Congregational Brochure and Postcard

Brochures and postcards are effective ways for congregations to make their presence known in the community and connect with visitors. Below are two GCI-branded templates for postcards, and two for brochures. Click on each image to download a template and instructions for use. To download GCI’s standard type font (GCI), click here. Postcard #1: Postcard #2: Brochure #1: Brochure #2: Read the article

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Sermon for February 24, 2019

Readings: Gen. 45:3-11, 15; Ps. 37:1-11, 39-40; 1 Cor. 15:15, 35-38, 42-50; Luke 6:27-38. The theme this week is Christ Turns Things Around. In Genesis, Joseph assures his brothers that what they meant for harm, God turned to good. Psalm 37 is a reminder that evil has no future---God will turn things around. 1 Corinthians 15 assures us that Jesus makes the corruptible incorruptible---he changes things, always for the better. The sermon this week from Luke reminds us to respond to life with this Christ-centered, hope-filled outlook. Off the Mad Carousel? Luke 6:27-38, ESV Introduction: Ask the congregation if they remember a time when people put their political positions and other differences aside to focus on just getting the job... Read the article

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Healthy Church Begins with Healthy Leadership

Dear Pastors and Ministry Leaders: What is it like to be on the other side of you? I’ll never forget the first time I heard that question from a leadership consultant. He used the illustration of broccoli in your teeth—everyone else knows it's there, but you don’t see it until you look in the mirror. [caption id="attachment_12762" align="aligncenter" width="372"] (source)[/caption] I’ve spent the better part of the last 25 years learning about leadership. I’ve read many books, attended many conferences and taken many courses. Most of what I have learned, however, has been on the ground—learning through experience—allowing others to speak into my life while sharing successes and failures with others. Unfortunately... Read the article

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Your Greatest Gift

This Kids Korner article is from GenMin National Coordinator Jeffrey Broadnax. [caption id="attachment_340" align="aligncenter" width="205"] 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] By now the tree has been taken down, the boxes and wrappings placed at the curb for garbage day, and the glow of Christmas is fading. What if I told you there is still more for you to give, especially to the young people in your family, congregation and community? In fact, I believe your greatest and most lasting gift has yet to be given. That gift? PRAYER! Those around you I have spent the last month praying for a young teenage girl who is in the fight of her life with... Read the article

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Sermon for February 17, 2019

Readings: Jer. 17:5-10; Ps. 1:1-6; 1 Cor. 15:12-20; Luke 6:17-26. The theme this week is Blessed by Knowing Christ. Jeremiah 17 declares that our blessings come from knowing and trusting Christ. 1 Corinthians 15 reminds us that, without Christ, we have nothing. In Luke 6, Jesus describes the blessings of knowing him. In the sermon this week from Psalm 1, we look at the identity of the blessed person. Who’s the Blessed Person? Psalm 1:1-6 Introduction: Read the first couple verses of Psalm 1 and ask what people notice about this passage? What jumps out to grab their attention? What does it mean to be blessed? What other passages use the phrase, “blessed is...” Who is this? In some translations, Psalm 1 begins with “Blessed... Read the article

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Sermon for February 10, 2019

Readings: Isa. 6:1-8; Ps. 138:1-8; 1 Cor. 15:1-11; Luke 5:1-11. The theme this week is Proclaiming the Gospel. Though Isaiah in chapter 6 proclaims "I am unclean," when God asks, “Whom shall I send?,” the prophet replies, “Here am I. Send me.” Psalm 138 proclaims the good news of God's unending love and 1 Corinthians 15 proclaims the power of the gospel. The sermon this week from Luke 5 asks if we, despite our failures or successes, are willing to go where God leads. Peter---the Rock (?) Luke 5:1-11 Introduction: If you had to choose which of Jesus’ disciples you identify with, who would it be? It’s amazing how many people identify more with Peter than any other disciple. The apostle Peter—Shimeon Cephas... Read the article

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Sermon for February 3, 2019

Readings: Jer. 1:4-10; Ps. 71:1-6; 1 Cor. 13:1-13; Luke 4:21-30. The theme this week is Jesus is Our Hope. Psalm 71 shows that Jesus is both our hope and refuge. 1 Corinthians 13 (the love chapter) reminds us of what is truly important (love) and describes Jesus, who is love. In Luke 4, Jesus announces that he is the One who brings hope. The sermon this week from Jeremiah 1 focuses on the nature of our calling as bearers of hope to a hurting world. Tend to Your Calling Jeremiah 1:4-10 Introduction: Talk about your calling to pastoral ministry---what did it look like? Who affirmed it? What did you believe God was saying to you at the time? Maybe you’ve heard people say they have a calling from God, and you’ve wondered what that... Read the article

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Three Venues of Ministry

Now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Cor. 13:13) [caption id="attachment_13116" align="aligncenter" width="487"] Jesus Washing Peter's Feet (public domain, Wikimedia Commons)[/caption] At the Last Supper, Jesus washed his disciples' feet and told them to serve others in like manner. He then said he was giving them "a new command." I’m sure that perked their ears. He already had talked about the two great commandments of the law---to love God and to love others as yourself---but now he introduced something new: A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. (John 13:34) You can be sure the disciples paid close attention to what Jesus said,... Read the article

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Healthy Leadership is Team-Based, Pastor-Led

Is the leadership in your church pastor-led, team-based; or team-based, pastor-led? Though the difference between these two models of congregational leadership may seem to be semantics, as we’ll see, there’s more to it. Here's a related question for lead pastors: is your approach to leading your church primarily hands-on or is it primarily eyes-on? Pastor-led, team-based churches Most GCI pastors have been primarily hands-on in leading their churches, utilizing a pastor-led, team-based model of congregational leadership. With this approach, the pastor worked under a heavy burden of responsibility, some of it imposed by old denominational paradigms, some imposed by the pastor. If the church succeeded, the pastor received praise.... Read the article

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