Missionary Round-Up

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Here are 3 posts from EFCCM missionaries that present a variety of perspectives.

Darlene wrote the above post illustrating some new revelations despite facing continued language challenges.

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Garry and Teresa’s latest post covers Ukrainian Thanksgiving, with a bunch of pictures.

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Cynthia and Aaron are currently in language school, and their post shares some of the challenges and revelations that they’re experiencing there.

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Conference Reports

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Conference was a real highlight for several of us who attended. These two reports were found from EFCC leaders, and they have been posted here pretty much verbatim.

There is a fuller report coming in the next edition of the Pulse, which will be posted here soon.

Tom (pictured above, demonstrating how much he loves the camera!) Wrote this Description:

I had the privilege of attending the Evangelical Free Church of Canada (EFCC) National Conference.  The conference had three parts I found deeply rewarding.  The first was the keynote speaker, Larry Osborne, gave a series of talks that were both biblically well grounded and practical for people who find themselves in ministry roles serving churches.  The second aspect I love about a conference is meeting people from the larger EFCC family.  There are many who I look forward to continuing conversations with and many who I meet for the first time.  It is these relationships with our larger group of church families that are invigorating and often informative for me.

The third part of the conference I enjoy is the business meetings.  I know not everyone would agree with me here.  But my enjoyment is not so much in budgets or the setting and meeting of strategic objectives, but that these things represent lives being changed, churches being planted,  people actively serving the Lord and more people speaking of their vision and passion to engage the call of God in their lives.

Graeme (Pictured Above) Posted this Description:

If you are in music ministry in the church you have undoubtedly faced times of stagnation. Nothing is new, creativity is blah, or no matter what you do, somebody is always unhappy with your song choices or the volume. I have faced many times where it just seems hopeless to try, even though my heart longs to worship and longs to help people to express something genuine to Jesus. It’s these times in our ministry when our faithfulness is put to the test.

But sometimes God gives you a moment when everything comes together. When you and the congregation are on the same page and God has decided to reward your faithfulness. Well, this past weekend God brought a crescendo of blessing to my heart. We just finished leading worship for our National Conference for the EFCC. It was amazing! It was like we were one heart expressing together our love for our Saviour. WOW! It was a lot of work and very tiring, but it has energized my life so much.

Be diligent my friends. Serve God and serve your people. Do your best to live in humility, be a servant first, and God in his own timing with lift you up. Nothing is better than serving God and loving his people. That is a life worth living!

If there’s anything that you’d like to add about how Conference has touched you, or you’d like to share something that encouraged you about it, please do!

Comments are open, or you can contact us directly.

WM Project 2012-13

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We are all very excited about the EFCC’s Women’s Ministries new project unveiled at Conference. Zimbabwe is facing extreme poverty and debilitating disease, which has pushed the average life expectancy to under 30 years old.

This project is an effort to bring assistance to Zimbabweans, to show compassion, and to share hope.

The nuts and bolts of project focus on agricultural improvements which are primarily aimed at subsistence farmers, and which will have a benefit on the whole community.

Please share this video with your small groups, your church and anyone else who you think should see it.

If you’d like the insert, you can find it by clicking the on the links below:
High-res version
(~3MB).
Low-res version (~260KB).

You can also contribute to this project right away by visiting our donation page and inputting the project code 2-4040.

Core Values: Leadership

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In our Who or What is the EFCC? brochure (click here to read it), we list eight core values, things that are important to us as Free Church people. In previous posts I highlighted the gospel, the local church and the Word. This blog post I would like to focus on another core value: Leaders. “Leaders”, may be the wrong word. We might be better off to emphasize “servants” or “disciples” or some such word. What we are trying to communicate is that we need to grow followers of Jesus Christ who are humble, passionate and apprenticed, who exhibit the character of God and do the work of God by the direction and power of the Spirit of God.

We were reminded of some of these truths at EFCC Conference 2012! Our keynote speaker, Dr. Larry Osborne, reminded us that leaders who have Jesus’ heart don’t lose their concern for “the little guy”, and they work in teams. So when we talk of growing leaders in the EFCC, we want humble leaders. Jesus’ words to the disciples in Mark 9:33-37 remain a challenge to us to this day:

“What were you discussing along the road?…Anyone who wants to be the first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else…Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes my Father who sent me.”

Our God recognizes that leaders are central to maintaining any sort of ministry legacy. This is why Paul reminds us in Ephesians 4:11 that;

“He is the one who gave these gifts to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do His work and build-up the church, the Body of Christ, until we come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature and full grown in the Lord, measuring up to the full stature of Christ.”

Further, Paul modelled the desire to leave a legacy of passionate, apprenticed leaders through a string of young leaders and urged one of his key apprentices to do likewise. In II Timothy 2:1-2, Paul writes

“Timothy, my dear son, be strong with the special favor God gives you in Christ Jesus.  You have heard me teach many things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses.  Teach these great truths to trustworthy people who are able to pass them on to others.” 

We want to apprentice and multiply leaders in the EFCC but we must be careful to take disciples of Christ and develop them into uniquely “Christian” leaders. It is far too easy to adopt a North American CEO model for leadership: to obsess over “hierarchy”, “authority” and other priorities that seem to turn Christian leadership into organizational charts about who gets to boss who around. I am pretty sure that political power was not what Jesus and early church leaders were concerned about. Yes, there are verses about “overseers” etc., but we need to ask ourselves what kind of “authority” it is that Christian leaders possess.

The apostle Peter seems to have embraced his Lord’s attitude regarding Christian shepherding (from John 10 and 21 perhaps?) when he says:

“Care for the flock of God entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly – not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God.  Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your good example.”  (I Peter 5:2-3)

We are seeking to multiply humble, passionate, apprenticed leaders in our movement.  This is why we had Larry Osborne speak to the theme of “Viral Leaders” at Conference in Okotoks. This is why Dave Acree is working as our EFCC Leadership Development Catalyst. May we become a people who are on the look-out for disciples who we can apprentice to become premier servants of Jesus Christ such as Timothy, Titus, Priscilla, Aquila, Apollo’s and others, and may we be willing to give them away to the Lord’s work in Canada and around the world!

Serving with you,

Bill Taylor

EFCC Executive Director