GCI Easter Preparation Playlist

Worship is our response inside of Christ’s perfect response. During our Sunday services we intentionally prepare for an inspirational worship gathering. In our Hope Avenue Toolkit we recommend planning the themes of your worship gatherings around the seasons of the worship calendar - by doing this we are formed as remember and participate in the meaning of each season. In Equipper, this year we will be providing playlists with songs that algin with the theme of the season. We have included a variety of styles. When developing your song set for each week consider of the songs will flow together during the worship gathering and look for versions or arrangements that fit the context of your congregation.   GCI Easter Preparation 2023... Read the article

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Church Hack: Mentoring

Jesus’ invitation to us is to join him in making disciples. Through the mentoring process we help others discern their gifting within the body. Check out this month’s Church Hack for a guide to Christ-like mentoring. #gcichurchhacks  https://resources.gci.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/2023-CH1-Mentoring.pdf Read the article

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Place-sharing with George

A personal example of place sharing. By Glen A Weber Several years ago, I was helping facilitate a gathering of about 50 pastors and Christian leaders. We were spending three days in prayer and worship together. We had a chair in the center of the circle so leaders could sit and ask for specific prayer. During one of those times, “George,” a pastor for more than forty years, went to the chair to seek prayer for a struggle he had faced all his adult life. In fact, he confessed that at one stage the struggle had led to him being removed from ministry for several years. He had been restored to ministry but still struggled and suffered with severe nightmares as a result. Numerous pastors gathered around and prayed for George. At a later... Read the article

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Spiritual Practices for Easter Preparation

Lessons from the man with the impure Spirit (Mark 5:1-20). By Cara Garrity, Development Coordinator Easter Preparation is the 40-day (plus Sundays) season preceding Easter in the GCI worship calendar when we individually and corporately acknowledge that Jesus is saving. This year’s dates are February 22 to April 8. During this season we seek to open ourselves to more fully appreciate our deep need for Jesus as we nurture a posture to receive the overflowing graces of Good Friday and Easter. For some, this season may bring to mind somber traditions of fasting and sacrifice, shame and scorn, striving and suffering, or worst of all, no coffee! For this reason, many of us may be particularly hesitant about this liturgical season. Thus,... Read the article

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Roadblocks to Growth

As your teams continually work toward healthy church, here are some roadblocks you might face, and some strategies to guide you along the way. By Michelle Fleming, GCI Communications Director If you’re anything like me, the idea of trying something new is completely different from the reality of it. Creative is one of my top voices, so facilitating a brainstorm session, making a plan for a new experience, or developing a new iteration of an old process are all my jam. But something happens when I go to move from provisional to plan when developing something new. I hit a speed bump or roadblock that requires me to persevere as I work toward my goal. The reasons may be different for different voice and personality types, but I think... Read the article

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Church Hack: Livestreaming

In our monthly church reports from pastors, we received a lot of questions about providing online services, especially livestreaming on YouTube and Facebook. You’ve asked, and we’ve answered. Check out this month’s Church Hack for livestreaming and other online Hope Avenue gathering options. https://resources.gci.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/2022-CH12-Livestreaming.pdf Read the article

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Change and Healthy Church

Being willing to change is a sign of healthy church. By Danny Zachariah, National Director India A common refrain we hear about change is that it is a permanent reality of life. Two more familiar phrases: change is difficult and resisted; there is no growth without change. These phrases are all undoubtedly true, especially in the dynamic environment we are living in today. On the other hand, all change is not necessarily helpful. New is not always good. Fads come and go. Innovation only for name’s sake disturbs the congregation. If our denominational congregations are moving in the direction of becoming the “best expression of the church of Jesus Christ they can be,” then a commitment to a gradual, consistent change towards... Read the article

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We Have a Beautiful Barn!

We are called to participate in building the kingdom, not building barns or banks. By Glen A Weber, U.S. Central Regional Support Team I grew up on a wheat farm in southeast Wyoming. Every fall we would plant the winter wheat, pray for good weather, and harvest the crop in mid-summer. I remember driving the farm truck loaded with wheat to high school and dropping off the grain at the local grain buyer during my lunch hour. Of course, a very important part of our planning was storing enough seed in the barn to plant for the next year. Barns are essential for storing seed and farm equipment, but they are not the focus of the farm. Our focus was on the crop yield and providing for the family. In the Gospels we have a parable about a... Read the article

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God Moved into The Neighbourhood

The Word was willing to get into the neighbourhood where we live. By Bill Hall, National Director, Canada In the opening of the Gospel of John we get a different – many would say much bigger – view of Jesus and the Incarnation as opposed to the birth narratives found in Luke and Matthew. The apostle John gives us a birth narrative in some sense, but he takes us beyond his present time and space to what he calls “the beginning.” He identifies Jesus as the Word who is God, the Word who has everlasting existence. Then John introduces us to John the Baptist and immediately compares the baptizer with the one who is the true light, the Word who became flesh. I like how Eugene Peterson in the Message renders this: The Word became... Read the article

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Ministry is Not Hurry, Worry and Flurry

Healthy leaders strive to be a blessing and not a burden to those they are called to lead and serve. By Pastor Bob Regazzoli, Australia We are likely familiar with the story in Exodus when Pharoah rejected Moses’ word from the Lord and made more demands from the captive Israelites. That same day Pharaoh gave this order to the slave drivers and overseers in charge of the people: “You are no longer to supply the people with straw for making bricks; let them go and gather their own straw. But require them to make the same number of bricks as before; don’t reduce the quota. They are lazy; that is why they are crying out, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to our God.’ Make the work harder for the people so that they keep working and... Read the article

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