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2014 EFCA TX-OK District Conference

EFCA Texas - Oklahoma District

Friday, February 28, 2014 at 1:00 PM - Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 1:00 PM (CST)

2014 EFCA TX-OK District Conference

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Annual TX - OK District Conference

2014 Annual Leadership Conference: Thriving on the Front Lines



The 2014 Annual Leadership Conference is called, “Thriving on the Front Lines.” Our keynote speaker this year is the well known and respected author Gary Thomas. The conference will be held February 28th to March 1st, 2014 - 1:00pm Friday to 1:00pm Saturday. The location for this year’s conference is Wayside Chapel EFC, 1705 NW Loop 410, San Antonio, Texas 78213. We hope you’ll join us!

Bring your spouse and stay over for a weekend visit to the famous San Antonio River Walk!
GaryThomasWEBKeynote Speaker:  Gary Thomas
Bestselling Author and International Speaker

Gary Thomas is a bestselling author and international speaker whose ministry brings people closer to Christ and closer to others. He unites the study of Scripture, church history, and the Christian classics to foster spiritual growth and deeper relationships within the Christian community.

Gary’s books have been translated into more than a dozen languages and won numerous awards. His writings have established him as a thought-leader in the areas of marriage, parenting, and spiritual formation.

Church leaders and pastors appreciate Gary’s ability to challenge and encourage the spiritual depth of an audience. He has spoken at conferences, retreats, and college campuses in 49 states and eight countries, including appearances at the Focus on the Family National Marriage Simulcast, the Gaithers’ Praise Gathering, and several National Pastor’s Conventions. Gary has also brought thousands of married couples closer together through his popular Sacred Marriage seminars. As a prolific writer, Gary has had over 150 articles published in major magazines, such as Christianity Today, Decision, Moody, Marriage Partnership, New Man, World, Charisma, Boundless.org and Discipleship Journal. His message has also been featured on national radio and television programs, such as Family Life Today and Focus on the Family.

Gary is a lifelong advocate of using the Christian classics to bring people closer to Christ. His formal education includes graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature from Western Washington University. In addition, he holds a Master’s degree with a concentration in systematic theology from Regent College in Vancouver, B.C., where he studied under Dr. J.I. Packer. In 2006, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon. Gary is an avid runner who has completed eleven marathons, including Boston three times. He is married, has three children, and lives in Houston, TX where he is a Writer in Residence at Second Baptist Church.

Friday 4:30 to 5:30 pm –  Thriving on the Front Lines Through Authentic Faith

The faith God calls you to is far more than a glowing positivism that shields you from life's struggles. It is one that guides you into a deepening intimacy with the God who sustains you in the broad sweep of life. Gary will help you sharpen your spiritual vision and fortify your commitment by examining ten disciplines God uses to forge a fire-tested faith. A biblical view of these disciplines can safeguard you from disillusionment when---not if---difficulties surface in your life. Sharing scriptural insights, the wisdom of Christians through the centuries, and cogent personal observations, Gary will explores the disciplines of selflessness, waiting, suffering, persecution, social mercy, forgiveness, mourning, contentment, hope and fear, and sacrifice. This eye-opening look at what it means to be a true disciple of Jesus will encourage you, bolster your faith, and help you rise above shallow attachments to fix your heart on things of eternal worth.

Friday 7:00 to 8:30 pm – Thriving on the Front Lines Through Sacred Marriage

Your marriage is more than a sacred covenant with another person. It is a spiritual discipline designed to help you know God better, trust him more fully, and love him more deeply. Scores of books have been written that offer guidance for building the marriage of your dreams. But what if God's primary intent for your marriage isn't to make you happy . . . but holy? And what if your relationship isn't as much about you and your spouse as it is about you and God? Everything about your marriage--everything--is filled with prophetic potential, with the capacity for discovering and revealing Christ's character. The respect you accord your partner; the forgiveness you humbly seek and graciously extend; the ecstasy, awe, and sheer fun of lovemaking; the history you and your spouse build with one another--in these and other facets of your marriage, Gary will help uncover the mystery of God's overarching purpose. This session may very well alter profoundly the contours of your marriage. It will most certainly change you. Because whether it is delightful or difficult, your marriage can become a doorway to a closer walk with God, and to a spiritual integrity that, like salt, seasons the world around you with the savor of Christ.

