Frequently asked questions
Why is Church of the Living God (COLG) planting a new church?
God spoke to Pastor Hall 20+ years ago concerning COLG’s future; that we would be the hub of a wagon wheel of churches in Central Kentucky. This wheel would extend the Kingdom of God across our region by projecting COLG’s unique contribution to the Kingdom, i.e. a spirit-filled church that is balanced in Word and Spirit, that reproduces worship, spiritual authority for our region, and disciples who produce spiritual fruit and spiritual giftedness in their own lives and communities. This word has been confirmed numerous times to Pastor Hall from visiting ministers and those who ministered to him at events at other churches and conferences.
Why are we planting in Mt. Sterling, Kentucky?
We believe we have a unique opportunity with one of Pastor Hall’s spiritual sons, who is also a son of this house, Rev. Patrick Lager and his family, who have deep roots in that community, both professionally and personally. Patrick, his wife Kimberly, and their children feel called to plant a Church of the Living God in Mt. Sterling to help fulfill the vision for regional impact that God gave our Pastor so many years ago. Patrick has lived and worked in that community for his adult life, coached baseball teams, serves across various clubs and professional networks, and ministers regularly in rehab facilities and churches all over that community.
Historically, Mt. Sterling has provided COLG with its second largest contribution of people to our congregation. Over the years, a number of people from that community have attended COLG for a time and then ceased because of the drive or their burden for their town. We still have upwards of 30 people who actively attend on a weekly basis that make the drive every Sunday.
How long has this been in the works?
We believe God has spoken this from before the foundations of the world. It began for us with the revelation of the wagon wheel of churches to Pastor Hall over 20 years ago. God began speaking to Patrick two years ago about the possibility of pastoring in Mt. Sterling. He took that to Pastor Hall and shared that God was wanting him to plant Church of the Living God Mt. Sterling under Pastor Hall’s covering; not under another name or ambition. In summer of 2018, a small team assembled by Pastor Hall met for the first time to begin discussing logistics and transition. The Pastoral Team and Board of Directors of COLG was made aware at that same time, and Patrick has met with them on two occasions and discussed vision, logistics, and questions. As a board, they are very excited and believe completely in its success and heart! While there are still items being worked on by the team and pastoral staff, everything is being run through the COLG board as we pioneer this new territory!
What is our goal for the new COLG church?
Simply stated, our goal is impact for the Kingdom of God. We are not planting for the purpose of making the next big church in Mt. Sterling. We’ve not set a size goal, other than to say that we want to be a sizeable enough church that we are impactful in that community. If that is 200 people or 1,000, whatever is in God’s plan to make it impactful is what we want! We believe there are key areas that COLG excels in that can contribute and multiply impact for God’s Kingdom in the county. We recognize that we aren’t, nor will be the only church God uses, but that we are here to add to the county’s spiritual atmosphere already being impacted by established Houses of God. Those specific areas for COLG that have become part of our DNA as a church, include: spiritual authority to battle demonic forces and see people freed, balanced presentation of the Word and Holy Spirit power, and a desire to cultivate true worship (John 4:24) in developing believers. Patrick and the team assembled all minister presently in those capacities in COLG Winchester. We want to use all of these elements that God has empowered us with as a church to reach lost folks, free those who are bound and oppressed, and disciple those seeking a deeper knowledge and walk with Jesus!
What will the leadership team look like?
Patrick and Kimberly will be the lead pastors of COLG Mt. Sterling, operating in spiritual authority for deliverance, preaching, teaching, and worship.
Revs. Jon & Meagan Popp have also been led to go as part of the pastoral team, assisting in worship, teaching, preaching, and congregational care.
Harry Richards, who lives in Mt. Sterling and who has extensive pastoral experience across decades of ministry, has also agreed to join the team as the elder of the house, to assist with congregational care during the work week. We envision Bro. Harry to be their “Richard Plummer.”
