March 27, 2017 — by Matthew Lee

ECO Church Planting Quarterly Update

In an effort to promote connection, continuity and above all, intercession for our church planters, this is our 2nd quarterly prayer update for ECO Church Planting. As you are observing this season of Lent, it is our prayer that God causes our hearts to intensely burn with Christ's commission to make disciples of all nations; what more effective way than through church planting!

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February 23, 2017 — by Will & Kari Ritter

Expanding the Kingdom of God in Jerome Idaho

One of ECO’s core values is Kingdom Vitality.  We believe that congregations should vigorously reproduce new missional communities to expand the Kingdom of God! We are thrilled to announce that First Presbyterian Church in Jerome, Idaho has done just that! FPC Jerome has been involved with helping two ECO church plants become a reality. Headwaters Ministries is a beautiful and growing missional community in the Wood River Valley around Hailey, Idaho. In addition, this month marks the launch of Renew, a remarkably unique ministry in the heart of downtown Jerome. So why is FPC Jerome launching a church plant just blocks away? 

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February 22, 2017 — by Chris Handley

Helping Florence Flourish

Helping Florence Flourish is an exciting gospel city movement happening in Florence, South Carolina. HFF is modelled after many other movements around the country such as in Modesto, California, Lansing, Michigan and New York City.  (See Glenn Barth’s Good City for more info on Gospel City Movements).  As a GCM, we are working toward a visible demonstration of the unity of the body of Christ (John 17:21) to bless our community (Jeremiah 29:7).  We have been working on racial division, which is a critical issue in our community. 

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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 ECO NEWS

Rev. Lisa Johnson Modifies Role To “Unleash Laity”

The Elder Leadership Institute (ELI) began several years ago under the direction of Sara Singleton, and later Lisa Johnson became the assistant director. At that time, the ELI program was a ministry under the Fellowship of Presbyterians. A little less than two years ago, the ministry was given over to Flourish: a ministry arm of ECO that serves churches of different denominations. When the ministry moved to Flourish, Lisa became ELI's new director.  

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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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December 23, 2016 — by ECO NEWS

Merry Christmas From Littlerock Community Church!

I am currently the Head of Staff at Littlerock Community Church and a candidate for ordination through ECO.  Our church joined ECO just about a year ago and God has truly blessed us in the past year.  We are a small church located in California's Antelope Valley and so some of this may seem quite insignificant compared to our larger sister churches.  But in the past year, we started an adult Sunday School class which now averages around 15-17 every week and growing!  We also re-started a children’s Sunday School class that now has between 8-12 children each week.  We started a Saturday morning book study (currently reading through Max Lucado’s book on Grace) which has around 8 people each week.  Our growth had been stagnant, but during the past year, we have added 6 new members and I have had the privilege of baptizing four individuals!

Our people now truly feel challenged to “think outside of the box” and as a result, in addition to our normal Christmas caroling to members who are shut-in, we contacted a local “senior” mobile home park and asked if there were any residents that would like us to come.  We were given several names, so we were able to minister to them on a Friday night.  Every home that we sang to wanted to know the name of the church that we represented and we are already seeing some of their relatives coming to visit us!

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November 30, 2016 — by Anna Kent

Building a Healthy Team With ELI & MAGs

I want to share with you a pretty exciting thing God has made happen in one of our ECO Mission Affinity Groups.  At the beginning of the year, Lisa Johnson, Director of ELI, Dana Allin and I sat down to discuss just how we might begin a pilot project of inviting a Mission Affinity Group into an experience of the Elder Leadership Institute.  Lisa has done an incredible job of building on the foundation of ELI by revamping some of the content and the approach so that the experience accommodates the transformational change we hope happens in ECO churches.  The MAG relationship is a perfect crucible to experiment and test out some of the enhancements. Lisa and I invited a group of Alabama churches to be the first guinea pigs.  I knew from being involved with this MAG that they were interested in strengthening the elder leadership through additional training and hoped to do that together. Westminster Pres and Overlook Pres both in Mobile, Bryan Memorial in Hoover, and the Eden Seekers in Enterprise were the perfect fit.  

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November 30, 2016 — by Jen Haddox

Steams of Living Water in the Desert

When I think of the Arabian Peninsula, I imagine the Arabian desert with sand and lots of it!  Blazing sun and parched land with sparse vegetation, and the occasion camel or oasis.  The desert wilderness is not an easy place to live, but it is a place where God is at work!  As witnessed by the Hebrew people who were led out of Egypt and wandered for 40 years in such conditions, there was much to complain about with the harsh living conditions. But also tremendous opportunities to encounter the living God – just re-read Exodus 16-20! On a recent journey to the United Arab Emirates with our partners at Presbyterian Frontier Fellowship (PFF), I discovered that God is very active encountering the people who live and work in this fascinating place in our world. 

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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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