How to Pray for Africa

Many of my mission/training trips have been to Africa: Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Liberia. I train national leaders to read, understand and preach the Bible.

According to the Bible, my/our efforts will be in vain unless we pray, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” John 15:5-7 ESV.

As I contemplate what I do, without your prayer support, it will be nothing in God’s eyes. Conrad Mbewe writes about this need for prayer for Africa,

Bob Burris is a member of the EFCA Network team and works for Training Leadership International.

A Word of Great Encouragement

Feast here on God’s character and how He works for us.

Netflix’s Cuties: We need some help with the obscurantists

Brett’s clarity is refreshing. Read and think. Think some more. And maybe change your viewing habits. We are astounded at how Cuties could be defended; however, do we do intellectual gymnastics to watch what we watch?

Changing our Loves

This is long. May change you for the good. James K.A. Smith speaks at Wheaton College.

Our idolatrous substitutes for the Local Church

Admittedly, a tough title; and this review may not lead you to buy the book, but it should give you pause as you contemplate the community of the local church. Warning: it is a little difficult to digest but well worth it.


We all need mentors. With so many voices telling us what to do, it’s vitally important that we have godly, thoughtful, experienced people showing us what to do. Preparing for a life in ministry is demanding work—and I’m not just talking about your seminary workload. You need real-life pastoral experience under the direction of a mentor.

I serve as director of field education at Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi. Much of my work involves talking to students about their relationships with their pastoral mentors. Since 1987, I’ve mentored men preparing for ordination. While serving on Boston’s North Shore, I mentored many men in the Gordon-Conwell field education program. Before coming to RTS, I employed men pursuing ordination. Mentoring has been a key part of my pastoral ministry.

With so many voices telling us what to do, it’s vitally important that we have godly, thoughtful, experienced people showing us what to do.

What follows are my thoughts on what makes a good mentor. While I’m acutely aware of my weaknesses, much of what I know I learned from my mentors and have sought to put into practice, however imperfectly. One of the advantages of my job is that I continue to learn from the superbly skilled mentors who serve our students. As you search for a mentor, what should you be looking for?

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Equipping Women: Glen Schrieber and Tammy Medders

Take a look at this interview with EFCA Network board member, Tammy Medders and SE District Superintendent, Glen Schrieber as they discuss equipping women for ministry, being aware of gender stereotypes, credentialing for women and being intentional about the inclusion of women in discipleship for the Great Commission.

Unmasking, masking: Love, Freedom, Honor, and Respect

This might be the hottest topic in the church today. Brett McCracken hits the target.

4 Reasons to Wear a Mask, Even if You Hate It

Arminian? Calvinistic?

Book review: Long-time EFCA pastor and able theologian, Jack Brooks, provides a biblical, theological and logical examination of what he sees as the merits and shortcomings of both Calvinism and Arminianism. Written in an accessible style for scholar and layperson alike, this pithy but trenchant examination of the most relevant texts used to defend both theological perspectives is presented with grace, yet conviction.

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Legal Issues for Churches and Covid

Informing Congregants of a COVID-19 CaseWith churches at varying stages of reopening their buildings during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, there are numerous logistics to address.There are legal issues to evaluate, and safety precautions to navigate. There are also scenarios to anticipate.