This page is a collection of resources that we’re continually adding to in order to gather informative resources for a variety of current topics facing us, including controversial ones.
This is not an advocacy page but a repository. Not all resources here are endorsed, but they are included as relevant, if even advocating a contrary position to those typically or categorically held by Free church pastors. We do try to filter out under-researched opinion pieces.
Some of these resources will contradict each other. Some of them will assert things you don’t agree with. You can consider the resources you don’t agree with as ways to learn how others see and interpret the issues so that you can strengthen your own case.
Please feel free to recommend new resources to add to this list by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Soul Care for Pastors
- The Book Your Pastor Wishes You Would Read, by Christopher Ash - https://www.truthforlife.org/store/products/books-and-booklets/the-book-your-pastor-wishes-you-would-read
- The Care of Souls, by Harold L. Senkbeil
- The Five Temptations of a CEO, by Patrick Lencioni - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0062OAEWM
- The Flourishing Pastor: Recovering the Lost Art of Shepherd Leadership, by our own Tom Nelson. Click HERE.
- Pandemic-weary Pastor - https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/pandemic-weary-pastor/
- The Pastor, by Eugene Peterson
- Pastoral Graces: Reflections on the Care of Souls by Lee Eclov - “for weary pastors needing a comforting arm around their shoulder”
- Pathways - Pastor training from the EFCA - https://www.csmedia1.com/paseodelrey.org/efca-global-pathway-pastoral-training.pdf
- Sabbatical Guide from SoulShepherding - https://www.soulshepherding.org/sabbatical-guide-pastors/
- Sabbatical Metaphor for your church: It's like letting a field go fallow for a season - 1) It lets the soil rest; 2) It builds nutrients back into the soil; and 3) It gets rid of toxins. It's better for the farmer to let the field go fallow for a season, and it's better for the church to give the pastor a sabbatical for a season.
- Victory in the Battle: Biblical Power for Purity, by Eric Douglass (Beacon Community EFC, Goddard, KS). Pamphlet available by request from Eric.
Pastor transition planning:
- From the North Central District: https://ncdefca.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Lead-Pastor-Transitions_NCD-QuickGuide.pdf
- Embracing Succession, by Will Heath (recommended by Jeff Donelan, McCook)
- Next: Pastoral Succession that Works by Vanderbloemen and Bird, Foreward by John Ortberg.
- Soaring Between Pastors, by Tom Harris with IPM - how churches can become stronger during a pastor transition. Click HERE.
- Training IPM to become an interim pastor: https://interimpastors.com/2022-training-days/
- The Tired Pastor's Wife - https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/hope-wife-tired-pastor/
General Church Resources
- Thom Rainer's predicted church trends 2022: click HERE.
- Multiplying Kingdom Communities - Overview (click HERE). Contact Colby to get information on how to connect with Keith Dunn.
- "Are we making disciples or not?" - from the EFCA blog, click HERE.
- Campus to Church Movements - CM2 Bridge Initiative - click HERE.
- Disciplemaking journals - by Eric Douglass, click HERE.
- Rooted - https://www.experiencerooted.com/events/
- Walking in Humility, by our own Michael Vincent - click HERE.
- Work Matters: Connecting Sunday Worship to Monday Work, by our own Tom Nelson - click HERE.
Disciplemaking Pathway samples:
- Appleton Gospel Church - click HERE
- Forest Lakes District - click HERE
- Minden EFC Leadership Pathway - click HERE
- Northern Lights EFC - click HERE
- Risen Church EFCA - click HERE
Disciplemaking with Teens:
- Bible Instruction Course - by Ed Bender and Jim Forestrom. It follows the old 12 pt EFCA statement of Faith. Updates to the new statement of faith are available (still tracking down where).
- BRICK - Built Right In Christ's Kingdom. Click HERE. There is also a leader's guide.
- Coming soon: Bible Survey, Doctrine and Christian Living by Warren Coe (Former President of Village School of the Bible, and EFCA pastor). Will be available at NextStep Resources.
