Welcome Relief: Clergy Housing Allowance Upheld

The clergy housing allowance is safe for now. Last week, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a Wisconsin federal district court, which struck down the venerable clergy housing allowance. As a result of the Seventh Circuit’s decision, clergypersons who serve churches, synagogues, mosques, and other worshipping groups, may continue to exempt certain parts of their compensation from federal income tax.

The news comes as welcome relief to worshipping groups and clergypersons. Last November, for the first time, a federal district court held the federal exemption from income tax for clergy housing allowances unconstitutional. See Freedom from Religion Found., Inc. v. Lew, 11-CV-626-BBC, 2013 WL 6139723 (W.D. Wis. Nov. 22, 2013). The Department of Justice appealed to the Seventh Circuit. On appeal, the case brought together diverse religious groups, who filed three amicus curiae (friend of the court) briefs in support of the government’s appeal. These briefs represented more than ninety American religious groups, including Jewish, Protestant, Islamic, and Catholic groups. The groups all understood the fundamental importance of the district court’s path-breaking decision: had it been upheld, the financial implications to these worshipping groups and their clergy would have been severe., The Seventh Circuit’s decision upholding the housing allowance has thus provided a reprieve.

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BrBrian Howardian Howard, Church Multiplication

2014 was a great year for Church Planting in Pacific Church Network! We have now planted seven new churches since the beginning of 2013.





Mission 316, San Marcos

Seed, Ventura

Redemption Hill Uptown, Whittier

Soma, Santa Clarita

Citylights, Fountain Valley

Tradewind Communities, Kailua, Hawaii

Redemption Hill La Habra, La Habra


Not only are we planting churches, but each of the seven churches that we have planted in 2013 and 2014 are moving forward and growing. These seven church plants have baptized over 100 people to date! But we are just getting started. Our goal is to continue to plant four new churches every year and 76 new churches by 2026. At our upcoming annual meeting, we will be announcing our 2015 church planters. I am looking forward to 2015 and will be interacting with potential church planters, coaching our current church planters, speaking in order to continue to raise awareness, and preparing for our 2016 church planters.


“We continue to make great progress and I am bullish on PCN Church Planting!”


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Miki West Memorial Service

Miki West, a long time friend of Southwest Church and fellow worker in the Lord, has gone home to glory.
Miki was a former CB pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Silver City, NM and Bible Baptist Church in Phoenix.  He also served as Chaplain for the VA hospital here in Phoenix. Services are scheduled below.  The family would like to welcome everyone who has been touched by this amazing man’s life to attend.Visitation will be held Tuesday, December 30th from 6-8 pm at Green Acres Mortuary and Cemetery (401 N. Hayden Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85257)His Celebration of Life Service will be Wednesday, December 31st at 11 am at Mesa Baptist Church (2425 S. Alma School Road, Mesa, AZ 85210)

The Graveside Service will be held at 2 pm at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona (23029 North Cave Creek Road, Phoenix, AZ 85024)

The family is requesting – in lieu of flowers – please make a donation in his honor to either the ALS Association or Gideons International.

Click Here for his full obituary

Honoring Dr. Earl D. Radmacher

Honoring-Dr.-Earl-Radmacher Dr. Earl Radmacher’s involvement with Western Seminary began in 1962 and encompassed a variety of key roles, most notably his service as President from 1965-1990. The combined strength of his convictions and personality shaped Western Seminary in a number of ways that continue to the present day. His unyielding commitment to the inerrancy of Scripture, the “by grace through faith alone” gospel of Christ, and the importance of faithful service to the Lord from those who have embraced that gospel significantly reinforced Western’s core convictions in an era marked by widespread theological drift. His ministry extended worldwide through his many books and speaking ministry in conferences and churches, positively impacting a countless number of lives.

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Pacific Church Network Annual Meeting

Redemption Hill Church
16153 E Russell Street
Whittier, CA 90603.  Directions
Sunday, January 25, 20153:45-4:45 Breakout Sessions
4:45 – 5:45 Dinner (free, but rsvp needed when you click and register online)
6:00 General Session

Main Session Speaker: Dr. Jim Smith

Break Out Sessions:

  • How to Dramatically Increase Giving in Your Church: Brian Howard
  • Effective Church Leadership Strategies for Husbands and Wives: Sam & Dina Ticas
  • How Our Children’s Ministry Really Grew Our Church: Sam Brumit
  • How Our Small Church is Reaching Our Large City: Jesse Mendez
  • 25 Years of Leadership Lessons: Robert Bishop
  • Cómo mantener la segunda generación (How to Keep The Second Generation In Your Church): Emilio Núñez (in Spanish)
  • What Every Man Should Hear About Leadership From a Woman’s Perspective: Orbelina Eguizabal (in Spanish)
Childcare provided for children ages 2-5 years old–RSVP needed through registration link below.

