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Church PlantingGlobal Movements

GCPN – Serving through a Global Pandemic

In January 2020, Dick took on the mantle of leadership of this Global Church Planting Network (GCPN). Although he has only served in leadership for the network for just over a year, it’s been a year like no other, both for One Challenge and the GCPN.

A Little Background

“GCPN is a network of primarily Global South ministries dedicated to multiplying communities of committed followers of Jesus with the goal of giving everyone on earth the opportunity to know an obedient disciple of Jesus personally,” Dick says. “This implies a church ethnically, socially, linguistically, and geographically within easy access of everyone on earth.”

This network was birthed by mostly non-western mission leaders and is truly global in scope. The GCPN currently has 18 regions and sub-regions, each led by national mission leaders with a passion for seeing their regions saturated with churches proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ.

“Because it began with many non-western mission leaders, the GCPN celebrates and encourages the emerging world mission movement,” Dick says. “Many of the most effective church planters in today’s world are from Africa, Asia, and Latin America. And, uniquely, most of the funding for GCPN comes from nations in which churches are being multiplied.”

Taking on the Leadership Role

Dick’s role in the GCPN is multi-faceted. One area is leadership facilitation. This looks like prayer for the GCPN regional directors, a bi-monthly meeting with the GCPN facilitation team via Zoom, and individual meetings with each regional team leader.

Included in his responsibility of facilitating leaders, Dick is planning and leading the annual face-to-face meeting of Regional Team Leaders in Turkey – November 2021 (Lord willing).

GCPN

Being in this role also means being a part of collaborative ministry and serving the whole body of Christ. “I meet quarterly with leaders of each of the other major global church planting networks,” Dick says. “And I engage with each of the global forums focused on accelerating church planting globally, particularly among the least reached.”

Embodying the One Challenge value of lifelong learner, Dick continues to see ways to grow as a leader. “I need to continue to grow in my prayer life and my ability to shepherd/encourage leaders who are among the most influential Christian leaders in their nations and/or regions of the world,” Dick says.

Serving in a COVID World

Initially, Dick prepared for his role anticipating a lot of travel. As the countries across the world began shutting down travel in early 2020, Dick knew his leadership expectations would need to change.

“I didn’t expect to find myself in the middle of a pandemic. I had anticipated being able to travel and visit several of the GCPN regional offices in 2020. Instead, all of my communication has been virtual,” Dick says. “On the other hand, I knew that GCPN had an amazing network of highly gifted, godly leaders, each working in their regions to advance the gospel. Over the course of this year, I’ve grown in my respect for the quality of leadership within the GCPN network.”

COVID required a shift in ministry focus for the greater GCPN network. The financial reality and needs of communities became paramount throughout 2020.

“Because of the global economic fallout from the pandemic, we found ourselves very involved in addressing global food insecurity issues,” Dick says. “By the grace of God, we were able to raise over $100,000, which was distributed through the GCPN regional leaders to hurting people throughout Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Taking this ministry need during COVID in stride gave the opportunity for church planters to show the love of Christ to their communities. “As church planters have had resources to show love to hurting people in the context of the pandemic, it has opened new opportunities for ministry,” Dick says. “Lots of people have come to Christ, and lots of new churches have been started.”

GCPN

Pray with One Challenge

Despite many positive outcomes from the year, there are significant challenges and reasons for prayer.

  • Pray for ministry teams that have lost significant leaders to COVID-19. Almost every region of the world has lost leaders to this virus. There has been a lot of grief in the loss of friends and ministry partners. Pray for others to step up to fill the gaps left by those who have died.
  • We have lots of training events planned for 2021. Everyone is hoping that the pandemic will ease travel restrictions to the place that these training events can take place.
  • Because of COVID, many have learned new ways to train and encourage people through cell phones and the internet. Pray that these lessons will strengthen all of our ministries as we move out of the pandemic and into a new normal for ministry.

Partnering & Bridge Building One Challenge is an international mission sending agency empowering local church ministry in more than 100 countries around the world. We serve, equip, and connect the body of Christ to advance God’s kingdom among all people. We engage in strategic partnerships out of a conviction that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

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