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We have a new Lead Pastor! Welcome Geoff Heth!

Posted on: October 4th, 2018 by Graham Reimer

Dear Church Family,

We are pleased to share with you that Geoff Heth has accepted our invitation to serve as Lead Pastor of the Evangelical Free Church of Lethbridge!

On Monday evening, 98% of the membership voted “Yes!” Geoff spent the past couple of days listening for God’s voice and in final consultation with family, mentors, and praying friends before contacting the Board with his acceptance on Wednesday evening.

Geoff will join our staff on February 1, 2019, with opportunities for connection through the coming months. Thank you for your trust and faithful prayers as we have journeyed through this process. Please continue to pray for Geoff and Janel and their family as they finish their schooling, wrap up commitments in Calgary, and begin a transition to life in Lethbridge.

We are thrilled to welcome the Heths to our church family and are excited to see what God has in store for us and our community in the coming years!

With Gratitude and Praise,

 

The EFCL Board

Job Description Complete!

Posted on: May 5th, 2018 by Graham Reimer

Search Committee Update – May 5 2018

We made it!

We made it across the job description finish line!

The final version of the job description has been carefully crafted, reviewed, edited and prayed over many times. We as a church have officially launched our lead pastor position into the public eye after months of prayer, anticipation and excitement. As a search committee we thank you as a congregation and fellow disciples for your patience and support as we journeyed towards this phase. We are very excited to see who the Lord has prepared for us!

Lead Pastor Job Description

We truly believe the Holy Spirit has sculpted the job description as we came humbly before Him in prayer. With that as the foundation, the board, search committee, our former lead pastor Ian Lawson, district superintendent, staff (all were interviewed), and the congregational survey helped get us to this final draft. We are very thankful for the teamwork, collaboration, love and support that surrounded us as we did this work. What a joy it is to serve here at E-Free Lethbridge!

What happens now?

We have just sent out the job description to key contacts, leaders and influencers as of late this week, as well as posting it at Christian colleges and universities across Canada. The job description will also be posted to our website for public viewing and will be searchable worldwide as of May 6, 2018. It is prudent for us to share that this new phase we are now entering will be confidential, as we protect all applicants sending in resumes in the days and weeks ahead. Thank you for understanding and honouring this.

We want to encourage you all as a congregation to continue to use this “gap period” wisely, prayerfully, and productively. Believe it or not, it has only been 3 months since Ian’s last Sunday message to us! Thank you for your continued prayers, serving and volunteering, tithes and offering, and your commitment to the ministries that take place here from week to week. It is a joy watching us all continue to serve God and each other during this “gap period”. There are so many amazing things that continue to happen every week in and outside of the walls of E-Free Lethbridge. Please continue to pray for board, the staff and us as the search committee, as we still need your prayers. Thank you!

Many thank you’s to pass on:

  • Thank you to the staff and board for persevering and leading well during this time. They have all done exceptionally well and have served with great amounts of joy and excitement. We have a great team that leads us and we are proud to call this church home!
  • Thank you to the staff that helped us as a search committee in different areas of research, document preparation and editing, survey creation and completion, marketing, communication, and the list goes on and on. This is an additional task that was placed in front of you on top of regular day-to-day duties and you all helped willingly.
  • Thank you, Congregation, for your love, support, and prayers. They were felt continuously and were more encouraging than you realize. Your prayers gave us strength and confidence that was not our own and we needed that! Thank you everyone!

Please continue to check the blog and bulletin for future announcements as we journey in the days ahead. We are excited to give you updates when possible!

 

Thank you,

Search Committee

 

Lead Pastor Job Description

Church at 6 Q&A – Oct 23-29, 2016

Posted on: October 30th, 2016 by E-Free Lethbridge

Why did you choose to say God had a dream as opposed to he had a plan?
(“God had a dream” wondering if there is a reason “dream” was used as opposed to a word like “plan”. Not super important just curious)

Ian used dream as a figure of speech. He could have said God had a plan for Joseph. But because Joseph had a dream of God’s plan, Ian choose to say, God had a dream for Joseph.

Using the word ‘dream’ may make us believe that God’s intended plan for us can differ based upon our action and response. Dreams are ideals, plans are concrete. This may just be semantics. God gave Joseph a dream of who Joseph would become. God’s dream for Joseph was also God’s plan. The story of Joseph reveals the very complex coming together of God’s sovereignty and human free will.

Much like in the New Testament. Jesus changed Peter’s name from Simon to Peter. Peter means Rock. This indicates that Jesus’ dream and plan for Peter was that he’d become the Rock on which Jesus would build His church (John 1: 42)

The PAIN that we all have to go through, is this always the beginning of a new journey?!

Pain is definitely a journey. One that is experienced by all. It appears from Scripture that many of God’s leaders/servants were tried and tested before God unfolded His plan for them. Therefore, trial and God’s perceived silence can be an indication of a beginning of a new chapter or journey.

For example,
Joseph suffered in silence for 10+ years before he became prime minister in Egypt and was used to saved the people and his family (God’s people).
Moses: Exodus 2: 23 – “after that long period” God was silent in Israel’s life and Moses’ life before calling Moses to return to Egypt.
Interestingly Paul: Galatians 1: 18, Paul went away for three years before entering ministry. It appears though that this was not a time of silence from God about revelation. This is where Paul was trained. In the dessert, him and God. Unlike any other disciple, no one suffered more, endured more, or experienced more pain than Paul. From Paul’s life, pain doesn’t indicate a new chapter or beginning of a new journey. It was a reality he faced on every journey.

We live in a broken world. Pain is part of our reality. Does it indicate a start of a new journey. Perhaps sometimes, but not always.

