EFCC Conference 2016

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We’re excited to have author and speaker Mark Buchanan joining us as our keynote speaker at Conference 2016!

Risk: In the Right Directions

Please plan on joining us in Fort Langley, BC from August 4-6 2016.

markbConference2016Mark Buchanan and his wife Cheryl live in Calgary, Alberta, where Mark is associate professor of Pastoral Theology at Ambrose Seminary. They have three young adult children. Educated at UBC and Regent College, Mark is a pastor, teacher, speaker, and the author of seven books as well as the forthcoming novel, David.

He has also written numerous articles for Christianity Today, Faith Today, Leadership Journal, Discipleship Journal, and several other magazines. He enjoys scuba diving, fishing, and motorcycles.

You can find all the Conference details in this pdf.

If you need more accommodation options than the ones provided on the pdf above, please get in touch with us.

Registration is Open!

The early-bird price is $175. (The cut-off is June 30th. After that, registration will be $200.)

We hope to see you there!

 

Antidote for Prayerlessness

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Dave Acree’s full job title is the EFCC’s Prayer and Spiritual Life Catalyst. He’s passionate about getting more people to engage in spiritual growth. This blog post is the accompaniment to our monthly Prayer Calender, which you may find out more about here.

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LDCatI pro-actively visited the doctor a couple of weeks ago for my annual check-up. Everything’s fine. I’m relieved. Yet most of the times we go to the doctor tend to be reactive in response to something endangering our health. Everything’s not fine and we know we need help if we are to maintain or regain that coveted healthy status.

When Jesus was on the earth the religious establishment of the day had problems with his ministry methodology. He ate and mingled with tax collectors and sinners. “It is not the healthy that need a doctor but the sick,” was Jesus’ answer to their challenge.

It has helped me to think of prayerlessness as a spiritual sickness.

When Jesus’ disciples were struck with PIC (prayer inferiority complex) they went to Jesus and asked him to teach them to pray. They knew they needed help and when it came to prayer, Jesus had “doctor” status in their eyes.

In the same way, if prayerlessness is a form of spiritual sickness, we need to go to “doctor” Jesus in order to deal with it. One way to do this is to study the practice of prayer in the life of Jesus and his teachings on prayer. As I have done this I have imagined Jesus writing out the following prescriptive plan:

  1. INTENTIONALLY PRAY: That’s like saying, “Exercise regularly” or “Just do it.” Jesus prayed throughout his life. “One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.” (Luke 6:12) He modeled individual times of prayer but also called us to group In Luke 11 in response to the request to teach them to pray he gave what we call the “Lord’s Prayer” with the intention that it be prayed as a corporate experience.
  1. BOLDLY ASK: After giving this model prayer to the disciples he told them a parable that taught them to ask the Father for good gifts with shameless audacity. Pray for others; Jesus did. We don’t know what Jesus prayed for all night before choosing the Twelve, but maybe he prayed for them! We know he prayed for Peter, “Simon, Simon Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31-32) Read through John 17 to see how he prayed for the disciples as a group and how he prayed for us who would believe because of them. Pray for your own needs; Jesus did. “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42)
  1. QUIETLY LISTEN: Perhaps in his times of prayer, Jesus was doing as much listening as speaking. “I seek not to please myself but him who sent me” (John 5:30); “My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me” (John 7:16); “I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me” (John 8:28); “Whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.” (John 49-50) Sometimes what God is saying is drowned out by the noise of our own words.

There is no quick fix for prayerlessness. It’s like taking antibiotics for an infection. If we don’t stay the course and take them all the way to the end, they can’t do their job in the present and may in fact become ineffective for the future.

Don’t settle for prayerlessness. Don’t accept your “Prayer Inferiority Complex” as the norm. Pray like Jesus prayed!

 

A Time for Transition — Culture of Coaching

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I recently had IMGP9030the privilege of attending the coaching seminar at the Lower Pacific District’s Conference, headed by Daniel Beutler from L2LNet.

One of the interesting things about our envisioned transition to a “Culture of Coaching” is that we’re already part of the way there.

When LeadBeyond began its exploration of the needs and opportunities in the EFCC, we came to realise that to some extent at least, this is happening already. It’s happening in all of the natural ways that new leaders are engaged in church decision-making. In some cases, these are formal internships. In some cases, it’s more casual and less defined.

Several months ago, LeadBeyond started developing an extensive plan which would launch a sophisticated apprenticeship program. We quickly discovered that that was overkill – we’re backing away from that plan. We don’t need a complicated process, with a multitude of application forms and supporting paraphernalia.

We need something simple!

We need something that churches can deploy in their contexts with minimum extra work, but with maximum impact.

We need something now!

One of the most important aspect of coaching is the process of discovery. Telling people answers isn’t nearly as powerful as asking the kind of questions that help people to get to the answers on their own.

As we initiate a Culture of Coaching, it’s important to clarify our terms for ourselves. In the broad strokes, mentoring is the practice of close direction and providing answers. Coaching means empowering people to discover their own answers. (These are not hard-and-fast rules. Rather it’s the introduction of a new mindset.)

Some of the inherent advantages of an asking vs. telling model are:

  • Gets more ideas on the table
  • Gets more buy-in (which makes accountability easier)
  • Empowers people
  • Builds relationships (and therefore trust)
  • Helps people listen to the Spirit and their intuition better
  • Gives people chances to check their own self-narrative

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LeadBeyond has completed work on an Internship Handbook, which is a resource to help churches process leadership training. This is available to all EFCC churches!

We also have modular training events which help people apprehend the greater intentions of coaching, and which can make this real in our churches. (This is the kind of session that was just completed at the LPD Conference, and the Prairie District is engaging this too!) Contact us directly for inquiries into hosting those events.

Whether this presents a full-scale change to you, or merely a tweak, we hope that your church will be blessed by encountering the EFCC’s Culture of Coaching. Together we can engage in fresh ideas of discipleship means in this new era!