January 2020
Volume 20, Issue 1
The Quickest Way to Stay Informed 
From the Heart of Tim Jacobs
I get so excited when I think about the men and women who will find new life in Jesus Christ this year as a direct result of the prayer, hard work, and boldness of our congregations here in EFCA West .

As you’re thinking about what is possible for this new year, remember the two words that define us: First, we are Evangelical . That simply means we are messengers of Good News . Nothing could be more precise about our job here on earth – to help as many people in our community know that Jesus truly is Lord.

Second, we are Free . That means we have the opportunity to dream big and be creative about how to get the message of Good News out to people in our own communities . We trust in the Spirit of God to guide us, grateful for the past but having the courage to step into the uncharted waters of the future.

Read the rest of Tim's January letter here.
Necessary Endings
As a direct result of an ongoing gap between what local EFCA West churches give and the expense involved in serving the EFCA West churches, the difficult decision of downsizing the EFCA West staff has been made. When Tim Jacobs became more aware of the gap between income and expense, he personally met with Paul Schliep to let him know he had made the difficult decision of having Paul step off the team. Paul's last day with EFCA West was December 31, 2019. Paul will still be attending the EFCA Theology Conference in early February and hopes to see many of you there.
A Personal Note from Paul
When I was invited onto the EFCA West team in 2006, I assumed it would be a 2-year ministry between pastorates. Instead it became a 13-year season of learning from pastors and staff and ministering to pastors and staff. It has been a privilege to serve local churches and local pastors. I will miss the conversations in which we were thinking aloud about how to navigate the particular circumstances that were facing individuals and churches. If you remember nothing else from our times together, remember the advice I stole from Eugene Peterson. What we get in any given local church is "these people in this place at this time." Everything else is just theory.
Paul & Sharon Schliep
Normal Church Network
The normal church in the United States is about 250 attendees or less. Sometimes in the course of things, 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 the normal churches in our district to think together about the joys and challenges of shepherding these congregations. Follow this link to learn about dates and locations. Normal Church Network
2020 EFCA West Gathering at North Coast Church
Our biennial gathering of the clan will be June 18-19 at North Coast Church in Vista, CA. This gathering is not just for pastors or pastoral staff . Elders, deacons, volunteer ministry leaders, and anyone who provides ministry oversight in your local church will find the general sessions and workshops helpful. Bring your leadership community to this event. You will go away with some new ideas, important reminders, and the opportunity to build relationships with others in our family of churches.
Something to Talk About: Confusing Mission with Task
It’s not hard to differentiate between mission and task at the intellectual level – we know that the mission is what we are trying to accomplish and that tasks are the actions or work we do to accomplish the mission. But it’s often hard for us to differentiate between the two in real life...We can unintentionally find ourselves focused on our tasks rather than the mission. And that’s something to talk about .
Three Keys to Becoming an Intentional Disciple Maker
In an article by Jim Putman, he very succinctly goes through the significant skills one should develop to be an intentional maker of disciples of Jesus. Intentional planning, intentional presence and intentional transparency are all key factors in how Jesus made disciples and how we can do the same. " Discipling others may not require a degree, but it does require a process." Click here for the article.
Is Your Church Facing Financial Challenges?
Through investments, loans, and capital campaigns, Christian Investors Financial ( CIF) helps churches and individuals grow so they can serve others. As a result, their clients are empowered to grow their finances, engage with their communities and advance God’s Kingdom. In a recent blog, Paul Anderson looks at the challenges many churches have in generating finances sufficent to do the ministry God has for them. Paul offers steps forward in difficult financial seasons .
Clarity on Compensation
Benjamin Vrbicek , a teaching pastor at Community EFC in Harrisburg, PA, wrote a March 2019 blog for EFCA Blog entitled Clarity on Compensation. This is a recurring topic into which EFCA West is asked to speak. Vrbicek's article does an excellent job of speaking to the topic and gives some very practical helps in addressing this in the context of the local church. In addition, Vanderbloemen and PushPay recently published a PDF Church Salary Guide .
Four Keys for a Church to Properly Handle Designated Gifts
Almost every church receives some designated gifts each year. The gifts are “restricted” for accounting purposes, but churches often refer to them as “designated.” Designated gifts are often received for a church missions fund, the building fund, the benevolence fund, and more. While the designated gift topic seems quite simple, questions often arise about how to handle designated gifts. Honoring giver expectation and intent is so critical to building and maintaining trust with church members, givers, and the broader community. Dan Busby of ECFA (Evangelical Council on Financial Accountability) gives four keys to handling these gifts well. Click here for the article.
offering plate
Interim Pastor Ministries Offers Training in 2020
Interim Pastor Ministries (IPM) is the organization that the EFCA West staff most often recommends to churches going through transitions. The IPM pastors have been trained and each pastor has a mentor whenever they are placed in a local church. IPM is offering eight opportunities for those wanting to work with IPM to help churches in transition. The dates are:

Feb. 4-5, Louisville, KY- Registration closes January 21st
Mar. 16-17, Boston, MA -  Registration closes March 2nd
Apr. 21-22, Chicago, IL -  Registration closes April 7th
Jun. 30- Jul.1, Sacramento, CA - Registration closes June 16th
Jul. 15-16, Dallas, TX - Registration closes July 1st
Aug. 19-20, Phoenix, AZ -  Registration closes August 5th
Oct. 8-9, Philadelphia, PA - Registration closes September 24th
Nov. 12-13, Chicago, IL - Registration closes October 29th

Attendance at these training events requires a pre-screening and evaluation process If you would like to attend one of these training events, please contact   Todd@interimpastors.com
Fourteen Ways to Create Harmony on a Church Staff
In a Facts and Trends article, Joe McKeever polled some of his ministry friends for suggestions on how to create and maintain harmony on a church staff. “You’re about to see the worst side of the best people,” his friend often told those coming to work for a ministry team. How to avoid that necessary caution is the reason he solicited advice from ministry colleague s. Read McKeever's article here .
Something to Think About
Trust God and do the next thing. -- Oswald Chambers