June 2, 2017 — by Dana Allin

Raising the Bar | "Flourishing Leaders"

Many people have commented about how ECO seeks to create an environment that continues to raise the bar on what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. There are many ways that this environment is encouraged within ECO congregations and presbyteries. One of the ways that I am thrilled to watch unfold among our churches is the hunger to have lay leaders flourish in their various and diverse ministries.

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April 6, 2017 — by Dana Allin

Dana Allin's April Newsletter Article

I am thrilled with the number of churches who are utilizing the “Becoming a Flourishing Church” series that is available on our website. The feedback has been very positive as many leaders wrestle with the question of what is next for their congregations as they seek to truly flourish. My only concern are the leaders who say, “Our church is only going to do the last two sessions related to being a flourishing church.

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February 22, 2017 — by Dana Allin

Catalyzing The Flourishing Of Churches

It was so wonderful to be with our ECO family in Greenville, South Carolina at the end of January.  What a great week we had worshiping together, engaging with encouraging speakers, and connecting with friends and colleagues!

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January 10, 2017 — by Dana Allin

Looking Forward In 2017

I was recently re-reading Les McKeown’s book Predictable Success: Getting Your Organization on the Growth Track and Keeping it There.  He talks about the life stages of a startup organization.   The initial stage is called “Early Struggle” and it is about the challenges that an organization faces in getting off the ground.  

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November 30, 2016 — by Dana Allin

What are the Greatest Needs of ECO Churches?

In the last six months, I have tried to ascertain what are the greatest needs of ECO churches.  I have conducted informal and formal questioning around this subject with various pastors and congregational leaders.  I have compared their answers with my own observations from personal interactions.  While all of our congregations are different, there are some common themes that emerge within many of them.  

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August 17, 2016 — by Dana Allin

In ECO: Now What?

At ECO's national gathering in Newport Beach this past January, I led a breakout session called, “In ECO, Now What?”  This  question often gets asked in a variety of different ways.  I will get phone calls or e-mails stating that a congregation has been in ECO (usually for 6 months to a year) and the leaders want their congregation to live more fully into the values and vision that have been articulated. When I am asked these "now what?" questions, I tell congregations that they can do three things if they have not already been done.

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February 22, 2016 — by Dana Allin

STRIVE Blog Series

We are so grateful for the many powerful and exciting ways in which God was at work at ECO's STRIVE national gathering in January! We had a wonderful time together in worship, connecting with friends and colleagues from across the country, and learning from so many effective ministry leaders from both within and outside of our tribe.

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January 4, 2016 — by Dana Allin

ECO's Ninth Core Value: Kingdom Vitality

I often wrestle with communicating ECO's vision, culture, ethos, and DNA to the average covenant partner (member) in our congregations.  Members will hear about ECO when their churches are considering affiliating with ECO, and during that time they have specific questions that need to be addressed.  Yet in other circumstances it seems that our message doesn’t filter to the congregation. 

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December 2, 2015 — by Dana Allin

Leadership Velocity

I believe all of our values are incredibly important to the future of the ECO movement.  I do think, however, that there are a few values that are foundational to the success of the rest of them.  Leadership Velocity is one of those foundational values that determines our ability to live out the rest of the values.  Leadership Velocity states, “We believe identifying and developing gospel-centered leaders is critical for the church, and a great leadership culture is risk-taking, innovative, and organic.”  

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November 8, 2015 — by Dana Allin

Coaching And Ministry

Coaching has been one of the most valuable skills that I have gained in the last 15 years since I graduated from seminary.  I was first exposed to coaching during my Doctorate of Ministry course work at Fuller Seminary. Bob Logan, then the head of CoachNet International Ministries, was the instructor for a course called “Raising and Multiplying Leaders in your Ministry.”  In this course, we got a brief exposure to the art of coaching and how to use the skill when working with emerging leaders, staff, committees/teams, and even family members. I was convinced at that point that coaching was was extremely powerful in almost any situation where people want to increase in their effectiveness and vitality. Since that time, I have been increasing my skills and training to become more effective. When I was called to the Synod Executive role with ECO, I knew coaching was something that could have a profound effect in the life of our movement. If we could create a coaching culture, I knew we could grow in effectiveness. To that end, John Terech and I recently received additional accreditation through the International Coach Federation (ICF) which is the primarily regulating group for coaching.

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November 6, 2015 — by Dana Allin

Center-Focused Spirituality

As we continue through the blogs of our values we will take the next several weeks to look at the 7th value “Center-Focused Spirituality”. This value says “We believe in calling people to the core of what it means to be followers of Jesus – what “mere Christianity” is and does, and not fixate on the boundaries.”  

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August 25, 2015 — by Dana Allin

ECO's Fifth Core Value: Egalitarian Ministry

I love how our 5th Core Value, Egalitarian Ministry, encompasses both our commitment to upholding the roles of women in all aspects of the church, as well as the need to deploy, celebrate, and support leaders from every ethnicity.

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June 10, 2015 — by Dana Allin

ECO's Third Core Value: Thoughtful Theology

Over the next several months, in preparation for our national gathering, we will be focusing our Thursday blog posts on ECO’s nine values. We will spend a month of Thursdays on each of the values, where I will write an introductory blog post and then other authors will expand upon our Biblical understanding of the value for the next 3-4 weeks. We are excited to dig in together and pray that you will join us in this journey as we strive to stay connected until we see each other in person next January!

