Annual Report and Meeting

The repurposed Ministerial Association was relaunched as the EFCA Network two years ago, shifting from a membership based group for pastors to a relational network uniting all leaders in our one EFCA. We no longer ask for annual dues, but gladly accept donations. You are a vital part of our Network and we give thanks for your character, calling and commitment to our shared mission to glorify God by multiplying transformational churches among all peoples! 

We hope you are planning to participate in the upcoming virtual Theology Conference, Feb. 3-4. Many pastors and other leaders plan to gather in regional clusters to watch the sessions together, providing opportunities to safely pray, connect and process the content. 

The annual report and meeting of the Network will take place right after the Theology Conference concludes, at 4 p.m. central time on Thursday, February 4. Simply click here to join the open zoom discussion at that time. (Meeting ID: 778 134 4557; Passcode: 455027). Hear from your eight representative board members on what the Network means to us. We will share our financial report and present our budget for 2021. Credentialed EFCA leaders who join the zoom will serve as our voting members to discuss and approve the budget. 

Invest in Trinity

As EFCA leaders, many of us were shaped by an education at TEDS. The COVID crisis has been a devastating challenge for all universities this year, and Trinity is no exception. As in the past, it is time for the churches and other EFCA leaders to stand with our school and help them continue to prepare godly leaders for our future!

Join Trinity as we seek to raise $46,798 to cover two full-tuition Presidential scholarships for students in need at TEDS and Trinity College.

In addition, we are looking for 100 alumni & friends that have never given to Trinity, to start by giving $5!

What’s more… every gift by December 31st will be matched, up to $250,000, by Trinity’s Board of Regents. Double your impact now!

Will you join us in supporting the next generation of leaders?

Give now!

Marriage is a piece of cake

Pastor Darin and his wife, Kristin, from Tampa, FL

“Getting a girl to like you is easy! Just find out what she likes and do a lot of it.” That’s what my Super Teen counselor, Karl Jackson, taught me as a sophomore in high school. The principle of a happy marriage is easy. It’s the discipline of “doing a lot of it” that becomes difficult. 

In the video we tried to creatively present the three essential layers of a healthy marriage. It starts with emotional intimacy, the base layer – “find out what she likes.” Two habits to stay in touch with each other are to talk for twenty minutes every day and to maintain a date night at least once or twice each month. Without this communication and connection, the relationship will start to falter.

Built on the emotional intimacy of knowing one another, the central layer of marriage is service. It’s not enough to just find out what she likes, you have to do a lot of it! This came naturally in the dating / courtship phase because you were trying to impress each other. But over the years, we fall into ruts of being served instead of serving. 

This is where the love and respect cycle is so important and where the five love languages come in. Emerson Eggerichs (Love & Respect) showed how important love and affection is for a woman and how equally vital it is for men to feel respected. Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages is another helpful tool to remind us that while one might prefer time and gifts, the other might feel more loved through touch and words. It’s about knowing each other well enough to serve each other well.

And of course, the key to continually loving, respecting and serving each other (sinners that we are) is the grace and love of Christ. Spiritual intimacy is the “strawberry jelly” that binds a couple together. Without Jesus, we will grow apart and increasingly insist on our own way. But with Jesus in the center, and His love flowing through us, we can sacrifice and serve in ways that mean the most to the other.

The top layer of the marriage cake is enjoyment. This is the result we worked so hard for in courtship: “getting a girl to like you.” It is easy in principle to “find out what she likes and do a lot of it.” Built on intimacy and service, the result of a healthy marriage is mutual enjoyment. You have fun together. You appreciate each other. The differences are not irritations, they are blessings. 

This three layer cake view of marriage also puts physical intimacy in its proper place – as the icing on the cake. It’s easy for those newer to marriage (especially men) to focus on the frosting. But the better place to focus is on the cake itself. Invest the time to get to know each other (again). Be sure to “talk 20” and prioritize date night. Keep Jesus in the center by consistently praying for each other and praying with each other. Ask Him to help you give up your rights and preferences to sacrificially serve your spouse as Jesus has served you. 

If we consistently do these things the joy will come back to our marriages, and yes, the icing will come with it. Then marriage really is “a piece of cake!”

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.