Conference cost schedule

Early Bird Registration (by Jan. 22): $79.00 per person or $99.00 per married couple

Regular Registration (Jan. 23 - Feb. 21): $99.00 per person or $119.00 per married couple

Late Registration (Feb. 22 or after): $119.00 per person or $139.00 per married couple

Saturday only Registration (by Feb. 21): $29.00 per person or $39.00 per married couple.
(Feb. 22 or after): $59.00 per person or $69.00 per married couple.

Hotel Information

We have secured a special rate for room accommodations. The discount code is "EFCA" when making reservation to get the special rate. Hotel information is in the brochure and listed here:

Holiday Inn San Antonio International Airport
 77 NE Loop 410
 San Antonio, TX 78154
Hotel Front Desk: (888) 615-0518 or local (210) 349-9900

$99.00 rate block which includes a complete breakfast for 2 (available 2 days prior and 2 days after conference dates). Must make reservation by 2-7-14!

Saturday Workshop Sessions -  

There will be two Saturday workshop sessions: 

Workshop Session #1 will be from 8:30 until 10:00 am. 
Workshop Session #2 will be from 10:30 am until 12:00 pm.

You will choose a total of two workshop sessions to attend from the session list below, one for each time-slot.

(UPDATE 11/19/2013 :: Workshop sessions and times are subject to change.  We are still working through the logistics of individual room alotments.  If you have planning based questions about the time of a session, please email bob@efcatxok.org )      


AMandesDr. Alejandro Mandes
Director of Hispanic Ministries 

Alejandro (Alex) Alex Mandes has served in the EFCA national office for
the last eight years but before that served in the Texas Oklahoma district as a pastor/church planter. He has doctoral and masters degrees from DTS. He now serves the EFCA as the director of Hispanic Ministries, Coordinator for
EFCAGATEWAY and executive director of Immigrant Hope. As a national leader he has consulted with many churches, other denominations and non-profit organizations in ministry to underserved peoples and areas in America. His greatest passion is making disciples and planting churches. Alex and Julie still live in San Antonio – Yahoo!

Workshop Session #1 on Saturday: Raising Your Own Leaders in the Church
Summary: Jesus said pray for laborers and I believe that is the place to start, but Jesus also prepared laborers. As the director of EFCAGATEWAY (EFCA denominational non-formal theological training) I believe in training up our own guys. But that idea didn’t start while working at the national office. It started at one of the churches that the Lord allowed me to plant. This workshop will give you the basic plan for creating a “Your Church Leadership Institute” in your own church. The ingredients include Theology/Knowledge + Skill + Mentoring = Leaders. This is doable!
Workshop Session #2 on Saturday: Launching a Second Language Service
Summary: If you count all the 1st generation immigrants in our country they would be the world’s 27th largest country. Since their children go to public school their children are English speaking…but the parents still need a service in their language. Because of economics, lack of trained leaders and facilities it makes sense offer a 2nd language service at the same time as the English service. Then they go to church together and only separate to go to their language preference. It is alignment by theology, calendar and mission. It is a model used across the EFCA to start many ministries http://go.efca.org/resources/media/church-church-video This workshop will cover 10 details of how to set up a 2nd language ministry.



Bob DeGray 
Pastor, Trinity Fellowship EFCA, Friendswood, TX 

I became a follower of Jesus in my teens and grew in my faith as I studied engineering in beautiful downtown Hoboken, New Jersey, across the Hudson River from the (then) World Trade Center. I spent the early part of my career as a mechanical engineer working for (then) Exxon, which moved me to Texas in 1981. In 1986 I left to form my own company, doing engineering software and consulting. That business was successful enough that when I sensed God leading me to seminary I was able to pay for school with the proceeds of the sale of my business, and do consulting with the new owners to pay for food and such.

