To be theological or to be missional I hope that title seems wrong to you. I hop...
Undoubtedly, over the past three years, the most heard phrase used in and about ECO has been, “building the plane in the air.”
Certainly, this phrase was very true of our start. We managed to get to this place: a denomination of over 170 congregations, over 250 pastors, and over 70,000 covenant partners, by putting things in place while we were moving. We moved very quickly. That’s quite an accomplishment in three years, let alone the actual time of two and a half years since the first congregation became a member of this thing called ECO.
God has certainly blessed our efforts.
We want to continue to help build His Kingdom as we continually move forward. Now we look ahead to our fourth year together, the truth is that we are maturing as an organization and that should be expected. No longer should we really need to use that phrase of “plane building” while flying, but rather, we must now focus on tweaking the engines, staying quick and light, and making sure our aerodynamic package allows for great speed and nimbleness as we continue to maintain this quick growth curve.
We are growing differently.
Churches that are seeking to transfer in at this point aren’t having the easiest of times in their processes, not to say that any of us actually had it easy, but percentages are different now for these congregations taking votes. And we at ECO need to focus on our goals of planting more churches than we receive through transfer. I’m happy to report that we are seeing much more activity in this area than ever before, and that is exciting! Naturally, our expectations should be different as we mature.
I remember back to my youth when one of the most popular movies of that time was “Top Gun.” In the movie, Tom Cruise piloted a fighter jet called the “Tomcat.” It was an F-14 built by Grumman, a company that at that time was doing much of its F-14 work in Long Island, where I grew up. The plane was just an amazing thing to see. So fast and maneuverable was the F-14 that it gave you both a sense of awe, realizing its capabilities as a fighting machine, and such a sense of pride for this country. That was the late 80’s, and times have changed since then. Grumman largely packed up and left my childhood home, and there are much newer planes with even more capabilities than before. They are even more maneuverable, quicker, and dare I say more dangerous.
We are on track.
As we focus on the future, and our 5 shifts that we’ve identified, blogged about, and promoted across our group, it reminds me that this is exactly what we need to be doing. We need to constantly look at and improve our systems, our ministries, and our strategy as we head into the future. As your Director of Operations, this is something that I love doing!
I look forward to dreaming with you together in how we can make our now fully functioning plane the most incredibly effective ministry out there! We’re not talking about luxury liners now; not comfortable, slow moving, point A to point B machines. We need to be innovative, using all of our combined gifts to expand the Kingdom for His glory! 2015 is going to be a great year indeed!