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Inspiring One Another

March 2019

Your Ministry Lifeline

I am not yet the grizzled veteran that I hope to become, but I have been around the block a few times. Forty-one years serving a single congregation gives me some practical insight into ministry. So let me tug on my suspenders and offer a couple lessons that I have learned along the way.
Lesson One: Your elders can be your ministry lifeline. When I arrived at my present church we had a dysfunctional Official Board system. The only thing good about it, was that it was so bad everyone knew we needed to find something better. We set out to design and then implement an Elder Board system. God was gracious as we cut and pasted from borrowed church documents.
It was plenty of work, and we made some mistakes, but this task set the shape of our ministry for the next four decades. I would not still be serving this congregation as pastor without an exceptional elder board. The encouragement, correction, backup, ministry sharing, and camaraderie they have provided have enabled me to do the job I was invited to do.
Do whatever it takes to establish a healthy elder system in your ministry. Most of our congregations now recognize elders, but not all have true and tested elders. You will do yourself a big favor by cultivating this part of the work. A spiritual group of elders provides an arena for discussion, confession, correction, and protection. Somewhere along the line we began to share breakfast together every Thursday morning. I would give up our building before I would give up that weekly support group.
And please, never lower the standards for elders. The scriptures have a very clear profile for the men who do this critical work. Don’t cheat to try to quickly build a system. Stay as small as you have to until qualified elders can be identified. It is very hard to get rid of a bad elder. An unspiritual Elder Board will quickly destroy a ministry.
Lesson Two: Never sacrifice your family. This is actually a companion to the first lesson. A man’s performance as a husband and father affirms or disqualifies his ministry in the church. A godly family is a shining jewel on your ministry, not a hindrance to it. So do what you have to do to meet the needs of your wife and children. Never let them be pushed aside by the pressures of ministry.
I have been blessed to serve a congregation that has cheered me on in this task. At times, I have chosen to skip church meetings to attend my children’s recitals and sporting events. At this stage I am thankful for my adult children and dangerously proud of my grandchildren. Although they live in other cities and serve other congregations, their spiritual maturity adds authority to my continuing ministry here. I love to have my family come back to worship with us, and the congregation loves seeing and meeting them.
These two resources have helped me stand through good and bad times. When someone is giving me grief I will often say, “Why don’t you go take this up with one of the elders and see if he can help us out?” The varied gifting among our elders qualifies them to deal skillfully with almost any problem that arises. In another tense situation I can say, “Would you like to call my son and see what he will have to say about me?” My daughter is an equal resource with a different kind of person. Ultimately we answer to Jesus, but it is great to have a supportive team around us. You are working smart when you work on it.
Terry Daniels
Pastor, Grace Brethren Church, South Pasadena, Calif.
Inspire Board Member

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Next month, an encouraging word from Jonathan Carey, pastor of mobilization and care at Grace Church of Greater Akron, Norton, Ohio, campus.

Register Now for Access Conference

Access 2019, the national conference of the Charis Fellowship (Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches), is July 23-25, 2019, at Auburn Grace Community Church, Auburn, Calif. Check out the video below for more information. (Share this video with your congregation and encourage them to attend with you!)

When you register (click here for information), don't forget to include the special Pastors and Wives dinner at the Ridge Golf Club on Tuesday, July 23. The fun begins at 5 p.m. and you won't want to miss it. Ticket prices have been reduced for our members and their wives as a way to thank you for all you do.
Access 2019 will be held in Auburn, Calif. in July. 

Plan to Attend a Focus Retreat

The photo below is from the South Focus Retreat, which was held in mid-March south of Orlando, Fla. Two retreats are still scheduled for Charis Fellowship ministry leaders. If you are in one of these regions, you won't want to miss this valuable time to gather with your colleagues in ministry. Locations and dates are: The retreats this year are focusing on the theme "Forward." The retreats will be about moving our churches forward. A new name is not enough. We need to take the conversation and action forward in each of our churches.

Focus retreats are not heavy seminars but interactive conversations between ministry leaders like you. 

Click here for more information.

Ministry Updates


Nathaniel Foote was recently ordained by his congregation, Grace Brethren Church, Lexington, Ohio

In Memoriam
Former Grace Brethren pastor, Ronald P. Carnevali, Sr., 79, died Wednesday, February 20, 2019.

Send your ministry update to Liz Gates for inclusion in the next newsletter.
Regional Shepherds

Regional Shepherds come alongside other pastors in their region. They serve as encouragers, counselors, and/or lifelines if/when pastors need it. They are available if someone has a need or wants a listening ear.

N.C. Ohio, N.E. Ohio, N.W. Ohio, E. Canada
Bob Combs,, (330) 825-8966
Mountain Plains, SoCal-Arizona
Roy Halberg,, (909) 596-0028
Arctic, W. Canada, Pacific N.W.
Greg Howell,, (509) 773-3996
Hawaii, NorCal
Joel Richards,, (209) 549-7872
Florida, Southern, Heartland, Iowa Midlands, Tri-State
Matt Wheelock,, (863) 381-5755
Allegheny, Blue Ridge, Mid-Atlantic
Doug Courter,, (301) 582-0155

Northern Atlantic
Larry Humberd,,
(484) 554-1844
Western Penn
Larry Edwards,, (724) 919-2535
Dennis Fay,, (301) 509-3548

Membership Matters!

This email is sent to all pastors in the Charis Fellowship (Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches) because we believe this information is important to your ministry. But membership in Inspire Charis Pastors Network is so much more than a newsletter. Check out the membership page at and learn how you can benefit even more by being a member!

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