December 20th, 2020
While 2020 has been all about the pandemic and the presidential election (among other things), the controversial issue of immigration in America remains one of our nation's most pressing challenges. Because of this, the EFCA has launched an innovative, church-based solution that provides help at the local level. In this episode, Diane Martinez, Executive Director of Immigrant Hope in Santa Barbara, CA, talks about how the strategy of Hope, Help, and Home is reaching the "least of these" with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This Department of Justice certified ministry based at Shoreline Community Church (EFCA) was recently featured in Christianity Today and the Santa Barbara Independent. If you are interested in how you can help get an Immigrant Hope center set up in your community, or just want to learn more, reach out to Diane at firstname.lastname@example.org. Immigrant Hope is yet another example of the EFCA fulfilling its mission of "Multiplying Transformational Churches Among All People."
November 30th, 2020
So much has been written and discussed about multiplying churches in the United States but in reality so few are actually doing it. However, in this episode Matt Larson teaches us what it looks like to multiply leaders and churches in a very strategic and yet organic way. Not only is Matt the Founding Pastor of Anthem Church in Thousand Oaks, CA, but he has also started the Anthem Family of Churches that is an association of church plants around Southern California and even as far away as Denver, CO. While Matt's story is unique, you'll hear principles and practices that you can integrate into your own ministry now, wherever you are. In addition to leading a church planting movement, Matt continues to develop leaders outside of Anthem, even hosting a monthly gathering of area pastors that he calls Exploration. If you are interested in learning more, or even checking out one of the Exploration gatherings, feel free to reach out to him at email@example.com. This is yet another example of how EFCA West churches are gaining ground for the Kingdom of God.
November 13th, 2020
Everyone knows the church isn’t a building. But, when planned for wisely, buildings can be tremendous tools for the advancement of the Kingdom of God. And even though the current pandemic has forced us to think beyond church buildings (a good thing in many ways), land and buildings will continue to be a vital part of ministry in the future. In this episode, Scott Achterling, President and CEO of Christian Investors Financial (www.christianinvestors.org), tells us what we can be doing now to maximize our church facilities and prepare wisely for the future. Even if a church isn’t ready to build, there’s a good chance that a refinance could be an excellent move. Or, perhaps your church is eyeing a piece of land that seems way out of range. Maybe it’s just a matter of figuring out how to renovate the old 1960’s building that is paid off but is falling apart. The point is, there is probably something you can do, and probably some way Christian Investors can help. All of these issues are discussed in this episode, as well as avoiding common mistakes with capital projects, why “reasonable debt” can be strategic for the church, and why a capital campaign consultant is worth every penny. As part of the EFCA family, CIF should be your first call to figure out how to take the next step in moving forward with the vision God has given your church.
November 10th, 2020
This is the audio version of a Wednesday Workshop called Post-Election Reflections with Kevin Kompelien, president of the Evangelical Free Church of America, and Jack Hamilton, who spent decades as the executive pastor of High Desert Church in Victorville, CA, and now mentors pastors all over the United States. We talk about the thoughts and emotions that those in our congregations are experiencing post-election, and what it looks like to keep the mission clear in these days. Also, because undoubtedly every pastor and church leader in America has been put in a brutally difficult situation we dive into how to handle criticism, very practically and personally. If we’re going to make it over the long haul, we’ve got to learn how to deal with the pain that comes when those who have faithfully walked with us, for whatever reason, choose to walk away, or even turn against us. This was a special episode in so many ways.
October 30th, 2020
Brian Chan, Lead Pastor of Emmanuel Church in Burbank, CA, (EFCA) has extensively studied the theology of beauty and even written a book on the subject called The Purple Curtain. In this episode we answer questions such as: What is beauty and why are we attracted to it in the first place? Why do churches, except in the area of music, seem to underutilize the arts? And what makes so many Christian movies and songs so cringeworthy? We also discuss Brian's involvement in his community art society, and how modern Christian artists like Makoto Fujimura use their craft to communicate Gospel themes of redemption and restoration. To get in touch with Brian, reach out to him at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out his website.
October 16th, 2020
What can a missionary to Berlin, Germany, teach us about how to approach ministry in our respective areas? As it turns out, quite a lot! The Berlin City Team Leader for ReachGlobal has had to figure out how the Gospel relates to a very cosmopolitan and secular metropolis. One the most common responses she gets from German friends who find out she's a Christian is, "You still believe that?" Her experiences and insight, along with the team of 25 that she leads, allow her to speak prophetically into what we can expect here in the US as our nation drifts further away from any type of Christian understanding. This podcast will help you think like a missionary, an absolutely vital skill in our rapidly changing culture. While originally produced in January of 2020, this podcast has relevancy now more than ever due to the challenges we all currently face.
October 2nd, 2020
This episode was recorded in January 2020 but is as relevant as ever. It's no secret that elder boards and leadership teams can be full of conflict, frustration, and stagnation. But the problem is often not the people, it's the system: a bad system can even turn the best people against each other! Bob Osborne, Director of Church Health for EFCA West, has been an elder at the same church for over 40 years, and has helped a number of EFCA West leaders build the type of elder boards and governing teams that bring life and health to their congregations. Whether you're a pastor, board member, or just a curious congregation member, this podcast will help you understand what a healthy board looks like and is capable of achieving. If you're interested in personal help with either your governance documents or elder board training, please reach out to Bob at email@example.com.
September 17th, 2020
This episode explores the "science of engagement" and answers the question, "How can we as speakers hold our listener's attention?" Omar Rivas (www.omarrivas.com) is a professional public speaking coach and engagement expert who trains CEO's and other business leaders to become better communicators. He is also contracted by the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Army to teach chaplains and other personnel how to speak effectively. This episode is not so much about content as it is delivery. We talk about concepts such as the "angel's cocktail," the "emotion cap," "dicing the story," and "pattern interruption," all which can help our content be delivered in a creative and memorable way. Finally, because he has a passion for ministry, Omar has offered any listener complimentary feedback on their communication skills, and you can reach out to him for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out this episode and get better at engaging people!
September 3rd, 2020
This has got to be one of the hardest times in American history to be in local church leadership, and the upcoming election and current political climate is only adding fuel to the fire. This episode is a recording of a "Wednesday Workshop" on Zoom from September 2, 2020, with Larry Osborne of North Coast Church. Larry helps us understand how to navigate the political landscape with wisdom and boldness. What do you do when a church member wants you to endorse a political candidate? What about problematic social media posts from staff and church leaders? And how do we deal with the pressure to "say something" when what we really want to do is remain apolitical? You'll gain a ton of insight and encouragement from this conversation.
August 28th, 2020
Believe it or not, there was a time when the church you are in now was nothing more than a dream in someone's mind! But whoever it was that started it could never have done it alone - others had to help. In fact, the EFCA itself started as a church planting movement. Even our mission statement begins with the word "Multiply." So in this episode, Andrew Hoffman, EFCA Director of Church Multiplication, walks us through how church planting leaders from across the nation have come together to produce the Reach Network: the most strategic national church planting effort in decades for the EFCA. You'll hear the story of how God put together a new multiplication team out of a terrible tragedy, and how men and women across districts are working together to produce systems that are state of the art for assessing, coaching, and training new planters. Finally, you'll learn how you can be a part of it, because this is an "all hands on deck" effort. Andrew and his family planted a church fifteen years ago in Berkeley, CA, and no matter where you are in ministry, you can learn from his experience. For more information on how to get involved in this pivotal church planting effort, reach out to him at email@example.com and check out the EFCA church multiplication page.