Sermon for May 27, 2018 (Trinity Sunday)

Scripture readings: Isa. 6:1-8; Ps. 29; Rom. 8:12-17; John 3:1-17 Sermon by Sheila Graham (from Ps. 29:4-8; Isa. 6:1-5; John 3:11-17; Rom. 8:14-17) The Triune God of Love & Power Introduction A friend of mine decided to read the entire Bible. As she started through the Old Testament, her first impression was that the God of the Old Testament was scary and harsh. It seemed to her that he would make promises and then change his mind. She was referring to the Israelites, including Moses, who were denied entrance into the Promised Land after all those miserable years wandering in the desert. She also noted that God got angry at times and would kill off a lot of people. She felt Jesus was the loving God, but that the God of the Old... Read the article

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Lead like the apostles

This article is from Equipper Editor, Ted Johnston. [caption id="attachment_7170" align="alignright" width="158"] Ted Johnston[/caption] Lead like the apostles? You've got to be kidding! After all, they were apostles, and we're just ordinary folk, right? Well, yes and no. Yes, we who lead GCI congregations and ministries today are "ordinary folk." But no, the original apostles were not extraordinary supermen. In fact, one of the remarkable things about them was that they came from humble backgrounds. What was extraordinary about the apostles was who they served (Jesus) and how they, through the ministry of the Spirit who indwelled them, became devoted, capable leaders of the body of Christ, the church. [caption... Read the article

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Sermon for May 20, 2018 (Pentecost)

Scripture readings: Acts 2:1-21; Ps. 104:24-35; Rom. 8:22-27; John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15 Sermon by Ted Johnston (from John 15:18-16:15) (Drawing on Wiersbe Bible Commentary, New Bible Commentary, Parable of Joy by Michael Card, and The Gospel of John by F.F. Bruce) The Holy Spirit's Three-Fold Ministry Introduction Today is Pentecost and we celebrate the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. In today's sermon today, we'll look back to what Jesus said to his disciples about the Holy Spirit on the night before our Lord went to the cross. Jesus told his followers about the Spirit's three-fold ministry as their Counselor, Witness and Teacher. What he said was vital then, and it's still important today for our encouragement and instruction.... Read the article

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Sermon for May 13, 2018 (Ascension Sunday)

Scripture readings: Acts 1:1-11; Ps. 47; Eph. 1:15-23; Luke 24:44-53 Sermon by Lance McKinnon (from Acts 1:11) When Jesus Goes Over Our Head Introduction [Note to preacher: in some nations, including the USA, today is Mother's Day. If you are in one of those nations, you will want to add material, perhaps in the introduction, that pays tribute to mothers.] In the Christian calendar, last Thursday (May 10) was Ascension Day. That means that today (May 13) is Ascension Sunday on which we celebrate Jesus' ascension. This celebration then leads nicely into the last day of the Easter celebration known as Pentecost, which occurs next Sunday, May 20. [caption id="attachment_8161" align="aligncenter" width="400"] Ascension of Christ... Read the article

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Relate to your community

This article is from Grant Forsyth, GCI Pastor in Kenockee, Michigan. [caption id="attachment_8272" align="alignright" width="248"] Grant and Kathy Forsyth[/caption] Last January, a member of the local farm museum event committee called. She said they were planning the museum's annual late summer event (one that draws a couple thousand visitors to a celebration of the history of farming and rural life). She then said that the committee wanted me to conduct the event's church service, held in the historic church on the museum grounds. I asked, "Are you sure you want me to do it again?" (I was glad to oblige, but didn't want to deny the opportunity to someone else). She paused, then answered emphatically “I would love for you to do... Read the article

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Kid’s Korner: Give your kids a lift

This Kids Korner is from GCI pastor Lance McKinnon. [caption id="attachment_340" align="alignright" width="168"] Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. (Proverbs 22:6)[/caption] As we celebrate the special days in the Christian worship calendar, we are swept up in the grand narrative of Holy Scripture and our thinking is transformed. That being so, I want to give you a "heads-up" concerning May 13, which this year is Ascension Sunday. That day gives us opportunity to share with our kids an important gospel story. I encourage you to rise to the occasion! Pun aside, it is unfortunate that many churches overlook Ascension Sunday, failing to give it the focus given to other... Read the article

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Sermon for May 6, 2018

Scripture readings: Acts 10:44-48; Ps. 98; 1 John 5:1-6; John 15:9-17 Sermon by Martin Manuel (from John 15:9-17; Acts 10:44-48; 1 John 5:1-6; Ps. 98) The Circle of Love Introduction Today is the sixth Sunday of Easter, and Ascension Day is this Thursday. Today's readings remind us of two truths related to Jesus' ascension: first, that, in love, he remains present with us, and second, that as his followers, we are to live together, in love. The Gospel reading today in John 15 is from Jesus’ Last Supper discourse with his 12 disciples. He had washed their feet as a symbol of self-sacrificing love, then explained his new command to love each other as he loved them. Their distress upon hearing of his imminent departure led him... Read the article

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From Greg: Pursue healthy church

Dear pastors of churches and facilitators of fellowship groups, [caption id="attachment_5219" align="alignright" width="177"] Greg and Susan Williams[/caption] This week marks the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination in Memphis on April 4, 1968. Though it has been 50 years since his tragic death, Dr. King's influence for good in the world continues on. That's how gifted he was in his leadership of the nonviolent Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Gifted leadership is vital in all places, and that includes the church. I've had the privilege of rubbing shoulders with several internationally prominent church leaders at conferences. Though I've found them to be gifted strategic thinkers, what had... Read the article

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Challenges for GCI church leaders

GCI is committed to giving its leaders high support and high challenge. This issue of GCI Equipper extends multiple challenges and offers help in meeting them. Also included are RCL-synced sermons for May. From Greg: Pursue healthy church A challenge to pastors and facilitators to equip their members for ministry. Relate to your community A challenge to church leaders to become known within their communities. Lead like the apostles A challenge to leaders to emulate the leadership qualities of the apostles. Kid's Korner: Give your kids a lift A challenge to children's ministers to teach about Jesus' ascension. RCL sermons for May 2018 Here are Revised Common Lectionary-synced sermons for May: - Sermon for May 6,... Read the article

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