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Empowering and Encouraging

Greg and Susan Williams
Greg and Susan Williams

Dear GCI Family and Friends,

So that they may become part of our GCI leadership DNA, in 2023 we will continue to focus on the 4 Es of leadership development and ministry actions – Engage, Equip, Empower and Encourage. This letter will be focused on Empowering and Encouraging.

To empower simply means to give power or authority. I’m reminded of Matthew 28:18 where Jesus says, “All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me.” Just as Jesus is fully enabled to act, he wraps us into his mission. We, too, are permitted to go and make disciples, baptizing and teaching all things about Jesus. There is confidence in going when we know we are backed by Jesus, and when we realize that as we go, he is always present with us. That’s empowerment with real power.

In the February 22 Update, I wrote about the practical ways Jesus included the original disciples in the feeding of the 5,000. This was a wonderful example of how he equipped and prepared them for what was to come in the commissioning of Matthew 28, when he sent them out into the world to make more disciples and to establish the community of the church. Both accounts display doing ministry with Jesus – one was directed by the earthly Jesus, the second from the heavenly Jesus by the wisdom of the Holy Spirit.

We then see that empowerment comes after an appropriate training period. Empowerment includes an endorsement, a sending, and a backing. (For further study, explore the times when Paul sent his son in the faith, Timothy, as his representative.)

True-life stories help to better paint the picture. See the story below of an important lesson learned by Rick Shallenberger as he took advice from his mentor on adapting his approach with an intern.

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P.S. Are you looking for a fun way to empower your members aged 8-17? Encourage their involvement in the Healthy Church Challenge! Videos selected in the first round will be shown at the Denominational Celebration. Final winners will receive a prize. Here’s more information.

One thought on “Empowering and Encouraging”

  1. Thanks Greg for the encouraging and empowering examples of Rick’s and Michelle’s stories, where the Spirit of humility and love is present while we all are learning as a team and each one is contributing to the success of the work being done. We are not to Lord it over each other but to be Helpers of each other’s Joy and work together!

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