Why Are You Here?

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Dr. Paul Borden
Rocky Mountain Church Network

Taken from Growing Healthy Churches December 2014 E-Newsletter




One of the most frustrating experiences for me is to walk into a store knowing what I want to purchase, finding it and being ready to pay for it, only to find the sales staff more engaged in talking to each other than waiting on me as a customer. I want to scream, “Don’t you know why you are here?” I might add that I find this equally frustrating when I see other customers having the same experience. Perhaps they are looking for a special item, cannot find what they want or simply are new to the store. And when they are left alone because sales people are more involved with each other than with the customer, it speaks poorly of the sales people’s training and understanding of their purpose.  

I believe the Church of Jesus Christ and each part of that Church, including local congregations, has two customers (assuming a business metaphor). Its primary customers are the people who do not yet know Jesus Christ. The secondary customers are those people who are already part of the Body of Jesus Christ through faith in Jesus’ work in their behalf. However, I find that many congregations spend the bulk of their resources (time, money, energy etc.) on those who already know Jesus Christ, rather than focusing on those who still need to meet Jesus Christ.

The result is that many congregations act like the sales staff in a business where they are more preoccupied with those who run the business than the customer the business was designed to serve. Jesus told us that he would build his church so the “Gates of Hell” would not prevail. The church is designed to depopulate the zip code of the Evil One. Yet we in the church spend most of our time focusing on ourselves rather than on the primary customer our Lord intended the Church to reach.

As we focus this time of year on the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, we are reminded that Jesus modeled for us, the way he wants us to act with those who do not know him. In the mystery of Godliness, Jesus never left the Father. But in the incarnation, Jesus left heaven and his position there to come to seek and to save those who are lost. His focus, during his time on earth, was to spend a significant amount of time with those who did not know him. And in the process he did not count his position in heaven, as God, as something to preclude his time to come and provide redemption. Jesus functioned like a well trained staff person, who understands that the business is always about the customer, not the staff that run it. He came to serve others, not himself.[/text_output][/vc_column][/vc_row]

CBAmerica Board of Directors Appoint New Director of Chaplaincy

At the 2014 January Board meeting, Rev. Allen Russell informed the CBAmerica Board of Directors of his plans to retire from his position as the Director of Chaplaincy in mid-2015. A search team was selected with a goal of appointing a new Director by January 1, 2015.  This would allow Chaplain Russell the opportunity to train and mentor his replacement. By early summer Chaplain Andrew Meverden was unanimously approved by the board as the new Director of Chaplaincy.

Chaplain Meverden’s experience dates back over 40 years of military and 35 years missionary, parachurch, and church involvement. He worked as a missionary in Portugal planting churches with the Conservative Baptist Foreign Mission Society (WorldVenture). He assumed the leadership of Santo Antonio dos Cavaleiros mission, developing national leaders, organizing churches and securing original church meeting facilities.

Reverend Meverden then worked as Director of Church Relations for Partners International in San Jose, California. When he became a Chaplain in the US Army Reserve.  Following this experience, he served as Assistant Pastor of Ministry Development at Calvary (Baptist) Church in Los Gatos, California, and then as Senior Pastor of Galilee Baptist Church in Denver, Colorado. While pastoring this 106 year old congregation, Chaplain Meverden was called to active duty in Afghanistan, as chaplain of the Colorado Army National Guard Green Berets.

After serving in Kabul, Afghanistan as Chaplain of US Army Special Forces, Chaplain Meverden became a management and program analyst at Joint Forces Headquarters in Centennial, Colorado, while continuing his part-time Guard Chaplaincy. He has served since 2007 as Command and Fulltime support Chaplain at Joint Forces Headquarters, Colorado. It is from this position that Chaplain Meverden will retire on December 31, 2014.

Col. Meverden and his wife, Myra, live in Aurora Colorado. They have been married 8 years and have 7 children and 8 grandchildren. Chaplain Meverden’s broad military, parachurch, and pastoral experience will be a great compliment to the CBAmerica program that Al Russell has built over the last 21 years.Andy and Myra Meverden

Liked or Respected

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Dr. Paul Borden
Rocky Mountain Church Network

Taken from Growing Healthy Churches November 2014 E-Newsletter




Pastors are people and, like most people, they like to be liked. Few people enjoy telling others “no” and in some way disappointing them. In fact people who do not care whether others like them and enjoy being negative are people I want to avoid. Yet one of the major characteristics of leaders is that leaders do the right things because doing the right things is simply the right thing to do. That often means not meeting the expectations and agendas of certain people. However those leaders who do the right things well, may not always be liked but they are usually respected.

I recently did two congregational consultations on consecutive weekends. Being liked was a high value for both pastors. However, for one pastor being liked was more important than being respected. Therefore he was not open to doing the right things. For the other pastor, he recognized that for the congregation to achieve its mission, he would have to make some decisions that would make him unpopular with certain people in the congregation. Since he believed he should do the right things, he determined that respect needed to be a higher value for him, than likeability.

As we look at the life of Jesus Christ we see a person who was often loved by many people. However we also recognize that the implementation of his mission took precedence over wanting to be admired and adored. He also made enemies, confounded his friends and in some cases strongly rebuked those who gave him admiration because fulfilling their wishes and expectations would have hindered his mission.
As I reflect on the early years of my pastoral ministry I now understand that being liked was often more important to me than being respected. And as a result I did not make certain decisions that I knew would be unpopular, did not confront behaviors, even if they were clearly sinful and did not employ some strategies that would have achieved God’s mission for the church. We often talk of people who, though they know what to do, cannot “pull the trigger” and make the tough decisions. Often the reason for such action is a great desire to be liked.

The tragedy is that pastors that are often deeply loved, accomplish little in terms of the mission Jesus gives his church and are seen as people who need to be cared for and protected, so they are not hurt. They are often treated more as a favorite grandchild, or even a victim, more than being given respect as a leader. And the overall ministry suffers because multiple agendas are allowed to be pursued rather than our Lord’s agenda for His Church.

Respected pastors may not be universally loved, but they are usually respected for standing up for that which is right regardless of circumstances. So too is our Lord Jesus Christ.[/text_output][/vc_column][/vc_row]


0d440c9I can think of very few instances where the word CRASH has positive implications.  So it is with the CBAmerica website.  The company providing hosting services for the CBA website had a major CRASH of the servers containing ours and several other company’s websites.   We, along with others, had used a company in Portland, OR to design and host our website several years ago.  That company had been acquired by another company and had made a commitment to continue hosting these sites from the acquired company.  When the acquiring companies servers went down, they notified us that not only were they not going to continue hosting these websites from the previous company, but they also were not going to be able to recover and restore the websites.

Sorry for any inconvenience you may have experienced in not being able to access the CBA website.  We are working to rebuild the website under a new format. Honestly we want it back up more than you can imagine.

Busy Does Not Equal Productive

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Dr. Paul Borden
Rocky Mountain Church Network

Taken from Growing Healthy Churches October 2014 E-Newsletter



I do not think I have ever met a pastor that when asked said that she/he was not busy in ministry. I do not think I have ever shared when asked about my use of time that I have not said that I have not been busy in ministry. Being busy in ministry is almost as much an absolute for evangelical pastors as believing in the Deity of Jesus Christ. Yet as we look at The Church of Jesus Christ it is obvious that a busy clergy does not produce great results when it comes to congregational health and growth. Assuming that a lack of busyness is not the answer to such poor results, we must then determine the problem of such a low correlation between effectiveness and effort. I would suggest that rather than talking about busyness we should be focusing on production. After all our Lord did talk about fruitfulness, which is an evaluation of production. In other words, if all pastors are busy, then we must determine what generates more production for the time invested. 

Evaluating ministry more on production then time served means starting with a clear sense of mission or purpose. The clearer the purpose the easier it is to determine whether production has been or not been achieved. For example, if my purpose for an afternoon is to rest and relax, I can determine as evening approaches whether such has or has not occurred.

A clear mission then leads to strategies and tactics. We all know that any purpose is best served well if the appropriate strategies and tactics are determined and implemented. So a relaxing afternoon for many might include the elimination of all sources of interruption. It would also probably entail a change of environment, particularly the environment in which I regularly work.

Once the strategies and tactics are selected I must then establish criteria to determine if the strategies and tactics are implemented well and produce the intended results that fit the purpose being achieved. So the criteria for a relaxing and restful afternoon might be the re-creation of my mental and emotional state along with renewed physical energy that results in more motivation to achieve results when I enter back into my normal responsibilities.

Therefore busy pastors that seldom see the production they desire need to evaluate their overall approach to ministry. First is there a clear mission for their role and for the personal achievement of their role? If such is not the case, they need to establish such a mission. The clearer and more specific that mission is the better the chance they will succeed in fulfilling it.

Second, these pastors then need to examine the strategies and tactics they employ throughout the week to determine two things. The first determination is the wisdom of employing such strategies and tactics. The second determination is how consistently and effectively the strategies and tactics are implemented.

Finally, pastors then must set goals to determine whether the results achieved are good or need improvement. These results need to be viewed over an extended period of time (three to six months). As many sports or musical coaches say, the goal is to get a little better every time we play or practice.

We are all busy (at least we all say we are). We are not all productive. Our goal hopefully is to improve the correlation between busyness and production.[/text_output][/vc_column][/vc_row]