Dear GCI Family and Friends,
I bring you greetings from our six GCI global superintendents. We met for planning meetings after the Denominational Celebration. The group was basking in the afterglow of “Remembering Our First Love in Jesus.” Jesus’ love was experienced in tangible ways – in the lingering of praise worship, the cacophony of fellowship with brothers and sisters, the celebration of GCS graduates, the inspiration of messages assuring us of Christ’s unfailing love, and the crescendo of communion uniting us to our Lord. The level of encouragement and assurance of participation with Jesus was off the charts. We have received many words of appreciation and stories of transformation.
One of the most unique experiences was enduring three fire alarms. Two alarms on Friday afternoon and one early Saturday morning (1:44 am). The early morning drill could’ve easily caused attitudes to flare and turned into a deeply negative experience for our attendees. However, during the fire drill, we saw members helping others, especially the elderly and those with mobility limitations. Then once outside, several service-minded members brought chairs outside and water to drink on the humid night. We were a sight in our various versions of sleeping attire, and yet the spirit was light and good-natured. The love of Jesus was experienced.
One man staying at the hotel for a family reunion was in tears on Saturday morning as he stood in the breakfast line and recounted his early morning experience. He was having chest pains and the paramedics were going to transport him to the hospital. Thankfully the chest pains stopped, and he was able to stay at the hotel. His experience watching our GCI brothers and sisters in action, helping so many, made an impact on him. He said that he saw heaven in action that early morning; the church was being the church. Sunday afternoon, we saw him again, this time he was wearing his pastor collar. Yes, unbeknownst to us he was a pastor and had just preached a sermon to his members in the hotel about what he had witnessed early Saturday morning. Thank you to so many for being GCI.Read More
We were inspired to see that all six global regions had representation at the celebration. This event reset our cyclical pattern for hosting a Denominational Celebration every three years. This means, God willing, that we will have our next celebration in summer 2026. We encourage all who desire to attend to begin saving now and update your passport, if needed.
In our planning meetings, we reflected on how our triune God has blessed us, and each superintendent shared meaningful highlights. Each of us turned our attention to many of the challenging items that guest speaker Jon Ritner had shared at the celebration. We met in small groups to address the question, “What are the hard things that we are facing?”
In our group debrief, we assembled a list of many items. Below we share areas that demand our attention.
- Effects related to post-covid – regathering of our churches, innovation to engage with human fragility and shifting culture (anxiety issues, busyness that crowds out church commitment, a major shift from absolute truth, etc.)
- Championing the “Why?” of GCI. What makes our congregations and denomination places to participate?
- Clear analysis and assessment as to how we best serve our pastors and congregations. Specifically helping pastors to comprehend and execute the role of “pastor-led.”
- Right-sizing and restructuring organizationally, and how we best approach these moves.
- Movement toward ministry practices that reflect our understanding of the triune God revealed in Jesus.
- Becoming better at making and keeping disciples (emphasis on how to engage the youth).
- Maintaining connectivity from the denominational, to the national, to the regional, and to the congregational levels.
Part of our group’s conclusion is that if we don’t attend to the health of our denomination at all levels, then we may not have a reason to host a Denominational Celebration in 2026. That is a sobering thought.
The good news that assures us is that we have Jesus as the head of the church. GCI has the love of Jesus – the love that transformed us and identifies us as his true disciples. It is his love that compels us to relationally engage with others towards the fulfillment of the Great Commission to make new disciples. If we follow Jesus and lean to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we are built for the hard things.
We are in this together!
Greg & the Superintendents
Kalengule Kaoma – Africa
Danny Zachariah – Asia*
Daphne Sidney – Australasia
Gavin Henderson – Europe
Heber Ticas – Latin America
Michael Rasmussen – North America & Caribbean
*In our next issue, the former Superintendent of Asia, Eugene Guzon, will write about retiring and passing the baton.