- Church Elders: How to Shepherd God’s People Like Jesus by Jeramie Rinne - https://www.amazon.com/Church-Elders-Shepherd-Building-Churches-ebook/dp/B00IFG07DG/
- Biblical Eldership by Alexander Strauch - https://www.amazon.com/Biblical-Eldership-Urgent-Restore-Leadership/dp/0936083115
- E3: Effective, Empowering, Elders by Rick Thompson (District Superintendent of the Great Lakes District). Click HERE.
- The Five Dysfunctions as a Team - by Patrick Lencioni, click HERE.
- Gospel Eldership by Robert Thune - https://www.amazon.com/Gospel-Eldership-Equipping-Generation-Servant/dp/1942572611
- The New Elder's Handbook - click HERE.
- Lead like a Shepherd by Larry Osborne - https://www.amazon.com/Lead-Like-Shepherd-Secret-Leading-ebook/dp/B01MSL41RO
- Developing leaders among the youth, Brick Leaders' Guide - Click HERE.
- Men with No Regrets: https://www.menwithnoregrets.org/
- Flint Hills Bible Church (Emporia, Kansas) Organizer of the yearly Ironmen Conference (around 750 men signed up for last month’s conference) as well as regular “Ironmen” men’s events in his local church: https://www.flinthillsbc.org/ironmen.
- What is Heaven Like? by our own Richard Eng. An illustrated children's book on what heaven is like. Click HERE.
- Interim Pastor Ministries to help your church thrive during transition and help Pastor Next succeed. http://interimpastors.com.
- Embracing Succession by Will Heath.
- Leading Turnaround Churches. Instead of leaving the church you're serving, consider leading them through change. Click HERE.
- North Central District’s guide to transitions: https://ncdefca.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Lead-Pastor-Transitions_NCD-QuickGuide.pdf
- Soaring Between Pastors, by Tom Harris with IPM - how churches can become stronger during a pastor transition. Click HERE.
Search committees / Salaries:
- Setting a church employee’s salary: Contact Colby and he can run a report specific to your context.
- Salary guide from the North Central District: click HERE.
- Vanderbloemen Church Staffing: https://www.vanderbloemen.com/
- PastorSearch, the EFCA placement tool for churches and candidates: https://pastorsearch.efca.org/
- Church Staffing - https://www.churchstaffing.com/
- Jobs for Pastors: http://jobsforpastors.com
- Ministry Search: http://ministrysearch.com
Small Church / Rural Church Resources
- A Big Gospel in Small Places: Why Ministry in Forgotten Communities Matters by Stephen Witmer - https://www.amazon.com/Big-Gospel-Small-Places-Communities/dp/0830841555
- The Forgotten Church: Why Rural Ministry Matters for Every Church in America by Glenn Daman - https://www.amazon.com/Forgotten-Church-Ministry-Matters-America/dp/0802418139
- The More-with-Less Church: Maximize Your Money, Space, Time, and People to Multiply Ministry Impact, by one of our own, Eddy Hall - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KDN85EC .
- The Rural Home Missionary Network - https://www.rhma.org/ .
- The Small Church Leadership Network - https://www.ruralministry.net/ .
- Small Town Churches Network - https://www.smalltownchurches.org/ .
Establishing a pastoral residency program
- Made to Flourish Pastoral Residencies - resources and coaching to establish a pastoral residency program in your church. The website is HERE and an informational booklet is HERE.
- Pathways - We help underserved church leaders plant and develop healthy churches around the world, https://www.pathwaylearning.org/
Church Finances and Buildings
- Church Budgeting Tool - Envelop3 - https://envelope3.com/ .
- Church Excel (free resources on finances and other helpful guides) - https://www.ecfa.church/CE-Dashboard.aspx
- The Employee Retention Credit webinar recording - click HERE.
- Year-end giving sample letter from the ECFA - click HERE.
- Free tax guide from ECFA: https://www.ecfa.church/TaxBooks/Default.aspx.
ECFA’s e-books for churches (note: ECFA, not EFCA)
- e-books: https://www.ecfa.church/CE-eBooks.aspx .
- Alternative ideas for church buildings - click HERE.
