The mission of ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians is to build flourishing churches that make disciples of Jesus Christ.” Our mission statement is a declaration of who we aspire to be and increasingly become. It is a single sentence that defines the “business” we are in. It is an over-arching, controlling idea that should determine and then evaluate all we are about.
“Flourishing churches that make disciples of Jesus Christ” – you can’t have one without the other. The former doesn’t happen without the latter. And the latter is all about the transformation of lives, resembling more and more the One who denied himself for the love of the Father and a lost world.
How are you and your congregation doing along those lines? What is national ECO leadership doing to help you? Thanks to the commitment of our ECO board and the generous funding of several donors, I have been hired to assist pastors and elders as they lean in and try to live out our mission.
True to our stated mission, I’ve been tasked with leading a whole range of new initiatives – in partnership with you – and want to share them with you now:
1) the creation of resources, articles, blogs, webinars, links, and videos;
2) being available to you to speak at presbytery and network gatherings;
3) advise, consult, train and help problem solve with you;
4) develop a team of regional “discipleship coaches,” and strengthen our “missional coaches;”
5) offer regional “disciple making” training retreats and ongoing coaching for select churches accepted into a “Pilot Program” for 2016.
Let me say a bit more about this “Pilot Program.” We believe that only successful practioners can teach and train others. We are now gathering a team of people from around the country who are not only trained coaches, but have shown gifts and a calling to a “disciple-making” focus in their fruitful ministries as pastors and elders. Together we will assist you in your discipling and developing the people around you. You will soon have the opportunity to apply to become a “Pilot Program” church. (We hope and believe that as we learn, adapt and modify what we offer, we’ll provide a “Pilot Progam 2.0” for 2017!) Look for more info on being a part of this high commitment adventure in the July ECO newsletter!
I was raised in and served on staff of a large suburban church which over several decades sent scores of people into full time ministry, not to mention the training of many more for lay leadership and faithful living in the home, neighborhood and marketplace. I pastored a church of around 200 members for 11 years in a changing neighborhood of diverse class and racial demographics, and saw it get healthy and grow as leaders emerged. I then served for seven years as a PCUSA “theological educator and leadership developer” among 1st generation Christians in Turkey. And just last month I concluded a two-year interim pastorate amidst the urban sprawl of Los Angeles. In every assignment my pastoral work has focused on calling out the hidden gifts and strengths of people, building them up, and then releasing them into ministry. I want to keep doing that alongside you!
I’d love to hear from you. You can contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org; or give me a call at 855.326.3268, ext 404.