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VITALITY is the state of being strong, active and having the continuance of life.

We realize that every church goes through some form of a life-cycle. Just as the human body experiences birth, death, and the many phases in between, we believe the Body of Christ can enjoy and suffer through similar experiences.

Thus, our desire is to help you, our church Leaders, through whatever cycle you and the church you lead are experiencing. We long to see the day that the vital signs of every church within EFCA East are strong - strong enough to produce healthy churches that are actively fulfilling their part of the Great Commission.

We hope that engaging with these resources will strengthen your soul for the work ahead and breathe new life and purpose into your ministry.


Take an online or written assessment to help measure you and your church's vital signs.

The 8 leading indicators of church vitality and how to use them to bolster your church's vital signs.


21 Day Devotional and Reflection Guide

A simple reflection and devotional guide to help you, the church leader and Influencer, recalibrate your personal vitality, which will in turn enable you to immediately improve the vitality of your church and ministry.

8 Week Vitality Sermon Series

This series is an eight-week study designed to help walk you, your team and your entire church family through eight essential teachings about living a life of vitality both as a church and as individuals. This series corresponds with the eight Vitality Indicators created by EDA Move to help churches develop and maintain healthy vital signs.


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Still Reviving - Cedrick Brown

Vitality Call - February

Focusing Toward Revival - Tony Balsamo

Vitality Call - March

Vitality Call - December

No one needs you. Now what? - Joe Henseler

You're not enough. That's okay. - Eddie Cole

3 Critical Components Of A Healthy Church Culture

By Matt Saxinger

The statements below are just a few of the many statements we have heard over the past five years. They are statements that are being made as people finally feel like they can open up about their previous church hurt. “I just have been burned so bad that I’m afraid to trust anyone in a…

The Journey of Faith: Understanding Stages of Spiritual Growth

By Deb Hinkel

As a 13-year-old, my extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins journeyed across the United States from Pennsylvania to California. The month-long trip was carefully planned so that we would arrive at my grandparent’s home on a pre-appointed day. Three cars and 14 people traveled from state to state, stopping at strategic points like the…

You Can Have Anything You Want: Lessons in Focus and Long-Term Vision

By John Welborn

As a young man, one of my mentors said to me, “John, you can have most anything you want. You just can’t have everything you want.” He was talking about finances and his point is well taken. With hard work, saving and planning, even a minister could afford a nice car OR pricey hobby OR…

Simplifying Church Organizational Structures

By John Nesbitt

  There are few experiences in life more satisfying, fulfilling, and joyous than serving the Lord on a church leadership team where: Each member respects and trusts every other member. There is no confusion over responsibilities and roles, and each person works diligently to uphold their part. There is a diversity of giftedness, backgrounds, and…

I’ll Rest When I’m Dead

By Josh Cervone

This past August, my family and I spent 7 days in New Hampshire. We were blessed to attend Week 7 of Camp Spofford’s Family Camp. It was an awesome week of rest, fellowship, family time, faith development, and fun. Our days were filled with canoeing, kayaking, hiking, tubing, fishing, and much more. This was the…

Love the Ones You’re With

By Paulo Freire

“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” Galatians 5:13 We see a great deal of service to one another in the realm of God’s people. Missions trips abound. Benevolent funds overflow. Community service projects are well staffed…

How To Function With Few On The Floor

By Joshua Rasdall

“My team is on the floor.” This is Gene Hackman’s line from an absolutely crucial scene in the movie Hoosiers. Do you know it? What a movie! It is based on the true story of a tiny town in Indiana going all the way to the state championship where they…well, let’s not spoil it. Wonderful…

What The Vet Taught Me About Change

By John Park

We recently changed vets for our dog, Owen, from a large, national chain to a small, private practice down along a country road. Owen had been having ongoing, unresolved ear infection issues and my wife and I felt it was time for a change. After just two visits with the new vet, Owen is a…

The Church Needs Spiritual Formation

By Deb Hinkel

How is it that such a seemingly innocuous term generates so much misunderstanding and concern? In conversations with ministry leaders and pastors, who boldly proclaim Christ, there has been confusion about discussing spiritual formation – using words like “fuzzy” or “squishy” or simply choosing to not address it at all. The disinclination to identify with…

8 Essentials For Healthy Pastoral Ministry

By Jack Kroeze

What a privilege to work with pastors over the past 50 years! Initially, I knit my life together with fellow pastors for mutual support.In the last 10 years I have worked with pastors in EFCA East as the Pastor Support Director.I have observed many things that I wished I had known when I started in…

Hitting Re-Pete When You Fail

By John Park

‌I’ve learned a lot about failure through baseball, marriage, fatherhood, and ministry. In baseball, you can fail to get a hit 70% of the time and that’s considered success. But that constant failure can get inside your head and mess with you. It did for me my senior year of high school when I called…

Is Humiliation A Prerequisite For Ministry?

