.

Bea: I am passionate about obeying God so I have moved around in different areas serving in church. I am honored to have creative ideas for young children, I enjoy ministering to women and led two conferences and three retreats over the last eight years. I enjoy supporting pastor’s wives and I have about four pastors’ wives with which I stay connected. I enjoy corporate prayer.

7 Adrian: Helping support the mission of TC and vision HOW DO YOU SEE YOURSELF CONTRIBUTING TO TC?

of Pastor Todd through giving of my time, talent and treasure. I come with no agenda other than to serve.

Bea: I look forward to obeying God in whatever area the pastor determines fits. Right now outreach is that assignment and I plan to be faithful there.

5 Adrian: I really did not know I would be pastoring. I have always looked to serve in whatever capacity God 8 required. I helped with maintenance, lawn care, sound Adrian: I’ve always wanted to learn how to play the WHY DO YOU FEEL CALLED TO PASTOR?

ministry, visitations, ushering, singing (choir and worship team), led bible studies, officiated funerals and whatever was needed. In 2007, Dr. Hawkins mentioned to me about the possibility of being the senior pastor of LWO. I felt it was bigger than me but I have always sought to please God. After Pastor Hawkins was deployed for an extended military stay my role as assistant pastor increased and God spoke to me about stepping up. I have a desire to see people delivered and set free by God’s word. My background includes a father who ministered on the streets since I was a young teen, and at one time pastored also. Simply put, I answered a call. Bea: I believe the Lord confirmed to me a calling to pastor once Pastor Adrian stepped up to lead LWO. Shortly after I accepted the calling, Pastor Adrian was hospitalized for 10 weeks! God has a sense of humor! Lol!

6 Adrian: Seeing people set free from the chains that bind them. Sharing the Gospel, whether through song WHAT IS YOUR PASSION IN MINISTRY?

or the spoken word. Compelling people to come into a closer walk with God. Ministering God’s healing and compassion. By the way, I love worship!

WHAT’S SOMETHING INTERESTING ABOUT YOU?

keyboard and speak Spanish.

Bea: I have experienced multiple healings and it has increased my faith and greatly humbled me.

9 Adrian: Seafood!

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE FOOD?

Bea: Well, my family owned a soul food restaurant when I was a teenager so I enjoy soul food: meat - seafood and barbeque, sides - green beans and baked potatoes, desserts - German Chocolate Cake and Rocky Road (or Butter Pecan) ice cream.

10 Adrian: Spending time with family and friends HOW DO YOU HAVE FUN?

Bea: I enjoy shopping, traveling (cruises are awesome), reading and spending time with my granddaughter. Given time, I sew and I am a decent cook too.

11 Adrian: Superman (the first movie!)

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE?

Bea: Recently, “Hidden Figures” but I like “Imitation of Life” and “Something’s Got to Give”.

17


Here at TC, we believe generosity is giving just to give and not to get. It’s when we give out of our time, money and energy that we are able to represent God to others. Out of His love for us, God gave His most prized possession, His Son. Now we give out of our love for Him. In 2015, our combined efforts of generosity raised enough money to bless several homes, a church and a non-profit organization, helping sex-trafficking victims. Then, our efforts increased, and we were able to raise over $80,000 to upgrade our entire audio/ visual system to present the gospel in HD worldwide. As of January 2016, we have over 200 unique users watching online weekly. It’s projects like these that increase our faith, unite us, and bring the kingdom of heaven to earth. That’s what generosity produces! The local church is a symbol of home and family. It’s where we worship and gather with our family on a weekly basis. It’s the place where we express our most intimate relationship, so it has to feel like home to everyone. One of the main focuses at our church is to reach multiple generations. We can only do this by presenting the gospel in a way that reaches the whole family. This includes grandparents, mothers and fathers, and even the children. If you’re a parent, you know that your children are your most prized possession, and when they love to go to church, it makes everyone want to go. This is what we see happen on a regular basis with the children that attend TC’s children’s church, Transformation Kidz. We envision Transformation Kidz to be a place

