Connect Groups w/ Heber Ticas

In this episode, host Anthony Mullins interviews Heber Ticas. Heber is a church planter and pastor while also serving as the GCI Superintendent of Latin American churches. Together they discuss connect group ministry, what we are starting to call Connect Groups in GCI, and how vibrant, healthy Connect Groups support the overall Healthy Church Vision. “As pastors, we need to recruit, and we need to develop- before we launch anyone into any ministry. So, if I’m a pastor that I don’t have a Faith Avenue Champion, and I’m looking for someone to start my Connect Groups, or to get it going in the Faith Avenue. The first thing I would do is to start praying, recruiting, and whoever I think the Lord is leading me to, I would take an... Read the article

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Gospel Reverb – Extravagant Love w/ Charles Taylor

Extravagant Love with Charles Taylor Listen in as host, Anthony Mullins, and guest, Charles Taylor, unpack these lectionary passages: March 7 John 2:13-22 (NRSV) “ Jesus Cleanses the Temple” (6:05) March 14 John 3:14-21 (NRSV) “Lifted Up” (17:32) March 21 John 12:20-33 (NRSV) “Losing and Dying” (30:04) March 28 Mark 14:1-15:47 (NRSV) “Extravagant Love” (43:49) If you get a chance to rate and review the show, that helps a lot. And invite your fellow preachers and Bible lovers to join us! Read the article

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Sermon for March 28, 2021

Psalm 31:9-16 • Isaiah 50:4-9 • Philippians 2:5-11 • Mark 14:1-15:47 The theme for this week is emptying ourselves and filling with trust. Our call to worship Psalm is the lament of someone whose soul is “wasting away,” but chooses to put his hope in the God who can be trusted. Isaiah 50 is the cry of the prophet who speaks his message despite opposition and trusts God to care for him. Philippians 2 describes Jesus’ self-emptying of his status and right as the Son to humble himself out of obedience to the Father. Our sermon discusses Mark 14-15, the story of Jesus emptying himself to death on a cross, prefigured by the woman who emptied the perfume in his anointing. A Senseless Act of Beauty Mark 14-15 ESV Let’s start... Read the article

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Sermon for March 21, 2021

Psalm 51:1-12 • Jeremiah 31:31-34 • Hebrews 5:5-10 • John 12:20-33 This week’s theme is the glory of salvation. The call to worship Psalm links confession and repentance to God’s saving renewal. The Old Testament text in Jeremiah is a direct announcement of salvation with an explicit reference to the new covenant where hearts are transformed. The reading from Hebrews highlights Jesus choosing not to glorify himself but being appointed to suffer for the sake of salvation for all who believe in him. The Gospel text looks forward to Jesus’ death, where the Father is glorified in saving his creation through his Son. We Would Like to See Jesus John 12:20-33 (NRSV) Our text today comes on the last week before we enter Holy... Read the article

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Sermon for March 14, 2021

Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22 • Numbers 21:4-9 • Ephesians 2:1-10 • John 3:14-21 The theme for this week is born from above. The call to worship Psalm is the anthem of God’s redeemed people, saved only by his mercy because of who he is. Numbers 21 talks about the bronze serpent that Moses made in the desert. When the people looked at it, they were mysteriously healed from snakebites. They had to look for help from outside themselves and receive a healing they could never earn. Ephesians 2 describes the mechanics of how we are saved by God’s grace, not our own merit or worth, but because of his grace to call us into true life with himself. John 3 tells us about being “born from above” (or “born again”, the phrase means both... Read the article

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Sermon for March 7, 2021

Psalm 19:1-14 · Exodus 20:1-17 · 1 Corinthians 1:18-25 · John 2:13-22 The theme for this week is God’s priority is people, which contrasts with our typical human tendency to misunderstand what’s important. Our call to worship Psalm shows how God is communicating what’s important through nature. Exodus 20 features the Ten Commandments, offering wisdom about putting relationships with God and people first. 1 Corinthians contrasts how the truth of God, being seen in the cross of Christ, is the opposite of the way we move through the world. John, which is our sermon text, shows how Jesus displayed in the temple and in his own body that God is accessible to all. The Location Is You John 2:13-22 You may have heard the real-estate... Read the article

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Contextualizing Jesus

Youth Vision Jesus was a master storyteller. He communicated profound truths using images easily recognizable to his audience. He was able to make his message relevant and immediately applicable. A good example is found in Luke 13: Again he asked, "What shall I compare the kingdom of God to? It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough." (Luke 13:20-21) Given his profession as a carpenter and the roles of men and women in his day, Jesus probably did not make a lot of bread. However, he knew enough about making bread to speak about it in detail, and he was able to use it to make a point about the kingdom. The kingdom, unnoticed and under the surface, would... Read the article

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The ABC’s of Healthy Mentoring

    By Anthony Mullins, U.S. Southeast Regional Director   Always affirm God’s love for the person you are mentoring. Build a relationship as if you are going to know them for the rest of your life. Consistent availability. If they find you’re consistently unavailable, they’ll look elsewhere. Disciple them by demonstrating the gospel in word and deed. Encourage them. You never know what the Lord will unleash with a single word of affirmation and encouragement. Family (learn to see the person you are mentoring more and more in his/her family context). Go to activities and events that matter to the person you are mentoring. Help them interpret what is going on in the world in light of... Read the article

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Faith Forward Mentoring

One of our GCI prayers is that every pastor and ministry leader is intentionally mentoring and equipping a disciple of Jesus. [caption id="attachment_6089" align="alignleft" width="163"] Rick Shallenberger[/caption] By Rick Shallenberger, U.S. North Central Regional Director I have been blessed to have a few good mentors in my life. My desire to become a pastor began when I was 16 years old and was the result of my relationship with my mentor/pastor George Affeldt. I became a writer because another mentor, Dexter Faulkner, reached out to me and taught me how to express myself through writing. When I went into ministry my mentor/supervisor Bob Taylor was instrumental in helping me see that the most important part of pastoring was... Read the article

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Take Up Your Cross. What?

Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. (Mark 8:34-37) By Randy Bloom, Vice-Chair Board of Directors Faith Forward is our 2021 slogan, which focuses on the Faith Avenue of healthy church life. During this year we will focus on the “making disciples” aspect of the church’s purpose as it participates in Jesus’ life among people. Helping people become and grow as Jesus’ disciples entails helping them not only learn about Jesus but helping them mature as his followers—participating in... Read the article

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