Additional Resources (Credentialing, Placement, Connection) CLICK HERE
WE VALUE CREDENTIALING: ORDINATION AND LICENSURE
We believe that every full-time pastor serving an EFCA church, should have a credential with the EFCA. For many new pastors and for those who transfer into the EFCA, it may seem like a daunting task, but we believe that the process of becoming fully credentialed will be more than worth the effort and will allow you to serve more effectively in the EFCA.
Having an EFCA credential is a significant step in clarifying God’s call on your life and gives assurance to you and to your congregation that you not only understand the doctrines and policies of the EFCA, but that you also affirm and meet these expectations. When credentialed, you will receive public denominational affirmation that you are approved for ministry in an EFCA local church.
In EFCA Central the first step is to contact our credentialing staff member, Todd Brooks (email@example.com). It is also helpful to view our credentialing information.
We VALUE THE RIGHT FIT FOR SERVING IN MINISTRY: Placement
We believe God has blessed us in EFCA Central with uncommonly gifted pastors and, because of that, we have had many long-tenured pastor/church relationships. However, eventually every church or pastor will need assistance with placement. There comes a time when we need to add staff, or replace a valued team member who has retired or moved on. There might also come a time when you yourself sense that God may be releasing you from your current ministry to seek a new calling.
We value an approach that considers pastoral giftedness in tandem with the skills and gifts required by an open position. Our goal is to match the two in a way which allows those gifts to be used to their fullest potential for both the pastor and church.
Whether you are looking to find a new team member for your church or you are considering a new ministry opportunity, we suggest two steps. First, review our Pastor Search website. Additionally, at some point during the process, you’ll want to contact the District Superintendent, Mike Shields. One of his main roles is to help pastors and churches think through the issues of finding a new ministry or seeking a new staff pastor.
WE VALUE BEING AVAILABLE: CONNECTING WITH A STAFF MEMBER
As a pastor you are expected to make dozens of decisions each week, from simple ones to the complex. You do it so routinely that you may even forget that it’s a great skill with which you have been blessed. Yet from time to time, you may encounter situations that leave you perplexed. If you have good friends in the ministry, they are often the first resource to use. We value ministry friendships and encourage you to build these vital lifelines.
However, there are times when situations are so difficult, you’ll recognize the need for some other outside perspective. In cases like these, we value being available to connect with you. Often it will be clear to you who on our staff to call based on the type of situation. As pastors and church leaders we are all in this together and, as an EFCA Central staff, we feel that there is no question that is unimportant to us. We are here to serve you.
WE VALUE A SABBATH RHYTHM TO MINISTRY: LIVING THE SABBATH
Ministry can be difficult work. In many ways a pastor is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. As such, to remain effective throughout your entire lifetime of ministry, it’s imperative for you as a pastor to develop a healthy rhythm to your week, your month, and your year. Sabbath is deeply ingrained in the character of God and, as pastors, we are called upon by God to model this lifestyle. Following this model is so key to our mission of promoting healthy churches, that we provide resources to help you integrate this pattern in your own life and ministry. Larry Austin, our Director of Church Health, is your primary contact to discuss establishing a rhythm of Sabbath for effective ministry.
We also value periodic sabbaticals for pastors as an important part of this ministry rhythm. In a number of ways, a ministry sabbatical is significantly different than that taken by other professionals, such as a “study leave.” A true sabbatical allows a pastor to enter deeply into a rest relationship with God. While study and learning is also a component of the sabbatical, the experience will be qualitatively different.
WE VALUE RELATIONSHIPS: CONNECTING WITH OTHER PASTORS
Throughout our district we have pastors who meet in regular clusters or cohorts. While the names of these groups vary depending on the purpose of the gathering and the region in which they take place, the primary reason is the same. These groups provide opportunities to build supportive friendships, discuss challenging ministry situations, and strengthen our commitment of a lifetime calling to serve Christ and his church. We do not currently have a ministerial grouping in every part of the district, but we are always available to assist you in integrating with an existing group or to help you in the process of creating a new one. Contact Larry Austin with your questions.
WE VALUE STRENGTHENING PASTORS AND SPOUSES: EVENTS AND RETREATS
There are two main events that we encourage every pastor and church leader to attend. These include the Annual EFCA Central Leadership Conference, held each year in March, and one of the two Pastor and Ministry Spouse Retreats, which take place in both the north and south regions each fall. These events are designed to refresh and strengthen pastors along with their spouses.
The events bring in top quality speakers, who both encourage and challenge us from the Word. Additionally the gatherings provide plenty of time to build healthy and enduring relationships with other ministry couples. With an understanding for the unique role and challenges ministry wives often face, we have developed a particular ministry of encouragement for them, which is also a part of these events.
Every spring we also host “affinity retreats” based upon the type of ministry in which the pastor is serving. These retreats have been called some of the most valuable equipping events of their year by many pastors. We encourage you to take advantage of these events. Contact Superintendent Mike Shields or Larry Austin if you have not yet participated and would like to become involved.
Statement of Faith
The Evangelical Free Church of America is an association and fellowship of autonomous and interdependent churches united around the same Statement of Faith.