My wife Gail and I were married in 1979, and we have six children – Bethany, Abigail, Hannah, Ruth, Christina and Michael. Bethany is married to Jeff Cheng. Abbie is married to Tim Rask, and they have two children, Elaine and Hope. Ruth is about to be married to Joseph Bauer. We also care for two teen-age boys, Johnny and Bobby whose mother passed away a few years ago. We’ll get a shot of (almost) the whole group at Ruth’s wedding.

I attended seminary at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, near Chicago Illinois, and graduated in 1992. Then I returned to join with a group of people from the Clear Lake area in starting Trinity Evangelical Free Church (now Trinity Fellowship, but still an Evangelical Free Church), with a vision to reach those who do not yet know Jesus and to build up those who have come to know Him. My philosophy of ministry is simple: ‘Preach the Word and love the people.’ My attitude toward preaching is also simple: I want to say again for contemporary hearers what God has already said in the Bible. One of the unique ways I address a contemporary audience is through visuals that accompany the sermon with the goal of saying again visually what I’m already saying about the text in words.

Workshop Session #1 on Saturday: Visual Preaching
Summary: In a culture that is more and more visually oriented many preachers are still using few or no visuals in their preaching. This seminar will show a range of visual materials, from text to stills to diagrams to animations to videos that will say again what the Scripture says for the visual learners in your audience. Bob DeGray has been developing and using these techniques for more than ten years and believes they are ready for the big leagues.


DaveRofkahrWEBDave Rofkahr 
EFCA ReachGlobal

Dave Rofkahr has a tremendous background in grass roots campus ministry, cross-cultural church planting (in Asia for thirteen years), BAM--Business as Mission strategy, training, and leadership. He has a Masters of Theology with an emphasis in church planting from Dallas Theological Seminary. From 1984-1990, he served on staff with Student Mobilization at the University of Arkansas and the University of
Central Arkansas. He has also served as a Youth Pastor and Senior Pastor for
churches in the US and Asia. He most recently served as the International
Director for all of Asia for EFCA ReachGlobal and now serves as its US Director
of Recruiting. He is married with three children and now makes his home in Woodbury, Minnesota. He hopes to bring glory to God by using the talents and opportunities God has entrusted to him to strategically multiply healthy leaders and churches among all people.

Workshop Session #1 on Saturday: Millennials Respond to Human Trafficking - A New Generation of Mission Leaders Jump In
Summary: Statistics tell us that 20-30 year-olds in the US are trending away from the church. However, that's not the whole story of this generation. This seminar examines how "Millennials" are making a difference and claiming their place as leaders in the global mission and the local church can foster this movement.



Nick Doneff 
EFCA ReachGlobal

Present Ministry

Nick works with the Evangelical Free Church of America in its missions department, ReachGlobal as Southeast Asia Advocate. In that role, he serves churches in the United States by helping them effectively engage in ministry partnerships in Southeast Asia – Thailand, Myanmar Vietnam, The Philippines, Papua New Guinea and the thousands of islands to the southeast of Asia. In 2014, his efforts will focus on Thailand, Myanmar and one other “creative access” country.

Here at home, Nick assists as a first responder to disasters, beginning with Katrina 7 years ago and as recent as the Colorado Flooding this past September. He also serves as a trainer of churches interested in developing teams of volunteers in crisis response.


Nick joined ReachGlobal after 33 years of residential building and developing in eastern Wisconsin. His transition story from a career in a family owned business to ministry is one he loves to share with other “boomers” or anybody considering a second career. Kris and Nick have been deeply involved in worship and music ministries in Evangelical Free Churches since 1976.

Calling to Missions

Nick has been involved in numerous short term mission trips over the 17 years from 1990 to 2007. At a ReachGlobal conference in Thailand in January 2007 the call was clear - to leave the family business and pursue missions full time. Since then, he has visited ministries in Southeast Asia and numerous churches in the United States encouraging them towards deeper relationships with the missionaries they support. 

