In March, thirty members participated in this year’s Refresher Weekend on the beautiful Kapiti Coast, an hour north of Wellington, New Zealand. Martin Bailey from Melbourne was our guest presenter. Martin is a qualified business mentor who has spent 13 years in productivity improvement and training for some of the world’s largest companies.
The theme was the 4 Es: Engage, Equip, Empower, and Encourage. The 4 Es describe a process focused on developing people for ministry participation and leadership. Martin began with an overview of the Faith, Hope, and Love Avenues, then led a session on each of the 4 Es. We all really enjoyed his relaxed and personable style, punctuated with short video clips and spiced with a liberal dose of humour.
Martin focused on equipping and empowering us to share the gospel by simply being real and authentic. He kept pointing us back to the practical application of the message, caring for others, and taking their perspective. He encouraged us to start with something small and see where it leads. Jesus’ interaction with the Samaritan woman started as small as “Can I have a drink?” and ended with a whole village coming to believe in the Messiah.
The intention was to seek the Spirit’s guidance toward what we might actively put into practice. The attendees committed to trying one or more of Martin’s small steps and discussing the results at our next Celebration in September. All were encouraged to share what they learned with others so the whole church could benefit.
Phil Baldwin started each of the sessions with a short devotional service and Rex Morgan led communion, which was a fitting way to conclude a wonderful time together.
The board members stayed an additional night for a meeting on Monday. Dennis Richards presented his strategic directions update, reporting progress achieved and challenges ahead. He concluded by noting 2023 is midway through GCI’s Three-year Plan. In 2022 we introduced the three Avenue ministries underpinning GCI’s missional aspirations. In 2023 we established these operationally. And in 2024, we’ll focus on settling these into the life rhythms of the church.
Rex Morgan, Pastor
Auckland, New Zealand