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Pursue a year of prosperity
In the pulpit
RELIG 0626 cowart
Aaron Cowart, pastor of Live Oak Church of God, and his wife have also assumed the roles of youth pastors at the church. - photo by Photo provided.

“Here at Live Oak, we have declared that this is the year of total prosperity,” said Pastor Aaron Cowart, senior pastor of Live Oak Church of God in Hinesville.
“When the apostle John wrote his third epistle to Gaius, John opened by telling him that his desire was that Gaius would prosper in all things and be in health, just as his soul prospers. Our desire for everyone connected to Live Oak this year is that they experience total prosperity in every area of their life.
“Too many people think that prosperity is a ‘money’ word, but it’s so much more than that. Prosperity is a whole-life word. It literally means “to help on one’s way” or “to journey well.” So many Americans are just trying to ‘get by’ and survive right now, but we’re empowering people through the Word to live well regardless of the economy or personal challenges,” Cowart said.
“I believe we can move from surviving to thriving even in the midst of negative economic trends, higher costs of living and higher gas prices. This year, we’re focusing on developing prosperous minds, relationships, marriages — all things. We’ve discovered that God’s idea of prosperity doesn’t always look like everybody else’s. His is better!
 “Like many other ministries across the nation, we have seen a decline in giving. I’ve had the opportunity to talk with many pastors and ministry leaders and have discovered that we’re not the only one’s experiencing this. The fact is that the income of many Americans has been affected by the economy, and that in turn affects the church’s budget,” Cowart noted.
“We have made several cutbacks but are proud to report that ministry has continued on as normal. This is a time when we have to be good stewards of God’s money and make sure we’re doing the best we can with everything God has given us. Our food and clothing pantry is still open every week giving families assistance. We have a team of dedicated volunteers that sacrifice their time to help feed our community and I am very proud of them.
“The reality is that living is more expensive and for many, income is less. But we teach that our trust is not in employers, government or our natural ability — our trust is in God. When we are faithful to Him in the area of finances, regardless of what’s happening in the economy, He will provide,” he said. 
A progressive church with a multi-cultural membership, Live Oak Church of God is growing and affecting the community.
“Our youth church has had somewhat of a makeover in the last few months. Currently, my wife and I have assumed the role of youth pastor as well as senior pastor and are spending some time building relationships with our students, empowering them for success and implementing new ideas,” Cowart said.
“Students are now able to be a part of a small group that gets together outside of the Wednesday service and builds relationships with others students their age. This also allows for more intense discipleship.”
Live Oak members honored their 2011 graduates with a luncheon in their honor. The summer is a busy time for the youth at Live Oak.
“We’ll also be taking some fun trips with our students to the beach, Splash in the ’Boro and many other activities throughout the summer.”
Cowart said there is a sense of hunger among the members.
“I think that folks are tired of church as usual. We’ve done the ‘church’ thing for long enough. People want to have a genuine encounter with God that changes their lives, and I am proud to say that those connected to Live Oak are in pursuit of a real relationship with God.”
For more information about the church and its services, go to

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