Many years ago, our fellowship was simply a gathering of leaders who met in Paul Gordon’s house once a month with no defined purpose or leader. Over time, Jerry Daley emerged as the leader and a name became attached to the group – Grace Presbytery. The group began to define itself and some in the group decided to move in different directions. Master Builders, another small, unnamed group, and a couple of leaders who merged into Morning Star came out of that transition. Soon after, Grace Presbytery became Grace Churches International (GCI). Over time, GCI added many churches and leaders, a college, and a chaplain-endorsing agency. Transition became a norm for GCI.
Towards the end of 2010, Grace Churches International began to embark on a self-evaluation process that would lead to another transition for the network. A small group of leaders was organized to identify the key values of GCI and to determine whether or not the network was accomplishing all that it had set out to do. Subsequent to these meetings, a larger gathering of GCI leaders was brought together to widen the discussion. It was determined that a transition was needed and, in response, a GCI Transition Team was appointed to make recommendations as to what GCI should “look like” in the future and to propose a new direction for GCI.
During a meeting with the GCI Lead Team and the GCI Transition Team, Michael Fletcher shared about an idea that God had given him months earlier. He called it mPact, which stood for: A Mentoring movement united to Plant, Assess, Coach, and Train leaders for maximum impact. He shared that, during his prayer times on sabbatical, mPact grew to become something he knew Manna Church would one day do in the future, but he had no idea when in the future. mPact would focus on multiplying leaders to plant new churches, multisites, micro-churches (missional communities), and helping existing churches grow. The dream was to shift from "add" (as in, adding new believers to the Kingdom of God) to "multiply" (multiplying the number of believers being brought into the Kingdom).
After a short discussion, the GCI Lead Team and GCI Transition Team decided that GCI would transition into mPact, and appoint Michael to build and lead the new organization. The GCI Transition team was given the responsibility to help guide the transition and Michael was asked to make a presentation to the larger GCI body of leaders in August of 2011.
On January 1st, 2012, Grace Churches International formally and legally transitioned to mPact Churches.
As we read the Bible and look at church history, we see that Christianity and the church created by the power of the Gospel is a movement, not just an organization. The first century church was a movement from the start, led and empowered by the Holy Spirit. That same multiplying power is seen in various parts of the world today – in China, in parts of Africa, in Latin America, in the underground church in the Middle East and parts of Asia. Why not here, in America? Why not now? It’s okay to dream isn’t it? And if we fail, at least we will have failed moving in the right direction! Either way, we will have made an impact.