Healthy Church Focus

Equipper asked a number of GCI pastors around the world the question: “What is your main focus at this time in your pathway toward healthy church?”

A tendency among leaders is to focus on too many things at once – address all the challenges at the same time. This is our goal, but is it where the Holy Spirit is leading us? As we seek to follow Christ, we want to ask him for clarity of focus. Where are you leading us, Lord? What do you want our group or congregation to focus on? Following are the responses from around the world – edited only for space.

Mentoring leaders in the process of building the three Avenues, especially the Love Avenue. – Bharat Naker, Australia

Our main focus is to help people understand how valued and loved they are by Jesus and how in turn they should see value in and love others. – Debby Bailey, US

As part of my GCS Trinitarian Youth Ministry course, I have created a strategic plan for youth ministry in the UK. My main focus is to support the UK leadership in implementing this plan. – Jackie Mills, UK

Discerning how we can best participate in the work Jesus is doing in our target community. – Dishon Mills, US

Getting our members back to in-person worship. It’s hard to invite people to a church our own members won’t show up to. – Bill Winn, US

Supporting Pastoral Councils and their congregations in returning to physical church and navigating the post-Covid landscape. Working with our developing leadership group in creating a missional culture. – Peter Mills, UK

Our focus is on building our Faith Avenue and focusing on our youth. – Tamar Gray, US

Our main focus right now during COVID is to keep the encouragement and momentum going toward equipping the congregation for reaching out to the community – especially with neighborhood camps – once things open up. – Anne Stapleton, US

Taking our avenue teams through GCI leadership tools using the book A Giant Step Forward and the GiANT Core program as references. Our hope and goal is for these leadership tools and principles to become part of the culture of the local church, from the pastoral team, to the avenue teams, to our ministries and general membership. – Aron Tolentino, Philippines

My focus is to challenge prospective leaders in small tasks followed by encouragement and positive feedback. My hope is that this will begin a journey toward healthy leadership within the avenues. I realize that this will take time. – Grant Forsyth, US

Prayerfully seeking Holy Spirit’s direction for our congregation as we seek to match our congregational abilities/gifts/experiences with found and known needs in our community. – Carrie Osborne, US

Training and mentoring the team to transition to a new leadership structure and fill in the gaps that will be created on account of retirements.  – Danny Zachariah, India

We are seeking the Spirit’s leadership to rethink and rebuild systems and structures, multiply leaders of welcoming, befriending and discipling, while leveraging technology and social media. All in our effort to recommit to neighborhood engagement in innovative ways that leads us to a formal launch of our congregation in the neighborhood soon – Gabriel Ojih, US

Dealing with the aftermath of Covid. Getting the train moving again. – Bart Baril, US

Our goal is to make sure that we all speak the same vocabulary and are immersed in the same culture. With such an atmosphere, it will be easier to communicate effectively and efficiently what God is revealing to us and to support our denominational directives. – Bermie Dizon, US

Our main focus is sharing and discussing the 5 Voices among the Pastoral Team and the congregation so that the gifts that were given us by the Holy Spirit will be ascertained, explored, and then matched to our Faith, Hope and Love Avenues in service. – Cella Olive, US

For our local church – Grace Communion Baguio, we have requested the GCI Philippines – National Ministry Team to conduct a class/training/equipping for our local church’s pastoral team, ministry leaders and emerging leaders. By starting with the leaders, we believe that we can by then share the vision to our local church members. – Justine Paolo G. Parcasio, Philippines

My main focus is to get everyone to speak the same language. Having the Avenues as our platform makes this much easier. As we begin to refine our Hope Avenue, now that we are somewhat out of the pandemic, it makes it easier to begin the transition into focusing on our Faith Avenue. – Linda Sitterley, US

Our main focus right now is building the health of the leaders of the three avenues. – Terry McDonald, US

Getting the focus off us and onto those in our neighborhood. When we think we are not ready yet to follow Jesus, when we worry about ourselves and what we will say, we miss the point of faith. As Jesus focused on others – especially those hurting or considered “less than” – so should we. – David Howe, US

Building a small core of disciples who know and accept their identity in Christ and who allow the love of God to take hold in their lives. Disciples of Christ who make other disciples of Christ. – Kenneth Barker, US

The Lord has guided us and blessed us greatly for a number of years now, since we adopted the concepts just exposed. As a pastor, I am no longer sitting in the driver’s seat. He is driving, but even so, sometimes we can still tend to be “back seat drivers.” Our main focus currently is to reassess what the Lord has accomplished in our church and community through the Covid year, and make sure we continue to follow Him, rather than going back to a “rut” or “routine” as before. A number of things are clearly here to stay, and the Lord has made that abundantly clear. – Luciano Cozzi, US

Equipping the current team in facilitating and being committed to the process of discipleship and healthy spiritual lives and disciplines. – Charles Taylor, US

Father, Son and Spirit, may you lead us to be the healthiest expression of church we can be by giving us clarity of purpose and a strong focus on priorities. May you lead us to celebrate what you are already doing, and guide us in how and when to make changes. Amen.

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