18

that presents God in a fun and exciting way! For 2017, our Heart for the Kingdom project is to remodel TC Kidz classrooms, acquire an in-depth curriculum and increase the amount of volunteers that faithfully serve on a weekly basis. Just like the church is our home, we want our kids to know that this is their home, as well. We want them to feel encouraged, empowered and inspired to go into the world with the light of Christ within them. In order to do this, we need to create and continuously foster an environment that supports their learning styles through aesthetically engaging classrooms and spiritually sound curriculum. We want kids to be excited about church, and we need your generosity to make that happen. TC Kidz is all about teaching our kids generosity, love, and most of all – God’s salvation and grace, which impacts more than just our children. Families benefit from the gospel’s ability to counteract worldly influences. The church benefits from seeing our children grow up and follow a Godly legacy that impacts their children. The reality is that we are all blessed; we are blessed to be a blessing to others. Your generosity towards our 2017 Heart for the Kingdom project has the ability to influence not only the children attending TC Kidz today, but also the generations to come. Remember, generosity is more than just finances; it’s giving of our time, talents and energy. Let’s unite together and reach the little hearts and minds that one day will lead our world.


TC KIDZ MAKING AN IMPACT

W

e started attending TC two years ago, and since the beginning, TC Kids has been an amazing place of growth for my children. They have amazing pastors, staff and volunteers. Before going to her first children’s church service, Kalyn,9, was worried she didn’t know anyone and wouldn’t have a good time. By the time service was over and we went to pick her up, she was having such a great time that she didn’t want to leave. Peyton, 2, didn’t want to attend the toddler class at all. Having never gone to daycare or been away from us, staying with a group of unfamiliar toddlers and two teachers wasn’t very appeasing to her. However, after calming her nerves and allowing us to actually leave, midway through our adult service, I received a text from one of the teachers. It was a picture of Peyton having a great time. Not only had they calmed Peyton’s nerves, they calmed ours as well. Every Sunday after church, Kalyn cannot wait to tell us the lesson that was taught and what Scriptures she’d

like to memorize that week. I’ve seen Kalyn’s growth in Christ go beyond what I could have imagined. I first saw this when she asked to be baptized. My initial thought was no. I don’t believe in doing things out of “religion” or “tradition.” I didn’t want her to do it until she had a full understanding of what it meant.  So I asked her what does it mean to be baptized? Her response “Well... I sin. An example of a sin is lying or not telling the whole truth. And when I’m baptized the water washes all of my sins away, and I come out a new person. It also means that I believe that Jesus died for me and rose again.” Needless to say, she got baptized. Afterwards, as she was drying off, she just kept telling me how happy she was, as her eyes began tearing up. I cannot put into words how grateful I am to Kalyn’s youth pastors for helping lay the foundation. They’ve helped build up her self-confidence and confidence in God in such a way that she exemplifies Christ confidently wherever she goes. The DeGrates love TC Kids! - Vic and Preshus DeGrate


W

e are so excited about what God is doing here at Transformation Church! As a church we are focused on reaching people, but God is the reason why we do what we do. God wants to be a part of every area of our lives and wants to use us to reflect His love, character and nature. We desire to have the kind of contagious Christian lifestyle that influences and encourages our entire community, both those who are near to God and those who are far from God—one life at a time. One of our Culture Codes is Relationship: “We Belong Together.” This is not just something we say but something we do! It is a joy to serve alongside you as we are advancing the Kingdom, fulfilling the vision God has given to our Lead Pastors. Together we are becoming the kind of church described in the Bible, where there is constant prayer, vertical worship, relevant teaching and authentic

20

relationships. We are all an extension of God because every message that we hear impacts us, and then, we get to impact those around us. As we are growing and transforming, our society will see the impact of what God is doing in our lives! In Proverbs 11:10 it says “When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices.” Let’s build relationships not just in our church, but in our communities. It is imperative that we build relationship so that our city, state and even our nation can rejoice as a result of God’s power. Through relationship, you can point someone to a place that has consistent, life-giving word that can change their life forever! Here is a simple strategy: invest and invite. Invest simply means we get involved with people by building relationship. All we want is for others to experience the unconditional love and freedom that has transformed us through the power of God!


