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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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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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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Healthy Church Challenges

Equipper asked several pastors and ministry leaders around the world the question: What is your greatest challenge for healthy church? Answers were edited for space. It is our hope these answers might inspire discussion among your leadership teams. Our ageing congregations and scarcity of young adults and children.– Jackie Mills, UK The greatest challenge we have faced on the way to becoming a healthy church is having the focus turn from what today's society considers a healthy church to be (fancy buildings, large attendance, exciting live worship performances, all kinds of programs and events to keep people busy) to what we should be as Jesus has called us to love this world and share the glorious message of the gospel. - Terry... Read the article

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What is a Healthy Church?

Grace Communion International president, Greg Williams, has set a goal for GCI churches to be the healthiest expression of church we can be. Equipper asked several pastors and ministry leaders around the world to define healthy church in a sentence or two. The responses were encouraging and perhaps a bit challenging. In order to include more quotes, we edited several down to a main point. See if you see some common themes, which we will summarize at the end of the quotes. A healthy church is Christ focused, in loving fellowship and intentionally seeking the Spirit’s lead in wisely being Christ’s body in the community, physically and digitally. – Bharat Naker, Australia A healthy church worships Jesus Christ and insists... Read the article

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Planting the Seeds: Practical Emergent Generation Investment

Planting a seed may seem a simple act, yet it bears tremendous potential for growth and fruitfulness. By Cara Garrity, Development Coordinator, US Last month I suggested that we exchange transactional and utilitarian models of investment in emergent generations for transformative and disciple-making models. When I think of transformative and disciple-making investments I think of planting a seed. Planting a seed may seem a simple act, yet it bears tremendous potential for growth and fruitfulness. Not only a one-time fruitfulness, but a fruitfulness that produces more seeds and potential for an expansion of fruitfulness. In the hands of God, even simple day-to-day acts of investment in the discipleship of emergent generations holds... Read the article

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Yes, the Day DOES Matter

Is the day and time we worship inclusive or exclusive? By Tim Sitterley, US Regional Director, West When Linda and I were planning our wedding forty-some years ago, I made the brilliant suggestion that we hold the ceremony at the base of the waterfall where we had one of our first dates. Sure, it was a strenuous four-hour hike in the mountains, but I had it all worked out. The entire wedding party would hike in together. There would be a beautiful ceremony (where we would have to yell to be heard over the sound of the falls). The champagne would chill in the stream for the reception to follow. And the crowd would throw rice and cheer us on as Linda and I headed up the trail for a back-pack honeymoon. Linda pointed out the multitude of... Read the article

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No “Less Than” in God’s Economy

Because all are created in God’s image and for God’s glory, to view others as “less than” is to deny the truth of the special place humanity has in God’s creation. By Bill Hall, National Director, Canada The discovery of graves containing 215 bodies at the site of a former residential school in Kamloops, BC, has caused a lot of soul-searching in Canada regarding our treatment of indigenous Canadians over the centuries. This discovery is especially more poignant given the fact that most of the residential schools were operated by churches in conjunction with the Canadian government. I felt a lot of angst when I saw those black-and-white photos on various news websites —pictures of little children who had been removed from... Read the article

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