Leading churches

Reflecting on EFCA One 2019

Partners with the President on EFCA One 2019

Every month, EFCA President Kevin Kompelien highlights stories, vision and leadership from around the EFCA in his monthly e-newsletter, "Partners with the President." This month, Kevin talks about EFCA One 2019.

Before our time together at EFCA One, I had a prayer. It’s a prayer I prayed myself and one I asked several others to pray as well.

I prayed that, above all, EFCA One 2019 would be known more for the disciplemaking, church-planting mission God has given our movement than it would be about a change in our Statement of Faith. I continue to pray that, when we look back on 2019, people will remember: We’re on mission multiplying disciplemakers together. There’s something we’re going after, together, into the future.

I witnessed a sense of connectedness, a sense of learning and growing, and a sense of looking forward. It felt like a big family gathering.

At the largest conference we’ve had in 20 years, with more than 1,500 registered attendees, I witnessed a sense of connectedness, a sense of learning and growing, and a sense of looking forward. It felt like a big family gathering—so many smiles, so many people who hadn’t seen each other for a long time.

In a blog post reflecting on EFCA One, Greg Strand, EFCA executive director of theology and credentialing, referenced a note he’d received from a ministry veteran who hadn’t attended a national conference for many years:

“This year we came home, and we are so glad we did. It was so good to see old friends, enjoy a wide variety of great seminars, hear some challenging preaching and observe our denominational leaders leading with integrity and compassion. There was controversy, but it was handled decently and in order. The EFCA’s best days are ahead of us!” (From "One Lord, One Faith, One EFCA")

What an encouraging and powerful testimony of God’s work in our movement—a testimony that is reflective of the sense of togetherness I experienced as well. It was a sense of being together for the right purpose—to see a culture of disciplemaking take root in the EFCA.

Through the conference worship services, Deeper Learning Tracks and Learning Labs, we had amazing opportunities to dive deeper into the topic of multiplying disciplemakers.

We learned from Ed Stetzer, and others, about the importance of evangelism—how it’s the foundation upon which all disciplemaking is built. Pastor Colin Smith walked us through the commitment disciplemaking requires and reminded us to take up our crosses daily to follow Christ. Pastor Lawrence Scott spoke a message of life-on-life disciplemaking—how we don’t make disciples from the pew to the pulpit, but within the context of authentic relationship.

"The ultimate goal of discipleship is to look like Jesus."

Finally, Pastor Eric Rivera delivered a beautiful message on disciplemaking as life change. In his words, "The ultimate goal of discipleship is to look like Jesus. He is the goal, and when we are fully trained, we will look like Him."

During the Business Session, delegates of the 132nd EFCA Conference approved the Motion to Amend Article 9 of the Statement of Faith—79 percent of voting delegates affirmed the Motion. Throughout the debate and decision, God’s presence was evident as delegates kept in step with the Spirit (Gal 5:25), manifested the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23), and left an aroma of Christ (2 Cor 2:14-16).

For me, this was the culmination of two years of family conversation—a conversation that included 20 Q&A sessions—in every district and at almost every conference.

This was...a conversation on which we can build disciplemaking momentum.

To me, this was a powerful example of a family coming together, engaging in healthy dialogue and moving forward together. It’s a conversation on which we can build disciplemaking momentum.

At the end of the Business Session, we closed with Paul’s words from the doxology section of Ephesians 3—an important message as we look ahead toward God’s future for our movement:

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21)

EFCA One evidenced what God has done, is doing and will continue to do through Jesus and His Church. We heard stories from people in local churches and around the world. We had hallway conversations as we reconnected with old friends. We connected, we learned and grew together, and now, we're moving forward on the path God has set before us.

I believe we are on a long walk in one direction of seeing a true disciplemaking culture take root in the EFCA.

We want more followers of Jesus and more of them becoming more like Him.

We want more followers of Jesus and more of them becoming more like Him. As we do this, we'll see opportunities for ministries to grow and multiply and for churches to be planted.

What a privilege to serve a disciplemaking movement filled with people committed to Christ, living life-on-life with people and becoming more like Him each day.

This content and video conversation appeared in the July, 2019 edition of Partners with the President. To receive future updates, you can subscribe here.
Kevin Kompelien

President, EFCA

Kevin Kompelien is president of the Evangelical Free Church of America, serving in this role since June 2015. He previously served more than 20 years as a local pastor in the EFCA and then nine years as international leader of the Africa division with EFCA ReachGlobal. He and his wife, Becky, are members of Hillside EFC in San Jose, California.

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