CULTURE CROSSWORD 1

DO YOU KN OW THE TC C ULTURE CODE ? CHALLENG E YOU RSELF (AND A FRI E N D) TO S E E HOW FAST YOU CAN COMPLETE THE PUZZ LE .

ACROSS

2

1 We give just to give, not to get

3

3 We are committed to structure, training and conduct that produces growth 5 We reverence God, value people and 4

demonstrate our gratitude. 9 We belong together.

5

10 We love first 6 7

11 We enjoy it all.

8

DOWN

9

2 We hold ourselves to a very high standard in our words, appearance and actions. 4 We use our hands to show our hearts. 5 We are humble, open and transparent 10

people of integrity. 6 We use our lives to express God’s worth. 7 We are a relevant and progressive church that changes lives. 8 We have faith in God, faith in people and faith for miracles.

11

FIND THE WORDS ACTIVATE, ALIVE, BELONG, BLESSED, COMMUNITY, CULTIVATE, GRACE, KINGDOM, MULTI, PRAYER, RANSOM, REPRESENT, SYNERGY, TRANSFORMED

21


GIVING

2016

2016 ANNUAL REPORT

E N V E LO P E 35%

TEXT + KIOSK 10%

ONLINE 55%

TOTA L A N N UA L I N C O M E

$1,219,994.72 MISSIONS

Total combined local & foreign missions including benevolence & bereavment support for member care.

$58,591.07 M O N T H LY I N C O M E $150K

2015 2016

$130K $110K $90K $70K $50K JAN

22

FEB

MAR

APR

MAY

JUN

JUL

AUG

SEP

OCT

NOV

DEC


18 BELONG GROUPS 322 ATTENDED BELONG GROUP MEETINGS 1120 68 103 653

FIRST TIME VISITORS BAPTISMS NEW PARTNERS A V E R A G E W E E K LY AT T E N D A N C E 250 225

244

VISITORS

FIRST TIME

200 175 150 125 100

116

75 50

94

89 77

79

72

63

51

25

93

88

54

0 JAN

FEB

MAR

APR

MAY

JUN

JUL

AUG

SEP

OCT

NOV

DEC

HEART FOR THE KINGDOM ‘GENERATIONS TO COME’

RAISED $93,338.77 $0

$100K

(AS OF DEC. 31)

GOAL

23


TESTIMONY FROM REAL LIFE CHURCH

R

EAL LIFE CHURCH is a 5-year-old

Within the next two weeks, I received a visit from

church in the city of Claremore,

tripled what we had sown.

charismatic,

non-denominational

Oklahoma, led by Pastors Kendrick

and Elizabeth Oakley. There are no

words to express our gratitude for the generosity of

Transformation Church and its leaders. Furthermore, concerning your seed, there are no words to describe the magnitude of its impact nor the significance of its timing.

In November 2015, while at a conference, the Lord told my wife and I to sow a large seed. This amount

was definitely a stretch of faith, yet we obeyed. As we stepped up to sow our seed, we looked behind us to

witness a team of our leaders join together to sow the same amount. As we stood at the altar the Lord said to

me, “This seed will break the spirit of lack and scarcity off of the house (RLC).”

This seed had to be large enough to stretch our faith

and bring us into a new realm of faith and prosperity.

Pastor Michael Todd, who came to deliver a seed that The seed TC has sown goes beyond finances and reaches into a place of prophetic fulfillment and activation. Your seed has been used by God to shift us from one place of ministry to the next. It was a sign of hope and boldly

demonstrated the faithfulness of God. Your seed has

accomplished exactly what the Lord said at the altar that day, that our time of lack is over as He moves us into a place of abundance.

Your seed has increased our faith in God and our hope

for partnership in our region. Thank you for manifesting, demonstrating and expanding the Kingdom of God in this region of Oklahoma. We are forever grateful and will forever be impacted by your example of Kingdom Partnership. Blessings,

Real Life Church

“THE SEED TC HAS SOWN GOES BEYOND FINANCES AND REACHES INTO A PLACE OF PROPHETIC FULFILLMENT AND ACTIVATION.”


