Strategy

Vision: to encourage leader-to-leader relationships

Purpose: to support District, National and International initiatives for the care and effectiveness of all EFCA leaders

Current Initiatives:

  • Provided funding for fellowship meals at the 2018 and 2019 Theology Conferences to facilitate relational connections among all participants.
  • Budgeted funds (up to $20,000) to support Recovery Church expenses related to travel, etc., for National team members. sed-team
  • Provide DS’s with a letter from the Network Board for non-licensed pastors in their Districts encouraging them to pursue an EFCA credential. Along with each letter, the Network provides a free copy of Evangelical Convictions to assist in the process.
  • Continuing a discussion with District and National leaders related to the updated proposal and how the Network could best assist them in accomplishing their goals.
  • Emphasize credentialing since full membership in the Network is determined entirely by holding a credential. All EFCA leaders are Associate Members in the Network. To become a full voting member you need to get licensed or ordained!

Future Initiatives:

  • Provide a similar letter and book gift for non-licensed missionaries and other ministry leaders to be delivered by the appropriate EFCA contact.

Possible Initiatives

  • MA Board members assist District and/or National in providing phone calls to EFCA Pastors who are far from a pastor meeting or other form of EFCA connection. Potentially help recruit a phone calling team of others with a heart for their fellow pastors.
  • Finance additional books or resources as requested by DS’s.
  • Serve as a grant-distributing board for Districts – providing funding (up to $5,000 per District per year) for various initiatives related to the health and effectiveness of our leaders.

 

[For more rationale, read this letter sent to all MA members in December of 2017]

For the last several years, the Ministerial Association (MA) Board has been reflecting on the role the Association has played in the EFCA’s past and we have been discussing our future with district and national leaders. In the early years of our movement, the MA was the only structure providing missional organization, mutual accountability and care among our leaders. Following the 1950 merger and increasingly through the late 20th century, district and national structures developed to efficiently address the needs of pastors, missionaries, chaplains and ministry leaders. (Read more history here.)

Therefore, the MA Board started a discussion at the 2017 Theology Conference, proposing that we change the name and purpose of the MA and inviting discussion among our members. Based on input from many past and current members of the Association and as a result of in depth and ongoing discussion with district superintendents, we have refined the proposal to the following.

Current Name Proposed Name
The Ministerial Association of the EFCA The EFCA Leaders Network
Current Purpose Proposed Purpose
To minister to the spiritual, intellectual, emotional and physical well being of its members in ways that enhance their overall effectiveness in ministry. To support district and national initiatives for the care and effectiveness of all EFCA Leaders.

Proposed Strategy

  • Support and promote resources and opportunities provided at the district and national level through a relational network based on our shared identity as EFCA leaders. The Network is simply an informal, grassroots association made up of all EFCA pastors, missionaries, chaplains and ministry leaders.
  • Communicate to all EFCA leaders, “You are a part of our movement!” rather than “Join our professional association.” Instead of required dues for membership, suggest a voluntary annual contribution of $25-$75 as an investment in fellow leaders.
  • Encourage credentialing by reserving voting status in the Network for those with an active ministry credential with the EFCA, sending a Network board member to serve on Board of Ministerial Standing (BOMS), and supporting the promotion of credentialing by the districts and national office.
  • Focus on a few simple duties such as supporting districts as they welcome new leaders, honoring longstanding service in the EFCA, and hosting an annual dinner at the Theology Conference.
    • Welcome new leaders by providing funding for districts to distribute a resource like Evangelical Convictions to all new ministers along with a letter of welcome from the Network.
    • Honor the faithful service of leaders who reach life-status in the Network, retire or graduate to glory by (for example) publishing an updated list each year and highlighting stories of how God has worked through these men and women.
    • Invite all EFCA leaders to something like an annual dinner at the Theology Conference. The meal would be free as a way to help EFCA leaders connect with one another and the program designed to accomplish the purposes above.
    • Invest in the Recovery Church program by providing funding to the national office in order to care for EFCA leaders in crisis.
  • Represent EFCA leaders through a Network Board made up of individuals from different parts of the country and different ministry roles that communicates regularly with district and national leaders to effectively support their initiatives toward long term health and effectiveness.
Desired Results of Repurposing
  • To re-energize the historic goals of the Ministerial Association in alignment with current district and national structures.
  • To enhance the historic identity of the Free Church leader, helping districts bring us together to support each other and labor together in gospel ministry since we are “better together!”
  • To increase engagement in cooperative mission in the U.S. and around the world.
  • To increase involvement in pastoral gatherings in districts and nationally, and enhance a culture of leader-to-leader care and accountability.
  • To increase the pursuit of credentialing.
  • To increase interest in resources and opportunities for pastoral health and effectiveness.
  • To encourage leaders to seek help with their struggles sooner so the number needing Recovery Church services each year will decrease.

We invited and hosted a discussion about this at the MA business meeting in San Antonio, Texas, on February 1, 2018. There were a few questions about funding and some suggestions about the name (which is why we are now simply calling it the EFCA Network). 

As we pray for all members of the Ministerial Association, we thank God for your faithfulness to the Lord, to one another and to the EFCA. May our gracious Heavenly Father continue to work in and through each of us, His servants, for the unending glory of Jesus’ name and the advance of the gospel.

Yours in Christ,

Darin Anderson, Sr. Pastor, Oakwood Community Church, Tampa, Florida  

Todd Hessel, Sr. Pastor, Ankeny EFC, Ankeny, Iowa

Curt Mudgett, Sr. Pastor, Cedar Creek Church, Montrose, Colorado

Bill Wick, Chaplain, Norwich University (Military College of Vermont), Northfield, Vermont

MA Proposal 2017 (PPT from the January, 2017, MA business meeting by acting transition chairman, Darin Anderson)