Exponential West 2013

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We’re really excited to announce the beginning of Exponential West. Exponential is a conference for church-planters — about 2,000 are expected to attend this one!

We are working to arrange a group from the EFCC to attend. This will help you to develop meaningful community with like-minded EFCCers, as well as exposing you to some of the best training available.

https://www.exponential.org/expo2013/

There are two ExpoWest presenters we’d like to especially highlight:

Larry Osborne was the keynote speaker at our last EFCC Conference.

Ray Chang has been a regular trainer at our church planting boot camps.

Please sign up through Home Office if you would like to join this excursion!

We have a block of 15 rooms reserved under the Evangelical Free Church of Canada at the Prominence hotel at the discounted prices for us- people need to reserve their rooms through the hotel using the block designation: Evangelical Free Church of Canada.

Here’s the web site for the hotel:

http://www.prominencehotel.com/

On Monday, Oct 7, our EFCC pre-session will be:

  • 1:00pm – 2:00pm Greeting and Fellowship time
  • 2:00pm – 5:00pm EFCC church planting training pre-session
  • 5:30pm EFCC Evening meal and celebration together

 

Just to be clear:

If you want to attend, and you have been approved by Charlie, we will cover the registration cost. You are still responsible travel, accommodation and meal costs. We have done some research to provide you a very cost-effective package.

Pastors, church and district leaders can pay the special registration rate of $99 and that can include their spouse. You are responsible for your own travel, hotel and meal costs. You can book hotel rooms through the hotel at the EFCC rate of $80 for a King Suite or $85 for 2 Queen bed suite.

Shuttle service from LAX is available to the hotel which is 1.4 miles from the Saddleback campus and the hotel offers a free shuttle service from the hotel to the conference site, so no rental car is needed.

2013 Church Planting Boot Camp Highlights

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From May 6-10, fourteen church planters, church planting leaders and others interested in multiplying churches and ministries gathered on the ACTS Seminaries campus of Trinity Western University. Five skilled and experienced instructors led them through a week of intensive training and coaching.

This year’s EFCC Church Planting Boot Camp marks a milestone of 100 people who have completed the week of church planting training over the last 5 years to reap God’s harvest through launching new churches and strengthening existing congregations.

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Studies show that attending a Church Planting Boot Camp or similar training greatly increases the likelihood of succeeding at planting healthy new churches. And, it is your own Evangelical Free Church of Canada that God has raised up to offer this world-class training.

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This year, one whole day was devoted to training participants how to obey the Great Commission by not only sharpening discipleship skills but also how to build a disciple-making pathway for their new or existing church.

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A new module was also introduced which helped those attending better grasp how to know and understand their church’s mission field. It also assisted students in developing skills in working with different cultures and ethnic groups that can be found in church plants and most existing churches today in Canada.

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The feedback from students this year again emphasized the value of the subjects covered, the coaching and classroom experiences not only for church planters but also for pastors and leaders in existing churches.

Next year, the EFCC will spread a similar training experience for church planters and church leaders across Canada to the Prairies and beyond. Watch for news about the new training experience in Ft. Langley, BC, Winnipeg and possibly Toronto that will better equip church planters, pastors and leaders for the harvest that God is preparing across Canada.

Can’t Buy Love, It’s Shown (from Bolivia)

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“What a blessing it has been to have the team here again. So much of our ministry is here because of teams that give of their time and finances. The encouragement that they are when they are here is something money can’t buy.” Jake and Mary were blessed to have a team visit from Wilfred and Shirley’s home church. The pastor delivered Sunday’s message. His Low German was a little rusty so Jake got to translate.

Jake and Mary took their Bolivia “kids” Ariel and Fanny Rodas to an aunt living in Tarija, and they did and ate things they had never before encountered!

Jake had the privilege of teaching baptismal classes through the last month. They had 2 young boys get baptized!

Casa Elizabeth and Casa Mariposa received a play structure. “I wish that would have been up one week earlier when we had the seven little ones here. But they are in Canada, reunited with their father. Her husband is now a Christian! God has truly done a miracle in his life. Last week the mother phoned from Canada thanking us again for all we had done and what a different life she now had. She sounded so happy! I hope we have many more good reports like that coming from Casa Elizabeth.”

You can support Casa Mariposa by visiting our donation page, under designation, selecting “other,” and inputting the following code:

Women and Children’s Shelter: #2-5022

Driven by the Gospel

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KOL20472This post was written by Terry Kaufman, currently serving as chair of the EFCC. If you would like to make a contribution to the EFCC website, please visit this page.

