Conference Intros: Part 1

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confspe1We are eager to begin introducing our line-up of engaging speakers for EFCC Conference 2010.

Dr. Paul Chamberlain is the director of the Institute for Christian Apologetics at Trinity Western University (ACTS division) and has taught ethics, philosophy of religion and Christian Apologetics at TWU since 1990. He has also worked with Ravi Zacharias International Ministries during part of that time. He is an effective communicator both in and out of the classroom. His humorous, down-to-earth manner appeals to a wide variety of people. Drawing from the media and using a professional power point presentation, his seminars are both interesting and relevant.

Dr. Chamberlain has appeared on numerous radio and television talk shows, debated on university campuses, and is a frequent guest speaker at public functions. He is the author of Can We be Good Without God, Final Wishes, How To Talk About Good and Bad Without Getting Ugly: A Guide to Moral Persuasion, and The Fear of Faith, as well as a number of articles addressing current social and moral issues. He is currently writing a fourth book which responds to the widespread charge that religion is evil and breeds violence.

PulseTV Episode 3 has Landed!

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PulseTV shares the stories of what God is going in Canada and around the world. We’re pleased to be publishing Episode 3. Please take a look and share with your church, your family and your friends. The vast majority of the world has never heard of PulseTV — you can do your part to change that!

You can watch the embedded clip above, or you can download the video files below. (Simply right-click and select “save as”.)
Download the MP4 version (28.5MB)
Download the WMV version (27MB)

A DVD is being copied and distributed to all of our churches which will include all three Episodes. Your feedback (even constructive criticism!) is welcome in the comments section.

Horror Averted — For Now

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We just received a disturbing update from a missionary serving in a CAC (Creative Access Country). It stated that local authorities had just found and detained several people who were making bombs and other tools of terrorism. Police made their move in time to avoid the deployment of these particular weapons, but that they existed at all is deeply troubling. Until recently this area was so safe and moderate that this threat of violence would have been unimaginable. That has all changed.

There is a great need for truth and love to permeate this area, as a counter to the fear and hate that are being used as motivators. At the same time, there is a need for wisdom and discernment to determine what the true threat level is to continue living within the community. Above all, there is a great need for God’s protection.

We are grateful that the authorities acted quickly and decisively in this particular situation, but we must assume that there is more plotting going on in the unseen corners of the region. Your fervent prayers are needed urgently!

Premiere Post from the Executive Director

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ExDirWelcome to the first EFCC Executive Director’s post! This is a few months late in the posting – this fall has been full of travel, speaking, meetings and more travel. I have, however, been encouraged by what I am seeing at our District conferences and in our churches. There seems to be a new sense of hope out there! This hope seems to be anchored in a new belief that the gospel really is the power of God for salvation and that our neighbours are not nearly as closed to hearing the good news as we might have assumed. In this regard, some of Paul’s final words to the Colossian churches have recently challenged me. In Colossians 4:2-6, Paul calls the Colossians to devote themselves prayer with an alert mind and thankful heart. What I find unique about his call to prayer is his further request that they pray for him too, that he would have many opportunities to share the mysterious plan of Christ. His prayer is not for his comfort (indeed, he says he is in chains on account of preaching this message) and he is concerned that not only would doors open for him to share the good news, but that he would proclaim it as clearly as he should. I find this personally challenging – it is far too easy for me to pray solely for my success, my comfort, my wants…Paul’s primary concern was to pray for opportunities to share the good news.

And this is not an impersonal “preach and run”, commando exercise that he is advocating. No, Paul admonishes his readers to live wisely among non-believers, making the most of every opportunity – engaging in conversations that are gracious, attractive and contain appropriate responses to everyone. This is a kind of incarnational approach that I think stands in contrast to some of our typical evangelism/discipleship strategies. Leonard Sweet’s latest book, So Beautiful highlights this new approach (he would argue that it is actually an old, New Testament approach) in the third section where he calls the church to be incarnational instead of colonial. This means we spend more time among those who need to see Christ and share life with them (this includes listening, learning and less time speaking and teaching). This would imply a more coaching approach as opposed to the “I am up here, you are down there, and I will download my superior information, experience and maturity into your young spiritual life”, approach. This manner of doing evangelism and making disciples is less easily structured and mass produced/delivered as a neat program. However, I wonder if it wouldn’t be much more effective than our “fill in the blank” approaches to making disciples.

Part of my dream for the EFCC is that we would be known as those who are incarnational evangelists and disciple makers. We might get our hands “dirty” more often, and I am not 100% sure what a more “coach-like” approach would look like, but Paul’s challenge for us to pray more intensely, intentionally and incarnationally, is convicting and exciting all at once – I wonder what supernatural intervention we would witness if we took his call more seriously?

Bill

WM Project in Buffalo Narrows

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Youth within Canada’s indigenous communities have deep, specific needs. The EFCC’s Women’s Ministries has felt those needs, and for its annual project, has turned its attention to Buffalo Narrows, Saskatchewan. The goal of the WM project is to raise sufficient money to hire a youth pastor for the EFCC congregation in the area. A pastor will continue to grow the church’s outreach to children and youth, offering them healthy alternatives to the party-life peer pressure that abounds around them. Read more