Celebration of Mildred Kroening’s Life

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APDS

Don is the District Superintendent for the Alberta Parkland District. He sent in this brief tribute of a remarkable woman in the EFCC family.

If you choose to add your own memories or thoughts as a comment below, we’ll ensure that the family sees them.

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Many of our EFCC people will remember Don and Mildred Kroening through their service in the EFCC from 1959 till their retirement in 1996.

They served in pastoral ministry in EFCC/EFCA churches in Herbert, Saskatchewan, Brooks, Alberta, Canby, Oregon, Edmonton, Alberta and 100 Mile House, BC. Mildred served faithfully with her gifts of care and mercy, filling the role of pastor’s wife alongside her husband. However, most will remember the Kroenings due to Don’s role as the first executive director and then first president of the EFCC from 1982-85. Mildred was a quiet yet strong support for Don in those foundational years of the EFCC.

Mildred was diagnosed with cancer in the summer of 2011, and today passed away peacefully to be with her Lord and Saviour. The funeral service will be held at the Knox EFC church in Edmonton at 1:00 pm, Wednesday, August 21st. We remember with fondness the contributions she helped to make in our EFCC.

10 Reasons Why You Should Attend Exponential West 2013

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If you’re on the fence about attending the upcoming Exponential West conference, hopefully this list will push you over the edge.

1. It is one of the world’s best places to learn more about disciple-making and church planting.

2. You will have the opportunity to network with and fellowship with 2000 plus people who want to lead their churches, districts and denominations in church planting.

3. You will be exposed to what may be the best, dynamic church-centered training conference you’ve ever attended.

4. You can take your wife for the same registration cost of $100/couple (EFCC church planters and their wives can go for free!). Register early with the EFCC Office since there are a limited number of tickets at this price.

5. You will have your evenings free to enjoy the LA area with your spouse or other EFCCers or church pastors and leaders.

6. Exponential West has some of the best disciple-making pastors and church planting leaders assembled in one place, all for your equipping and encouragement.

7. You can be part of the launch of the new EFCC Church Planting Network (#EFCCcpn) and Exponential West (https://www.exponential.org/expo2013/) .

8. You can receive free ministry coaching while at Exponential West from Charlie Worley, EFCC Church Planting Catalyst.

9. You have the opportunity to learn how to better reach ethnic and multi-cultural people in and around your church or church plant.

10. You will have access to a rich variety of disciple-making, church planting and ministry resources either free or at lower USA costs.

We hope that convinces you! To find more details, click here.

Do You Need a Coach?

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Here is another post from Charlie Worley, the EFCCM’s Church Planting Catalyst. In this post he takes a look at coaching, a way to explore ministry potential with leaders.

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When you think of a coach, you probably think of a sports team coach. A hockey coach or football coach or tennis coach all have one thing in common – helping people on their team improve athletic skills and conditioning. The bottom line for a sports team coach may well be winning a game or better yet a championship.

Scripture says that we need to think like a skilled and conditioned athlete as we live for Jesus and serve Him (see 1 Cor. 9:24-27; 1 Tim. 4:7-10; 6:12; 2 Tim. 2:5; 4:7; etc.). I think about how this relates to ministry and the need to learn and sharpen skills and spiritual gifts.

Ministry coaching is about helping you as a pastor, ministry leader or active volunteer discover the ministry that God has given you, then find ways to use the gifts and skills that God has given you to accomplish His will. The Apostle Paul put it this way in Eph. 2:10 – “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

Good coaching doesn’t tell you and your church what to do. It helps you discover the good works that God has prepared for you and placed in your heart. A coach helps you discover what is already in your midst, and helps you to explore the ways your gifts can be used effectively in your context. Coaching helps bring out the best in you and your church!

Doesn’t that sound good?

To help you discover more, a no cost phone coaching session for you or your church leadership team is available through the EFCC Office.

The EFCC is also offering coaching training at certain times in your district or through national events. Contact your District Superintendent or Home Office for more information.

You may also contact Charlie Worley at the EFCC Office and he will put you in touch with EFCC pastors and churches that are currently going through a coaching process. We now have several EFCC church planters and pastors who can testify to the value of ministry coaching.

