July 2019
Volume 19, Issue 7
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National Conference Update - June 18-20
The biennial EFCA national conference was held in Naperville, IL with the highest attendance since 1998 in Albuquerque. The entire EFCA West staff team was joined at the conference by 120 conferees from our district. EFCA West was well represented among those newly elected or re-elected to serve on national boards and committees:
To the Board of Directors:
  • Tracie Moss, North Coast Church, Carlsbad CA
  • Laura Survant, Oceanside Christian Fellowship, El Segundo CA
  • Roberto Munguia, Hillside Church, San Jose, CA
  • Jenni Key, First Evangelical Free, Fullerton CA
To the Nominating Committee:
  • Ray Chang, Ambassador Church, Brea CA

The amendment to the statement of faith passed. More updates about the conference are available here ( efcaone.com .) The 2021 conference is scheduled for June 22-24 at First Evangelical Free Church, Fullerton, California.

Church Planting Spotlight
Our district Church Multiplication Team had a great time at EFCA One. In this pic you can see several of our latest church planting residents, along with Shane Finley, founder of Mountain View Fellowship in Heber City, UT. Shane is launching his third campus in a region of Utah that desperately needs to hear the Gospel. Earlier that day we spent about eight hours with Ed Stetzer, Executive Director of the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College , along with eighty other pastors and potential church planters from around the country. God is doing some great things with church planting in our district and all over the EFCA! Are you ready to jump in and be a part of the next generation of new EFCA churches? Reach out to Tim Jacobs at tim.jacobs@efca.org to find out more!
Free Money Here ($1000)...
We are weary and grieved by the many stories of pastors who are not financially prepared to transition into their senior years (you can define those terms). We want to encourage pastors to start saving for retirement early in their ministry. In partnership with the National Association of Evangelicals and the Lilly Endowment , our own Free Church Ministers and Missionaries (FCMM) is offering a $1,000 matching grant to pastors who are not currently in the retirement plan.  In order to qualify for the grant, participants must fill out an application, complete an online personal finance course from the NAE, enroll in the retirement plan and their church must contribute $1,000 to their account. For more information go to  fcmmbenefits.org  and look for information on the retirement matching grant.
Practical Ministry Tools
To streamline access to some of the resources, tools, and services most often requested, a new centralized websource was unveiled at the Chicago conference this year. By going to efca.org/helps , you can find a user-friendly wealth of information on how to get help in your area of need.
Online Dating for Pastors and Churches? EFCA's Pastor Search replaces MinisterConnection.net...
For many years, our own MinisterConnection.net has served well as an online matching service for churches looking for leaders and pastors looking for churches . We are pleased to unveil a new generation of placement software so improved that it has a new name and requires all prior participants to enter new profiles. Pastors and churches with prior profiles will not be charged but must migrate their own information. We invite you to check it out here: pastorsearch.efca.org
Speaking of Transitions (still/again)...
In June of 1997 during his annual time of personal reflection, Dr. Richard Kriegbaum prayed his well-worn “prayer of succession,” and was surprised to hear back from God that it was time to resign from his role as president of Fresno Pacific University. That prayer is as helpful and instructive today as it was then. “Help me remember, God, that I can be reassigned, neutralized, or eliminated for a thousand different reasons at any moment…”
Next Interim Pastor Training....
August 21-22 in Scottsdale has been set as the next training event for Interim Pastor Ministries. While the training does not obligate you to join the IPM ranks, it is a prerequisite for serving in that role. With the increasing number of baby boomer pastoral transitions comes a huge need for experienced pastors to serve our churches in the interim. To learn more about the August event, click here.
The IMMERSE Bible Reading Experience...
A six-volume Bible created with a unique approach to encouraging the reading of scripture. The text is laid out in a single-column setting with chapter and verse numbers, section headings, and footnotes removed. The content of each book is displayed according to its literary genre. Many churches are using the Immerse Bible as a coordinated platform for a congregation to journey through scripture together. Check it out at immersebible.com. Also available in Spanish bibliainmersion.com
Do You Have an Innie or Outie? (church, that is...)
Our friend Pastor Quintin Stieff has seen Valley Church of Des Moines make radical progress in building bridges of good-will and trust into the surrounding communities. Releasing their people to share the good news in non-threatening ways and create bridges of friendship has become a passion they are anxious to share. Check out their September 26-28 conference ( goodforallconference.com ), and use promo code 4ALL for a $50 discount (compliments of Quintin).
Something to Talk About: Vacation or Accomplishment?
“The juxtaposition of vacation and accomplishment [is] stuck in my head, and it seems to emerge each year at the start of summer. There’s a lot of talk about vacations, but the plans I hear oftentimes sound much more like a list of accomplishments than the pursuit of rest and restoration.” This month in his article, Vacation or Accomplishment? Bob Osborne challenges us to think through our expectations for vacations in light of our need for rest and restoration. 
Small
Something to Think About
Rest time is not waste.  It is economy to gather fresh strength. Look at the mower in the summer’s day, with so much to cut down ere the sun sets. He pauses in his labor — is he a sluggard? He looks for his stone, and begins to draw it up and down his scythe, with a rink-a-tink, rink-a-tink. Is that idle music? Is he wasting precious moments? How much might he have mowed while he has been ringing out those notes on his scythe! But he is sharpening his tool, and he will do far more when once again he gives strength to those sweeps which lay the grass prostrate in rows before him. Nor can the fisherman always be fishing; he must mend his nets. 
So even our vacation can be one of the duties laid upon us by the kingdom of God. —Charles H. Spurgeon