GCiM commenced operating on behalf of the Christian Brethren Assembly network in January 2001 as an amalgamation of Missionary Services New Zealand and Gospel Literature Outreach.
While Global Connections in Mission (GCiM) is a recently formed mission organisation, its roots go back more than 100 years. New Zealand's first commended Assembly missionary was James Kirk who sailed for South America in 1896 and served the Lord there for 56 years.
Soon after a magazine called "The Treasury" was published and this magazine fostered an interest in mission and stimulated prayer by giving news of missionaries and their work.
The basis of Missionary Services New Zealand began at much the same time. By 1901 the service was administered by a number of treasurers and became known as Missionary Funds. Being a channel for the sending of money was their main function. In 1991 the trustees registered a change of name to Missionary Services New Zealand.
Missionary Services in 1996 celebrated 100 years of missionary endeavour. By that date 885 missionaries had been commended to mission work overseas in 50 countries (245 to Papua New Guinea alone). By the final year of Missionary Services considerable amounts of money were received and distributed to mission partners. This had been a tremendous effort for a nation that has yet to reach 4 million people.
Gospel Literature Outreach arose out of the vision and spiritual energy of Colin Tilsley. Colin Tilsley was from Australia and it was there that GLO was started in 1965. His vision was to mobilise Christians to be involved in missionary teams both short and long term. The first short term mission team was to India which had been the home of Colin for many years. Soon after teams went to France and Italy.
Christian Brethren assemblies in New Zealand quickly became involved. A Discipleship School and School of Mission was established and mission teams were being sent to a number of places. Over the last 30 years many New Zealand lives were influenced by this move of God.
However, there was an increasing belief that the Assemblies cross cultural missionary endeavour would be better served by the joining of the two groups (Missionary Services and GLO). This would enable the strengths of both organisations to be utilised. In the later part of the 1990's talks were held to bring an amalgamation of the two groups. A new constitution and name was agreed on and new structures were put in place. This happy amalgamation of the two groups resulted in Global Connections in Mission becoming a reality in 2001.
A second trust was established to enable GCiM to deliver more than just financial services to our churches. GC Assist's aim is to facilitate the daily functioning of these services through its operation as a trust.
In 2006, GC Assist began a new ministry called Headspace, a gap year for school leavers. This has seen teams every year venture on a life changing programme that opens their eyes to mission and how God is moving within New Zealand and around the world. Teams have been able to get involved in ministry offshore in Thailand while gaining a solid biblical foundation and world view through the teaching blocks in New Zealand.
Increasingly, GCiM was receiving funds to provide relief for those in NZ and overseas who have encountered disasters that required financial aid that would be used for relief and development. Thus, a third trust has been established to carry out this aspect of our operations. It is called GC Aid.
Due to the changes in the work that GCiM was branching out into, it was decided in 2012 to change the brand of GCiM to GC3 as it better represented the three trusts operating side by side.