“IT’S OUR HEAVENLY FATHER WHO GIVES ME THE STRENGTH AND THE POWER. MY GOD WON’T GIVE ME ANYTHING I CAN’T HANDLE.”

TESTIMONY FROM CLAUDIA SAN MARTIN

One day during service, Pastor Mike encouraged us to join a Belong Group, so I did. These strong, powerful and encouraging women of God impacted my life in a way I didn’t expect! I received news that my mom had colon cancer and mentioned it to my Belong Group. I asked them to keep my mom in their prayers. That night I felt the power of prayer rise and I left with such peace and strength. Shortly after, my mom had colon surgery to remove the cancer. A couple weeks later, they sent her to get a CAT scan. The results showed the cancer had spread to her liver and lungs. This was news our family wasn’t expecting. We continued to ask for prayers of healing from family, friends, and of course, my prayer warriors (Belong Group). On November 17, 2015, my mom started her first chemo treatment. People would come to visit and check on her, but instead of them giving her an encouraging word, she was the one praying and giving them an encouraging word! How can a person who was going through so much, be so strong? Her response, “It’s our Heavenly Father who gives me the strength and the power. My God won’t give me anything I can’t handle. This is a test to see how big my faith is. It’s going to be

I

JOINED TC IN MAY 2015.

used as a testimony for others who are going through the same thing and have no faith!” Pastor Mike encouraged us all to join the churchwide fast, “21-Day Fix”. This was my very first fast. I was accepting the challenge of a better year, a year of healing, a year for my faith to grow even stronger and a year to expect miracles! I prayed even harder for my mom’s healing and I brought a few pictures to corporate prayer and I would say, “By the stripes of Jesus, Father, my mom and I are healed.” I had begun to share with anyone that would listen, that on January 19 I was expecting great news and when the morning came I simply prayed, “Thank you Father. You’re amazing God, and I know we’re going to receive a miracle today!” At 1 p.m., I received a phone call from the doctor stating the cancer in my mom’s lungs had shrunk dramatically and her liver was cancer-free! The doctor could not believe it! This entire time, my mom hasn’t had insurance but so far $52,000 has been written off ! We have been beyond blessed with the support and prayers we have received. We know this testimony will give hope and help many people. We serve an amazing God and when we put our faith in Him and expect, it equals miracles and we have received our miracle!


T HE

PURPOSE AND POWER OF PRAYER

by PASTORS TOMMY & BRENDA TODD

Y

ou may be someone who asks the question, “Why pray?” Prayer is our way of communicating with God. In other words, prayer is the way we talk with God, have conversations with him, make personal contact with him and He with us. When we are in a relationship with someone, we must spend time with them. It is from that relationship and communication that we get to know each other. We have found that not enough of us spend personal time with the Lord, yet it is in prayer and  in spending time in His Word that we get to know Him. The word “know” means “to be intimately acquainted with or familiar with; to discern, come to know; to recognize as the nature of; to have a practical understanding of.” As our Heavenly Father and friend, we truly need to get to know God, and He is more than enough for us. For every situation, He has an answer. For every heartache, he has restoration. For every sickness, He has a healing. We should make it our determination to stay in constant communication with Him everyday. Why not talk to

26

Him throughout your day, listen for His direction and obey what He says to do. 2 Chronicles 7:14 says, “If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face, turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land.  Prayer is not to be a religious act without any power. James 5:16 says, “The earnest prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available.” An example of this happened in Acts 12. Peter had been thrown into prison. He was chained and guarded by soldiers. The church continued in heartfelt prayer day and night for him. Because of their persistent prayer God sent angels to loose Peter from his chains and from prison. God has given us power and authority to make a difference in this earth through prayer. Now that you have an understanding of the purpose and power of prayer, please make a decision to strengthen your relationship with God and use the power He has made available to us.


