The Milford Church of God has been an essential part of our community for over 60 years, with its latest renovation taking place 12 years ago. The current Pastor, Andrew Stevens, began his tenure four years ago with the purpose of creating an approach to worship that was simple. “In the midst of a chaotic world there needs to be something simple. Following Christ should be simple, reliable and enjoyable,” commented Pastor Stevens.
When Pastor Stevens first came to the Milford Church of God he felt that it was hard for a newcomer to navigate through the worshiping practices. Since then he has attempted to create an authentic sense of community and a real relationship among his congregation. With the creation of LIFE Groups, an adult Sunday school, Pastor Stevens hopes to generate an atmosphere where individuals can share their journey of developing their faith and build lasting relationships with one another.
LIFE Groups consist of 12 to 18 individuals and continues for 12 weeks, three times a year. Pastor Stevens states that the clear enter and exit points of the courses help people “not feel they are committed for the rest of their lives and encourage more participation.” These groups meet on or off campus and include topics such as parenting, spiritual maturation, managing finances and creating healthy relationships.
The Milford Church of God and Pastor Stevens recognize that there are many levels to worship and offer programs that assist in each step. While the LIFE Groups help their members to build relationships and a sense of community, Milford Church of God also focuses on the personal pursuit of God by teaching individuals about reading the Bible, prayer and how to live life. Family ministries are also offered to help individuals from birth through high school focus on faith and serving others.
Pastor Stevens admits that the churches he has worked with in the past have always wanted their congregation to fit the church’s mold. His philosophy at the Milford Church of God is to assist people in customizing a spiritual formation plan. “We all have different spiritual needs, goals and aspirations,” stated Pastor Stevens. He is continually trying to understand what is relevant to the lives of his congregation and what they are coping with. “The themes involved in the LIFE Groups and worship are always changing to what people want,” commented Pastor Stevens.
The Milford Church of God consists of between 300-400 individuals who call the place of worship their church; because of this Pastor Stevens is constantly trying to bring individualism to his congregation. Congregational Care Members assist the church and help deal with the problems of each individual while at the same time helping the entire congregation grow and mature together. Through this process Pastor Stevens feels that a big church can become connected with members at a personal level.
There is a growing Hispanic community in both the church and city of Milford which Pastor Stevens hopes to assimilate with the rest of the congregation through the LIFE Groups and Bible study. There is a Saturday night Spanish speaking service that is planned to continue, but Pastor Stevens would like to help incorporate those individuals by inviting them to join the Sunday service. Integration of both groups of children will begin to help join the two groups together spiritually. Eventually, Pastor Stevens hopes to use new technology, such as wireless headphones that translate the service into Spanish, to integrate the adult Hispanic community so that they may join and worship together. “To see the blending and integration on Sunday morning is what I long to see,” commented Pastor Stevens. In the future, The Milford Church of God hopes to offer classes to teach Hispanic individuals how to read and write in English and act as a resource for continuing education opportunities.
The Milford Church of God is located at 500 North Walnut Street and can be reached at (302) 422-9138. To find more information on classes or worship times visit http://www.milfordcog.com/.