Faith Forward and Transitions
Hopefully, you are aware that our 2021 theme for Grace Communion International is “Faith Forward.” Galatians 2:20 states it very clearly:
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Galatians 2:20 (KJV)
It is by the faith OF the Son of God. It is the faith of Jesus in me strengthening my belief and quelching my unbelief.
Back in July, we took a short detour from Faith Forward to “Focus on Hope” (the theme of our Virtual Celebration). Not everybody could fit into the rhythm of the schedule and participate in the live streaming. The good news is that we recorded most of the presentations and I suspect that many of you are watching and learning from the recorded videos. Enjoy!
I am currently preparing to gather with some of our US pastors and their Faith Avenue champions to take a deep dive into all aspects of the Faith Avenue ministries. Please lift this weekend of training up in prayer. This can be a catalyst to move our Faith Forward.
In speaking of moving forward, an ongoing process that I have been involved with has been to work through the reality of leaders who are aging toward retirement and entering retirement. It is a privilege to work with leaders who are proactively thinking about who their replacement will be, and how to end their current level of responsibility on a high note.
There are no big announcements to make in this video update, but I can mention that we have a GCI Board rotation coming up in October and more news will follow.
When I became President of GCI, I came alongside many of our senior, trusted, and faithful leaders and had the privilege of walking with them to their retirement (a responsibility that I never fully anticipated but is a privilege).
Retirement is especially tricky as our old paradigm was to work in ministry until you die. Thankfully our good friend Joseph Tkach shifted the culture by his personal example.
The “working until you die mentality” is problematic. The most glaring concern with this thinking is that the demands of ministry may send you to an early grave. Another issue is determining what is the best scenario for the extended family. The more difficult piece is when you’re holding on too long and too tightly and possibly standing in the way of an emerging leader that the Lord has called and prepared. Walking through this season is a prayerful journey with many conversations, and it is good that we can reach out to others who have gone in front of us.
In alignment with our 2021 theme, Faith Forward is about growing deeper in relationship with Jesus and with one another who make up the family of the church. As your President, I have a clear responsibility to our leaders – the ones who are presently serving, and even the ones who will be coming after them. I solicit your prayers and support that together, we handle this responsibility well, strengthened by the faith of Jesus in us.
Thank you for responding to the faithfulness and love of Jesus, and your ongoing support to Grace Communion International!