O

ur church has been known for its small groups for many years. These small pockets of people meeting on a weekly basis have impacted many lives and families. TC’s small groups, or Belong Groups, create a place where we all fit. We all belong. TC’s Belong Group philosophy starts with a D.A.R.E., because our focus is discipleship, accountability, relationship and evangelism. DISCIPLESHIP

It’s through an everyday relationship that we become followers of Christ. This is called discipleship. Discipleship is a walking-out process where we continually get back up when we stumble. This is easier to attain within a community. Walking alone has its perks, but ultimately we all need help. That’s why we have one another—to walk together.

ACCOUNTABILITY

One thing that we know is that discipleship is impossible without accountability. Accountability is established when you allow people into your life to speak truth to you. This is found in safe relationships where we’ve allowed ourselves to become transparent. Sometimes, our perspective of ourselves is skewed. Accountability looks at us square in the eyes and reminds us of who we are in God. RELATIONSHIP

It’s through relationships that God connects His children and connects with His children. In Matthew 18:19-20, Jesus says, “…If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.” Relationship

with one another piques God’s interest and causes Him to come close. EVANGELISM

It is our connection with one another that displays the love of God. And, well, that kind of love is attractive. Jesus said in John 17:21 that our connection with one another will cause the world to believe that God sent Him. We share the gospel of Christ through our relationships. These are the four keys to why we believe in Belong Groups. It’s easy to get lost in a large church, but Belong Groups create a space where we can be known. Belong Groups provide us the opportunity to connect and grow within healthy relationships. We D.A.R.E. you to try it out.

27


W

e have all heard the popular phrase, “You can’t have a testimony without  a test.” This is very true. If you ask anyone with a story what it took to get to where they are now, you better pull up a chair because transformation is a journey that must be taken step-by-step. As with personal testimonies and stories, every married couple also must face various tests throughout their journey. Here are four tests every Godly marriage must face:

1

THE “KEEPING THE MAIN THING THE MAIN THING” TEST

Exodus 20:3 says, “ You will not have any other gods before me.” God wants all of you, but after you get married, this becomes a challenge in itself. It becomes clear very quickly why Apostle Paul states in 1 Corinthians 7:34, “ A married person has to think about earthly responsibility and how to please their spouse.”   One translation even says a married person’s interests are divided. The first test every Godly marriage must go through is keeping God in first place. You will have the opportunity to replace him with so many other things including your spouse, but you must learn you are nothing without Him.

2

THE UNCONDITIONAL LOVE TEST

Christ-like love is the hardest love to imitate, yet that’s exactly what He calls us to do. John 13:35, states, “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” Unconditional means no matter what, how or when. You must love your spouse unconditionally. This is much easier said than done. It takes dying to yourself daily to not allow your love for your spouse to be affected and become conditional upon what they do.

3 To whom much is given, much is required. Well, THE GOOD STEWARD TEST

what do you do when you haven’t been given a lot? This is where many of us fail to realize the riches we have been entrusted with. God is not concerned about the quantity, but rather with the quality. Every married couple must face the test of being good stewards of their finances. This is done by first giving back to God a portion of what He

28

has entrusted you with. This is literally one of the most challenging things for couples. This is why God says in Malachi for us to test him in this area and see the great reward we will receive, because He knew this would be hard for us to do. Be a good steward of your finances by remembering who the Owner is, and managing the wealth He has entrusted you with well.

4 Faithfulness can be applied to so many different THE FAITHFULNESS TEST

areas of your life and marriage, but the one I would like to focus on is being faithful to your promises. You made a promise on your wedding day when you read your vows aloud. My wife and I actually watch our wedding video each anniversary to be reminded of the vows we made to each other. Staying faithful to those vows to love her unconditionally, lead her like Christ leads the church, protect her like her father did, provide for her no matter the circumstance, and guard my heart from any other thing stealing it away is vital to a healthy and happy marriage. These vows are important, and they will be tested. But, you must remain faithful to the promise you made, because it is out of your story that many will be inspired to do the same. Every marriage will be tested. It’s not a question of if, but rather when. However, when we learn to handle testings well, the only thing that can come from them is growth and greater intimacy. I encourage you today to view your marital tests as an opportunity to become stronger as a unit and not allow them to divide you or create chaos. Allow the testings that come your way to make you one!


