Update from Mexico



It’s always amazing to think about how many different places Christmas is celebrated, and in how many ways. It’s a complicated moment in the history of the church, as it tried to navigate through the excesses and overreactions on all sides.

Perhaps no reflection on Christmas is more complicated than Greg and Shelli’s, missionaries serving with the EFCCM.

Take a look as they celebrate their 15th Christmas in Mexico!

Church Planting with the EFCC

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As the retiring charlieChurch Planting Catalyst who has served the EFCC in this role for the past five years, it has been my privilege to see God use a relatively small fellowship of churches help plant and launch over 25 new churches serving a variety of people groups, new immigrant groups and places across Canada. Our churches and district associations are taking the Great Commission seriously when it comes to church planting.

The Evangelical Free Church of Canada is discovering that Kingdom expansion through church planting begins by responding to God by taking small steps of faith beginning with prayer (Luke 10:2). It is discovering that people like you and churches like yours can partner together and multiply churches to take the Gospel of Christ to Canada’s streets and neighbourhoods through disciple-making and church planting. The future of church planting is far beyond what we can ever ask or imagine. The question is, will you and your church be part of a movement of church multiplication?

Start your journey of discovery by asking if you believe about church planting what we believe!

  • The EFCC believes that it is the Lord of the harvest that develops and sends church planters into the harvest of people he is preparing across Canada (Luke 10:2).
  • The EFCC believes church planting is the most effective and fruitful means of evangelism and disciple-making this side of heaven.
  • The EFCC has the understanding that Canada desperately needs saturation church planting if every Province and Territory, every people group and population, and every generation and immigrant group will ever be successfully reached with the Gospel message and a local community of believers that worships and serves Jesus.
  • The EFCC believes church planting should be based on making and multiplying disciples of Jesus, and complete discipleship should result in devoted followers of Jesus being sent out to help plant churches.
  • The EFCC believes that not everyone can be a lead church planter, so we actively pray, look for and assess those who are qualified to be part of our growing team of church planters.
  • The EFCC knows that you can’t plant a church alone, so we build systems of support around each planter and planting team including assessment, training and coaching.
  • The EFCC sponsors one or two annual, world-class Church Planting Boot Camps that help equip church planters and church planting teams with the latest and best skills, best practices, best resources and networks to get healthy new churches launched and growing.
  • The EFCC, as an association of self-governing, evangelical churches, is a great family to join. We hold to sound, evangelical doctrine and an emphasis on unity in the essentials, charity in the non-essentials, and Jesus Christ in all things.
  • The EFCC will allow you and your church planting model to be unique to how God is leading you and to whom God is leading you in launching a new church.
  • The EFCC believes that we don’t just want to add new churches, we want to multiply new churches that plant more churches that plant more churches. We don’t want a program to start new churches; we want to launch a movement of exponential church multiplication across Canada and to the ends of the earth.

If this is looks and feels like you, why not take the first step of faith and explore with us how you can become a church planter with the Evangelical Free Church of Canada?

A Prayer for Christmas and 2016

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Most of us have moved a long way from being starry-eyed children ripping open presents on either Christmas eve or morn to get at what’s inside. Whatever it is they think it’s going to make them happy. No, now I’m the grandfather watching the starry-eyed kids hoping that what they find inside will make them happy.

Stars have always been associated with hope and promise. Remember this? “When you wish upon a star; makes no difference who you are; when you wish upon a star your dreams come true.” Or what about this one? “Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight; I wish I may, I wish I might . . . .”

If I were preaching a Christmas sermon this year I would retell the story of the wise men in Matthew 2:1-12 but turn it on its ear a bit. Normally the focus is on the magi with the application urging us to be like them, always seeking Jesus. “Wise men still seek him,” right? Of course that’s true but I need something more than that this Christmas and throughout 2016. And so does the EFCC.

We need to be like the star, pointing and leading people to Jesus.

“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation. Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.” (Philippians 2:14-16, NIV 2011)

“Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel.” (Ephesians 6:19, NIV 2011)

“And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ . . . . Pray that I may proclaim it clearly.” (Colossians 4:3-4, NIV 2011)

“Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Luke 10:2, NIV 2011)

I am praying and will continue to pray throughout 2016 that you and your church and the EFCC and all of its churches, ministries and leaders will be like stars holding forth the word of life, pointing and leading people to Jesus.

If you can, will you pray that for me also and join me in praying that for the EFCC?


Prayer Evangelism

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Lauren, Sarah, Abby, Ava, Ethan, Jack and Sam are people you have never met and names that mean little to you. They are my grandchildren and mean everything to me. Since the day of their birth I have claimed each of them for Jesus. Almost daily I pray for them toward that end.

Every once in a while my theology kicks in and I wonder whether I can really do that, claim them for Jesus. I believe I can. I’m not sure that I can perfectly mesh together the sovereignty of God (election) and the choices we make, but I think there is reason to pray like this.

Remember the Lighthouse of Prayer movement we were involved with in the EFCC a few years ago? “A lighthouse is a person, family or small group committed to pray for, care for and share Christ with family members, friends, classmates, coworkers and neighbors, especially those who do not know him.” Hopefully some of us are still praying like this for our neighbors: five blessings for five people for five weeks. What if this became a way of life instead of a five-week program? What might happen if we claimed our neighbors for Jesus?

Read these biblical passages and ponder the following:

  1. What about authority to do this? (Matthew 28:16-20; Acts 1:8) Didn’t Jesus transfer some of his authority to his disciples and ultimately to us to make disciples in his name? Might not claiming others for Jesus in prayer be part of this?
  2. Need some motivation? (2 Peter 3:8-9) If God is this passionate about people coming to repentance, shouldn’t we be?
  3. What about some exhortation? (1 Timothy 2:1-4) Such praying is for everyone, ultimately with salvation in mind.
  4. What about expectations? (James 5:16-18) If Elijah could pray and stop the rain, shouldn’t we be able to powerfully pray and claim people for Jesus, expecting some to respond?

I see Peter and Cornelius in Acts 10 as an illustration of this. God connects us to people and calls us to respond to them. Cornelius was praying and God connected him to Peter (10:2, 30-31). Peter was praying and God connected him to Cornelius (10:9-10). True, God had to remove some barriers for salvation to happen, but it did.

So, if you are not already doing so, begin to pray for someone, and care for them and speak to them and claim them for Jesus.

A Brief Glance at LeadBeyond

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Perhaps you’ve heard of the EFCC’s Growing 3:

  • Growing Churches
  • Growing Leaders
  • Growing Family

This has been the EFCC’s strategic focus for a few years now, and has been gaining momentum as our ministry partners see a consistent vision that they can get behind.

LeadBeyond is the initiative of Dan Nicholson, our Leadership Catalyst, to address the Growing Leaders component. LeadBeyond has a team behind it, made up of people from a variety of walks of life, who all share a commitment to Jesus, to his church and to promoting and developing healthy leadership within it. The team’s efforts were kicked off with research to take stock  of where we’re at as a movement, and to seek alignment in where we want to go.

From developing resources to establishing an Apprenticeship model for church leaders, LeadBeyond is a flurry of activity. To catch up with some of LeadBeyond’s broader intentions and beginning operations, we’ve created a landing page.

You can see all the LeadBeyond promotional materials by clicking here!