December 2019
Volume 19, Issue 12
The Quickest Way to Stay Informed 
Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant
" I will be retiring this month after serving the district as Superintendent for 29 years ... In a private setting, he [Wally Norling] pressured me to personally commit to a 25-year tenure to duplicate his own. He firmly believed that longevity usually translates into health.

"I cannot adequately express my delight and joy in recounting how God worked through our pastors, our staff team, our national leadership, and even NL Moore & Associates in revealing Pastor Tim Jacobs of Compass Church in Goodyear, AZ, to be my successor. In the days since the announcement, I have seen confirmation...that God plans to continue to bless what Wally started so many years ago.

"I could go on, but hopefully you detect the deep-seated sense of well-being and optimism I share as the baton of leadership is passed. For our part, Deedee and I are enjoying life with undeserved good health, family connections, and friendships. We plan to stay rooted in Southern California with frequent visits to Texas to see our kids and grandkids. God has blessed us with a local church family we love. And the options of continued ministry seem at times to be daunting: mentoring young leaders, outreach to Camp Pendleton Marines, church consulting, community and neighborhood involvement, to name a few."

Read the entire letter here .
An Open Letter from the New District Superintendent
"I can’t tell you how humbled and excited I am about the amazing opportunity I’ve been given to serve as the District Superintendent for EFCA West!

"Over the past few years, I’ve had the opportunity to get to know many of you through my role as the district Director of Church Multiplication. As I move into this new position, I look forward to meeting every one of you personally, in your community and on your turf.

"While I’m originally from Southern California, for the past seventeen years our family has lived and ministered in the Phoenix Metro area. I’ve served as the Lead Pastor of Compass Church in Goodyear, AZ, since 2007. The hardest part about accepting this role was that it meant stepping away from the amazing staff and leaders I’ve had the chance to work alongside these past dozen years. I was grateful, however, that when I announced to our congregation that I sensed God’s strong call to EFCA West, they graciously celebrated with me. In fact, they see it less as me leaving and more as them “sending” me into this next season. How great is that?"

Click here for the entire letter.
Registration is Open for the EFCA Theology Conference
The 2020 EFCA Theology Conference will be held on the campus of Trinity International University in Deerfield, IL. The conference begins at 8:30 am on February 5 and concludes at noon on February 7, 2020 . The conference theme is Contending for the Faith - 7 Critical Contemporary Doctrinal Challenges: A Biblical, Theological and Pastoral Response . This topic grows out of the latest five-year doctrinal survey of EFCA Senior Pastors and all those credentialed in the EFCA. Confirmed speakers include D.A. Carson, Harold Netland, Fred Sanders , and Steve Wellum. In addition to the main conference, there will also be an extended training session on Abuse in the Church: A Gospel-Grounded and Godly-Guided Response . The preconference this year will be Women and Ministry Matters . Click here to register.
Normal Church Network
The normal church in the United States is about 250 attendees or less. Sometimes these churches who make up most of the churches in America are overlooked. Bob Osborne and the EFCA West team are putting together three opportunities for pastors and staff of these churches in our district to think together about the joys and challenges of shepherding their congregations. There will be a gathering in the Phoenix area in February, Central California in April and Los Angeles/Orange County in June.
Something to Talk About: Should We Call 4-1-1 Now or 9-1-1 Later?
"My phone rings. E-mails and text messages land in my in-box. The question, sometimes a plaintive cry, is the same. ' Can you help us?' Oh, that the phone calls and emails had started a year or two ago when the symptoms first appeared. I’m reminded of the many times during my policing career that I...responded to a serious crime and...found someone that had key information, [but never called]... I had been driving around all day...waiting for that call that never came until it was too late to prevent the crime and save the victim from harm... Each of us leaders will find ourselves at some time at a place where we do not know or are uncertain of what to do next. When we don’t know what to do, what do we do? That’s something to talk about."
ICHRA May Help Churches Provide Health Insurance
Beginning January 1, 2020 , employers may use a new kind of health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) to fund individual health insurance of employees tax-free . According to a final rule issued this summer , the employer-funded Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangement (ICHRA) may reimburse individual insurance premiums when certain conditions are met.

FCMM has developed an ICHRA summary and checklist for churches that may want to consider implementing such a program . Click here for the summary and checklist from FCMM.
"If you are like the vast majority of leaders in ministry, you love people. You want to help and empower others, but more often than we prefer, leadership requires unpopular answers. In fact, a great deal of leadership is learning and practicing the art of saying no in a way that encourages, earns trust, and even inspires, rather than in a way that may alienate or discourage people ."
ReachGlobal Resources
ReachGlobal is the arm of EFCA that equips and sends ministry leaders outside the United States. Whether you are familiar with this ministry and are looking for resources to help educate your church or unfamiliar and are looking for ways to be involved, these resources will be a help to you. Click here for the resource page of ReachGlobal.
Something to Think About
"Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you now dismiss your servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all people,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and for glory to your people Israel." Luke 2:29-32 (NIV)