|Connecting People and Churches of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches||Sunday, May 19 2013|
Friday, 06 January 2012 15:52
An important ingredient in the development of leaders is mentoring. Named for a character in Greek mythology, mentoring today usually involves pairing a less-experienced person with more experienced people who advise and serve as examples.
Pastor David Kennedy of Community of Grace Church, a Grace Brethren congregation whose facility is located just west of downtown Richmond, Va., is currently serving as a mentor to his associate pastor for family ministries, Brad Gromis. Kennedy, 59, has pastored for nearly three decades and has been at the Richmond church for 12 years. Gromis, 32, is in his first full-time ministry position.
Recently, the two sat down to talk about their relationship.
“We knew it was a unique opportunity for us to be able to input into his life for longevity in ministry,” says Kennedy. Gromis has now been with the Richmond congregation for about three years.
Gromis describes the experience as, “wonderful . . . because it’s not just Dave but others within the church who have been part of the process of discipling and mentoring.” He says, “Pastor Dave really invests time into developing me as he says, not just for this particular ministry, but for the longevity of ministry.”
Kennedy, in his sermon preparation, will often ask Gromis for his input. Gromis marvels that, “it was so clear that he valued the input . . . it said ‘you are valuable, and your input matters.’” Kennedy responds, “We have a mutual trust in one another and believe that God has brought Brad to our church for the purpose of helping in the ministry. This means helping individuals, including me as the pastor.”
One of the keys to the relationship working well, Kennedy says, is that “in a mentoring relationship it’s so valuable that both of the individuals are teachable. And Brad is very teachable. And yet, at the same time, he has a lot to offer.”
Reflecting on his own ministry experience, Kennedy says, “I know what mentoring has meant in my life, and that’s what I want for Brad. I know that he and his wife really feel God has called them into ministry. We read so many statistics of individuals who leave the ministry…I’m thankful that I have been entrusted by God to be able to encourage this guy.”
For his part, Gromis says he feels “blessed to be in the kind of relationship we have.” He recalls being in the presence of a number of other associate pastors and youth pastors where the majority were complaining about the senior pastors they work with.
Gromis recalls, “When it got to be my turn, I said what Pastor Dave and I have is a relationship that I see modeled in Scripture. He treats me like Paul treated Titus, ‘my true son of the common faith.’”
Kennedy summarizes, “It’s been a great relationship. We would encourage pastors to be involved in mentoring of young pastors like Brad, and do what we can to encourage more people in the greatest ministry—serving the Lord in full-time vocational ministry.”
Pointing out that in most gatherings of pastors he’s one of the youngest present, Gromis says, “I love the Fellowship [of Grace Brethren Churches]—the Lord used the Fellowship in my life in profound ways, and I want to see it move forward.”
“If we’re going to do that,” he says, “It will be through taking risks with young guys. We need to have more guys like Pastor Dave who are willing to say, ‘This is going to be work for me, to add this extra person, but it’s Jesus’ principle—it’s what He did to advance His kingdom.’”
Tuesday, 13 December 2011 17:37
Restoring the Household: The Quest of the Grace Brethren Church, told the theological and political context leading to the 1708 beginning of the Brethren movement, and explained the scriptural grounds for the distinctly Brethren ordinances.In 2008, BMH Books published one of the definitive books on Grace Brethren history. Written by Todd Scoles,
Generous donations afforded the initial printing of Restoring the Household and provided a complimentary copy to congregations in the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches. It was Scoles’ desire to see the book used around the world. Before he died in 2010, he dreamed of providing a Spanish edition to Hispanic Grace Brethren pastors and missionaries.
“Grace Brethren churches are growing all through Latin America, but most of our Latin brothers do not know much about our heritage,” says Jesus Munoz, pastor of Iglesia Comunal la Esperanza, a Grace Brethren congregation in Valrico, Fla.
Scoles was the president of the BMH board of directors. His influence is seen throughout the organization, even more than a year after his untimely death.
BMH plans to honor him by publishing the Spanish edition of his book. The work has already been translated, thanks to a generous gift from the Grace Brethren Investment Foundation. But an additional $5,000 is needed to cover design, typesetting, and printing.
Would you join us in making this landmark book available to our Hispanic brothers and sisters? Your tax deductible gift will cover the production costs that will allow BMH to provide the material in their native language. Simply complete the form below and return it, with your donation, to the Brethren Missionary Herald, Box 544,
If you’d like to make an online donation, go to bmhbooks.com and click on the “Donate Now!” banner.
Tuesday, 13 December 2011 17:31
Grace Brethren International Missions (GBIM) has announced that the organization, founded in 1900, is now Encompass World Partners. While the name change is effective immediately, other elements of the new brand will be transitioned in phases over the next year.
The new name represents an important part of a global effort to position the organization to better carry out its mission. However, Encompass World Partner’s legal name, “The Grace Trust,” will serve as a constant reminder of the organization’s connection to the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches.
GBIM’s global leadership team and board of directors prayerfully sought input from pastors, staff, and groups of potential missionaries during the year-long discovery phase that led to the change. The research supported the conviction that a name change would position the organization more effectively to serve future generations while removing unnecessary barriers in ministries on resistant spiritual soils.
Tuesday, 13 December 2011 17:28
By Bob Fetterhoff
I developed an eye problem recently. The symptons could have been a migraine headache, but I made a precautionary trip to the ophthalmologist, and he diagnosed the problem. There were three small tears in the retina of my left eye which caused the visual abnormalities I was experiencing.
A specialist identified further details of the problem, per¬formed laser surgery to prevent more damage, and recom¬mended I not read for a week. Now that was a problem! He did say I could watch all the television I wanted… which lasted about ten minutes.
The episode taught me some valuable lessons:
I take my eyesight for granted. It reminded me just how much I use my eyes every day.
I also have an “I” problem. This didn’t just develop recently; I’ve had it all my life. The symptoms are similar:
1. I take for granted the gifts God has given me in life.
2. I easily focus on my needs and preferences rather than the needs of others.
3. I need the work of the Great Physician to perform spiritual surgery to help correct my vision.
Jesus reminded us that an eye can offend us (Matthew 5:29). So can an “I” problem. We can easily become consumed by our own needs rather than the needs of others.
It’s no wonder Jesus said, “Open your eyes and look on the fields. They are ripe to harvest” (John 4:35). People around us desperately need to know God. Would you pray that the “I” problem we all battle doesn’t keep us from seeing the real needs of those people?
Tuesday, 13 December 2011 17:26
The Grace Brethren Investment Foundation (GBIF) recently approved new loans totaling $786,000 to the following ministries in the Fellowship of Grace
“GBIF is very pleased to assist these FGBC ministries in seeking to grow and expand for Christ by improving their facilities,” shares Ken Seyfert of GBIF. “They represent a diversity of locations throughout the USA, but alike in their common mission of reaching their communities and beyond for our Lord. It is a privilege to partner with them.”