GCPodcast019 – Joe Brannen – Crafting A Digital Worship Service

In this episode, host Anthony Mullins, interviews Joe Brannen who pastors GCI congregation in Surrey Hills, OK. Together they discuss the challenges and opportunities of crafting a digital worship service during a global pandemic, and what best practices to implement when we begin to re-gather for in person worship. "I think God uses difficult times to push the church outside of the walls, and I think that is what is going on right now. The Church is being faced with the real question, ‘Are you going to be the Church in the world around you, or are you just looking at the building as being the Church?’” -Pastor Joe Brannen     Main Points: Should churches continue to stream services after we re-gather... Read the article

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GCI Worship Calendar

In the last GCI Update letter, Clarity, President Greg Williams explains the importance of clear communication. He emphasizes: As we collectively move forward toward Healthy Church, let’s not allow miscommunication to be a roadblock. Please access the vast array of ministry tools designed to serve you where you are in the journey and please feel free to access your ministry supervisors as well. It is imperative that we contextualize what it means to be Team-Based and Pastor-Led in our multiple cultures around the world, and in the midst of our cultural nuances that we share the Christ-like principles of understanding, respect, collaboration, and love, which apply in all circumstances. To create alignment across our international... Read the article

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Responding to Gabriel

A comparison of Zechariah's and Mary's response to the Angel Gabriel Written by Daphne Sidney, Church Administration GCI-Australia The Gospel of Luke seems best placed to explore this comparison. Luke was a highly educated man, trained as a doctor (Col. 4:14) and most probably a Greek. With Luke being a Gentile, he understood what it was like to be alienated and writes from an understanding of God’s love for all peoples and often details accounts of women, children, the poor and oppressed. It’s a Gospel with a message for everybody…[1]. With giving women and children more prominence, this Gospel contains the most detailed narratives of the birth of two very important babies, John the Baptist and Jesus the Christ. In the... Read the article

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Sermon January 26, 2020

Readings: Isaiah 9:1-4 • Psalm 27:1, 4-9 • 1 Cor. 1:10-18 • Matthew 4:12-23 The theme this week is focusing on the light. Jesus is the "great light" Isaiah talks about. The Psalmist understood this and said, "The Lord is my light" and then talked about his desire to dwell in the house of the Lord and gaze on the beauty of his face. In Matthew, Jesus quotes the prophet Isaiah as he tells his disciples to drop what they are doing and follow him. Paul reminds the believers in Corinth that it's not about who baptizes who, it's about being in the light of Christ. Unity, Not Uniformity 1 Corinthians 1:10-18 As we can see in our own families, every human being is unique. Even though our kids might have the same genetic... Read the article

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All About the Light

Keeping Jesus the center of the center. I never understood total darkness until I was in the middle of Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, way below the surface, no exit in sight, and they turned the power off. They only left if off for half a minute, but it was enough. In darkness, not only do you lose all sense of direction, but you lose all sense of presence. I did not know where I was in proximity to others. I knew two of my children were near because they were squeezing my hands, but I lost sense of where my wife and third child were. It was the eeriest feeling I recall having. It wasn’t until the lights were turned back on that I realized I had been holding my breath. It was a powerful demonstration of the glory of light. Without... Read the article

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Sermon January 19,2020

Readings: Isaiah 49:1-7 • Psalm 40:1-11 • 1 Corinthians 1:1-9 • John 1:29-42 The theme for this week is “Come and see.” In Isaiah 49:1-7, God speaks his promises over his people inviting them to come and see in the adventure of obedience. In Psalm 40:1-11, the author invites us to come and see the goodness and deliverance of God through telling his own experience. In 1 Corinthians 1:1-9, Paul invites the young church to embrace their identity and inheritance in Christ. In John 1:29-42, Jesus’ gets his first disciple Andrew with the invitation “Come and see.” Andrew dedicates his life to extending that invitation to the world. Andrew, the Shadow Disciple John 1:29-42 Can anyone tell me Donald Trump’s sister’s name?... Read the article

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Sermon for January 12, 2020

Readings: Isaiah 42:1-9 • Psalm 29 • Acts 10:34-43 • Matthew 3:13-17 This week's theme is the baptism (anointing) of Jesus. The prophet Isaiah foretold that Jesus was the servant of God, the chosen one. The Psalmist reminds us to give glory to the anointed one and reminds us who he is. In Acts, Peter shares with Cornelius---and seems to come to a much deeper understanding himself---of who Jesus is and says, "We are witnesses of everything he did." Matthew recounts the story of Jesus' baptism and subsequent anointing by the Holy Spirit. Matthew 3:13-17 (NRSV) Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" But... Read the article

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Venue Resources: Advent PowerPoint

Advent PowerPoint with a graphic for each candle lighting and the accompanying scripture. Many GCI congregations celebrate Advent by having an Advent wreath on a table in the front of the sanctuary. The wreath encircles three purple candles and one pink candle. There is a white candle at the center of the wreath, representing Christ and the light he brings to the world. Each week a candle is lit; all are symbolic. This month, our church hack is a collection of PowerPoint slides to accompany the Advent candle-lighting portion of your Sunday service. Click on the image or here to access and download the Advent PowerPoint. Read the article

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Faith, Hope, & Love Venue Videos

Throughout 2019 we have focused on the Team Based - Pastor Led model for GCI churches. Pastors can set the pace through this overview by helping their congregations achieve health through what we refer to as the three venues of ministry: Faith venue (discipleship)—discipling people in the faith—small groups, discipleship classes,. Bible studies, missionary activities and [caption id="attachment_12470" align="alignright" width="199"] click on the image to download the pdf[/caption] events. Hope venue (worship)—the Sunday worship service—intentional preparation, inclusive gathering, inspirational worship. Love venue (witness)—mission and outreach—identifying a target community, building relationships,... Read the article

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