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May 7, 2015 — by Dana Allin

ECO's Core Values: #2 Biblical Integrity

Over the next several months, in preparation for our national gathering, we will be focusing our Thursday blog posts on ECO’s nine values. We will spend a month of Thursdays on each of the values, where I will write an introductory blog post and then other authors will expand upon our Biblical understanding of the value for the next 3-4 weeks. We are excited to dig in together and pray that you will join us in this journey as we strive to stay connected until we see each other in person next January!

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April 9, 2015 — by Dana Allin

ECO's Core Values: #1 Jesus Shaped Identity

Over the next several months, in preparation for our national gathering, we will be focusing our Thursday blog posts on ECO’s nine core values. We will spend a month of Thursdays on each of the values, where I will write an introductory blog post and then other authors will expand upon our Biblical understanding of the value for the next 3-4 weeks. We are excited to dig in together and pray that you will join us in this journey as we strive to stay connected until we see each other in person next January!

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January 26, 2015 — by Dana Allin

"Like-Minded" Not "Same-Minded"

One of the key things I remember Jim Singleton saying at the first Fellowship gathering in Minneapolis was that Fellowship and ECO would be a collection of people who are like-minded but not same-minded. I think that distinction is the very component for what ECO strives to be. Rather than ruling from the boundaries and dictating non-essentials, ECO desires to hold at the center: a core theology that gives clarity to the movement.

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January 1, 2015 — by Dana Allin

Happy New Year, ECO friends!

Though it used to be even better when ALL college football games were on TV, New Year's day is still one of my favorite days. I love being able to not just celebrate the past, but also start fresh and make some adjustments that change the trajectory of my life. I also love New Year’s as a tangible reminder of what the Lord does for us every day.

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December 10, 2014 — by Dana Allin

Shift Five: From An "Addition/Subtraction Mentality" To A “Multiplication Mindset"

Stay tuned to the ECO blog


This fall our Thursday blogs are focused on the five shifts we've identified as significant for living out the mission and vision of ECO. Every third Thursday, Dana Allin writes specifically about one of these shifts, and then the following two Thursdays we hear from people within the ECO community who are living out that particular shift in their local contexts. Read Shift OneShift Two, Shift Three, and Shift Four.

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November 19, 2014 — by Dana Allin

Shift Four: Becoming Missional And Attractional

Stay tuned to the ECO blog


This fall our Thursday blogs are focused on the five shifts we’ve identified as significant for living out the mission and vision of ECO. Every third Thursday, Dana Allin writes specifically about one of these shifts, and then the following two Thursdays we hear from people within the ECO community who are living out that particular shift in their local contexts. Read Shift OneShift Two, and Shift Three

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October 8, 2014 — by Dana Allin

Shift Two: From “Safety and Preservation To Risk Taking and Expansion”

Stay tuned to the ECO blog


This fall our Thursday blogs are focused on the five shifts we've identified as significant for living out the mission and vision of ECO. Every third Thursday, Dana Allin writes specifically about one of these shifts, and then the following two Thursdays we hear from people within the ECO community who are living out that particular shift in their local contexts. Read more about Shift One here.

Shift #2: From “Safety and Preservation To Risk Taking and Expansion”


risk-taking-and-expansion

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September 17, 2014 — by Dana Allin

Shift One: From "Clergy-Centered" To An "Unleashed Laity"

What's ahead on the ECO blog


This fall our Thursday blogs will focus on the five shifts that we have identified as significant for living out the mission and vision of ECO. Every third Thursday, Dana Allin will be writing specifically about one of these shifts, and then the following two Thursdays we will hear from people who are making that particular shift in their local contexts.

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August 22, 2014 — by Dana Allin

When We Gathered in Dallas: ECO's Synod Meeting

A few things have changed since we gathered 18 months ago


Wow! I am both excited and exhausted—what a great couple of days we had in Dallas at the 2014 National Gathering! It’s exciting to see how we’ve grown from 30 churches and 10,000 covenant partners at our first Synod gathering in 2013 to now having 149 churches and 60,000 covenant partners at this gathering. Plus, it’s extremely encouraging to see a dozen church plants in various stages of formation and organization! There is so much to be grateful for.

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July 2, 2014 — by Dana Allin

What it Means to Be a Church Planter

Thoughts from the Church Planting Assessment


Last week in Tacoma, WA, I had the privilege of co-directing our church planting assessment with J. Allen Thompson, the master of church planting assessment. I have attended the Mission to North America church planting assessments a few times to learn how the process works, and am grateful ECO has a similar church planting assessment process in place now. Every time I've been to an assessment, I've heard from the candidates how grateful and encouraged they were by the process. I want to briefly reflect on the ways in which I too was encouraged by the assessment event last week.

Church planting takes courage


Special thanks to First Presbyterian Church of Tacoma, WA for hosting our Church Planting Assessment! Photo credit: Emily Day Special thanks to First Presbyterian Church of Tacoma, WA for hosting our Church Planting Assessment! Photo credit: Emily Day

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June 15, 2014 — by Dana Allin

Important Shifts For Our Future Development

Thoughts about the future

In the middle of May, the ECO Synod Executive Council met for a day. We spent some time thinking about the future and looking at where we need to spend our time and energy for future development. We took a look at our mission statement, “to build flourishing churches that make disciples of Jesus Christ.” We began to ask,

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May 1, 2014 — by Dana Allin

In Pursuit of God's Mission For The Church

Reorienting our goal as the Church


Reorienting Church Goals This coming Sunday, I have the privilege of preaching at First Presbyterian Church of Colorado Springs and I plan on using Acts 1:1-8. My title for the sermon is, “God’s Mission has a Church.” I believe we often reverse the relationship between mission and church.

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