Self-evaluation Tools for Churches
- 9 Marks of a Healthy Church - by Mark Dever, click HERE.
- Annual Guide to Biblical Counseling Resources 2019: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1VWnCrYeFIU12YShLOL52NLAVa28mKvPg/view?usp=sharing
- Church Equippers (how to get unstuck as a church) - https://churchequippers.com/ (note that Colby can coach your church in Church Equippers processes)
- Demographic reports: Contact Colby and he can run a detailed demographics report for any zip code or hand-drawn boundary.
- Exponential’s Free e-Books: https://exponential.org/resource-ebooks/
- Healthy Church - https://www.healthychurch.net/
- Membership classes - Welcome to the Family - https://nextstepresources.com/product/welcome-to-the-family/
- Natural Church Development church assessment tools - http://www.ncd-international.org/
- Patheway Ministries (pastor and church coaching, interim services) https://patheway.org/ (note: note to be confused with the Pathway church leader training)
- Tools for your Board from ECFA - https://mailchi.mp/ecfa/is-your-ministry-ready-to-re-open-716714?e=49d9780903
- Walking the Walls (step-by-step coaching to build healthy teams & grow your ministry, led by a district church member Joe Chenoweth) - https://www.walkingthewalls.org/
- Women Ministry Leaders - “Prepared” is cohort-based training program to equip women for leadership within the church - https://prepared.ministries.efca.org/ .
American Church Group's most requested forms
- There are so many additional forms, resources and checklists on Brotherhood Mutual’s Safety Library online. You can also access Legal Assist where you can submit your questions directly to Brotherhood Mutual’s legal team for additional guidance.
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School / Trinity International University
- TEDS - Click HERE.
- TIU - Click HERE.
- TEDS Chapel Series - Click HERE. At TEDS, we’re not afraid of difficult theological discussions. This spring the TEDS chapel and lecture series, hear from respected theologians and pastors on why they remain faithful to the Gospel and how the Gospel thwarts the ideologies of the world. Information is also available on these platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin
LGBTQ+, Gender, and Sexuality Issues, the Equality Act
- Calibrate Ministries / Brady Cone (LGBTQ+ and the Gospel) - https://calibrateministries.com/ (Brady is available to equip churches and parents to minister to those with same-sex attraction)
- The Great Exchange - a series of podcast on the topic, with Brady Cone - click HERE.
- Caleb Kaltenbach / The Messy Grace Group (LGBTQ+ and the Gospel, and a resource for The Equality Act efforts in Congress) - https://www.calebkaltenbach.com/
- Christopher Yuan - https://christopheryuan.com/ . See also the ReachStudents interview with Christopher by clicking HERE.
- Desert Stream: seeking wholeness as image bearers - www.desertstream.org
- EFCA's position on women in ministry: https://blogs.efca.org/strands-of-thought/posts/ministry-of-women-and-credentialing
- Men and Women in the Church, by Kevin DeYoung. Click HERE.
- Transgender, by Vaughn Roberts
- Washed & Waiting, by Wesley Hill
- When Harry Became Sally, by Ryan Anderson
- How to love trans people: https://go.efca.org/blog/engaging-culture/how-church-can-love-trans-people
Race Issues, CRT, BLM
- Be The Bridge, by LaTasha Morrison
- Confronting Injustice without Compromising Truth by Thaddeus Williams, click HERE.
- Embracing the New Samaria, by Alex Mandes, director of the EFCA All Peoples ministry. Click HERE. Don't forget the study guide.
- Project 378. An approach to the discussing race from the biblical perspective using the EFCA Statement of Faith. Coming Summer 2022.
- Stuck in the Present by David George Moore (CRT and other current issues)
- The Myth of Equality, by Greg Wystma
- One Blood, John Perkins
- “What Happened to You?” by Andrew Sullivan (CRT) - https://andrewsullivan.substack.com/p/what-happened-to-you-e5f
The Church in the Public Square (kind of a grab-bag category)
- A critique of the methods of the Abortion Abolitionist movement and their opposition to the Value Them Both amendment: https://www.epm.org/blog/2021/Oct/18/problem-abortion-abolitionism .
