Bondservant Leadership

Dear GCI Family,

Greg and Susan Williams

We are entering our first round of Regional Conferences – renamed “Regional Celebrations.” So, what’s changing? The emphasis is different. Rather than a focus on training, we will emphasize worship, inspiration and relationship building. There will be activities for families, youth, and all ages. No doubt, this will be a GCI good time!

The celebration will begin on Friday evening in your region and will end with a worship service and communion on Sunday. In addition, we will offer specific training for pastors and ministry leaders on Friday. (Check with your Regional Director for details.) This training will follow the theme of Healthy Leaders for Healthy Churches. In preparation for this time we ask that you and your team review and discuss the video series REAL Teams. U.S. Superintendent Michael Rasmussen and I are excited to join with your regional director in this day of helpful, valuable training.

As we prepare to gather at the Regional Celebrations let’s ask ourselves, “What is the attitude of a healthy leader?” For the answer, let’s go straight to the leader of all leaders.

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although he existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:5-8 NASB)

Jesus took on the form of a “doulos,” a bondservant. A permanent role of service – in his case it was absolute subjugation to the will of the Father, fulfilling the divine purpose of humanity’s salvation and the ever-present vision of the kingdom of God.

Both Peter and Paul identify themselves as bondservants to Jesus; knowing that they were bought at the highest of all prices and that their position of servitude was permanent. They were totally comfortable with the title of bondservant of Jesus Christ.

Being a bondservant to Christ means that at some point in our spiritual development as we explore the magnitude of who Jesus is, and then who we are in him that we become sold out. It becomes our desire to serve him with all that we are. Our simple faith grows to a point we can truly trust and say, “I am his.” In other words, “I totally belong to Christ as his property, his doulos. Jesus Christ is Lord over all of me. He is my Lord and my Master, my Savior, my King, my Friend and there is no better place for me to be.”

This is the heart of a healthy leader – being sold out for Jesus. Of course, there is no way we would or could become bondservants to Jesus without him being the first and perfect bondservant. Join me in trying to wrap your mind around this – Jesus, God in the flesh, accepted the limitations of humanity, set aside his divine powers, and masked his glory in the role of a suffering servant. This is our King and Lord who lives and moves in us and beckons us to walk in his tracks.

No matter your title or position in GCI think deeply about your status in Jesus as a bondservant to him. This is where healthy leadership begins. I look forward to sharing more on this topic at the regional celebrations. See you there!

His bondservant,

Greg Williams

New England Women’s Retreat

New England Women's Retreat

The Providence congregation sponsored its annual women’s retreat, coordinated by Sue Cozzi. The theme this year was “Blessed Beyond Measure.” Peg Donovan spoke about “How can I count the ways” and Cara Garrity spoke about being “Blessed in the Valley.” Leslie Howard led a breakout session on “Finding peace in the midst of Chaos” while Peg led a Worship Theater that included skits and a talent show. After the talent show the ladies enjoyed an impromptu karaoke and dance session! The tentative theme for next year is “Streams of Living Waters.”

From Suzanne Cozzi (wife of pastor Luciano Cozzi), Providence, RI

Photo Contest – Submissions End March 17

Show us the world through your lens.

Photo Contest Promo Image

Do you attend a GCI church? Enter to win our 2018-2019 GCI Photo Contest and submit photos of your healthy church.
Prizes include, $100, $200, and $300 Amazon gift cards!
Submit Your Photos Before March 17.

For more information go to:

LiLY Women’s Conference

LiLY logoThe Women of Edgehill Community Church in Cleveland Heights, Ohio would like to invite you to their 16th Annual LiLY (Living Life for You) Conference “Joy Intact,” held April 26th-28th, 2019 at the Embassy Suites in Beachwood, Ohio.

This is a weekend filled with wonderful worship, inspired speakers, lots of laughs and simply enjoying the presence of the Lord.  The conference is attended by a diverse group of women and teens (Bonfire Sessions for ages 13-17) from every stage on their journey. We come from different churches and denominations.  We are about meeting at the feet of Jesus and making him known.

We keep the registration prices low ($70 early bird special), meals are included and you can fill your suite with up to six women to cut the cost of the hotel.  This is a great opportunity for you, your family or group of friends to come together and share a weekend in Christ with no judgment or expectations.

Follow the link for more information.

Tamar Gray, Assistant Pastor
Edgehill Community Church
Cleveland, Heights Ohio

Remembering the Life of Sue Lawson

Sue and Don Lawson
Sue and Don Lawson

Sue Lawson, devoted wife of long-time pastor Don Lawson, passed away last Tuesday morning. She died peacefully in her sleep after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. Don is doing OK considering and is glad Sue was not in pain and was not suffering when she passed. The Lawsons have been a beacon of light to every marriage. They loved each other deeply and openly. What a great example of what marriage was intended to be.

There will be a small Celebration of Life Service for immediate family members.

Cards can be sent to Don Lawson at
82383 Stradivari Road
Indio, CA 92201

Remembering the Life of John Novick

We were saddened to learn of the recent death of John Novick, former Lead Pastor of GCI’s congregation in Jackson, Mississippi.

John and Cathy Novick

Our dear friend and brother John Novick passed into glory February 20th. I ask you to join me in praying for his wife Cathy and daughter Briana and the Jackson church. John fought the good fight against bone cancer and finished well. He will be greatly missed by those who knew and loved him.

Cards for the Novick family can be sent to:

Cathy Novick
182 Commonwealth Ave
Brandon, MS 39047

New Pastor Orientation

February  7-10th, the GCI  Home Office hosted New Pastor Orientation for new pastors and leaders stepping into ministry positions. The weekend was spent unpacking the Team Based- Pastor Led Model. Participants were equipped, empowered, and encouraged to carry out the vision of Healthy Church in their congregations.

The group bonded throughout the weekend over worship, conversations about best practices, meals, and fellowship. God’s unifying presence was palpable during our joyous time together.  GCI President Greg Williams, reflected on the occasion, “I am greatly encouraged by the men and women who have been called into pastoral leadership. It was a privilege to share four days of learning. I am inspired by this fresh group of pastors. Our time together fills me with hope for GCI.”


Many participants expressed a sense of community and shared vision. “It is so encouraging to know that we are not alone and a network of support is available in our denomination.” The weekend wrapped up with each leader’s Regional Director commissioning and praying over them. Join us in lifting up our leaders as they transition into this new season of ministry.