February is Black History Month, and as I reflect on the significant contributions my African-American brothers and sisters have made to our nation and to the church, my mind turns to a wonderful documentary our media department put together over the last few years. This video highlights the Chicago South Side Congregation, a member church of our organization with an inspiring history.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I’m writing this month to let you know about some wonderful new developments here at GCI’s home office. I can’t wait to share these improvements with you, because I know they will make our organization even more effective at supporting believers and reaching non-believers around the world. But before we dive into what’s new, it might be worth revisiting the role of our home office overall, and what it does to support this denomination.
You may not know much about our denomination’s headquarters. It often stays “behind the scenes” in most ways, yet it’s vital to the ongoing health of Grace Communion International. I like to think of our home office as the “nerve center” of our faith community. We receive input from congregations across the globe, and work to respond. We offer support, guidance, and resources for on-the-ground church communities near and far. Here at headquarters, we seek always to:
As you can see from these goals, our purpose is to build up and support our congregations around the world and to promote the spread of the gospel. Our aim is always to equip local churches for spiritual growth, fellowship and outreach. And in 2017, we’re launching a new way of doing just that.
The primary interaction that most people have with our denominations is through our website, gci.org, and this year our site is getting a total redesign. In an increasingly digital and global age, our website is the largest and best tool available to us to carry out our objectives and communicate our faith and our spiritual and moral values we hold as a denomination.
This may surprise you, especially for an organization that values local community and interpersonal connection as much as we do. But when you think of the many, many people world over for whom the internet is the best way to connect with us, you can see how impactful our website really is. Last year, we had 4.9 million visitors to our website! These visitors include people accessing our library of theology articles, people viewing the shows Speaking of Life and You’re Included, and people catching up on news about GCI.
Our website is something that many rely on to feel connected to our denomination, to learn more about us, and to learn more about the gospel. And in August 2017, at our International Conference in Orlando, we’ll unveil a complete overhaul of gci.org. The new site will include an all-new look and feel. It will be more functional and usable across both desktop and mobile devices. It will be easier to navigate, helping users easily find the content they want, and pointing them toward related pages, helping them dig deeper into topics that drew them to the website in the first place, no matter what device they use.
This is especially useful for those wanting to connect with us from outside the US. Already, people from all around the world frequently visit gci.org. International congregations watch videos together to encourage and educate their members. Individuals curious about a point of theology often discover us through our website. Almost 80% of visits to our site are from a tablet or mobile device, so this relaunch will make the site work better for those interested in getting to know us more.
When you give to GCI Headquarters, this is exactly the kind of targeted, thoughtful use of resources you’re supporting. Our website is the first point of contact for many who are unfamiliar with Grace Communion International. Our international brothers and sisters use our website as a way of staying connected, a way of being nourished in the gospel, and of being a part of our denomination. Many are visiting us on mobile devices, so we are redesigning our site with that in mind. We want to make our faith in God through Jesus Christ and the corresponding goals and values we hold even more accessible to those seeking to know more about us and about the saving gospel of Jesus. This overhaul of gci.org will make the primary interface of our denominational headquarters more accessible and easy for all to use. We trust that it will become an even more significant channel of ministry to our own members but also serve as an avenue for others to come and join us in our worship and witness to our Triune God.
I can’t wait for you to try the new site!
Help Support GCI Today with an Online Donation
Grace Communion International is dedicated to helping people everywhere understand the truth about God and the gospel. Because of your generous support, we can share the good news of who God really is for us with many more around the world. We appreciate your support.