The First Requirement of Outreach is Humility

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The world is tired of hearing from an arrogant church. The world is tired of hearing its weak logic and easy platitudes. The world is tired of being looked down on by the church, or being viewed as a “pet project”.

But the world is eager to hear about our real, true Hope!

If your church is taking an active stance on sharing the for-real Gospel among the needy and hurting in your city (or town, or region), this just seems like solid tips to engage with:

Important Tips for Inner City Ministry

Do you agree? Do you have a story to share about how your church has started to engage its broader community?

How To: Preach from an iPad

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New technology brings new capabilities and new options. But it also brings new challenges. Below is a slightly tongue-in-cheek post that highlights some of both.

While this is all about the iPad, we are totally fine with you using these tips and techniques with any tablet or device (even a phone) that you feel is appropriate. :-)

The Ten Commandments of iPad Preaching

Do you have any experiences with leading with a tablet? Good or really funny…uh, we mean, bad. ;-)

Lessons Learned from Coaching Church Planters

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The EFCC has some of the best church planters in Canada and we can learn a lot from them.

I coach many of our EFCC church planters and have gleaned a few great lessons about life and ministry from them. And, there’s something for all of us, no matter what ministry you may have or participate in. Here are just a few lessons for you to ponder.

Without faith, it is impossible to please God (and help build His church). Church planters live and serve by faith, often at great sacrifice and without the resources to do ministry that existing churches enjoy or use. But, God always honours faith in those who follow Jesus into the harvest fields.

The second is a parallel lesson to the first. Without prayer, ministry is simply going through the motions of doing church apart from the power of God. Even church planters forget to pray or neglect to pray when they need to most, but they learn to pray, and pray, and pray.

Church planters are eager to have partners in ministry, especially churches and others who will be there for them. Survival in ministry depends on partnership, so they connect with other churches, pastors and church planters in different ways such as coaching, partnerships, parent churches, support teams, prayer partners and church planting networks. They even have learned the value of district and denominational participation.

Church planters quickly learn that ministry is all about people. Building relationships is of utmost importance. Maintaining relationships through commitment, sharing, transparency and biblical reconciliation must be at the top of ministry priorities. God’s people need to be with God’s people and those are not yet God’s people.

Church planters need and appreciate training and reading. Even though they may have Masters Degrees in ministry, they know that they need to study and grow. They greatly appreciate the EFCC Church Planting Boot Camp and other opportunities to learn more about their ministry.

Church planters need and appreciate ministry coaching and mentoring. They know that they need lots of help in carrying out the work of God that God has placed in their hearts. Through coaching and mentoring, they find and love the help they get for relating, reflecting, refocusing, resourcing and reviewing where they are in ministry, and where God is leading them to be.

  • Have you met on of our EFCC church planters?
  • What lessons are you learning from them about life and ministry?

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Learn more about coaching or opportunities for being trained as a coach by contacting your District Superintendent, or from Charlie Worley, EFCC Church Planting Catalyst. (If you contact Home Office, we’ll help you make the appropriate connections.)

What is Church Health?

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One of the most intriguing, and potentially frustrating, issues that many of us face is church health.

There aren’t precise markers to make us keenly aware of it. And there isn’t one exact formula to fix it when it starts to go wrong. Congregants and leaders have different ideas about priorities, and many of them are solid, grounded and scripturally sound. However they may also be wildly divergent.

Putting those together can be very hard work!

Depending on your perspective, it might just be helpful to know that you’re not alone. Just about every church has patterns and tendencies that are unhealthy. We are all flawed human beings, after all.

Click here for some insights on church health.

The key take-away is that health is possible. If you are facing an unhealthy situation, then just hearing that and sharing it may be encouraging.

Reading for Change

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Dave Acree is the EFCC’s Leadership Development Catalyst. He would love to connect with you or your church to help develop your leadership capacity. If you would like to explore this opportunity further, please drop us a line.

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Why read?

Hold that question for a moment while I “cozy-up” to an answer for it. I read over 100 books a year. I realize that’s not normal and am not trying to set that as a standard for everyone. I’m a bibliophile; most people aren’t. Some of you may find it a chore to read even one book. That’s OK. My point is, read to your level of ability and conscience, but read. Maybe it’s one book a month or every two months but don’t drop reading out of your life.

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Why read? I read because reading changes me. I know, God transforms us, but I find that one of the chief tools he uses is his words and the words of others.

“Why read?” and “What should I be reading?” are two sides of the same question. What follows is my rationale for a significant role for reading in my life.

1. I read to know God
Reading the Bible is the best way to accomplish that, though I find that reading what others have to say about God puts what God says in the context of today. Theologians do that but so do the writings of others who may not even be friendly to God.

2. I read to feed my soul
Again the Bible does that but there are writers who take what the Bible says putting it into a thematic context in such a way that draws me closer to God and causes my soul to sing. Most of us have favorite authors who feed our souls. Some of mine are Mark Buchanan, Tim Keller, Scot McKnight and Ruth Haley Barton. Who are yours?

3. I read to gain competency in doing the task/job God has called me to do
Two of my recent reads in this category have been Pastoral Graces by Lee Eclov and The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni. Reads like these take us beyond what we know and teach us.

4. I read to understand the culture in which I live
Reading biographies helps me understand people, while sociological studies like Hemorrhaging Faith from the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada or Christian Smith’s “moralistic therapeutic deism” help me envision ways to serve them.

5. I read to enhances my ability to communicate with others
Reading also stretches my own imagination, and my own horizons so that I can understand perspectives that differ from my own. Reading non-Christian fiction and non-fiction does this for me. Where appropriate read what others are reading. When millions are reading something like the Hunger Games trilogy, if I hope to connect with them, why shouldn’t I?

Why do I read? I read to be transformed and to be a better servant for God to use.

Are you reading? What? And why?