Is God silent in your life because of unconfessed sin, or because of testing?

James 1:2, Consider pure joy, my brothers and sisters when you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
– So there is evidence from scripture that God uses trials to test and develop us.

We have to be careful when we try to explain God’s silence. You can be obedient to God and still experience His perceived silence. Job 2: 10, shall we experience good from God and not evil (Job was a righteous man and experienced silence) was Job being tested. Maybe? Was it because of unconfessed sin, No (his friends were rebuked for saying that).

Legalism is not of God. Grace is of God. Grace is an undeserved gift. Therefore, I’ll never earn my salvation and therefore I’ll never have a speed dial phone call to God based on how ‘good I am’. ‘So silence as punishment’ vs. ‘do good, and get access to God and blessing’ God doesn’t seem to work that way.

However, Sin has consequences. So if you do decide to rebel against your creator, you will miss out. If you are obedient to God, and you learn his ways, you will perhaps become more attuned to God (because He is never absent). But silence and suffering is the human condition. Regardless of how good or bad you are, you will experience silence and suffering. This is the broken world.

Two part question.
Does God orchestrate or cause suffering in order to teach or show us grace? Or is it because of Gods grace, that he uses suffering (caused by God or not) to teach us and show us grace?

Based on Genesis 3 (the fall of man), one can assert that,
1. God is not responsible for evil or sin.
2. Bad things happen because of human free will.
3. Because bad things happened God created Israel and eventually sent Jesus into the world to make the world right again. The whole story of Bible is an act of grace as Ian stated.
Based on Genesis 50: 20, You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good, to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
4. Therefore God orchestrated good out of suffering.

So based on Joseph God uses suffering to show us and teach us grace. I think your second question says it right, because of God’s character and grace that He can use suffering to teach and show us His grace.

Does God cause or allow suffering?

It seems to be that the better word choice based on the book of Job would be that God allows suffering. God didn’t stop the devil from making Job suffer. Some say, therefore God caused Job’s suffering because he could have stopped it. And clearly God could have stopped the devil but didn’t (perhaps because he knew that Job had strong character and would prove to the devil that He followed God regardless of material possession and health). Thus, Job is a great example of a man who did not let his challenges dictate his faith. This shows us that God clearly allowed and used suffering for His glory.

But what about Israel’s case. I am turning you over to your ways.

There are no accidents or coincidences in the life of a Christian so then no luck either?

I guess not. Though it certainly seems like we get lucky sometimes. But can there be luck or coincidence if God is all knowing? Through Joseph’s lens, he certainly seems to have gotten lucky that the Ishmaelites happened to walk by. If not, his brothers may have killed him. However, hindsight being 20/20, God’s hand was present. If the Ishmaelites didn’t come by at that moment, Joseph wouldn’t have been in Egypt.

God is not bound by time. Therefore he knows past, present and future. Which means, we have free will and possibly luck or coincidence and yet God still knows all and has control over all.

If sin is not outside of our control, and we have the power of the Holy spirit living inside of us, then in theory, could a person be sin free? Just a thought

James 2: 7 – Resist the devil and he will flee you. This verse affirms along with several other verses that we can resist and conquer sin.

However,

Romans 7: 19 – 20: For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do – this I keep doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
This seems to indicate that we don’t have power over sin.

So there is tension in the scriptures. We can control sin but at the same time we can’t. Based on Scripture I’d be led to believe one will never achieve perfection on this side of eternity. I also believe, given intention and because of the power of the Holy Spirit we can conquer sin.

Perhaps, though we may conquer lust. That doesn’t mean we’ve conquered greed. There will always be sin in our lives, but through the power of the Spirit we can conquer it. We conquer one area, than another area becomes visible.

Whose was the sin? the brothers who threw him in the cistern or Joesph who was so arrogant?

One could say Joseph got what was coming to him. His arrogance and hot dogging of his coat and dream reveals this. Jacob favouritism of Joseph also contributed to the brokenness of the family. And of course, the brother’s sin of throwing Joseph into the cistern. They all sinned and were guilty of it and thus there is brokenness.

Does the broken world that we live affect our reactions as Christians? I mean has the world we live limited our duties as Christian? If yes, what can we do?

I’m not sure exactly what this question is asking. I’m assuming you mean, the broken world has limited our ability to help because it is outside of our control. I can certainly identify with that. It would definitely be nice to know the plan and the why? But if God has a plan, as difficult as it is to see or as frustrating as it is. Trust and prayer is our response and we are called to help others where we can. But because of brokenness we are sometimes limited. The story of the prodigal son comes to mind. The son left and there was no stopping him but that isn’t the end of the story. This should give us both a sense of remorse (blessed are those who mourn) and a sense of hope (Lost sons/Lost Sheep are not forgotten by God and there is always hope).

So the lesson is that Gods love is compatible with bad things. But what if those “bad things” are too much and push you too far from God. Then it’s just too bad you didn’t have enough faith? What if it pushes other people away who never come back to God? Are we just supposed to believe that in the grand scheme of things the good will outweigh the bad? Those lost people were just part of the plan? A little collateral damage?

We discussed this question in detail at church at 6. It is true, often suffering leads you closer or farther away from God. For those whose suffering has caused them to abandon God. We don’t know their eternal destination. We know that God is Just and God is Good. So God will do what is Right. From the story of Joseph, one could say Joseph was collateral damage because of the brokenness and unfortunate circumstances. In the end, God did what was right. In the end, God will do what is right. As Christians, we don’t believe the good will outweigh the bad. We believe life is a gift of grace through Jesus Christ. In Him we find the God’s plan and it always involved lost people.

If God is Just and God is Good, He will do what’s right.