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Increasingly we as a Christian community are finding ourselves facing the opportunity of engaging with a culture that challenges our biblical worldview in one way or another.  It can be public perceptions, cultural attitudes and priorities, even government initiatives and legislations.  In Canada we are privileged to have a voice in many decisions, but speaking effectively into such opportunities is not without challenge.  How can the Christian community respond effectively in such circumstances, both corporately and individually?  How can our church, as a part of God’s family, speak effectively, especially into controversial issues of values and policy?   This is a question I have recently pondered as we faced one such challenge in our province.

At our church, we have long held that the focus of the pulpit ministry in the church is for the exposition of the Word, building up God’s people for works of service, making disciples of Jesus Christ, and sharing the gospel with the world.  My hope and prayer is that we, as a church, equip people to think critically with a Biblical worldview, so that they can live in, and engage with, our world in a way that honors God.  There are people who can then speak articulately and effectively into situations like values, policy, and legislative formation.  I am encouraged when people do just that and believe that we, as the church, should equip and release such gifted people to do just that.

But bringing an effective and unified voice forward is not easy.  While as a church we hold firmly to the tenets of Scripture, opinions on how those are promoted within our culture vary from one person to the next.  Christians may have different ideas of how best to engage and live within our culture, especially when culture seems to collide with Christian values.  I suggest that the following ought to be a part of any consideration of cultural value engagement.

1. We are called to be ambassadors of Christ.  As ambassadors we will often hold values different than the land in which we are “aliens and strangers.”  But the bible tells us that the mark of our “ambassadorship” will be our love for one another.  According to the Bible that is how the world is to recognize us.

2. Ultimately, I do not believe that we can count on the government to protect our priorities and values.  We are fortunate that we live in a country where our freedom to speak into its laws is provided, and our country’s values often align with Christian faith.  Nevertheless, while we receive that privilege with thanksgiving and appropriate involvement, it should not shock or surprise us when, or if, a government does not provide us with such protection above, or even equal to, the protection it provides to any others.  Having a government who protects Christian values is not a model I see promised anywhere in the New Testament.  Having said that, we are blessed in our country to have a voice, and I believe that the best way to nurture a healthy relationship is to live lives before men and women that are making a difference.

3. We should, as Christians, be the ones leading the charge to protect others — the widows and the orphans.  For example, as Christians we should be the ones battling bullying and even calling for strong legislation for bullying before governments even stepped in.  We need to be the ones showing what God’s love looks like, not simply standing in judgment of others.  We need to be the ones showing how we can love without compromising what we believe to be true, the ones who can show how to love even when we disagree with others.  This heart attitude should be plain and obvious from the very beginning of any discussion.  The world should be excited about our involvement because of the character of love they have seen in us.

4. There will be times when our words and comments will be taken out of context, misunderstood, and turned against us.  One of the greatest challenges we face is to hold to the truth, but also to walk through issues like this in ways that honour God.  This is never easy or simple.  Paul writes to Titus and says that “In your teaching show integrity, seriousness, and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.”  While we cannot control how others might choose to think, this calling from Paul should be directive in our choice of words and actions.

5. Our prime motivator as we consider our engagement with our culture and world should be the spread of the gospel.  We should be driven by the need of people to hear the gospel and be restored to faith in Christ, rather than being driven by our own fear for our personal situation.  Our choices and voices should be driven by the good news, not by fear of man or his systems.  Thus I believe our prime call to action is to impact our world with God’s love and truth, not to defend “our rights.”  I think it is well and good to defend our rights, but if our defence of rights overshadows our opportunity to spread the gospel, we have set the wrong priority.  Our rights should take the back seat to the gospel.  Too often the only message the world hears from us concerns “our rights.”

6. Every word of criticism that is suggested regarding our government must be offered respectfully, and should also be balanced with two or three words of prayer.  And we should double that prayer for government leaders of faith who serve in the midst of these debates.

This then, is a call to action I believe we need:

  1. Think critically with a biblical worldview.
  2. Pray faithfully.
  3. Engage graciously.
  4. Love generously.
  5. Act wisely.

 

We must not abdicate any of these steps, even in the name of dogma, rights, or protection.  We are aliens in a foreign land, but we have been given many privileges.  We must use those privileges with grace to further the cause of the Kingdom of God.  We are to be people driven by the gospel.

The Pulse for Spring 2013

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This edition of the Pulse tackles the EFCC’s Core Value of local churches.

Click here to view the Pulse online.

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