Rebuilding larger congregations

Here are reports from GCI churches in Texas, Ohio and Florida that are rebuilding. All three have participated in GCI's Outside the Walls (OTW) training with Church Multiplication Ministries (CMM). The training included a major community outreach event, which by God's grace has led to new members in all three. Pathway of Grace Church - Mesquite, TX Pathway of Grace participated in OTW last summer. Here is a report from lead pastor Gabriel Ojih. [caption id="attachment_474" align="alignright" width="150"] Gabriel Ojih (left) with CMM's Heber Ticas[/caption] He knocked on my office door one afternoon with his little niece in tow. I was in a meeting, but we invited them in. He told us his name and said he lives in the neighborhood. He... Read the article

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Kid’s Korner: Planting lasting seeds

by Susi Albrecht and Nancy Akers [caption id="attachment_340" align="alignright" width="185"] Teach children how they should live, and they will remember it all their lives. (Proverbs 22:6)[/caption] Leading children’s ministry or teaching children’s church is an important calling with lasting rewards. But let’s be honest, it can also feel overwhelming. Kids nowadays have higher expectations than ever when it comes to being entertained. Of course we want our children to enjoy church, but we have to be clear that our main job is to plant lasting seeds, not entertain, though as we know, children are quite honest in assessing our “performance” as children’s church leaders. Let me (Susi Albrecht) illustrate our point: I... Read the article

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Rebuilding GCI

This month's Equipper focuses on how we may participate with God in what he is doing to rebuild our congregations and denomination. The five articles in this issue are linked below. Enjoy! -Ted Johnston, editor From Greg: Our journey of rebuilding Greg Williams discusses how we can share in what God is doing to lead us forward to GCnext. Rebuilding smaller congregations Bob Miller discusses the transformation in his small, aging church when they changed ministry focus. Rebuilding larger congregations Dustin Lampe, Marty Davey and Gabriel Ojih recount how their churches are being rebuilt using tools acquired through GCI's Outside the Walls consulting. Sermon summary: Forward with Jesus Brian Carlisle preaches about how... Read the article

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Sermon Summary: Forward with Jesus

Here is a summary of a sermon from Brian Carlisle, lead pastor at Living Hope Christian Fellowship, GCI's Washington DC (West) congregation. [caption id="attachment_606" align="alignright" width="142"] Brian and Anne Carlisle[/caption] In John 21:1-19, we read about a profound encounter Peter had with the risen Lord, Jesus Christ. Together they shared breakfast, and so much more. This encounter occurred after Peter and his companions had returned to their fishing business, thinking that their journey with Jesus was now past. You'll recall that Peter had turned his back on Jesus. Three times he denied knowing him. But now on the beach there was a profound moment of restoration---it was time to go forward with Jesus. [caption... Read the article

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Rebuilding smaller congregations

Many of our smallest congregations are trying new ways to join Jesus in reaching out to new people. In the article below, Bob Miller, who pastors GCI's church in Birmingham, Alabama, shares his congregation's story. [caption id="attachment_470" align="alignright" width="150"] Bob and Ruth Miller[/caption] Fellowship group-sized congregations often see themselves as too small to make an impact beyond their immediate members. That was our case at Grace Covenant Fellowship in Birmingham. But then God led us to change our place and mode of meeting, and that led us to shift our way of thinking about ourselves and our mission. Given that we are both small and aging, we prayed, wondering what role we might play as a church in being Jesus'... Read the article

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From Greg: Our journey of rebuilding

Dear Pastors and Ministry Leaders, [caption id="attachment_21" align="alignright" width="150"] Greg and Susan Williams[/caption] Rebuilding GCI is the theme for this issue of Equipper. That theme came into focus for me during the U.S. regional conference held in February in Ontario, California. Our Intern Program coordinator, Jeff McSwain, stepped out in faith and began his address to the conference by boldly declaring, “To the naked eye, we are a dying church!” As you might expect, the audience was a bit stunned. But then Jeff pointed out that we serve an amazing God who has marvelous plans to rebuild us. Jeff's intent was not only to point out our challenging present condition, but also to help us sense what God has for us going... Read the article

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