EFCC Sunday 2016

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EFCC Sunday is an invitation to your congregation consider the broader family you are a part of. This year, we’re featuring LeadBeyond.

We have provided an EFCC Sunday video to give a brief summary of what LeadBeyond is all about.

EFCC Sunday Video

You can view or download the video from Vimeo — just click through on the Vimeo link in the player above, and look for the download button under the video.

EFCC Sunday Half-page Description!

This is the way to get the EFCC Sunday information out to your people. You can either print these out, or distribute them by e-mail.

3 Giving Options!

There is a fundraising component to this. We need help specifically to raise money to provide the resources and materials

Option 1:
Your church can collect the money, and submit one combined cheque.

Option 2:
Your church can have a collection and send in all of the individual donations. (Cheques can be made out to “EFCC”.)

Option 3:
You can direct people to give on their own. (You can tell them to visit give.efccm.ca/EFCCSunday.)

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


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!

Big Problems Need Better Thinking (Coaching Clinic)

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In case you weren’t aware, the EFCC has a massive problem. Huge! The second largest in the world, actually. I mean, it’s basic geography: our country is simply enormous! Now, we’ve looked into it, and everyone we’ve talked to has told us that shrinking Canada isn’t really feasible. Certainly not now. Maybe not ever.


We’ve been wrestling with the question:

How do we facilitate meaningful, vibrant relationships between churches and leaders to enhance the EFCC’s spirit of community?

We want everything we do to have the most reach, but our ability to do national-scale events is limited. The two biggest priorities are the EFCC Conference and the Theological Summit, which alternate. This means we have EFCC-wide get-togethers each year. As a movement (not to mention as Home Office staff), we simply do not have the capacity to add more events at that scale.

We believe the way forward for us is to create distributed events.

These will achieve two things:

  1. attract and connect people of like minds, and
  2. resource people with specific insights and instruction to improve their ministry.

We are also thinking through how to leverage technology to augment our solutions. But technology cannot do it all. In-person, shared experiences are still the best path to start and strengthen relationships.


The first distributed event of its kind is our Culture of Coaching Clinic, happening in Okotoks, AB April 22nd.

This isn’t another new program to fill your busy schedule with. It’s an approach to doing ministry.

The ministry your church is already doing.

With the people who are already involved!

You can see all the details in this pdf:
Culture of Coaching Clinic (web resolution)
Culture of Coaching Clinic (print resolution)

If you would like to register, click here:
Culture of Coaching Clinic registration

EFCC Sunday 2015

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We invite you to celebrate EFCC Sunday with us this year. This is a somewhat different focus than we’ve had in previous years (eg Home Office Sunday). We’re highlighting an initiative that we believe is important to the whole EFCC family!

Introducing LeadBeyond

LeadBeyond is a leadership development effort that is already underway. As I write this, we’re currently in the research stage, surveying pastors and dialoguing with leaders throughout the movement to get a better sense of what the needs and opportunities are. The initial idea was borne at a recent annual Leadership Retreat, which is a 30for30smconversation among leaders from all levels of the EFCC. In those sessions, and subsequent connections, leadership development has been identified as the single greatest need facing the EFCC.

LeadBeyond has a strong team of dreamers and pragmatists behind it headed up by Dan Nicholson, now serving as the EFCC’s Leadership Catalyst. It is being funded by the 30 for 30 campaign announced at Conference 2014. 30 for 30 is named for its aim to raise $30 for each attender to celebrate 30 years of ministry in Canada.

Some of the ideas being pondered now:

  • facilitating ministry internships
  • orientation and training activities
  • promoting and sharing resources

To help your church partner with us for EFCC Sunday featuring 30 for 30 and LeadBeyond, we’ve prepared a printed handout (that can be e-mailed as a pdf, or distributed with your church’s bulletin) and a video clip. You can either play it live, or you can download it and play it from a computer.

Handout (right-click to download the version you prefer):

EFCC Sunday Handout (web resolution) ~410KB
EFCC Sunday Handout (print resolution, double-sided) ~10.5MB

Slide (Right-Click to download for PowerPoint, etc.)

EFCC Sunday Slide ~310KB

Video (click through to Vimeo to find the download button beneath the clip):

Navigating Culture’s Shifting Sands

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Dave is the EFCC’s Leadership Development Catalyst. If there are questions or ideas you’d like to talk to chat with him about leadership, drop us a line, and we’ll put you in touch: info@efcc.ca.


Culture shifts and weaves and often changes. The people before whom we live the Gospel and to whom we take it seldom remain the same for long. Should church change with it? Not in regards to message of course, but should we change in the ways we “do church”; in the ways we live in our surrounding cultures; and in the ways we speak and present the Gospel?

Take for example how we in the church often pursue excellence in all that we do. Some churches not only pursue it but have adopted it as a value. That’s done believing it to be what God wants and assuming it to be what the culture we are trying to reach expects. Excellence means that whatever we do as a church is: first class, superior, a cut above, the best it can be.

Excellence is difficult to quantify however. I am on the ministry staff of a larger church where it is the norm. The larger the church the more it tends to be expected. Location, not just size, also determines the need for excellence. Tim Keller’s Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City is located where it is not just a need but an essential. Yet at what level does any church qualify as falling into the excellent category?

I’ve preached in a couple of churches recently where their level of excellence wouldn’t be accepted in my church for long. Does that make them less excellent and less effective in ministry? I don’t think so!

And now, culture has shifted a bit dethroning excellence as a primary value. “Excellence is no longer a preeminent value; too much of it and you come off as slick, phony, or worse . . . . The keys to reaching the current culture are no longer excellence and the trappings of success. That day has passed. There are two new keys: authenticity and compassion . . . everyone wants to know whether you are the real deal and whether your organization is doing something for others.” (Larry Osborne, Innovation’s Dirty Little Secret, Zondervan, 2013, 125)

Culture does change and yes, churches may need to make adjustments in order to continue to effectively reach out with the Gospel. Some methods may end while others begin. Others will need fine-tuning.

Church leaders should always be seeking to understand the culture God is asking their church to reach and encouraging the church to adapt and adjust so as to best reach out with the Gospel.

Here are some suggestions for that task.

1. Pay more attention to Paul’s Gospel strategy in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23. We’ve tended to shy away from it probably from fear of watering down the Gospel message. Rediscover Paul’s heart.

2. Seek to understand the immediate culture of the people God is asking you to reach. What are their aspirations and expectations of life and how might that affect how you reach out to them?

3. What role does the size and location of your church and the gifting and abilities of your people affect your Gospel strategy? What should the focus of that strategy be? Be the best that you can at it!