March 28, 2016 — by Matthew Lee


ECO Church Planting

As I begin my new role and ministry at ECO, I am excited and hopeful for what God will do in and through the individuals and churches of this denomination. I love the fact that so many ECO churches and pastors have a heart to see new churches started and their neighborhood, towns, and cities transformed by the Gospel. I also love the de-centralized emphasis where congregations have the primary ownership and responsibility to plant churches versus the denomination. This vision will not only empower local churches to have more “skin in the game,” but will also foster a greater culture of multiplication.

In light of a local approach, the purpose and vision for ECO church planting is to “to assist, resource, and support individuals and churches to plant spiritually vibrant, gospel-centered, emotionally healthy, contextualized, life changing churches throughout the United States and abroad.”

Specifically, our desire is to see new communities of faith that are marked by deep intimacy with Christ, where prayer is central to the life of the church, and where God’s Word is not only joyfully studied but informs every aspect of community life. We desire to see churches planted where God’s grace saturates, motivates, and empowers every aspect of community life. We desire new churches where people can feel safe to be vulnerable and real with one another and where pastors, leaders, and lay people experience emotional health. We also desire church plants to be contextualized where “one size” doesn’t fit all in terms of methods and models and where church planters sense freedom, flexibility, and creativity in starting new churches. Most importantly, we desire to see churches that see lives change that will result in neighborhoods, schools, families, workplaces, and cities being changed. This is our hope and prayer for the new church planting endeavors throughout ECO.

Partnership

However, we know that effective planting cannot happen apart from God’s sovereign grace and your prayer and partnership. In terms of how you can pray and partner with us, there are three main ways: First, consider setting aside regular times in your worship service, leadership team meetings, or prayer meetings to pray for church planting in ECO. Second, consider giving to the assessment, training, and funding of church planters and church plants. Third, consider becoming a church planting church where future planters can become interns and be sponsored by your local church. We will be fleshing out the specific strategies for prayer, funding, training, and internships in the coming months, but until then, please simply pray and consider becoming part of this church planting initiative.

Primary Goals

During the next few months there are several goals that I would like to accomplish. First and foremost, my desire is to connect with as many ECO planters, church planting chairs, churches, and pastors as possible. The main purpose is to listen, learn, and to assess ways that we as the national staff can serve you best. Secondly, I hope to design simple and clear pathways for individuals and churches, or groups of churches who want to plant new churches. My third goal is to establish pre-assessments, assessment, training, coaching, and ongoing support structure and processes that are specific and tailored for ECO. Part of the training and support for planters is the need to create church planting residencies in local ECO churches where planters can find mentorship and support before launching.

These are my hopes, prayers, and some plans for ECO church planting. Please continue to pray for us as we seek to serve you in the best way possible. Again, I am thrilled at the possibilities and excited about what God will do in and through ECO.

Exponential East Pre-Conference Seminar 

Matthew Lee 
It's our hope that you will check out a special pre-conference seminar hosted by Matthew Lee, ECO's National Church Planting Catalyst at the Exponential conference in Orlando, FL. Matt will address "Finding A Church Planting Model That Best Fits You" In this session, you or your church will explore various church planting models and methods to find the one(s) that fit your particular wiring, culture, and context so that you can plant more effectively. When it comes to church planting, one size does NOT fit all.

Come explore: 

1. The different models and methods of planting currently utilized in North America 
2. Positives and Negatives of each model 
3. Implications for funding, strategy, and overall process 
4. Evaluating your wiring, culture, and context in light of the models

Speaker: Matthew Lee
Day / Time: Tuesday, 8:00-11:30am
Location: AP Buildings - AP 10

Be courageous! Journey with 1,000s of other leaders. Continue to ask yourself: What would it take to face and overcome the tensions that are keeping me from living out a better scorecard rooted in multiplication?

Although this conference is currently sold out, 20 tickets are available at the lowest rate of $99! Email John Terech if interested: John@eco-pres.org 

  

Matthew Lee

Rev. Dr. Matthew Lee has been involved in five church plants with a variety of denominations and organizations, most recently has done so with Evangelical Covenant Church. In two of those plants he has been the lead planter. He has coached church planters, been involved in church planting networks, and recently served as the Director of Church Planting Programs at Fuller Seminary. Matt has a Ph.D in Intercultural Studies from Biola University and comes highly recommended by many well respected individuals in the church planting field. Matt is married to Grace and they have two boys, Aaron and Elijah.

See All Posts ›