- Can evangelicals get along? (sent in by Eric Hoehn) - https://theimaginativeconservative.org/2021/08/evangelicals-secular-creed-rebecca-mclaughlin-louis-markos.html?mc_cid=b08427afe0&mc_eid=5a59db376a
- Deconstructionism - 1) https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/redeem-reconstruction/; 2) https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2022/march/exvangelical-theology-wait-youre-not-deconstructing.html?utm_medium=widgetsocial
- 6 Fractures in the Evangelical Church - https://mereorthodoxy.com/six-way-fracturing-evangelicalism/
- Human Trafficking Training for Law Enforcement in your Community - http://humantraffickingtrainingcenter.com
- National Association of Evangelicals - resources for discussing issues in the public square - https://www.nae.org/
- We Will Not Be Silenced: Responding courageously to our culture’s assault on Christianity, by Erwin Lutzer - https://www.amazon.com/Will-Not-Silenced-Courageously-Christianity/dp/B08S48M34S
- Politics and the Christian Witness: https://helps.efca.org/resources/politics-and-the-christian-witness
- Responding to accusations that the EFCA has adopted a "woke" worldview, an unofficial statement by Greg Strand, plus a transcript of Kevin Kompelien's remarks at the national conference. You can request a copy of either from Colby Kinser.
- Science for the Church - https://scienceforthechurch.org/ .
Granting religious exemptions for masks
Blockchain, NFT, Crypto
Events and other resources hosted by our churches for the church at large or featuring our pastors
- Historical biographies: Vance Christie has written several historical biographies of many people of faith. Click HERE to see a list.
From the Pastoral Team
All Peoples Ministries (Abdel Gonzalez)
- "I am your immigrant neighbor" - Video from the NAE on the value of welcoming and supporting immigrant ministries - https://vimeo.com/channels/1739247
- Connecting American and Immigrant Church Ministries - https://connectors.church/
Credentialing and Doctrine (Phil Green)
- Getting your credentials with the EFCA - https://efcamidwest.org/resources-copy/
- Audio version of Evangelical Convictions: https://go.efca.org/blog/understanding-scripture/evangelical-convictions-theological-exposition-statement-faith; and https://helps.efca.org/bundles/evangelical-convictions-audiobook-collection?_ga=2.12332919.294953884.1634670310-2040606486.1457461610
Global Initiatives (Kerry Relihan)
- Miraculous Movements, Jerry Trousdale - Disciple Making Movements are described. Chapter 13 is a great outline for how to apply this in your own setting. This book is about some ministries that I am currently in touch with and which ReachGlobal is partnering to reach Unreached People Groups in Africa.
- The Kingdom Unleashed Jerry Trousdale & Glenn Sunshine - This is a more in depth look at God’s Kingdom movements that are exploding around the world. Useful to consider how to make it happen here in the US too.
- Check out the website - stratus.earth - to get a flavor of what is happening around the world among the people groups within the various nations. Great tool for prayer or to see where your missionaries areSpeak with me if you are curious about or interested in using multitrack tech to support and fill-in your team, most useful when doing contemporary music.
Multiplication (Mike Sechler)
NextGen Ministries (Lige Reed)
Worship Arts (Donald Adams)
- The Worship Pastor by Zac Hicks - https://www.amazon.com/Worship-Pastor-Ministry-Leaders-Teams-ebook/dp/B01CXDN2TC .
- A Guide to Worship Ministry: The Worship Minister’s Life and Work by Gregory B. Brewton - https://www.amazon.com/Guide-Worship-Ministry-Ministers-Life-ebook/dp/B079GDR719 .
- FREE modern arrangements of class hymns (optimal for a band): Biblical Worship
- Traditional and modern arrangements of hymns plus orchestration on new/old songs: Lifeway Worship (Pay per song, roughly $3-$10 each)
- FREE Sovereign Grace Music - theologically rich, new songs. Sovereign Grace
- Speak with me if you are curious about or interested in using multitrack tech to support and fill-in your team, most useful when doing contemporary music.
- City Alight Music - Free, downloadable worship songs and sheets. Click HERE.