New Curriculum: On Being the Church

On Being is a four-part interactive connect group curriculum, designed for biblically-based, dynamic discussions around being a disciple. We are excited to release, part II of the series On Being the Church. This part of the series would be a great curriculum for your new member or believer Connect Group Being the Church – A six-week series on God’s vision for the Church and invitation for us to participate in the body of Christ. Being the Church Facilitator Guide – Full-color Version – DOWNLOAD HERE Being the Church Facilitator Guide – Grayscale Version – DOWNLOAD HERE Being the Church Participant Workbook – DOWNLOAD HERE Facilitator Best... Read the article

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Sermon for November 28, 2021 – Advent 1

Psalm 25:1-10 • Jeremiah 33:14-16 • 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13 • Luke 21:25-36 Our theme for this Advent week is hope is the final word. In the call to worship Psalm, the poet reminds himself that God has been keeping his promises since the beginning and will continue. Jeremiah talks about the “Branch to spring up from David” – singing hope as Israel burned around him. In his first Thessalonians letter, Paul reminds them of Jesus’ second coming and their great hope to persevere. In Luke 21, Jesus prophesies about the horrible destruction of the temple in A.D. 70, and how the hope of the Son of Man will triumph even then. On Permanent Sojourn Luke 21:25-36 Begin with a reading of Luke 21:25-36. All scripture quoted here is... Read the article

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Sermon for November 21, 2021

Psalm 132:1-12, (13-18) • 2 Samuel 23:1-7 • Revelation 1:4b-8 • John 18:33-37 This week’s theme is the kingly reign of Christ. This royal theme is given voice by the call to worship Psalm, which recalls God’s act of establishing the Davidic dynasty. 2 Samuel 23 records the last words of King David, which serve as a herald of God’s everlasting covenant. The Gospel reading in John 18 uses irony with the interaction between Pilate and Jesus to indicate who the true king is. The reading from Revelation is more direct by praising Jesus as the “ruler of the kings of the earth.” Jesus Is Not a Co-Pilate John 18:33-37 (NRSV) You have probably seen the bumper sticker that says, “God is my Co-Pilot!” On the surface this... Read the article

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Sermon for November 14, 2021

1 Samuel 1:4-20 • 1 Samuel 2:1-10 • Hebrews 10:11-25 • Mark 13:1-8 The theme this week is waiting on God. 1 Samuel 1 tells us about Hannah waiting on God for a child. 1 Samuel 2 is Hannah’s song of rejoicing about God keeping his promise. Mark 13 tells about the incoming of God’s kingdom and waiting watchfully for his timing. Hebrews 10 is the basis for our sermon about the culmination of the waiting and promises of Israel: Jesus Christ. To Enter Boldly Hebrews 10:11-25 ESV Read, or have someone read, Hebrews 10:11-25 ESV. The first thing you run into at Fort Knox, Kentucky, home to about half of the U.S. gold reserves, is the steel fence. Make it over that and you must deal with who-knows-how-many landmines in the... Read the article

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Sermon for November 7, 2021

Psalm 127:1-5 · Ruth 3:1-5; 4:13-17 · Hebrews 9:24-28 · Mark 12:38-44 The theme this week is God provides a way without shame and blame. Psalm 127, our call to worship, reminds us that God provides for us, and anxiously working, worrying, or feeling ashamed as we live and move in the world is unnecessary. God provided for Naomi and Ruth, as written in Ruth 3 and 4. By allowing a Moabite woman to be part of Jesus’ lineage, God reveals how social constructs that shame and exclude people are not the way God’s love operates in the world. Mark 12 further illustrates this when Jesus honored the widow who gave her two small coins at the temple. Our sermon text, Hebrews 9, helps us understand that God isn’t interested in shaming or... Read the article

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Year C Sermon Pericope

Intentional Preparation is a critical element for a Healthy Hope Avenue. Click on the image below to download the pericopes for the upcoming year in the Christian calendar. Begin the prayerful process of planning for the seasons and your congregation's spiritual formation in Year C. Read the article

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Church Hack: Adding Internet

One thing we heard a lot just before our 2021 Virtual Celebration was, “We just don’t have internet where we meet.” But what if you did? Having internet during our Celebration would have meant you could have met in a group to share the experience. You could live stream your service so that people who can’t normally attend could worship with you. But isn’t internet expensive? That’s where Mobile Beacon comes in. Click on the image below to download this month's Church Hack. Read the article

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Tell the Story…

...but remember that each Bible story centers around Jesus. Think of the story of Noah’s Ark. What comes to mind? Maybe you thought about animals marching to the ark two by two and seven by seven. Perhaps you thought about the rain that fell for over a month. Or, maybe you imagined a dove with a branch in its mouth. Did you think about how the story of Noah’s Ark connects to Christ’s redemptive work? Most people familiar with the story do not, and I think the cause of this can be found in how we were taught. In admonishing a group of Jewish leaders, Jesus explained: You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come... Read the article

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Incarnational Trinitarian Theology

ITT is the foundation of team-based, pastor-led ministry. Are we practicing what we preach? By Glen A Weber, Retired Pastor – US Central Region Support Team One of the greatest experiences in my 46 years in full-time ministry was listening to the 25 hours of teaching about the “Nature of God” from Dr. Kyriakos Stavrinides in the early 90s. The lectures focused on the Person of the Holy Spirit and his relationship to the Father and the Son. I was hooked! Roughly ten years later, Dr. C. Baxter Kruger was invited to speak at one of our GCI (WCG at the time) International Conferences and he opened my mind to the life of the Trinity – perichoresis! I had been excited about the impact of the Holy Spirit as a Person, but now the... Read the article

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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... Read the article

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