Workshop Session #2 on Saturday: Overseas Partnership Opportunities for Churches
Summary: Looking for an opportunity for your church to partner with an overseas ministry?
We will explore:
• Key principals of a healthy Mission Partnership
• Why should your church partner
• Case study
• Partnering with ReachGlobal in Overseas mission opportunities



Kevin Boaz  
Pastor, Zion Church of Kurten, Kurten, TX

Pastor Kevin joined Zion in May of 2009. He and his wife Rachel have 4 wonderful children Naomi, Johnathan, Ezra, and Abigail. Kevin earned his Batchelor degree at Indiana University in Kinesiology which he used to teach Physical Education and coach basketbal for 5 years. During that time Kevin earned a master's certificate in Christian Leadership from Denver Seminary. Kevin then worked with Hoops of Hope Basketball Ministry as Missions, Kids Camps, and Prison Ministry Director. Kevin was called to Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in Casper, Wyoming where he served as the Associate Pastor and was mentored by Pastor Jack Olsen. During that time Kevin completed his Master of Divinity Degree from Liberty Theological Seminary and was ordained by the EFCA. You can hear Pastor Kevin on your radio weeknights at around 5:20 on Peace 107 FM for the MileStone Minute.

Workshop Session #1 on Saturday: MileStone Ministry: Pursing Partnership between the Church and the Home
Summary: Deuteronomy 6, Psalm 78, and Ephesians 6:4 call parents to be the primary faith trainer of their children. As parents, we often look to others to pour into our child's lives, but these passages remind us that the strongest foundation of faith is built in your home. The challenge for churches is to provide powerful discipleship ministries for children from all walks of life while equipping believing parents to be more intentional in passing on the Gospel. Join us as we talk about practical tools and tips for partnering with families in your church.


Steve Johnson 
VP, Campaigns/Consulting, Christian Investors Financial

Steve's expertise includes capital campaigns, vision building and strategic planning. He has a personal vision for creating an environment in which ministries can excel. Steve uses his gifts and talents to help churches create such an environment by focusing on 1) vision building and strategic planning and 2) fund raising to provide needed financial resources for ministries.

Joining Ministry Campaign Services in 1997 and serving as its first director, Steve has nearly 28 years of fund raising experience and brings to his position an understanding of the funding process, long involvement in leadership positions in the local church, and an understanding of what God is doing in and through the evangelical church today. Steve is a member of Five Oaks Evangelical Free Church, in Woodbury, MN where he attends with his wife Deb.

Workshop Session #1 on Saturday: Cultivating Generosity in Your Church

Summary: What’s the financial state of your ministry? Do you want it to improve? In this seminar we will discuss:

• The current economic culture and its impact of giving.

• A biblical foundation for the “Call to Generosity”.

• Different “types” of givers, and how help them grow towards generosity.

• What’s working, practical next steps you can implement in your ministry.

Workshop Session #2 on Saturday: Financial Options for Your Ministry Expansion

Summary: We will explore options and steps for funding your ministry expansion project. Topics to be discussed include:

• The current economic environment of church lending.

• Determining project scope, how much can you afford to build?

• The role of a capital campaign.

• Qualifying for a church loan.

• Non-traditional church facilities.


Rev. Harold C. Smith, Jr. (Bud)  
Director of Marketing and Customer Service, FCMM Benefits and Retirement 

Pastor Bud Smith has served as an EFCA pastor for over 40 years, including 9 years at the Emmanuel EFC in Burbank, CA, and over 27 years at the Dix Hills EFC in Huntington
Station, NY (located about an hour east of New York City on Long Island). Since November 2005 Bud has served as an Associate Director in the Pastoral Care Ministries department at the national office of the EFCA in Minneapolis, MN. In January 2010 he became Director of Marketing for the FCMM Retirement Plan. He and his wife Peggy have 3 married children and 9 wonderful grandchildren. Bud’s various ministry involvements include an active interest in sports evangelism including time as chaplain of the NY Jets football team, chapel leader of the Long Island Ducks minor league baseball team, and over 30 years of “playing and preaching” with a veterans fast pitch softball team, sharing the Gospel through the medium of athletics throughout Latin America. Peggy’s ministry involvements include choir and worship team, church nursery school administration, and educational assistant in the Farmington MN school district.

