Commitments on our journey of renewal

Happy New Year! Through the five articles linked below, this month’s Equipper addresses some of the commitments that are key to our journey of renewal.

Cast Your Nets on the Right Side by Greg Olsen (used with artist’s permission)

From Greg: Mutual commitments in 2017
Greg Williams discusses some of the commitments that the Holy Spirit is leading us to make as we continue together on a journey of renewal.

Commitment to prayer
Michelle Fleming discusses the importance of being committed to prayer and offers a “best practice” called one-word prayer.

Commitment to high support – high challenge
Rick Shallenberger discusses the importance of committing to providing one another with high levels of support and challenge.

Commitment to preaching the RCL
This month we begin a new feature to equip pastors and others who are committed to following the RCL in their preaching and worship planning.

Kid’s Korner: Commitment to discipling our children
We provide a free curriculum from GCI to assist congregations in living out their commitment to discipling children.

Equipped for a journey of renewal

The December Equipper (with the five articles linked below) focuses on helping us understand and live into the renewal the Spirit continues to grant our fellowship.

Raising Lazarus (public domain via Wikimedia Commons)
Raising Lazarus (public domain via Wikimedia Commons)

From Greg: Our renewal continues
Greg Williams sets the GCI-USA theme for 2017, anticipating how the Spirit will continue to renew our fellowship in multiple ways.

GCI’s educational strategy for renewal
Greg Williams reviews the work of GCI’s Educational Strategy Task Force that has been looking at educational support for GCI’s ongoing renewal.

A renewed understanding of evangelism
GCI associate pastor Josh McDonald writes about how Trinitarian theology renewed his understanding and practice of evangelism.

Sermon summary: A renewed understanding of discipleship
In a CT article that would make a good sermon, Wesley Hill looks at how the Gospel of Mark renewed his understanding of discipleship.

Kid’s Korner: Renew your ministry to children
Looking for ways to renew your children’s ministry in the coming year? Read this article for helpful ideas.

Preparing for Advent-Christmas

Below are links to the five articles in the November Equipper, which offers resources to help congregations and ministries prepare for Advent-Christmas.

From Greg: Humanizing humanity
Greg Williams reminds us of a central truth of the Advent-Christmas season: Jesus, the incarnate Son of God, has humanized humanity.

adventAdvent-Christmas celebration resources
Here is a series of GCI-produced Advent videos and other resources to enhance your worship in the upcoming Advent-Christmas season.

Use Christmas for outreach
Heber Ticas offers tips about how a congregation can use Advent-Christmas as an opportunity to connect with unchurched people.

Sermon summary: God’s “one and only”
Lance McKinnon’s sermon celebrates the Incarnation of God’s “one and only” Son, who has included us with him in the “bosom” of the Father.

Kid’s Korner: Use Christmas to teach kids about Christ
Ted Johnston notes how children’s ministers can use Christmas as a “teachable moment” for showing kids how much God loves them.

Developing our congregational leaders

Below are links to the seven articles in the October issue of Equipper, which focuses on developing leaders in GCI congregations. Enjoy! — Ted Johnston, editor

From Greg: Invest in the development of your leaders
Greg Williams urges pastors and ministry leaders to plan now to invest in the development of established and new congregational leaders in 2017.

Jesus with his disciples

Mentoring young leaders
Michael Rasmussen draws from his experience in discussing ways to mentor young (emerging) leaders.

Developing a new pastor: It began with a question
PD Kurts tells the story of how he helped a young leader hear God’s call to pastoral ministry.

Using ministry descriptions in developing your ministry leaders
Heber Ticas shares how he uses ministry (job) descriptions in developing the ministry leaders in his congregation.

Building the leaders around you
Here is an article and a video showing how to use Jesus’ methods in building the leaders in your church.

Sermon video: Safe and Sound
Here is a video that unpacks the Parable of the Prodigal Son. It provides a good basis for a sermon.

Kid’s Korner: What about Halloween?
This month we address the topic of Halloween. What’s the best way to approach this holiday in your Children’s Church?

Worship in fellowship groups

Below are the five articles in the September issue of Equipper, which focuses on conducting worship services in fellowship groups. Enjoy!   — Ted Johnston, editor

From Greg: It’s not about numbers
Drawing from his childhood, Greg Williams points out the advantages of worship in fellowship group-sized congregations.

FG

Here’s what it looks like: Fellowship group worship
Ted Johnston shares a video that demonstrates fellowship group worship.

Tips for facilitating discussions in fellowship groups
Lee Berger offers tips on effectively facilitating group discussions.

