Equipped for a mission-focused
Journey With Jesus

Equipping for GCI’s Next Chapter

Dear Pastors and Ministry Leaders,

Greg and Susan Williams

October was a whirlwind month for me! As most of you know, on October 14 in Charlotte, NC, I was installed as GCI’s new President (click here for a report in GCI Update). It is a privilege to be entrusted with this responsibility and I look forward to what lies ahead as, together, we enter a new chapter in GCI’s story.

The week following the handoff of the presidency to me from outgoing President Joseph Tkach, was followed by a busy week of planning and strategy meetings held with GCI denominational leaders from around the world. During those meetings, I introduced a new organizational structure for our denomination—I’ll share details in GCI Update reports in January.

During the meetings in Charlotte, we honored various denominational leaders who recently have retired or soon will retire from GCI employment, including outgoing President Joseph Tkach. Another of those leaders is Ted Johnston, who (among other responsibilities) has served as GCI Equipper publisher and editor. As this year finishes out, Ted’s Equipper responsibilities are being passed to GCI-USA Regional Pastor Rick Shallenberger (more about Rick below).

Ted Johnston

I want to thank Ted for the work he has done. He launched Equipper 12 years ago then, over the years, added various features—most recently sermon manuscripts synced to the Revised Common Lectionary. Beginning with this issue, he has added to each sermon a Speaking of Life video and discussion questions. Both are synced with the RCL scripture readings and thus with the sermon.

As you will see in the December sermons, our Speaking of Life video program has been revamped. In addition to being synced with the RCL, it now has multiple presenters who represent the diversity we are blessed with in GCI. I will be the primary presenter and other presenters will include elder-administrator Michelle Fleming, and pastors-administrators Jeff Broadnax, Anthony Mullins and Heber Ticas.

The discussion questions provided with each sermon are for use by small groups in unpacking what is covered in the scripture readings, Speaking of Life program and sermon. Having these discussions helps reinforce learning while building relationships among group members. It’s our prayer that these expanded RCL-synced resources will assist our pastors, preachers and teachers in their ministries of the word of God within their congregations.

Rick Shallenberger

As mentioned above, Rick Shallenberger will become the new editor and publisher of Equipper as 2018 draws to a close. I first met Rick in 1981 on a camping trip in California. At the time, we were both Ambassador College (Pasadena, CA) students. Though I did not know Rick well (I was a sophomore, he was a senior), a life-long friendship between us began on that trip.

Rick graduated later that year and started full-time work with the denomination, eventually working in our editorial department. Over the years, Rick held many different positions in that department, most notably as lead writer and finally editor for Youth magazine. Rick worked alongside accomplished writers and editors like Herman Hoeh and Dexter Faulkner, who served as his mentors, preparing him well for the role he is now assuming from Ted Johnston.

Rick eventually entered pastoral ministry, as did I. We occasionally saw one another, but it was not until 2013 that we began working closely together. Along with Ted and Randy Bloom, we helped reorganize GCI’s U.S. administrative structure. This led to Rick becoming a GCI-USA Regional Pastor, along with spending significant time contributing to GCI publications as a writer and editor (most GCI denominational leaders wear multiple hats!).

I recently asked Rick to add more hats by becoming Assistant to the President and Editor and Publisher of Equipper. Rick taking on these responsibilities will enable me to cease writing lead articles for Equipper in order to focus my attention on writing lead articles for GCI Update (I will continue contributing to Equipper as time allows).

As a US Regional Pastor, Rick is “in the trenches” with our pastors on a regular basis. He also has strong relationships with many of our international leaders. His new responsibilities are thus a natural fit and I’m confident that Equipper will continue to serve as an effective tool for equipping our pastors and ministry leaders for their participation with Jesus in his ongoing ministry to the world through the church.

Let’s all thank Ted for his years of service, and pray for Rick as he takes on his new responsibilities.

In Christ’s service,
Greg Williams, GCI president

7 thoughts on “Equipping for GCI’s Next Chapter”

  1. We thank God for everyone for all the labor of love each gave and continue to give. God continue to shower GCI with every blessings the Church need because of faithful leaders he has gifted us. Thank you so much. God is truly honored and glorified!!!

  2. Dear Ted and Rick,

    We are deeply grateful for the many years of sacrificial service you have given to our fellowship in so many ways. Leadership is influence and you have both positively contributed through your work to making WCG/GCI a home for the spritually hungry. And so you both move forward to meet new opportunities.

    I am very excited about our future in the confidence that under Greg’s presidency the next wonderful chapter in our denominational history will be written. The adventure goes on…

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    His blessings be upon you,

  3. Thanks, Ted, for your loving service through Equipper. My friends and I have been using it through the years for sermon preparation. So very helpful. Blessings on you in your retirement and blessings on Rick as he continues on! Dan

  4. I just got through watching all of the RCL linked December videos. The messages are relevant, inspiring and on topic. This feature is a wonderful addition providing our ministry valuable resources that can creatively contribute to an even more effective sharing of the Gospel. Michelle and Jeff as part of the presenter team are a real asset and blessing. Thanks so much and congratulations on a job well done!

    Every blessing,

  5. I would like to thank Ted for always following up with any questions I may have had. He is always prompt with a reply, which I am very grateful for. Thanks Ted for that.

    Thanks to Rick for always stepping in where needed. It is a servant’s life, yes? And for just saying ‘Hello’ when he sees me. It is the simplest things that mean the most.

    And to Greg, thanks for stepping into a huge role and for sharing your excitement about the future.

  6. Ted, thank you so much for your service. As a new pastor and being bi-vocational the Equipper RCL help has been enormous.

  7. Thank you Ted for your many faithful years of service, and to you Rick in your new capacities.

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