By John Welborn

A.W. Tozer once wrote, “It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply.” It seems to me, and apparently to Tozer, that God has a habit of using people to do great things to advance His kingdom only after they have been humiliated in some way. Moses led…

Underappreciated Hope

By Matt Saxinger

The Underappreciated Effect of Hope Our family was recently spending time with some good friends at their farm. The farmer was almost done milking cows and needed help distracting his kids. He suggested I take all of the kids (7 boys including mine) and drive them out to the tree house on the golf cart.…

5 Ways To Build A Ministry Of Encouragement

By Steve Anderson

Sometimes, the most important things are the most obvious things. I learned a lot in seminary – how to interpret the Bible, how to preach and teach, loads of theology. I even learned some counseling skills and paradigms for youth ministry that have served me well. But the past few years, in the midst of…

4 Ways to Nourish a Flourishing Team

By Tim Ryan

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not…

3 Causes of Depletion in Pastoral Ministry

By Matt Saxinger

I was in my stride, doing as much as I possibly could as efficiently as it could be done. There was nothing remaining on my to-do list and my inbox was empty. Sermons were prepped in advance and all was going smoothly. Then one night, when I was visiting a member in the hospital, one…

Giants In The Land

By Joshua Rasdall

Last month I found myself sitting for coffee with a pastor of a nearby church that was actually ashen-faced as he described a challenge that we both held in common. He described a scene I knew all too well: a member of his congregation of over 25 years was leaving in an uproar over a…

4 Lessons I Learned About Praying For My Church

By Trent Thompson

This summer our church spent every Sunday reflecting on the prayers of Jesus and Paul for the Church. I thought the series would draw us together as we learned to pray for one another and be an easy series to follow for those who were in and out with summer travels. What I didn’t anticipate…

When Retirement Is Not What You Expect

By John Nesbitt

Virtually all of us look forward to the day we will retire; simultaneously we’re not quite sure what we will actually experience! We know it will be different, and anticipate it will bring time and space for more fun, enjoyment of life, and relief from the more toilsome aspects of “work.” A significant number of…

3 Ways To Help Break Undesirable Patterns

By Cedrick Brown

It’s July… and August is coming soon. What does this mean? Well for me, over the years it’s proven to reveal that I’m easily irritated. That I’m really not enjoying the company of people I love and love to lead like the previous months. That Lisa and I are destined to have our annual emotional…

Is Anybody Listening?

By Deb Hinkel

I know a couple who love Jesus, serve selflessly, share the gospel faithfully, and talk at each other. These caring people, whose hearts are in the right place, spend more time talking over each other than listening to each other. It’s a good thing they take their marriage covenant seriously or I doubt they would…

How To Respond When You’re Being Attacked

By Tony Balsamo

Betrayal. Nothing cuts deeper, stings longer and leaves us bewildered like betrayal. If you’re in ministry for any length of time, you’ve tased the bitterness of this cup. It comes to all of those who are willing to be identified as followers of Christ and, even more, as under shepherds.  Whether it’s the echo of…

Loving Ministry When It Doesn’t Love You Back

By Trent Thompson

One of the ongoing challenges of ministry, particularly occupational ministry, is taking up the work God gives us to do without allowing it to become the primary driver of our identity. We all know the temptation, and gravitational pull on our hearts, to feel less valuable when things are going poorly and more valuable when…

Do You Compete or Complete?

By Joshua Rasdall

Everything I touch dies. Not people of course! That would make for a tragic and inefficient ministry. But over the course of the past four years, I have watched every small green thing I have planted in our yard die. It wasn’t until I was praying with another local area pastor that the significance of…

Stuck Happens

By Melissa Diem

I’m from a small town in Pennsylvania and recently we buried my Pap at the tiny chapel on the edge of his farm where he lived until he was 93 years old. Making the drive home was nostalgic. Miles and miles of country road twisting and turning through the wild forest leading me to the…

Keeping Your Eyes on the Future During a Challenging Present

By Trent Thompson

“I regret that I didn’t have time to write you a shorter letter.” I’ve seen that quote attributed to everyone from Blaise Pascal to Mark Twain and Benjamin Franklin. Whoever said it, the moral is that brevity is best and succinctness is sublime. I’ll do my best to heed their admonition and deny my pastoral…

4 Essential Ingredients To Build Effective Teams

By Randy Hunt

Building an effective team provides a challenge for any pastor, regardless of church size. If you hope to build a team of effective leaders, your job continues way past hiring the right people. Regardless of your staff structure and who is responsible for the oversight of the team, you still have a significant role in…

The Value of Ministry In Small Places

By Jack Kroeze

I have heard from many small church pastors that they feel forgotten and overlooked. My own journey has given me the opportunity to be a part of several small church ministries.I have had the unique opportunity to shepherd a small church that grew and planted several other Free Churches and to oversee a church plant…

3 Questions To Help You Structure Your Ministry For Success

By Sarah Vega

In my time as a ministry leader, I have had successes, but I have also had failures. My biggest disaster in ministry occurred when I was leading an event planning team. One of my team members had voiced their desire to focus their attentions elsewhere and I just didn’t recognize their inclination to bow out…

4 Principles From Hamilton That Will Remake The Way I Do Church

By Steve Anderson

The past few months, we’ve all experienced significant losses – graduations, gatherings, job security, vacations, and in many cases, a friend or loved one. With all this heartache, it’s good to stop and appreciate the one thing we have all gained during the shutdown. Access to Hamilton! Hamilton, the award-winning, mind-blowing, smile-inducing reinvention of our…