Workshop Session #1 on Saturday: Prepare Today, Ready Tomorrow
Summary: “Retirement is not in the Bible!” Wrong! Most of us will encounter some kind of transition in life and ministry in the years ahead. And wise planning is simply good stewardship. The FCMM Retirement Plan is a great program that can serve you, your church as employer, and other staff members extremely well. Multiple investment options. Flexible retirement benefit distributions. Financial counsel. Full IRS compliancy. Whether you’re already a participant or simply examining your options, this seminar is designed to inform and assist you in the journey.
Workshop Session #2 on Saturday: FCMM – Your Benefits Partner: What’s New?
Summary: With its new incorporation in 2012 FCMM is now the official benefits provider for EFCA ministries. The present Long Term Disability Insurance plan is now handled by FCMM staff. And the leadership and board are looking into other ways we can help local churches with the myriad of guidelines and regulations related to overseeing benefits and other related tax and financial matters. We’ll give you some updated information on what’s presently available and what’s being developed - things like payroll services, HR services, long-term care insurance, assistance with the new health care mandate, and the like. And we’d like to hear from you in terms of what kinds of services would be beneficial to your church and your staff in these challenging days in which we are called to minister.



Dr. Rick Thompson   
District Superintendent, Great Lakes District 

Rick and Jan Thompson met at Wheaton Graduate School and their first year of marriage was on campus at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Today, their oldest son, David and his wife Beth, serve with Samaritan's Purse in Boone, NC. David is the Assistant Director of the Operation Christmas Child ministry. Beth is on SP's Heart Project staff. Their second son, Derick, is married to Mi-chelle, and is the CEO of his own internet company(www.dailydigital.com). Their youngest, Tiffany works in Washington D.C. and tours as a singer song-writer (www.tiffanythompsonmusic.com).

After thirteen years serving the Hope Evangelical Free Church of Dubuque, Iowa, God called them to Moscow, Russia from 1992-1997 as the EFCM Eurasia Director and a sen-ior pastor of Moscow Bible Church. Rick served as the district superintendent in Texas from 1997-2004 and now with the Great Lakes District since April of 2004. Jan served on the staff of two large churches to develop volunteer teams (Austin, Texas and Naperville, IL). She leads spiritual life retreats that connect people to the Lord and each other and seminars on various aspects of ministry

BobRowleyNextImage.JPGWorkshop Session #1 on Saturday: Getting Past the 100 and 200 Attendance Barriers
Featuring Dr. Bob Rowley!
Summary: This workshop will offer practical help to churches so they understand the steps they can take to position themselves for getting past these attendance barriers.
Workshop Session #2 on Saturday: Getting Past the 100 and 200 Attendance Barriers
Summary: This workshop will offer practical help to churches so they understand the steps they can take to position themselves for getting past these attendance barriers.


  --------- Ministry Position Focus Workshops ---------


Adam Green    
Pastor of Worship Arts, Northeast Bible Church, Garden Ridge, TX 

Adam has been married to his wife Stephanie since December 29, 2001 and together they have two boys - Nathanael and Caden. Adam has served as a pastor on staff at multiple churches since 2001 working in the areas of students, technical arts and worship. He has been the Pastor of Worship Arts here at Northeast since 2011. In addition to serving the local church he also leads worship or speaks at camps, conferences and retreats throughout the year.

Workshop Session #1 on Saturday: Vocational Worship Pastors Affinity Group
Summary: This meeting is for Worship Pastors who serve in a paid position whether part-time or full-time. Adam Green will facilitate a discussion among this group dealing with the topics they want to discuss.
Workshop Session #2 on Saturday: Vocational Worship Pastors Affinity Group
Summary: This meeting is for Worship Pastors who serve in a paid position whether part-time or full-time. Adam Green will facilitate a discussion among this group dealing with the topics they want to discuss.


