December 2018
Volume 18, Issue 12
The Quickest Way to Stay Informed

Church Planting Spotlight
In Peyton Jones's book  Church Zero , he quotes missionary C.T. Studd : " Some want to live within the sound of church or chapel bell; I want to run a rescue shop, within a yard of hell . " That is the spirit of a church planter. The question is, do you have one in your midst - on your church staff, on your board, or in your student ministry? If so, let's talk. There are significant opportunities to start new churches in our district. Check out  or send Tim Jacobs a text at (623) 262-5268.  
Made For More - Exponential Webinar for EFCA
On  January 17, 2019, at 2:00pm Eastern ,   Exponential  is presenting a special   webinar for  EFCA multipliers  entitled   Made for More .   This is for District Church Multiplication Teams, district planters and district pastors who have a heart for multiplication. Made for More continues the conversation of church multiplication by looking at 6 critical shifts for a mobilization culture from the book of Ephesians. To get a preview of this conversation, check out the FREE   Made for More Church Leader Resource Kit .
Transition Gatherings in 2019
There will be a gathering repeated four times throughout EFCA West in early 2019 for senior pastors who are 55 years old or older to begin or continue the discussion of how and when to transition from the lead role into a new season of life and ministry.

The gatherings will be:
Monday , January 28, 9 am-4 pm in Chandler, AZ, 20 minutes from PHX
Monday , February 18, 9 am-4 pm in El Segundo, CA, 10 minutes from LAX
Monday/Tuesday, March 25-26, noon to noon in Tulare, CA , (This gathering includes wives.)
Monday , April 29, 9 am-4 pm in Salt Lake City, UT, 20 minutes from SLC

The gatherings will be limited to 8 pastors. You can choose by the date that works best for you or the location closest to you. The Chandler, El Segundo and Salt Lake City gatherings will be for 8 individual senior pastors. The Tulare gathering will include 8 pastors and their wives.

For the the Chandler, El Segundo and Salt Lake City gatherings, EFCA West will provide lunch. Due to a generous gift from the Tulare EFC, the Tulare gathering will include dinner on Monday and a hotel room for each couple. The couples will need to provide any other meals before or after the gathering.
Something to Talk About: Improving Our Meetings
Again this month Bob Osborne gives church leaders Something to Talk About. In his article Improving Our Meetings – Effective Use of the Agenda, Bob acknowledges that often elders, church staff and others seek to avoid meetings even though they have, in many cases, the freedom to make choices about what happens at the meeting.

"... meetings remain the best option for most people to effectively come together to plan, work on, discuss and decide most of the important matters before them. Yet, most of the leaders I know endure ineffective and poorly organized meetings month after month – apparently under the assumption that nothing can be done to improve them...  meetings don’t have to be so bad. After all, it’s our meeting! We allow them to be bad, or we cause them to be good."
How Eric Geiger is Processing Leaving Lifeway for His New Call at Mariners Church
This fall Eric Geiger left LifeWay to become the new pastor at Mariners Church in Newport Beach, CA. In this podcast, Eric reflects on the transiton both in how to leave well and how to arrive well. " One of the things the Mariners Team has been open about in a healthy way and putting it on the table, is holding two emotions simultaneously. One is grieving the end of an era with Kenton (not that he’s leaving but with him being the Senior Pastor), while simultaneously holding excitement for the future ...Watching them love Kenton, some pastors might be put off by how much they love Kenton, but what about the flip side? That they would bash him? The flip of them bashing Kenton is that they are just going to bash me one day!" Listen to the podcast here .
Five Reasons Church Lighting Matters to Older Adults
In his recent blog Five Reasons Church Lighting Matters to Older Adults , Chuck Lawless takes a few moments to remind church leaders, especially younger leaders, that the lighting before and during a worship service matters to older adults for several reasons. Two of the five reasons include: 1) We genuinely can’t see as well in the dark and 2) We want to see other people when we worship. This article warrants a discussion among your staff and volunteers who are responsible for worship.
Three Things American Citizens Could Learn from Christian Missionaries
As Bruce Ashford points out in a Gospel Coalition blog, " We live in a  secular age ...We live in a polarized age...We live in a hateful age." Missionaries have entered similar cultures for centuries and have something to teach us. " A Christian missionary typically moves overseas to minister among a group of people who differ from him or her linguistically, religiously, socially, culturally, and politically . The missionary’s goal is to minister to the people’s needs and to persuade them to consider the claims of Jesus Christ. But in spite of—even because of—these deep differences, good missionaries are known for refusing to caricature the people’s religion, mock their culture, or impugn their motives. " May more of our leaders and people adopt this posture.
Court Rules that "Gifts" to Pastor Are Taxable
With Christimas coming quickly it is good to note that a tax court in Minnesota has recently ruled that contributions made directly as “gifts” by congregants to their pastor are taxable income. “In addressing the core issue, Judge Holmes cited numerous Bible references and provided a very thorough analysis of applicable law, relevant cases, and other authority ,” according to Michael Batts, Managing Partner of Batts Morrison Wales & Lee. You can read a summary from the accountants here and the full court opinion here .
Something to Think About
“The central miracle asserted by Christians is the Incarnation. They say that God became Man. Every other miracle prepares for this, or exhibits this, or results from this.” -- C.S. Lewis