Pulse Podcast 018: What is a Gospel Sharing People?

, , , ,

Our theme for the upcoming Conference is Revitalize: Growing as a Gospel Sharing People. In preparation for that, we think it would be a worthwhile exercise to define that, so we know what we’re collectively trying to establish.

It’s important to note: this isn’t just the theme for our Conference, it’s the commitment that is being expressed all across the EFCC family. It’s how we encourage discipleship, and it is part of being a disciple.

This is the short (~3min) preview version of the video that we invite you to share with your church, or small group, etc.

And for all you audiophiles, here is the audio file:

Prayer Calendar: Ritualistic Prayer

, , ,

The word “ritual” doesn’t play well in a Free Church tradition. I hesitated even using it but couldn’t shake it loose. I use it with this definition, “a customarily repeated often formal act or series of acts.”

Why the negative connotation?

Maybe it’s because we associate ritual with churches of questionable beliefs, or maybe we think that praying something over and over again causes it to lose its freshness or even meaning. Maybe it’s because of the throw away world in which we live. With diminishing attention spans, we’re easily bored. Use something for a while and then on to the next thing. Instead of change being an important part of life, it has become so much the fabric of our lives that repetition won’t be tolerated. Whatever the reason, “ritual” is in need of a new press agent!

In the midst of our complex and ever-changing world, I find myself longing for simplicity. Ritualistic prayer is one of the ways in which I find it.

Let me explain.

When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, he gave them what we call the “Lord’s Prayer”, to be repeated or recited regularly. In Jesus time on earth the Jews prayed repeated prayers three times a day, a practice that Jesus himself may have followed.

Before I preached last Sunday, I publically prayed two prayers, one for myself and one for the congregation. This is my “ritual” every time I preach.

  • “Lord, may the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” (from Psalm 19)
  • “Speak Lord, for your servants are listening.” (from Samuel)

I start off almost every day with three ritualistic prayers with our triune God in heart and mind.

  • “Heavenly Father, I pray that this day I will love you with all of my heart, mind, soul and strength and that I will love my neighbour as myself.”
  • Lord Jesus, I pray that this day I will take up my cross and follow you.”
  • “Holy Spirit, I pray that this day you will fill me with yourself and cause your fruit to ripen in my life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”

Why do this?

  • It’s meditative; it causes us to think deeply about scripture and where it connects with life. Notice that all of these prayers are directly from scripture.
  • It’s focusing; it causes us to focus on God and what he wants.
  • It’s centering; it causes us to center attention on what is important and best in the midst of life’s complexity.

Pulse Podcast 017: Why People Stop Believing

, , , ,

In this episode, we’re joined by Paul Chamberlain, a professor at ACTS and TWU. We’re talking about his new book: Why People Stop Believing. It’s an insightful piece, with first-hand accounts of people who have left their faith, sometimes at great personal cost.

We invite you to get a copy for this book for yourself: Click here!

Here is the full-length podcast in video form:

Here is the teaser/preview version, for your church or group:

And here is the audio version:

Pulse Podcast 016: Prayer Retreat Recap

, , ,

This is a post that highlights EFCC Sunday — our annual reminder that we are a part of a larger family together — and shares some highlights from the recent Prayer Retreat. In addition to this clip, you’re welcome to share the Revitalize rack card as a reminder to pray for your neighbours. (Click here to see a preview.)

Contact us at Home Office if you want copies of this to share with your church!

In the full podcast, we get deeper into our memories and takeaways from the retreat. What we talked about as leaders is the beginning of a conversation that will be hosted at Conference 2018. It’s pretty significant to us.

Below is the audio version — if you’d like to find all of our audio-only podcasts, you can do that at SoundCloud.
The RSS feed can be found here: http://feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:41446994/sounds.rss

Pulse Podcast 015: Volunteerism

, , ,

Do you think 20% of the people actually do 80% of the work? Our guest on this episode — author and speaker Ann Griffiths — isn’t convinced.

When everything we do is heavily dependent on volunteers, we really need to get our heads around what makes them tick, and what makes them stick.

Here is the preview/abbreviated version, which we invite you to share in your church, small group or wherever people are gathered:

And as usual, here is the audio-only version: