General Church Resources

A bibliography of general resources for churches

Evangelical Convictions

Evangelical Convictions seeks to give clarity to the theological convictions contained in the EFCA Statement of Faith - spelling out what is affirmed and what is denied (and what is not addressed). It expounds these convictions - helping the reader understand and appreciate the wonderful truth contained in this Statement of Faith. It speaks clearly but, as much as possible, without technical theological terms so that it can be profitable for all believers, both inside and outside of the EFCA, who need to be grounded in the essentials of the faith.

In this 2nd edition, there are several updates. along with some additions.

Get the book HERE.


Elder / Deacon / Leader Training

Titles, pastors, elders, etc.

  • Different churches have different standards for who gets the title "pastor." Is it someone who is on staff exercising pastoral care? Is it someone who is one of the elders who is on staff? The MWD office doesn't determine how the churches in the MWD define titles, but we encourage them to answer the questions: "What does 'elder' mean?" and "What does 'pastor' mean?", and then to ground their answers on Scripture.
  • Here's an article that argues that "pastor" is a title that should be given only to someone who is an elder: "Don't Title People 'Pastor' If They Aren't An Elder", by J.A. Medders.
  • Here's an article that argues from a complementarian perspective that women can be given the title "pastor" because he doesn't equate the role to an elder: "A Complementarian Case for Women as Pastors", by Sam Storms.
  • We welcome submissions for good articles that argue different views on the question in order to provide a breadth of views.

The Leaders' Responsibility to Promote New Leaders

One of a leader's most important responsibilities is to set up the church with good leaders to succeed him or her

  • You will not develop the leadership you need 5-10 years from now if they are not serving in rotation now - you would be starving the future church from experienced leaders, which is leadership malpractice.
  • Overlapping leaders is a great way to develop new leaders while still getting the input of more experienced leaders at the same time - the best of both worlds! (This is a great reason for leadership term limits of some kind.)
  • A church will often not make the changes it should when it should unless there is a rotation of leaders. Churches become "stuck" when older leaders are not actively giving leadership to and mentoring younger leaders.
  • 2 Tim 2:2 - If we are not always actively finding ways to entrust leadership, teaching, and doctrinal integrity to the young eagles in the congregation, we are disobeying Scripture. "Entrust these things to faithful men."
  • See also Paul's speech at Miletus in Acts 20 - he was soon leaving and therefore would not be in leadership. So he entrusts the younger leaders to God and to the Word. (So that's two kinds of entrusting going on with church leadership.)
  • Trust involves risk ... get over it. The younger leaders are not as qualified as you ... neither were you when you started leading.
  • The "we don't have anyone qualified or willing" excuse is made worse by not having term limits and making leadership development a mandatory leadership task. Term limits and structure force the issue.

We in the district office can come alongside you and your efforts to be developing leaders, changing your polity to foster leadership development, and connect you with churches that have already made such changes.

Promoting Church Membership

  • "5 Biblical Arguments for Church Membership" from Lifeway Research
  • The EFCA believes strongly in the autonomy of the local church. Therefore, church membership is particularly important in the EFCA in order to self-govern. Membership flows out of our biblical conviction of church autonomy.
  • Furthermore, our doctrinal statement is one of our clearest defining attributes as a movement. Doctrinal integrity is maintained through membership and those who commit to perpetuate our Statement of Faith.
  • Welcome to the Family - an EFCA resource for teaching membership

Preventing and Responding to Abuse Within the Church

Small Church / Rural Church Resources

Oak Hill's list

  • Daman, Glenn. Leading the Small Church: How to Develop a Transformational Ministry. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 2006.
  • ——————. Shepherding the Small Church: A Leadership Guide for the Majority of Today’s Churches. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Academic & Professional, 2008.
  • ——————. The Forgotten Church: Why Rural Ministry Matters for Every Church in America.
  • Hansen, David. The Art of Pastoring: Ministry without All the Answers. Revised ed. Downers Grove, Ill: IVP Books, 2012.
  • Smith, Lee J. Reflections of a Small Town Pastor: Engaging in God’s Mission in Smaller Places. Minneapolis, MN: NextStep Resources, 2013.
  • Wells, Barney, Martin Giese, and Ron Klassen. Leading through Change: Shepherding the Town and Country Church in a New Era. St. Charles, IL: ChurchSmart Resources, 2005.
  • Rural Home Missionary Association
  • Rural Impact Leadership Conference
  • Rural Matters Institute
  • Oak Hills Christian College Certificate in Rural Leadership and Ministry