GCI President Update | October 2022
We are finishing up our 2022 theme of Compelled by Love. Please realize that we don’t stick this in a file and move on to the next thing. In fact, we have recently produced a video series on the art of “Place-sharing.” I highly recommend that all our members check this out, and it would especially be important for our pastors and ministry leaders to engage with this learning.
What if? (I’m known for that introductory question). What if Love Avenue Champions and Love Avenue Teams really dug in on this learning? I believe this can truly enhance how we approach our mission of Living and Sharing the Gospel.
Sunday, October 9th is celebrated as Pastor Appreciation Day (some use the month of October to say kind words and offer gestures of appreciation). As President of GCI, let me say a huge Thank You to our pastors! Your role is day in and day out, and it is true that ministry never sleeps. I love what Paul says about elders in his letter to Timothy:
“Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching.” 1 Timothy 5:17 (English Standard Version)
In my spirit of gratitude please indulge me to offer some words of explanation as well. Last year Superintendent Mike Rasmussen and the US Regional Directors shared an updated job description for the job of pastor. It is summarized in the 4Es – Engage, Equip, Empower and Encourage. These are the areas of emphasis that Paul spoke about in the development of the saints within the community of the church. These focus areas are crucial if GCI is to become a family of Healthy Churches that effectively operate as “A Priesthood of All Believers.”
Pastoring will have a general feel of recruiting, training, entrusting, and coaching a team. Hence our ministry model of “Team-Based Pastor-Led.” I am sure that many of our pastors felt a sense of “High Challenge” when this new job description came out. You clearly saw the sharper laser focus. Please be reminded that in GCI, when we bring “High Challenge” that we will also bring “High Support.”
The first line of support is your Regional Director to walk with you as you shed some old ways of operating and try on new practices. GCI is also able to supply you with coaching as you prayerfully sort out your personal Ministry Action Plan (MAP). Oversight from a caring Regional Director along with helpful encouragement from a ministry coach is a great platform toward positive outcomes.
As we are learning new ways of joining Jesus in his ministry through our pastors and churches, we will look to add more training on the 4Es. I can assure you that I will be writing on the “Why” questions related to the 4E’s and our Equipper writers will be offering ideas and methods for the “How” questions. The High Support will continue.
My beloved pastors around the world, can I make a deal with you? Can we use this final quarter of 2022 to deeply consider how the 4Es will impact how you spend your time and energy in 2023? Will you seek the Spirit’s guidance in helping you construct a personal ministry MAP? Then will you share your MAP with your Regional Director and be poised to really hit the ground running in 2023? This would do your President’s heart good to know this is happening throughout our fellowship.
These steps we are asking you to take are greater steps toward Healthy Pastoring for the vision of Healthy Church. We see this path toward greater liberation in Jesus, and also greater participation with Jesus.
Let us pray.
Father God, Lord Jesus, we enter your courts with praise and thanksgiving. Thank you for choosing and appointing our pastors as under-shepherds of Grace Communion International. Thank you for helping them (men and women alike) to walk in the counsel of the Godly and to guide our precious members through the dark valleys and the green pastures. Holy Spirit, may you continue to strengthen them, encourage them and empower them to point their members and neighbors to Jesus. We ask these blessings in the name of the Great Shepherd and the true Pastor of our church, Jesus.