Sermon Summary: Parable of the fig tree
Lance McKinnon shares a sermon titled “Is God an ax murderer?”

Kid’s Korner: Is your children’s ministry in survival or creative mode?
Here’s what the video game Minecraft has to do with children’s ministry.

Ministry coaching

Below are the five articles in the August Equipper. The focus this issue is on coaching—a vital tool for ministry development. Enjoy! — Ted Johnston, editor

From Greg: Coaching matters
Greg Williams highlights the great benefits of being coached.

coaching

Coaching testimonies
Three of GCI’s ministry interns share their experiences as coachees.

Thoughts from an experienced coach
David Howe explores the nature of ministry coaching.

Sermon summary: Celebrate the Grip
Jeff McSwain offers a series of sermons about our life in union with Christ.

Kid’s Korner: Preparing for Children’s Church
Susi Albrecht and Nancy Akers discuss preparing for the next season of your congregation’s ministry to children.

Focused on fundraising

In the June Equipper we began looking at the theme of stewardship with a focus on generosity. We now continue that theme, focused on fundraising. The five articles in this issue are linked below. Enjoy! -Ted Johnston, Equipper editor.

From Greg: Our calling to be fundraisers
Greg Williams shares from his personal experience important insights about our calling to raise funds in support of our churches and ministries.

money
Wikimedia Commons

Lessons learned from fundraising
Sam Butler shares what he and his church learned in raising funds for a ministry by which they reach out to the community with God’s love.

Fundraising through networking
Tim Sitterley shares what he has learned about networking as an effective tool in relationship building and fundraising.

Sermon summary: Be strong, willing and committed
Ted Johnston shares a sermon exploring lessons from Haggai related to our calling to share with Jesus in what he is doing to build his church.

Kid’s Korner: Summertime ministry
Susi Albrecht and Nancy Akers offer advice and resources for ministry to children during the summer vacation months.

Cultivating generosity

This month’s Equipper (see the five articles linked below) focuses on our calling to follow the Spirit in cultivating generosity in our personal lives and within our congregations. Enjoy! -Ted Johnston, editor

From Greg: Live and preach generosity
Greg Williams discusses our calling as church leaders to practice and teach the spiritual discipline of generosity.

Used with permission
Used with permission

Nurturing a culture of generosity
Randy Bloom shows how pastors and ministry leaders can develop a culture of generosity within their congregations.

The life-giving power of generosity
Paul David Kurts writes about how we can live out our calling to be generous, like God is generous.  

Sermon summary: Generous God, generous life
Ted Johnston offers a sermon that explores the teachings of Jesus (recorded in Luke) involving living a generous life that participates in God’s own generosity.

Kid’s Korner: What do kids need from church?
Susi Albrecht and Nancy Akers explore how small churches, with a generous spirit, can capitalize on their small size to maximize ministry to children.

Rebuilding GCI

This month’s Equipper focuses on how we may participate with God in what he is doing to rebuild our congregations and denomination. The five articles in this issue are linked below. Enjoy! -Ted Johnston, editor

From Greg: Our journey of rebuilding
Greg Williams discusses how we can share in what God is doing to lead us forward to GCnext.
2016-regional-conference-logo-blue
Rebuilding smaller congregations
Bob Miller discusses the transformation in his small, aging church when they changed ministry focus.

Rebuilding larger congregations
Dustin Lampe, Marty Davey and Gabriel Ojih recount how their churches are being rebuilt using tools acquired through GCI’s Outside the Walls consulting. 

Sermon summary: Forward with Jesus
Brian Carlisle preaches about how Peter’s encounter with the risen Lord Jesus transformed his life and ministry.

Kid’s Korner: Planting lasting seeds
Susi Albrecht and Nancy Akers discuss the purpose and power of children’s ministry and children’s church.

The Refugee Crisis

In this issue of Equipper we focus on joining Jesus in responding to the global refugee crisis. We also introduce a new feature: Kid’s Korner. The five articles in this issue are linked below. Enjoy! – Equipper editor, Ted Johnston

From Greg: The refugee crisis—how can we respond?
In 2014, nearly 60 million people were displaced from their homes and native countries by war. But how can GCI congregations respond to this crisis?

Nova and his childrenNova’s story
Nova Musafiri had to flee his country in April 1993 to save his life. 

Welcome home to Ottawa
Fraser Henderson tells about a group of refugees GCI helped resettle in Canada. 

Helping a refugee family in Los Angeles
Janet Morrison tells about a family of refugees GCI helped resettle in California.

Kid’s Korner: Equipping children to know, grow and show God’s love! 
Children’s Church is a place to bond, learn and grow, while discovering what God has to say through the Bible.