Maddie Epperson, a young lady who currently serves on Pastor Matt’s youth leadership team, teaches children’s classes on rotation, and is part of Maranatha, has also agreed to join the team to direct children’s ministry at the plant each week. Pastor Richard was very excited when she agreed to join the team and believes in her capability completely! She’s also been training with our children’s ministry team and will continue to do so until the new church launches.
Will anyone on the leadership team be paid for their services to the new church?
For the foreseeable future, none of the staff pastors will require salaries. Both Patrick and Jon have great jobs that provide for their families and accommodate this ministry opportunity and schedule. Of course, Patrick’s job and business ownership in the community is a fantastic connection point for him to represent the church professionally across various clubs and forums within Mt. Sterling.
In addition to the leaders, are other people or families planning on leaving COLG to go to the new church plant?
The pastoral team and the church plant team met with active attendees of COLG who live in or beyond Montgomery County several weeks ago and informed them of the intention of COLG to plant a church in Mt. Sterling. We obtained a list of these families from our corporate clerk and invited them privately to a Sunday afternoon meeting in the fellowship hall. We felt compelled to first offer this information to them, as this is their community.
We invited them to consider becoming “seed families” to be planted by COLG Winchester into Mt. Sterling. We believe it is important that when Mt. Sterling folks come in, they see people they know locally. We also wanted this new church to be representative of the generations present in the mother church in Winchester. So far, several families, across the generational spectrum have agreed to be seeds planted for their community! Several of the families in that meeting have elected to stay in Winchester as their families are ministering and being ministered to at this location. We applaud that wisdom!
We will be blessing and commissioning the families and individuals going, along with the rest of the leadership team on a Sunday morning as the launch date approaches.
We and the families very much view this opportunity as apostolic in nature. The word for Apostle most used in scripture is “Apostolos,” which means “a messenger, he that is sent.” We are sending these ministers and seed members into that community as ambassadors of not just our church but the Kingdom of God!
Will the team and seed families be “gone” after the blessing and commissioning service?
By no means! This summer, the group will be beginning local Bible studies in Mt. Sterling on Wednesday nights, and that will progress through the launch timing. During that time, they will continue to attend in Winchester on Sundays. Once the church is launched, the people will remain connected and have the opportunity to attend the main church services on regular occasions, including big events. Also, there will not be Sunday night service in Mt. Sterling, so as to facilitate the leaders and members who are able to attend our weekly Sunday night services at the home church.
What will the service schedule be like?
Services are planned to run on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights. Wednesday nights will also be utilized for the Bible studies leading up to the launch, so as not to create room for people connected to other churches to attend on off-nights, as church folks are not our primary group to be engaged.
Our Wednesday night Bible Study schedule has been set as follows:
*June 12 & 26, 6pm.
*July 17 & 31, 6pm.
*August 21 & 28, 6pm.
*September 4 & 11, 6pm.
Although 7pm is the norm for us on Wednesday nights, in Mt. Sterling, 6pm is more the normal Wednesday night timeframe. Our plan is to begin with what is normal for our potential congregants.
As far as Sunday nights, our team and those involved have expressed a desire to remain connected to the mother church during this service time. The plan is for those who are able to attend Sunday night service in Winchester at the main church, from the seed family group, the leadership team, and new members gained at the new church, as no Sunday night service will be offered there on Sunday nights.
What is the timeline for the new church launch?
The launch plan begins with a series of Bible studies to begin this summer and into the fall on Wednesday nights. As these Bible studies take place and word gets out, we believe there will be an increase in attendance from locals, in addition to seed families. The Bible studies will become more frequent as the launch date approaches and/or attendance warrants (from bi-weekly to weekly, etc.). The tentative launch date for our first Sunday morning service is 9/15/19.
What will be the starting location?
Patrick has communicated with the Montgomery County School Superintendent and our plan is to launch in the high school auditorium. The cost associated with utilizing these facilities is $45/hour for the auditorium and accompanying facilities (classrooms and restrooms), plus $25/hour for a custodian. They also charge $25/hour if we choose to utilize their sound technician. If we choose to use the library as well, the cost is $25/hour. As of now, the plan is to only have the facility fee + the custodian, as we will not need a sound engineer provided, nor use of the library. The weekly experience will be a setup and tear-down model.
