Book Review – Gospel Fluency

Gospel Fluency: Speaking the Truths of Jesus into the Everyday Stuff of Life, by Jeff Vanderstelt Reviewed by Daphne Sydney, Superintendent Australia A Christian man once asked his pastor to please teach him how to evangelize. The wise pastor replied—tell me about the time you first met your wife to be. The man told his story with amazing detail of his first date, quite animated and joyful, and 20 minutes later… the point had been made. He was able to share fluently about the love of his life. He knew her so well, he did not have to stop and think about the words. His whole-hearted love for her flowed generously. This is the starting point for sharing the gospel—that we talk about what we love, or perhaps better put, we talk... Read the article

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New Diploma Award for GCI Ministry Avenue Champions

Grace Communion Seminary, in partnership with Grace Communion International, is happy to announce new diploma options designed for GCI members who lead the ministry avenues of faith (discipleship), hope (worship), and love (witness). We plan to develop new courses for each of the three avenues. The GCS Diploma of Christian Ministry involves seven classes. For this new diploma, six of the requirements are the same no matter which ministry a person is involved in; one class will be different based on the avenue of focus. The courses may be taken in any order, and at any pace, as fast as one course each semester, or only one course per year. Students are welcome to take one course without a commitment to take any others.   Here... Read the article

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Jumpstarting Faith Avenue Teams

Aron and Joyce Tolentino, Pastor, Metro Manila, Philippines Sometimes, one of the most challenging aspects of a project is that of getting started. Whether it is embarking on a fitness journey, shifting career paths, or in some cases developing an inspiring sermon, we may have an end in mind and some creative ideas on how to get there, but initiating the process of realizing such a vision can be daunting. The matter of how to start may initially overwhelm, but a few steps in the right direction can help overcome inertia and build momentum. Context In the Philippines, we are excited about the denominational vision of Healthy Church through healthy leadership and healthy ministries; it is a meaningful and relevant vision. The... Read the article

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Intergenerational Community Building

What creative opportunities might God be preparing for intergenerational community with your church? By Cara Garrity, Development Coordinator In GCI we see a well-balanced Faith Avenue being expressed through community building, connect groups, and cross-generational care. When it comes to community building, it is easy to focus on building community with our peers. While it is meaningful to gather and build close community with peers, it is also meaningful to build an intentionally intergenerational church community. Intergenerational community will take on a unique flavor in each church setting. Here are some questions that may help you explore what intergenerational community can look like in your church. Take some time to... Read the article

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Ascension: He Is Risen, He Is Risen Indeed

By Bill Hall, National Director, Canada Every time I preach during our Easter service, I recall the emails I used to get when I woke up Easter morning. They were from an acquaintance living in Romania. The emails would read something like this: “Dear Pastor Bill, Blessings on this day, He is risen, He is risen indeed!” This electrifying proclamation is based on Luke 24:34, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” (ESV). For me this is the basis or foundation of my Christian faith. The apostle Paul said this succinctly: And if Christ has now been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. (1 Corinthians 15:17-18 ESV) No one... Read the article

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Team Based- Pastor Led Videos & Resource Page

GCI’s vision for Healthy Church is focused on healthy ministries and healthy leadership. The three avenues of the Team Based-Pastor Led model are foundational to the thriving of healthy churches. As we continue to build on the model, we have produced short videos that explain the recent additions and updates to the model. Click on the image below to watch the introduction video. Along with the video updates we have also updated our Avenue Resources webpage and curated a resource page for each Avenue that includes the video and PowerPoint for each avenue. Click on the images below to explore the new pages.         Read the article

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Church Hack: Social Media Schedule

Your church social media page creates a presence within your community and may be the first point of contact for guests. A well thought out content schedule for your page can help with community and member engagement. Posting at least two to three  times a week is suggested in order to maintain a presence. We suggest taking a couple of days of rest, when you don't post anything. Remember, your content is about connecting with your community and the quality of your engagement is more important than quantity of content you are creating. Click on the image below to download the guide.     Read the article

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The Quiet Mystery of Holy Saturday

A reflection for Holy Saturday By Anthony Mullins, U.S. Regional Director, Southeast The silence was deafening. The Messiah was dead and enclosed in a tomb. How could this possibly happen after the awesome display of divine power in his life? Holy Saturday, the day between Good Friday and Easter, is a time of mourning and quiet disbelief on the liturgical calendar. Holy Saturday is a day of uncomfortable silence. The Word of God become flesh is dead. For his disciples and friends, it was a day of confusion and fear. Wasn’t Jesus the Holy One of God? John the Baptist pointed to him as the Lamb of God and then Jesus himself invited us to follow him. Were we misled? On this side of history, we know Holy Saturday eventually... Read the article

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The Cross Before Me

A reflection for Good Friday By Tim Sitterley, U.S. West Regional Director. Many years ago, while visiting a small New England church, I was somewhat taken aback by the odd arrangement of lectern and cross on the raised pulpit. Crosses of all sizes are a common image in a Christian church adorning walls, stained glass windows, hymnals and lecterns. But in this church the cross that immediately caught your eye was an eight or nine-foot-tall, roughhewn timber cross mounted directly in front of the lectern. To see the congregation, the speaker would have to look around the massive upright beam…as was also the case for the congregants to see the speaker. As one who often finds himself standing behind a lectern preaching to a room full... Read the article

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Palms and Colts

 A reflection for Palm Sunday By Bill Hall, National Director, Canada Back in February 2010, my wife, son and I had the opportunity to be in Vancouver Canada for the 2010 Winter Olympics. We were there on a whim. We hadn’t planned on going, but at the last moment called some old friends who lived there and asked what they were doing during the Olympics. They told us that they had tickets for some of the events but at the last moment their oldest daughter couldn’t get away from work to attend with them. So they had a few tickets available if we wanted to come and stay with them. The Vancouver Olympics was one big celebration. The downtown core of the city was closed off to traffic and we spent many hours just walking around... Read the article

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