Click here to subscribe to the Zipline
November 2016
Vol 16, Issue 11


The Quickest Way to Stay Informed

2017 EFCA Theology Conference
Registration has opened for the 2017 EFCA Theology Conference being held on the campus of
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School 
in Deerfield, IL, February 1-3.  The theme is "Reformation 500: Theology and Legacy-God's Gospel and the EFCA." Speakers include D.A. Carson, Scott Manetsch, R. Albert Mohler and  Kevin Vanhoozer.   Click here for more information.
Something to Talk About:  Speaking in Tongues
"Today, our neighborhoods are often characterized by diverse populations that speak in different tongues. Language differences impact churches that seek to introduce people from multi-lingual communities to Jesus Christ and His saving grace. How can we bring the gospel to the people around us who do not speak our language? For church leaders in today's world, speaking in tongues is something to talk about."  Read Speaking in Tongues, this month's Something to Talk About from Bob Osborne, Director of Church Health for EFCA West.
EFCA Theology Podcast: D.A. Carson on Suffering
How should we think about suffering and evil? More specifically, which biblical truths should we plant deep in our hearts before we find ourselves in the midst of suffering? This month we recommend a recent episode from the EFCA Theology Podcast by D.A Carson on this important topic. Rather than giving us pointers on how to endure suffering after it begins, Dr. Carson provides six foundational pillars that help us think rightly about suffering before it comes upon us. Click here for   D.A. Carson on Suffering.

The EFCA Theology  Podcast is hosted by Brian Farone, EFCA West Director of Biblical Theology and Credentialing.  You can  subscribe by email here.
The State of Theology in America
What do Americans believe about God, salvation, ethics, and the Bible?  Ligonier Ministries and Lifeway Research partnered to find out. The key findings are found here.  A PDF of the details of the survey are located here.  The survey breaks out into two categories:  all participants and self-identified evangelicals.  There is often little difference between the two categories.
Autopsy of a Deceased Pastor
" They are the walking deadThey are dead emotionally.   Their vision and passion is dead.  Their spiritual life has little life at all.  They are burned out.  Many have died vocationally. Others are waiting for burial.  How did these pastors die? My figurative autopsies uncovered eight common patterns."  Read Thom Rainer 's Autopsy of a Deceased Pastor  to see if any of the patterns apply to you.
Saving Us From Our Smartphones
A recent article in the Washington Post by Russell Moore begins with a quote from Andrew Sullivan's essay in New York Magazine.  "If the churches came to understand that the greatest threat to faith today is not hedonism but distraction, perhaps they might begin to appeal anew to a frazzled digital generation. Christian leaders seem to think that they need more distraction to counter the distraction. Their services have degenerated into emotional spasm, their spaces drowned with light and noise and locked shut throughout the day, when their darkness and silence might actually draw those whose minds and souls have grown web-weary." You can read Moore's article, Why the church can rescue us from our smartphones, and Sullivan's essay, I Used to Be a Human Being, for more insight into how our "connectedness" is disconnecting us.
Reaching Millennials:  Causes for Celebration and Concern
Trevin Wax has written an excellent piece,  Churches Reaching Millennials: Causes for Celebration and Concern, on churches who are seeing significant impact with millennials based on recent research and written up in the book Growing Young.  Trevin highlights two reasons to celebrate and two concerns as churches seek to reach the largest generation in American history.
Three Major Downsides of a Busy Church Calendar
Eric Geiger recently wrote, "Many church leaders have wisely encouraged people to slow down, not to sign up for every sport, and not to commit to every extracurricular activity. Ironically, and painfully so, is that  many churches don't follow their own counsel ." Read Three Major Downsides of a Busy Church Calendar. Maybe it is time to do some pruning as the church moves into 2017.
Three Reasons to Bring Back the Handwritten Note
In a recent blog,  Trevor Forbis highlights Three Reasons to Bring Back the Handwritten Note.  With the busyness of the upcoming holiday season, it may be good to consider quality over quantity as you seek to thank, encourage and greet those in your congregation or on your ministry team.
A Pop Quiz for Pastors and Church Leaders
Question mark man
"Can church leaders identify your mission and vision statement?  Can church leaders identify the demographics of the community within 5-10 miles of your church? Do your church's leaders affirm the church's doctrinal statement?"  Chuck Lawless gives 15 questions that would be good to ask yourself and your leadership team.  The answers, or lack thereof, would provide great fodder for discussion.  Click on A Pop Quiz for Pastors and Church Leaders.
Seven Reasons Bi-vocational Ministry Isn't Plan B
"Growing up in the church, it was sort of understood that any pastor worth his salt was 'full-time.' By full-time, we meant that he was fully financially supported by his church... I've discovered that pastoring bi-vocationally has strengthened and expanded my ministry in ways I could've never experienced otherwise. In our time we should not look at bi-vocational ministry as the Plan B of churches that can't afford full-time staff. Instead,  we should view bi-vocational ministry as Plan A for Kingdom strategy.  Read Josh Presley's article Seven Reasons Bi-vocational Ministry Isn't Plan B .
Becoming a Turnaround Leader
Pastor Unique: Becoming a Turnaround Leader offers hope for pastors and churches that desperately want to get off the plateau but don't know how. Based on statistically reliable research rather than on case studiesPastor Unique shows how pastors can become effective turnaround leaders by mastering "best practices" that are proven to correlate with church revitalization. It also introduces the Turnaround Pastor's personal and professional development protocols that furnish pastors of plateaued churches with two "mission critical" components of church revitalization: knowing what to do and how to do it. For more information about how this proven process works, check their website
Ministry Resource in SoCal
Palomar Christian Conference Center exists to reach the lost for Christ and encourage spiritual growth through the study of God's Word. PCC does this by providing a retreat facility for church groups, as well as running programs for youth groups and individual students to participate in activities such as outdoor education and worship. If you are interested in more information or are considering any of the exciting options available to you at Palomar, feel free to contact the office at (760)742-3400 or check out their website at
Something to Think About
Charles Dickens once commented that we are somewhat backward here in America. Instead of having just one Thanksgiving Day each year, we should have 364. 

"Use that one day just for complaining and griping. Use the other 364 days to thank God each day for the many blessings he has showered upon you." -- Charles Dickens
Click here to subscribe to the Zipline