GraceConnect eNews, No. 100, Week of May 18, 2015

Communication-Conversation-Conservation

The eNewsletter for the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
George Swain (pictured at left) recently formed a new ministry, Grace Equip, that focuses on going deep to build leaders, church planters, and evangelists. 

Equipping for a Ministry of Grace

In past eNewsletters, we’ve shared a few stories about how the most effective way to change the world is through discipling a few people face to face and hands-on – and today’s story is another example of how Grace Brethren people are doing just that.
 
George Swain had worked as a missionary with
Encompass World Partners in Prague, Czech Republic, for 21 years, and later with SEEDnet, a church planting ministry in Ohio. This past February, he started a new ministry that exists to equip people already established in churches to plant new churches.
 
“I was working with SEEDnet and traveling to the projects in East Cleveland, and people kept asking me to take them along with me,” Swain explained. “Churches were asking me to train some of their people to do what I was doing. The places I was traveling into in Cleveland were a bit too intense for that to happen. So with
Grace Equip Ministries, we do this in places where it isn’t quite as intense.”
 
“Cindy and I were missionaries across the ocean and we had 31 ministry teams in 21 years, so we are used to working with groups of people to do things. It’s something we have participated in our own mission field.”
 
Utilizing six- to eight-week Bible studies to train people and focused, hands-on experience in the field, Swain and his wife are working to build a ministry that helps church members go after groups of people they are already connected with, building from the inside out. They plan on working within their five supporting churches, building on relationships and connections already in place.
 
Swain stresses that the work can’t just be a one-weekend affair: “To make this work, you have to spend more than a weekend with them. You need to get the people spiritually healthy too, before you take them into the field, so you know what you’re working with. Then you can discover what group they want to reach.
 
“This is a great need in our churches,” he notes. “Planting new churches and starting new home Bible studies is the goal. As well as experiencing more life in our existing churches. People can grow in their faith and be used by God and do the exact things I do,” he notes. “But this way, rather than just watching me do it, they can go out with me, and grow in confidence while doing it. We want to train people to be evangelists rather than just doing the evangelism."
 
Swain and his wife, Cindy, just formed a board, establishing the ministry,
Grace Equip Ministries, as a separate organization. Send them a note of encouragement at Grace Equip Ministries, 624 Buena Vista Avenue, Ashland OH, 44805, or email them at proneho@gmail.com.

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[Your Turn]


[Reflect:]
 
Often we hear the word "grace" -- the word on which our fellowship is founded -- so often that we forget what it actually means. Zach Hess, young adults pastor at Grace Polaris Church in Columbus, Ohio, explores a fuller definition of the word in his recent blog post. Click here to read the post. 

[Practice:] 

Keith Minier, lead pastor at Grace Fellowship in Pickerington, Ohio, shares his thoughts about reflects on what it takes to become "stupid-good" at something. He asks, "Are your future dreams reflected in your current habits?" He continues, "You are not going to be stupid-good at anything later if you are not working stupid-hard now.  Efficiency and business experts have said it for years: greatness is a choice." Click here to read the full post. 

[Watch:]

On Saturday, May 9, Grace College and Seminary held its 2015 commencement ceremony, as well as honoring golden graduates from the class of 1965. You can find videos of the ceremony, as well as the address given by Grace finance professor, Dr. Roger Stichter, on the
Grace commencement page

[Celebrate:]

Today's email marks our 100th GraceConnect eNewsletter! Celebrate with us and share the eNews with a friend! Click the "Forward" button below to email the news to someone else who you think would enjoy our weekly letter. Don't forget to let them know they can subscribe at graceconnect.us/subscribe. Thanks for your support as we work to build bridges of communication in the Grace Brethren Fellowship! We couldn't do it it without you.
 
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Events in the FGBC

June 15-July 27 – Operation Barnabas, Winona Lake, Ind. (CEN)
June 21-27, 2015  Great Canadian Adventure, Toronto, Ontario (GBC)
June 21-27, 2015 – Encounter Atlanta, Atlanta, Ga. (EWP)
June 23-July 7 City Life Tours East Coast & West Coast (CEN)
July 14-19, 2015 – Momentum Youth Conference, Marion, Ind. (CEN) 
July 23-26, 2015 – Flinch Conference (national conference), Newark, N.J. (FGBC) 

CEN – CE National
EWP – Encompass World Partners
FGBC – Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
GBC – Grace Brethren Canada
WGUSA – Women of Grace USA

Send events for the calendar to lcgates@bmhbooks.com.
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