The high school/middle school complex is an ideal location because of the low cost (total of $70/hour), the recognizable location, abundant parking, and fully furnished facilities. This affords us the opportunity for a known location with modern amenities and plenty of parking, with little to no overhead such as mortgage, utilities, or furnishings.
Is it our intention to pull anyone from Patrick’s former church or any other established church in the community where he may have ministered?
Absolutely, under no circumstances, will anyone who actively attends an established church be approached or invited by any of our leaders or seed families. Likewise, this will apply to active members of any other churches already established within the community. Pastor Hall has also met with Pastor Harry Jones at Fellowship Christian Assembly, where Patrick attended a number of years ago, and they are agreed for the success of both churches and adamantly prayed together for God to move in Mt. Sterling and the region, using both houses!
Will the Mt. Sterling church be its own legal entity?
COLG Mt. Sterling will operate with its own bylaws, as a newly formed 501(c)3 church organization. Patrick’s CPA is already in the process of establishing the legal corporation. This corporation will share common officers with the Winchester COLG corporation; including Pastor Hall as its President, Pastor Mike Smith as a Director, and Pastor Richard Plummer as either a Director or Corporate Clerk. This indelibly ties COLG Mt. Sterling to the mother church in Winchester. Patrick will serve as Vice President of the corporation, and Jon Popp will be a Director.
COLG Mt. Sterling will have its own legal status but will be connected to the mother church at every level of leadership.
What is the financial plan, as the main COLG church will be planting tithing members elsewhere?
Firstly, we are believing that as we are taking this step of obedience toward what God has been speaking over this house for years, that God will meet us and make up for any potential lack. However, there is a contingency in place as well. There will be two bank accounts established for the new church. The first account will be funded by the tithes and offerings from our planted leaders and seed families. The second account will be the general fund for the new church, funded by the tithes and offerings given by new local congregants from Mt. Sterling. The seed account will be accessible at People’s Exchange Bank by both the new plant and the mother church. Initially, COLG Mt. Sterling will pay its bills from this account, but if COLG Winchester has a big surprise expense, this money will be accessible to make up any deficit. As it currently stands, with the cost of $70/hour per weekend for facilities, with no salaries, utilities, or mortgage, the tithe from the Lagers and Popps alone covers all of the overhead and weekly expenses for the new plant. The money from the leaders and seed families will continue to be put into this separate account until the general fund, funded by locals, can take over the financial burden.
Is there a need for equipment and furnishings?
We have been fortunate to have some sound equipment and instruments donated from a ministry in the area that recently closed its doors. Beyond that, with the starting venue being the school auditoriums, chairs, lighting, and an established sound system are provided with the facility. Eventually (potentially years from now), if the church moves into a permanent location, some furnishings and equipment may be required at that point.
What will long term fellowship look like between the two churches?
As previously stated, weekly fellowship will continue, particularly on Sunday nights. The Pastoral team will minister interchangeably as well at both locations! There will be Sundays where one of COLG Winchester’s Pastors may be preaching their morning service, and likewise, we may have one of theirs cover one of ours one week. COLG Mt. Sterling will know Winchester’s Pastoral Team!
The team has identified only a handful of ministries that they will begin with, but of course, as the church grows, more ministries will be required to minister to specific segments within the church. As that approaches, we plan to open up events at the mother church for those growing segments in the Mt. Sterling church until those can be operated under COLG Mt. Sterling's own strength.
In terms of large gatherings such as conferences or revivals, it’s likely that we will all gather in Winchester for the foreseeable future, or until a larger facility is warranted. It is vital that the Mt. Sterling church have its own holiday services (Christmas, Easter, Mother's Day, Father's Day, etc.) because these services give the house traction in the community and build relationship within.
Hopefully someday, we will be able to have large “family gatherings,” conferences, and services where all of the extended family gets together to experience the glory of God together! We’re very excited about that potential!
COLG recently ordained the pastoral team. What does that mean?
"Ordination" or "ordaining" is something that Christ himself did in his earthly ministry: