GCI Update

Belong, Believe, Become

Greg and Susan Williams
Greg and Susan Williams

Dear GCI Family and Friends,

Down the street from the home office of GCI, there is a storefront church nestled in among a couple other businesses. Underneath the name of the church, their sign includes this slogan, “Belong, Believe, Become.” I like the phrase, especially because it is in the right order.

Belong

All of humanity belongs because of Jesus. He is the creator of every person who has ever lived. He is also our Redeemer and active mediator. The first chapter of Ephesians eloquently describes our adopted status through Jesus.

He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace Ephesians 1:5-9 NRSVA

Jesus, who is the beloved of the Father, has made us the beloved. The beautiful picture of adoption is that he chose us. Being chosen makes you feel special and satisfies the longing to belong.

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Devotional—Spirit of Truth

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. John 16:13 (NIV)

Jesus Christ, when he ascended to the Father, gave us a magnificent parting gift — the Holy Spirit. We celebrate this gift on Pentecost. After Pentecost, we turn our attention to Ordinary Time and to joining Christ’s mission in the world. In our missional practices and rhythms, the best companion to have, trust, and listen to is the Holy Spirit. The Spirit should be our best friend, helping us navigate our missional lives.

The missional field is dynamic, and we need to be guided by the Spirit. The Spirit is God and knows the mind of Christ; the Spirit also knows the minds of those we are being sent to! It is the Spirit’s ministry to convict the individual.

The Spirit of our Father speaks only what he hears and is the one directing us as we speak about God’s kingdom (Matthew 10:20). The Spirit will guide us into all truth. We can ask the Spirit: who should I talk to, and how and when should I say it?

May we have a listening ear and be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s promptings as we let the world know about Jesus and his kingdom.

Prayer:
We pray, oh Lord, that we will trust you enough to let you lead as we share your word with others. May we be like the sheep who know your voice and follow where you lead. May we never go astray. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

By Brenda Asare-Akoto
National Youth Leader, Ghana

Adapted from her September 2022 devotional.

Buzz—Discernment

This GCI Buzz explores the connection between discernment and wisdom. Discover how biblical discernment empowers clear judgment to discover the Spirit’s guiding presence and receive practical guidance for putting on the mind of Christ so that we join him in his ongoing ministry to humanity.

Click here or the image below to view the entire Buzz. #gcibuzz

Check out the printer-friendly PDF here.

Healthy Church—Connect Group Workshop

In March, more than 30 members from throughout New Zealand gathered for a three-day workshop on connect groups. We were delighted to have with us our Australasian Superintendent, Daphne Sidney, who kicked off the programme with a session focusing on GCI’s current re-visioning process.

On Saturday morning, we began with Rex Morgan exploring the “Why” of small group ministry. Next, Dennis Richards facilitated two sessions on the “How.”

Then we created the opportunity for participants to experience hands-on learning. Everyone participated in two separate model connect groups: one Bible study group and one special interest group, which we call a “connecting” group. The topics for the connecting, or special interest groups, were as follows: the Swedish pop music band, ABBA; books and movies; macro-photography and biodiversity; and ideas for taking the gospel to our neighbourhoods and communities.

Sunday morning, we held a debrief discussion of the model group experiences. We reviewed things that had worked well or otherwise. Many points were raised to keep in mind as we continue to work within our current connect groups and develop new groups in the future.

The weekend concluded with a moving Palm Sunday communion service, led by Daphne. The atmosphere was thoroughly permeated with the excited buzz of fellowship and networking of geographically scattered members that never fails to characterise these much appreciated get-togethers. God certainly answered our prayers by providing and inspiring a wonderful experience for us all, leaving us with a strong incentive to go out and develop Christ-centred, healthy, and fruitful small groups wherever the Spirit leads us.

By Rex Morgan, Pastor
Auckland, New Zealand

International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day was observed on March 8. On the following Sunday, GCI India held a special women’s celebration. The congregation expressed gratitude for the service and leadership offered by the women of the congregation. The worship service was led by our women. The ladies’ choir led the congregation in a soulful time of worship.

Ms. Selina and Mrs. Joshila Philips gave the messages. Ms. Selina explained how inner beauty transcends external beauty through the examples of Rachel and Leah. She focused our attention on Jesus, who is the portrait of absolute beauty with a gentle and quiet spirit. Mrs. Joshila spoke about the importance of women’s leadership in various aspects of the church, focusing on the example of Deborah. Deborah was an Old Testament judge, prophetess, and military strategist who played an important role in freeing Israel. She encouraged the women of the church saying that God bestows all women with unique gifts. Women are to bring that forth and serve the church and society with their gifts.

Pastor Praveen closed the service with communion. As a token of appreciation for the women of the congregation, a sumptuous lunch was arranged and enjoyed by everyone!

By the GCI India Newsletter editors,

Shanti Nirale

 

 

 

Praveen Kumar Chintha

 

WeAreGCI—Rose Hamrick

The Art of Mentoring

Last month, we announced an exciting new resource: The Art of Mentoring.

Join us for this series that shines a light on the impactful mentoring stories within GCI worldwide!

In our second installment, Aron and Audie explore how mentoring was crucial in Jesus’ ministry. They invite us to join in Jesus’ ongoing mentoring and discipleship and to discover how mentoring molds our lives in line with Jesus’ purpose.

Ready to be inspired?

Click here to view the next two videos in the series. More videos will be added in the coming months.

Prayer Guide—May 2024

Join us in prayer!

“The basic purpose of prayer is not to bend God’s will to mine, but to mold my will into His.” — Timothy Keller

Come alongside us as we align our hearts with God’s perfect will. Access our April Prayer Guide and pray with our congregations around the world as we share the good news of the gospel.

Never miss a day by receiving this Prayer Guide straight to your email inbox before the first of the month! Sign up here.

Click here or the image below to get the full prayer guide.

Regional Gatherings in 2024

Registration is now open!

Please join us for a weekend of training, appreciation, and worship. Everyone is invited!

Visit our website here to register and for more information, including details about lodging.

Registration will close on May 19, 2024. No walk-in or onsite registration will be available.