TimRowleyWEBTim Rowley    
Youth Pastor at Grace Bible Church Laredo and District Director for Student Ministries

Tim serves as the Youth Pastor at Grace Bible Church Laredo and is the District Director for Student Ministries. He graduated from John Brown University and is currently studying at Dallas Theological Seminary.

Tim grew up in Laredo, TX and has been married for 2 years now to Cristina. They enjoy traveling, movies and time at home with their 3 pets: Kevin (betta fish), Mr. Turtle (named by a close friend’s daughter), and Buddy (8 foot pet boa constrictor).

Workshop Session #1 on Saturday: All Morning Student Ministries Focus Session
Summary: This meeting is for Student Ministries Pastors and leaders.  This meeting spans both Saturday morning sessions. 
Workshop Session #2 on Saturday: All Morning Student Ministries Focus Session
Summary: This meeting is for Student Ministries Pastors and leaders. This meeting spans both Saturday morning sessions.


Melanie Newton
District Women’s Ministry Mobilizer

Melanie and her husband Ron have lived and ministered in the Dallas/Fort Worth area for nearly 40 years. Besides raising three children, Melanie has focused on ministry to women for most of those years—as a Bible study author and teacher, MOPS mentor mom, small group leader, and director of women’s ministries—always with the goal of leading women to not only become Jesus’ disciple but also to grow into discipling other women. For the past year, Melanie has served as Women’s Mobilizer for the Texas-Oklahoma District. Her mission is to encourage women of all ages and stages of life to pursue disciplemaking as a lifestyle and to equip them as they do so. Ron and Melanie currently attend Oak Hills Community Church in Argyle, TX.

Special Friday Session: Women in Ministry Connections
For women at any age or stage of life who are ministering to other women (or thinking about it) whether paid or volunteer. Connect with Melanie and share your successes, challenges, and ideas to reach those who need to know Jesus.

Workshop Session #1 on Saturday: Engaging Nonbelievers as a Lifestyle
Summary: Discover how to build friendships with nonbelievers & personally disciple new believers so they can do the same with their unreached friends.
Workshop Session #2 on Saturday: Establishing Believers & Equipping New Disciplemakers
Summary: Discover how to build friendships with nonbelievers & personally disciple new believers so they can do the same with their unreached friends.


 Conference Events Schedule
 Friday, February 28th
 12:00 pm:  Registration
 1:00 pm:  Worship and Greeting
 1:30 pm: Thriving on the Front Lives through Multiplication — Selected Speakers
2:30 pm: BREAK
3:00 pm:

General Meeting

4:00 pm: BREAK
4:30 pm:

Thriving on the Front Lives through Authentic Faith — Gary Thomas

5:30 pm: Banquet

7:00 -
8:30 pm:

Thriving on the Front Lives through Sacred Marriage — Gary Thomas

Saturday, March 1st

8:00 -
8:25 am:

Continental Breakfast

8:30 -
10:00 am:

Workshop Session 1

10:00 -
10:30 am:


10:30 am -
12:00 pm:

Workshop Session 2
12:00 pm: Lunch and any unfinished business


Have questions about 2014 EFCA TX-OK District Conference? Contact EFCA Texas - Oklahoma District

When & Where

Wayside Chapel EFC
1705 NW Loop 410
San Antonio, TX 78213

Friday, February 28, 2014 at 1:00 PM - Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 1:00 PM (CST)

  Add to my calendar


EFCA Texas - Oklahoma District

Our Purpose: We equip and encourage our churches to bring about the transformation of individuals and communities through Jesus Christ.

Our Kingdom Concept: We are a Gospel-centered movement which catalyzes multiplication in our churches so they transform lives and communities for God’s glory (by multiplying healthy churches among all people across Texas and Oklahoma).

  Contact the Organizer
2014 EFCA TX-OK District Conference
San Antonio, TX Events Conference Spirituality

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