Letter from GCM
September 1, 2012
Today is a new chapter in our story: we’d like to introduce the Collegiate Church Network.
Over 20 years ago, a group of campus-focused church plants realized that students wouldn’t be able to financially support the work of their local church—they barely could afford pizza! But the need for the gospel on US campuses was great.
In 1989, with the help of Campus Crusade for Christ, they helped found a missions agency called Great Commission Ministries to support local church plants: teaching missionaries how to raise ministry funds in partnership with generous Christians, and caring for their missionary employment and donor needs. In 1992, we joined the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, and have consistently met their high standards.
In the last decade, GCM has grown alongside the churches she supports. Trusted by more than 20,000 active donors, GCM mobilizes missionaries both in the US and overseas, and beginning in 2006, expanding to partner with additional like-minded churches and church planting networks. GCM now partners with more than 100 church planting networks, churches, or ministries worldwide.
Yet over these last years, the missions agency in Orlando—GCM—was never strongly distinguished from the association of campus churches that helped found us.
Many simply called their local church a “GCM church.”
Today, the pastoral board overseeing “GCM Churches” has prayerfully decided to adopt an identity which better reflects their distinct strategic mission: Collegiate Church Network.
The primary mission of Collegiate Church Network remains the same: to plant and grow collegiate churches devoted to the Great Commission. Their vision is that through bold proclamation of the gospel, intensive leadership development, and focused church planting, a community of churches will be built that will greatly influence this country and the world for Jesus Christ.
GCM and Collegiate Church Network remain in close ministry partnership. GCM continues to train and support missionaries that work in Collegiate’s university-focused churches. Donors will still continue to direct their gifts to GCM.
You continue to make this gospel-work possible. And we can’t tell you how excited we are about what God is doing with both GCM and Collegiate. To learn more: read our accompanying questions, speak to the missionary you support, and visit our websites.
Thomas Mauriello, GCM
Greg Van Nada, Collegiate Church Network
Frequently Asked Questions for Ministry Donors
Do I need to change or redirect my recurring gift? No. GCM continues to securely receive your regular giving towards the ministry you’ve supported (under the watchful discretion of the GCM Board). Ministry fund numbers will remain exactly the same. You can view your giving at any time on our secure and easy-to-use website: www.mygcm.org. Thank you for your support!
Is GCM changing its name?
No. GCM’s name is remaining the same. The group of campus churches that helped found GCM in 1989 is forming under a new name. In the past, they had been known as “Great Commission Ministries Churches.” Because the names were so similar, we know that many of our friends and donors did not know that they were distinctly governed organizations.
GCM is a missions agency which has an independent Board of Directors and is located in Orlando, FL. Collegiate Church Network has a board of pastors (“National Elder Board”) with a managing director in Michigan. This new network name will help clarify the difference between the organizations.
Is my missionary still part of GCM or Collegiate Church Network?
Both! All missionaries employed and cared for by GCM are “GCM Missionaries.” We currently have more than 380 missionaries on campuses, church plants, and ministries. About 160 of these missionaries serve with local churches associated with the Collegiate Church Network. (GCM also has missionaries serving with other church planting networks, such as the Acts 29 Network and the Ecclesia Network.)
We would say, “We support a GCM missionary serving with Collegiate Church Network. Their local church is called New Life Church at the University of Michigan.”
We would not say, “We support a missionary at a GCM church.” GCM is a missions agency that works in ministry partnership with churches, but we are not a church denomination or network.
How do GCM and Collegiate Church Network work together now?
Collegiate Church Network and GCM will remain very close. We still share the vision for evangelism, discipleship, and church planting. Administratively, GCM operates as an integrated auxiliary of Collegiate Church Network, and several board member representatives for Collegiate sit on the ten-member Board of Directors overseeing GCM. GCM will continue to focus on missionary training and care and financial integrity, partnering with a wide range of ministry and church planting focuses. Collegiate Church Network will focus on church planting on college campuses.
Why do churches need a missionary-supported staff in their church?
GCM helps connect donors with extraordinary churches and ministries who are not likely to exist unless outside gospel-minded Christians support the work. For instance, students don’t bring in enough funds to support a local church, yet need the hear the gospel. GCM donors also support church planters in new church plants, churches in urban-poor areas, international churches, and any missional church who needs external financial and prayer support.
We believe this Biblically supported-model of missionary fundraising (2 Cor 8, Phil 4) in partnership with the Church will continue to be crucial in reaching this generation.
Who can I talk to with more questions?
If you support a GCM missionary in Collegiate Church Network, they are happy to tell you more about how this affects their local situation and answer in-depth questions. You should hear more from them in their regular prayer update.
To contact Collegiate about their vision for church planting on campuses, visit their website at: www.collegiatechurchnetwork.com.
If you have questions about GCM, your giving options, or how we work in partnership with local churches and networks, visit our website at www.gcmweb.org, or give us a call at 407.671.9700. We’d love to hear from you.