Sermon Summary: A renewed understanding of discipleship

One of the areas where the Spirit is renewing GCI's understanding and ministry practice is that of discipleship. We see him leading us to embrace an approach to discipling others (disciple-making) that emphasizes the hope and healing that is ours because of Jesus’ faithfulness, not our own. This approach is helpfully examined by Wesley Hill in a Christianity Today article titled "How I Found Healing for My Spiritual Blindness." Hill describes how his understanding of discipleship was renewed by an in-depth study of the Gospel of Mark. His article would make a good outline for a sermon on this topic. Here are excerpts from the article: I was hungry for instruction—guidance in how to go about deepening and enriching my faith. I... Read the article

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Sermon summary: God’s “one and only”

[caption id="attachment_178" align="alignright" width="150"] Lance and Georgia McKinnon[/caption] This sermon summary is from GCI-USA Pastor Lance McKinnon. He preached this Christmas-themed sermon a couple of years ago in his Dallas, GA, congregation. Theme passage: John 1:10-18 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of Gods—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory,... Read the article

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Sermon video: Safe and Sound

This month, instead of a written sermon summary, we're posting a video of a teaching that would make a great sermon. It's a "Reading Between the Lines" presentation from Speak Life, a ministry in the U.K. Titled "Safe and Sound," it addresses the Parable of the Prodigal Son. On YouTube at https://youtu.be/8Z-9eoXOsbE Read the article

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Sermon Summary: Parable of the fig tree

In a sermon titled "Is God an Ax Murderer?, Pastor Lance McKinnon looks at Jesus' well-known, but not well-understood parable of the fig tree. [caption id="attachment_1608" align="aligncenter" width="464"] The Vine Dresser and the Fig Tree by James Tissot (public domain)[/caption] Scripture reading: Luke 13:1-9 (NIV) There were some present at that very time who told [Jesus] about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do... Read the article

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Sermon Summary: Celebrate the Grip

This month we're providing a series of sermons with the overall title, Celebrate the Grip. The series was written by Jeff McSwain, national coordinator for GCI's Intern Program. Though written as a curriculum to be used in GenMin camps, the series can easily be adapted for use as a preaching series in a congregation or a series of discussions in a small group. To download the Celebrate the Grip curriculum click here. To download a related children's church curriculum, click here. And here is a video in which Jeff explains the basic concepts in the series: Read the article

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Sermon summary: Be strong, willing and committed

Here is a sermon from Equipper editor and Regional Pastor Ted Johnston. It's based on the second chapter of Haggai. [caption id="attachment_998" align="alignright" width="150"] Ted and Donna Johnston[/caption] God has led GCI on a remarkable journey: from legalism to grace; heresy to orthodoxy; self-sufficiency to radical dependency. With this came a renewed sense of purpose—a growing understanding of our divine mission: "Go" says Jesus, and "make disciples." And so we got going. But when we think of mission within our denomination with its very small churches, it’s easy to get discouraged, even overwhelmed: competing needs, things to do, pressures, demands, expectations and tasks pushing from all sides, assaulting our... Read the article

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Sermon Summary: Generous God, generous life

This sermon summary is from Ted Johnston, Equipper editor. It addresses the theme of this issue of Equipper---cultivating generosity. Introduction [caption id="attachment_998" align="alignright" width="150"] Ted and Donna Johnston[/caption] One of my favorite songs in the late 80s was Don’t Worry Be Happy in which Bobby McFerrin sings, “In every life we have some trouble… but when you worry you make it double. Don't worry, be happy” (to watch a music video and sing along, click here). Wouldn’t you like to have life free of worry, care, anxiety… just happy? Jesus seems to get at this issue as he talks with a group of his disciples. Hear the word of the Lord: Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you... Read the article

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Sermon Summary: Forward with Jesus

Here is a summary of a sermon from Brian Carlisle, lead pastor at Living Hope Christian Fellowship, GCI's Washington DC (West) congregation. [caption id="attachment_606" align="alignright" width="142"] Brian and Anne Carlisle[/caption] In John 21:1-19, we read about a profound encounter Peter had with the risen Lord, Jesus Christ. Together they shared breakfast, and so much more. This encounter occurred after Peter and his companions had returned to their fishing business, thinking that their journey with Jesus was now past. You'll recall that Peter had turned his back on Jesus. Three times he denied knowing him. But now on the beach there was a profound moment of restoration---it was time to go forward with Jesus. [caption... Read the article

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Sermon summary: Forget being forgotten

Here is the summary of a sermon for Easter Sunday written by pastor Lance McKinnon (Revised Common Lectionary, year B) [caption id="attachment_47" align="aligncenter" width="261"] Lance and Georgia McKinnon[/caption] 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 (NRSV) Now I would remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand, through which also you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you--unless you have come to believe in vain. For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in... Read the article

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Preaching from the lectionary

This article is from pastor Sam Butler. [caption id="attachment_39" align="aligncenter" width="297"] Sam and Denise Butler[/caption] Several months ago I was challenged to consider using the lectionary to shape my preaching-teaching and worship planning. I say “challenged” because I was accustomed to “doing my own thing” in planning my sermons, and the idea of using someone else’s pre-determined structure did not sit well with me at first. Despite my initial resistance, I decided to give the lectionary approach a try. I began by studying the meanings of the seasons of the historic, orthodox Christian worship calendar as outlined in the lectionary, and then looking at the Scriptures that the lectionary assigns to each week... Read the article

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