W

hen I think about the breakdown of our society, the root issue is the absence of men. Men are absent in the home, in the church and in our communities. What has happened to us as men? How do we as men get back to our position in the family, society and in the church? The answer jumped out to me when I read this scripture in Joel 2:28, “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.” The key to getting men back to their place in all areas is vision! When God pours out His Spirit on men and gives vision, there is an immediate impact. Vision causes you to become focused and disciplined. When you have a vision, it determines what you do with your time. You don’t waste time on things that do not support the dream in your heart. Vision causes you to become disciplined with your finances and to exercise self-control over your appetites. Proverbs 29:18 says that without vision, people cast off restraint. In other words, without a vision, men don’t have a reason to be disciplined in their lives! There are no boundaries and no self-imposed restrictions. True vision will cause you to adjust everything in your life to see it fulfilled

Vision causes you to create a blueprint or a roadmap that guides your entire life. Once we get a vision of where God is taking us, He then gives us a roadmap to follow in order to get there. An architect produces two very important things when designing a structure: a picture of the finished product and a blueprint of the specifics necessary for creating the end product. It’s the same with us in life. Vision will literally direct the specific steps and paths that we choose in life. Vision gives you incentive to move through your obstacles and to your passion. God’s vision for my life has energized and fortified my decision and desire to become victorious over every obstacle that threatens and stands in the way of what He has revealed. Fear, insecurity, sexual temptation, inferiority, discouragement, rejection and many more of my personal struggles have had to bow the knee to God’s vision! Men, I don’t know what struggles you are facing today, but I know that God’s vision for you is so potent and powerful that it can literally crush the heads of these enemies in your life and move you into your passion! Let’s make a determination this year to discover and commit to God’s vision for our lives. It will transform everything about you!

29


Have you seen the new Yeezys? Or are you asking me, “What are those?” Yeezys are sneakers designed by the infamous rapper Kanye West in collaboration with different athletic brands, such as Adidas. They have been raved about since their 2009 debut and are a sneakerhead essential. Why should shoes matter to a current follower of Christ? Shouldn’t our focus be praying for heaven to come down quicker and forget about these temporal fabrications that in the end won’t really matter? Believers and nonbelievers both shop multiple retailers, yet it appears that in Christendom, fashion has a negative connotation. Merriam-Webster defines fashion as “a popular way of dressing during a particular time or among a particular group of people.” This means that there are trends that link specific groups of people together at particular times, in essence carrying a message. Passively, fashion is often associated with materialism and pride because it is an outside expression of who a person is. What many fail to realize is that clothes, accessories and beauty products are in a neutral state, just like money. Fashion matters in the world, economically and socially. We cannot avoid fashion because it affects all of us. We constantly wear items that have been marketed to appeal

30

our physical senses. What am I trying to say here? Believers should consider a shift in their opinion about fashion. Fashion is not about being arrogant or showing off your money, although many do. Fashion is an industry that unifies people through clothing communication. It is a common thread that can be used for Kingdom purposes. Clothes are tools that connect people and are a major key to maintaining relevance in a society that is driven by materialism. They serve as conversation-openers for witnessing opportunities and can relate us with people that do not know about Jesus, including the ones that may never step foot into a church service. The body of Christ should utilize any opportunity possible to display the love of Jesus. We are a spirit, we have a soul, and we live in a body. We cannot reject the physical realm that matters to those whom are away from Him. Our job is to represent God to the lost and found with our lifestyle. People are more susceptible to hearing someone that looks like them than someone who is preaching at them. I am not denying the power of the Word because that is what saves our souls. Nonetheless, there has to be a common thread that links people before the conversion takes place.


Profile for Transformation Church

Transpire | 2017 Issue  

What's Happening at Transformation Church

Transpire | 2017 Issue  

What's Happening at Transformation Church

Advertisement