About Gary Rucci

Gary Rucci has been serving in christian leadership since 1989. Together with his wife Nikki, also a credentialled minister, he has served in various portfolios in a few of Australia’s largest churches and alongside many influential pastors and not-for-profit leaders.

His first decade of leadership was dedicated to youth ministry which led to Executive roles with Youth Alive Victoria and Queensland including the pioneering of the Youth Alive Ministry School. In the second decade from 2000-2010, Gary transitioned from youth into associate and executive roles, where he developed a reputation for strategic thinking, leadership development, discipleship methodologies and mobilisation practices. After six months of revisioning, the Rucci family relocated to the UK in 2011.

For the next 5 years, Gary served as a member of the Assemblies of God (AOGGB) National Executive Team. Gary was primarily recruited for his strategic thinking and ability to re-engineer organisational structures and programs to achieve the best outcomes. This led to the creation of two major portfolios: Area Leader and Director of Mission.

As Area Leader, together with Nikki, they led a team of experienced pastors that provided oversight to 160 churches in the London and East Area. This involved supporting pastors, resolving issues, providing advice, mentoring leaders, transition planning, and church planting.

In 2012 following a series of thinktanks regarding AOG Mission practices, projects and partnerships, facilitated by Gary, he was appointed as Director of Mission. The emphasis and objective of the denominational role was totally overhauled from fundraising for projects and missionaries, to mobilising and supporting local churches in their mission. A team of 14 missionally-minded leaders was formed to provide insight, experience and resources to local churches to help them fulfil their God-given vision.  

Known for his passionate communication and ability to equip and mobilise churches, Gary has travelled to and ministered in 55 nations, and together with Nikki, has led more than 500 people on short term missions into 12 nations. He has enjoyed fruitful partnerships with World Vision, Compassion, International Justice Mission, Empart, ACC World Missions, Christian Aid, Next Wave International, Next Level International, Proton Foundation, Global Council of Nations, and International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, to name just a few.

Upon returning from the UK in January 2016, Gary and Nikki have led Rivercity Family Church, which is part of the Acts Global Churches denomination, formerly known as Apostolic Churches Australia. The church has a few local missional and microchurch initiatives, and during the covid pandemic pivoted its Sunday service from an attractional model to a more communal, discipleship-focused, table church format.

Gary loves to network and collaborate with others across the Body of Christ. In recent years he has co-pioneered an inter-denominational Citywide Leaders Collective in Brisbane and co-leads a team focused on forming strategies to develop Kingdom initiatives for Southeast Queensland with the advent of the 2032 Olympics. He is involved with other organisations in various capacities including NAYBA Australia, New Thing Oceania, Micro Movements, and City to City Australia.

Gary and Nikki live in Brisbane and have three adult children and one grandchild.

“Gary Rucci is a man with a huge passion for mission and an advocate for churches engaging beyond their perimeters. He has a curious, enquiring mind which, for me, is one of the key attributes of an influential leader. I’m sure his opinions and insights will inspire you, but more importantly they may just prod you into taking action in strategic ways. I commend him to you.”

Mal Fletcher, Futurist, Founder 2030Plus, London

“Gary is a long-term practitioner of missional expressions of church.  He is a very well informed, highly networked, and respected leader with international agencies.  I consider him a friend and a partner involved in many of the things I have been doing over the years. I recommend him to you.”

Alan Hirsch, award winning author, Founder of Movement Leaders Collective, Forge Mission Training Network, and the 5Q Collective.

“Gary is an outstanding leader who has worked with me as a friend and mentor for many years. The evidence is clear… NAYBA UK is stronger because of his insightful advice, NAYBA Australia exists due to his catalytic ability and NAYBA Global is benefiting from his wise counsel!”

Matt Bird, Founder & CEO of NAYBA Global

“I have known Gary for 30 years, as an Executive and Missions Pastor, Denominational Leader, and Senior Pastor.  I have found him to be very strategic in his thinking, able to execute an agreed pathway, and insightful regarding the next steps for organisations, leaders, and churches. His immense experience will add immeasurable value to your organisation.”

Ian Green, Author, Speaker, Coach and Consultant, UK

“Gary Rucci is a global leader in every sense of the phrase. He not only has firsthand experience as a minister in various contexts, but he remains in close relationships with leaders in nations all over the world. He is a magnificent teacher of the Word of God who is passionate about intentionally raising up a new generation of globally-minded, missional leaders. If Gary is a part of something, it lends instant credibility and is something I would want to be a part of.”

Matt Millar, Global Operations Director, NewThing

“Gary Rucci is an energetic and accessible communicator. An innovative leadership thinker, Gary is passionate about the local church and its composite teams. Challenging embedded thinking, Gary will resource, revive, and release leaders, and their churches to their God ordained next level.”

Brian Somerville, Executive Director, Christian Churches Ireland.

“Gary is a tremendous leader and fellow kingdom agent in the local community and larger context of our city and nation.  He is a practitioner in missional expressions pushing the boundaries and challenging the existing paradigms of what the “church” needs to be into the future. He has the ability to relate to traditional and futuristic leaders seeking to honour God in orthodoxy and orthopraxy.”

AJ Heins, Regional Engagement Partner, Churches of Christ QLD.

“While continuing to be a practitioner, Gary has a kingdom heart and perspective honed by decades of ministry, research, thinking, questioning and a relentless obsession with advancing the church of Jesus Christ.”

Rob Simpson, District Superintendent QLD/NT, Wesleyan Methodist Church

“Gary is always investing in the lives of those around him. Having worked closely with him on inter-denominational citywide initiatives, I know him to also be a man of honour and I truly admire that about him. So, with Gary, you have someone who is authentically seeking to establish you more firmly in Christ, as well as seeking the welfare of the church, town, or region in which you serve.”

Colin Stoodley, Church Leadership Consultant, QLD

“Gary is an experienced Christian leader with a heart for mission, discipleship, and the Australian church. He is an avid learner which equips him well to serve others who are seeking to grow and develop. He has demonstrated wisdom and strategic acumen leading churches through change in a way that both follows God’s leading and is pastorally responsive to those in the community.”

Bree Mills, Director Micro Movements, and Leadership Acceleration Catalyst, Australia

‘Gary is one of those rare individuals whose words about the current state and future direction of the Church are matched by the depth of his knowledge and the breadth of his experience. He is a connector, a convenor, a teacher, a doer – and, above all, a disciple. Time spent in Gary’s presence brings insight, encouragement, and plenty of laughs.’

Nic Mackay, National Director, NAYBA Australia

Gary’s uniquely tailored gift basket of many and varied treasures, breaks into spaces and places purely for God’s Kingdom advance. My current experience and confident  expectation is that many great men and women of influence reap the benefit of Gary’s stewardship and only eternity will tell the full story.

Sue Baynes, Pastoral Advisor, Gold Coast City Council, QLD

“Gary is always investing in the lives of those around him. Having worked closely with him on inter-denominational citywide initiatives, I know him to also be a man of honour and I truly admire that about him. So, with Gary, you have someone who is authentically seeking to establish you more firmly in Christ, as well as seeking the welfare of the church, town, or region in which you serve.”

Colin Stoodley, Church Leadership Consultant, QLD