Thank you for serving the Lord Jesus Christ as a pastor in the Evangelical Free Church!
“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:3-6
On behalf of the Ministerial Association of the EFCA (your fellow pastors), we are pleased to present you with a complimentary copy of Evangelical Convictions. This insightful exposition of our statement of faith will stir your heart to worship the Lord while helping you better appreciate and more effectively proclaim the gospel, which is “the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes” (Rom. 1:16).
We have asked your District Leadership to deliver this gift to you, and are sincerely grateful for the missional partnership we have with our District and National staff as we labor together to “multiply transformational churches among all peoples,” for the glory of God.
This letter is an appeal from the five EFCA pastors currently serving as the Board of Directors for the Ministerial Association – the grassroots network of EFCA Leaders that exists to encourage pastor-to-pastor relationships. The primary strength of our movement comes from our personal connections with one another, both locally and nationally. Consider this an invitation to more fully engage in the movement of which you are already a valuable part.
- First, if you aren’t already regularly connected with EFCA pastors in your District, we urge you to start making that a priority. (If you are, please continue! We truly are “better together!”) Combined, the five of us have a total of nearly 100 years of experience serving EFCA churches, so we know the blessings of having brothers beside us and the dangers of walking alone. Plug in to a regional pastor meeting (some call it a cluster), attend your District Conference, get to know your brothers in the EFCA!
- Second, we challenge you to start the credentialing process. Please don’t leave Evangelical Convictions on your shelf! Start reading a chapter or two every month, which will help you express your convictions in the paper that will lead to your license and in time, your ordination. We are a movement united by our theology and defined by our ethos of “unity in the essentials.” The licensing process will help you articulate the central doctrines of the faith and distinguish top tier issues from secondary matters. This exercise will strengthen your ministry, bless your church and protect the EFCA of the future. As Paul urged Timothy, “Guard the deposit entrusted to you” (1 Timothy 6:20). You can start here: efca.org/ministries/office-president/efca-credentialing
- Third, when you need help, ask for it! Servant leaders are available in your District, in the National office and all around you in the Ministerial Association. The EFCA Recovery Church ministry is there to pick up the pieces for our brothers and sisters who have burned out or had a moral failing. But don’t wait until you have no choice but to fall into that safety net. Our contact information is below to make it clear that in addition to the District and National leaders in place to serve you, and in addition to the pastors you already know, there are five EFCA pastors who are eager to hear what you are going through, to pray with you and help you find a way forward.
We thank God for you and consider it a privilege to labor with you in His harvest field. May the Lord richly bless you and your loved ones and may your ministry bear much fruit as you preach the gospel and make disciples.
“Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.” 1 Timothy 4:15-16
For the glory of God and the advance of the gospel,
Your MA Board
[This is a letter from the MA Board to encourage young or not-yet credentialed pastors to pursue a ministry license on their way toward ordination (if appropriate). It will be delivered by District Superintendents along with a complimentary copy of Evangelical Convictions to facilitate the process.]