Worshiping in spirit and truth

Hurricane Harvey Response

EFCA ReachGlobal Crisis Response is uniquely positioned to bring the hope of Christ following Hurricane Harvey. YOUR HELP IS NEEDED The full extent of Hurricane Harvey’s impact on families and communities served by local EFCA churches across the Texas coastline is still unknown. Our goal is to raise $1 million for initial response efforts. Early assessments show almost every EFCA church in…

More on Our Response to Racism

This is a post from the EFCA Now blog. If you haven’t yet, please read our post: The Gospel, Racism and the EFCA. An Open Letter to Those Who are Struggling Aiming for the kingdom of God through racial strife. Alejandro Mandes Dear EFCA family, This is an open letter to all who are struggling to figure out what comes next or how…

The Gospel, Racism and the EFCA

The Orchard is part of an association of churches known as the Evangelical Free Church of America. This is an abridged version of a statement released by the EFCA: We in the EFCA are grieved by the events last week in Charlottesville, Virginia. The EFCA stands firmly on the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are committed to uphold the truth of the…

Matters of Personal Conscience

The Bible makes very clear that certain practices are right and others are wrong. Murder and adultery are always wrong; loving God and loving each other are always right. But there are many practices that aren’t clearly endorsed or prohibited in Scripture. The 14th chapter of Romans warns us not to argue about matters of personal conscience. (And, surprisingly, it’s the believer…

Gender Roles in the Church

Does the Bible teach distinct roles for men and women in the church? This debate is a frequent and sometimes heated one in the church today. We recognize the sensitive nature of this question. It’s understandably an emotional issue, and one that touches people deeply. Naturally, this subject affects women in ways it doesn’t affect men. But most men under a certain…

Sexual Issues

Sexuality is a gift from God. We’re wonderfully created with a capacity and desire for intimate relationship and companionship. We’re able to unite with another person in a way that affects us physically, emotionally and even spiritually, and God invites us to be part of the very creation process through reproduction. But Scripture also teaches that the most intense intimacy is only…

Spiritual Gifts

Christians receive the Holy Spirit when they place their faith in Jesus Christ and become his (1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:13-14; Romans 8:9). Every believer is baptized in the Holy Spirit. We also see in Scripture that God may, at times, specially fill us with his Spirit (Acts 4:8, 31; 13:9), and that we are to continually seek for our lives to…

Baptism

When a person in the first century converted to a new faith, a common way they would publicly demonstrate to everyone their conversion was through baptism. First century Jews saw this as something Gentiles did to show they were converting to the Jewish faith. So for the Jewish people to be baptized by John demonstrated real humility. They were confessing they needed…

Just call me Curt

Curt Parton Since Kelley and I came here in January, some have been surprised that I prefer people to not call me “Pastor” or “Pastor Curt.” For people who are accustomed to using this kind of title, it’s a little odd to call a pastor by just their first name. So I thought I’d explain my reasons for preferring this approach. It’s…

Why we don’t have a senior pastor

The Orchard doesn’t have a senior or lead pastor as many other churches do. To some people this might seem a little odd. Why don’t we have a senior pastor? It might be helpful to look at this question from a slightly different perspective: Why should a church have a senior pastor? Specifically, is there any biblical basis for this special leadership role…