EFCA Today exists to unify church leaders around the overall mission of the EFCA by bringing its stories and vision to life, and to sharpen those leaders by generating conversations over topics pertinent to faith and life in this 21st century.
Beauty for the Bruised and BrokenCurrent Issue
In every church, people wrestle with health crises that steal their peace. Do you feel equipped to minister to them? What does the art of caregiving look like in your church?
You knew you were called and thought you were ready. But then you entered the uncharted territory of real-life ministry, where decisions aren’t theoretical but affect people you care about. In what ways has the church been your classroom?
Like every generation before them, millennials will be the ones to lead the church in the future, if they feel invited to help shape it. How can all generations in the church listen to and learn from each other?
Your church’s greatest asset is not your pastor’s relevant preaching, your building’s ideal location or your youth program’s vibrancy. It’s the ministry calling of each member. Do you believe it?
Pastors who derive their income from ministry as well as from the marketplace are merely modeling what their on-mission congregants have been doing all their lives: living out the gospel in all their spheres of influence. Perhaps “bivo” is the future for the church?
The world’s cities are bursting at the seams—these core centers of power, culture and worship. Shouldn’t Christians be there? Shouldn’t the EFCA?
We’re assaulted by injustice as it’s splashed across the evening news, and far too many of us have felt the sharp slap of it personally. We’re brought to tears or angered into action. Or, heaven forbid, we become numb. How, instead, should we respond?
Disciplemaking is not a program; rather, it infiltrates programs. It’s not a unique calling for a specific few; it’s Jesus’ calling for us all. And it’s integral to our DNA as a movement.
How very powerful it is when a church body is pursuing its own unique vision—a sense of what its members were created to trust God to fulfill among them and through them. What does it take to uncover that vision and see it take hold? What happens when vision is missing?
God’s grace stuns us, giving us room in which to breathe and to dance. It’s the familiar fragrance of God’s own dwelling place wafting by our nostrils—God’s DNA imbued into Jesus, the one who was full of grace and truth (John 1:14). How do we live out grace-and-truth in our pulpits and our lives?
In the complicated and delicate ecosystem called the church, a pastor’s departure can resonate deeply. What can leaders do to keep things in balance during a pastoral transition, or return to a healthy balance afterward?
For those of us in the EFCA, the Scriptures are true, inerrant and God’s authoritative Word for our lives. Yet we worship not the Bible but the living God who has invaded our lives. God’s truth in Scripture, plus the living application of that truth in our lives through His Spirit, plus the life change that His Spirit brings—this is the new life in Christ of which the Scriptures speak.
Introducing GlobalFingerprints—the EFCA child-sponsorship ministry that’s also a church-growth reality around the world. Through GlobalFingerprints and the hands-on care of local congregations, children are fed, educated, cared for medically and nurtured spiritually. They see first-hand what it means to be part of the body of Christ.
It’s an age-old question: Why not simply gather a few friends around us and connect with Jesus on our own? Who needs church? Admittedly, the church has its problems. And we’re eager to explore how we might cut away the institutional-stuff we don’t need and re-invest in the Jesus-stuff we do need. Because abandoning church altogether is not the solution. Explore, in this issue of EFCA Today, the intrinsic beauty and power of God’s people gathered as the church, and how we might better convey that to the watching world.
Whatever our church size, budget and age demographics, whatever our comfort with technology, we all wish to engage culture in a way that wins a hearing for the gospel.
Explore with us what fellow EFCA leaders have to say about the impact of social media in their churches. No two theories, practices and strategies are the same. Yet what is the same for each of us is a passion to present the gospel where people are gathered.
Life is throwing a lot at our children, our teens, our young adults, and it’s all too easy to succumb to the temptations, the pressures, the bad examples. But when adults model a contagious passion for Jesus, young people are often motivated to stand up to cultural pressure and walk with Jesus too.
Premarital counseling is one of those topics that immediately triggers conversations among pastors, including talk of the deep satisfaction of watching God’s Spirit at work. But—to be honest—even more of the conversations revolve around the challenges of premarital sessions. The tough questions, the honest feedback, the anxiety of, What if I’m just not sure I can partake in this covenant? In this issue, listen in as various EFCA leaders discuss how they embark on the premarital conversation—how they address practical, important issues with each engaged couple but also introduce the reality of the beauty and honor of this lifetime commitment.
We’ve read the missionary biographies. We’ve been stirred by the command to make disciples of all nations. We want to touch the world. But we also know the risk of our well-intentioned missions efforts being sadly ineffective, if not downright detrimental to how God is already at work. In this issue, we ask the question: What if we were to join forces with other believers whose passions align with ours and create a more powerful partnership?
If literacy is the ability to comprehend and master the use of a particular area of knowledge, then what is biblical literacy? How do we measure it—by the ability to explain “propitiation” or display a well-worn and highlighted Bible? In this issue, we aim to move beyond biblical knowledge and toward literacy—a deeper awareness of not only the content but also the meaning of Scripture—for the sake of ourselves and our churches.
The brothers and sisters seated among us during a worship service have entire other lives they live out each week—lives we often do not see. They carpool to cubicles or corner offices; they hunch over computers on kitchen counters or check iPads before driving to sales calls; they wake up toddlers, don hard hats or stethoscopes, or stand before fidgety students in classrooms. They work. And that ability to work is a reflection of God Himself. This issue of EFCA Today speaks to our pastors about the stewardship of their congregants’ vocational callings.
What makes us the Evangelical Free Church of America and not some other global denomination? What’s our unique DNA, the essence of what makes us us? In this issue, we explore the leaders, the doctrines and the cultures that have shaped who the EFCA is today, and we look forward to our shared future.
A life of faith always involves risk—it’s true. But for every opportunity to see a life changed, we must also weigh the accompanying risk to our ministry. In this issue of EFCA Today, we speak quite practically about policies and procedures, and we consider spiritual risks, personnel risks and property/liability risks that your church might face. May these stories motivate you, and may the resources help you determine where to start.
The idea of spiritual formation (or transformation) can be elusive in our pragmatic, evangelical context. We can’t help but ask question after question: How do we measure authentic spiritual formation? How do we pursue it ourselves, and how do we, as church leaders, encourage it in others? Check out the articles here, and listen in as we explore all of these questions and more.
The Church is a body, and no member is any more or less important than the other. We know this to be true, and yet are we valuing those with special needs within our own churches? How will meeting their unique needs unleash gifts and abilities that we are missing? Check out the articles here to explore these very crucial questions along with us.
As Christians, how do we obey our country’s laws while still loving, evangelizing and discipling the undocumented immigrants among us? Check out the articles exploring this theme of immigration, and consider with us the informed, scriptural, legal and yet compassionate points made by fellow EFCA leaders.
Small-town churches across the Evangelical Free Church movement are seeing God do big things in and through them. Check out the articles exploring this theme to learn more about the unique challenges these churches face, and the unique blessings they experience.
What does it mean to be brothers and sisters in the church?