You may also want to check out some of the following web sites devoted to ministry coaching. And, don’t forget to look for valuable resources within these sites.

www.coachnet.org
www.navigators.org/us/ministries/cdm/coaching/
www.christiancoachingcenter.org
www.coach22.com/discover-coaching
www.coachingpastors.com
www.christiancoachingmag.com
www.ministrycoaching.org

No Really, Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?

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Brad is Communications Catalyst at the EFCC’s Home Office. In this role, he wants to help the church understand not only how to communicate better, but to understand how communication shapes power and conflict.

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This probably won’t come as much of a surprise, but I am, on occasion, exposed to arguing. I see arguments  that cross entrenched paradigms that are formed out of experiences, chosen affiliations and/or understanding.

To put it mildly, it doesn’t always go well.

Someone I respect once said that a way to fend off conflict escalation is the short phrase “That’s interesting.” He found that it gave him time to process his thoughts, and allowed the conversation — and the relationship — to continue, even when he might not agree with the person he’s talking to.

I’d like to take that even further. The phrase I would like to suggest is:

“You have a point.”

No matter the degree of conflict, our opponents are almost always operating from a set of subjective principles and motivations that make sense from their position. And, in fact, it’s even possible that the point they’re making is not an overly strong one. Or it’s one that has overreached. That doesn’t change the reality that they generally do make internal sense. And here’s the kicker:

Making sense is itself subjective!

Probably the wrong time to first encounter this phenomenon is in the moment we discover that our own ideas and understanding are met with incredulity, sarcasm and even flat-out dismissal.

In Canada in 2013, the church doesn’t generally have enemies the same way that, for example, the Psalmist did: physically violent and threatening ones. Our so-called enemies are mostly people who don’t think like we do, or who might be angry in some abstract way with Christianity or the church, but who are still prepared to peacefully co-exist, for the most part.

Then again, if we’re honest, sometimes our most notable enemy is in the same congregational meeting. Or sitting at the same leadership table.

Whoever the enemies in question are, getting a hold of the “You have a point” principle is one practical way to love them — a way to help us transcend our troublesome human nature.

If we are to really love, I believe we need to understand the other from the other’s perspective.

Let’s be clear: crossing this threshold costs us something. It’s vulnerable. It puts us in the weaker power position, where we might stay if this grace is not be reciprocated. (And now I need to say this: no-one needs to voluntarily stay in an environment or relationship where grace remains one-sided.)

But it also sets the stage for how grace might be reciprocated. And if it is, it may open the door for us to explain our own understanding and preferences. The bonus is that it affords us some credibility for when we say we’re putting others first, because we actually are.

If we want a chance at a real conversation, we need to own the humility and take the initiative.

I’m grateful to live in a country where this is generally appreciated, where acceptance and tolerance are most often the default, and where needless conflict escalation is frowned upon. This is something I want to celebrate and protect.

Do you have a story of how seeing something from someone else’s perspective began to resolve a conflict?

Long Journeys Are Made Out of Single Steps

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This update comes from Curtis, serving with the EFCCM in Krivoy Rog, Ukraine. Again this year, he had an opportunity to lead a hike with 18 kids from the boarding school. This is a pretty intense trek, a total of 140kms on foot through mountains and forest to the southern tip of Crimea on the Black Sea.

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The time was very rewarding, as he was able to have more real one-on-one talks with kids from the boarding school than ever before. He was able to share his faith to many. One evening they had roasted chicken kebobs over the fire at our camp. It was a real treat for all!

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This time, they were joined by several new youth from an orphanage across town which got absorbed by Boarding School Number 9. Speaking with and befriending them really made the time rewarding, especially when Curtis was able to tell them all about how God has changed his life, and how He works in the world.

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Sometimes people cannot comprehend the idea of God, and it was evident in these conversations, too. Please pray that God would use this experience to draw these youth to himself, and that the hikers learned something valuable from the experience and the stories that were shared with them.

Trips like this happen 2-3 times per year, and are always a highlight!

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