April 7, 2016 — by ECO Communications Team

Meet The Moderator Of The Rivers Of Life: Jason Schepp

Rivers of Life Presbytery sits in the wooded country side of Western Pennsylvania, and is home to a hard working, fun loving group of men and women.  It is an area that is filled with congregations that desire the opportunity to grow and teach discipleship.  Through this new presbytery, it is my hope that we can create an environment that empowers as well as guides these congregations in the way of the early church, and to a movement of disciple builders.

Read more

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.

Read more

March 21, 2016 — by Eric Laverentz

3 Things Elders Did For 4,000 Years

The role of church elder has changed substantially during the last century.  Following the Civil War, gaining momentum well into the 20th century, elders moved from a primary role as a shepherd of people alongside the pastors, to become the superintendent of a program or ministry.  To put it simply, for nearly four millenia, elders oversaw people.  For a hundred years up and until today, Presbyterian elders focus nearly all their time upon the things of the church—bricks, money, programs, and pew pencils—at the expense of the people.   

Read more

March 17, 2016 — by ECO Communications Team

Meet The Moderators Blog Series

It has only been 4 years since ECO was launched (in January of 2012) and it took another 5 months before any congregations were actually able to join ECO. At the time of our 2016 gathering in Newport Beach, ECO was made up of 252 congregations that represent over 100,000 covenant partners.

Read more

March 7, 2016 — by Len Tang

Benefits Of Bi-Vocational Church Planting

They say that necessity is the mother of invention.  The economic realities of the church and church planting today are necessitating bi-vocational church planting. The Apostle Paul, of course, was the original tentmaker!  In many ethnic churches and smaller churches, bi-vocational ministry has always been the norm rather than the exception. Today, there are even conferences for bivocational planters and pastors

Read more

March 3, 2016 — by ECO Communications Team

STRIVE 2016: Walking Through An Open Door

Hope. That is how I characterize STRIVE. Coming from snow-bound West Virginia, it seemed to metaphorically represent the spiritual binding of Presbyterians here who feel trapped without options, but the joy and passion of the commissioners and guests affirmed that God is doing a new thing.  There is an open door – if we will just walk through it.  

Read more

February 29, 2016 — by Travis Fletcher

STRIVE 2016: "Strive For Something Greater"

After the ECO gathering ended, I drove over to the back bay (I called the back bay, a native friend of mine instructed me facetiously, “because there’s no such thing as canals or ditches in southern California.”) from St. Andrew's and took a run along the trails.  It was a gorgeous, sunny day, and I felt simulatenously drained (from the long days and lots of time with my “extrovert” hat on) and energized by the week together with the ECO family.

Read more

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.

Read more

February 18, 2016 — by Eric Laverentz

Being All Things To All People

After our staff devotional on Tuesday, I polled the group about their favorite and least favorite Super Bowl commercials. The favorite was a mixed bag, but least favorite, overwhelmingly, was the infamous “Puppy Monkey Baby” commercial. It generated a nearly visceral reaction among the staff.

Read more

February 8, 2016 — by Lisa Johnson

STRIVE: A New Journey Has Just Begun!

It was wonderful to be with many of you at the “Strive” National Convention in Newport Beach.  I was so encouraged and inspired by the gathering of the body of Christ to worship and the excellent teaching we received. Dana’s words: “We’ve built a denomination, now let’s start a movement” have been echoing in my ears since the Gathering.  So many of you travelled long journeys to become a part of ECO. You might be weary and the temptation is to say “We’ve arrived.” But becoming a part of ECO means that your new journey has just begun!

Read more

January 25, 2016 — by Becky Lahna

Church Planting: The Place Where Vision And Burden Meet

Six years ago I had a conversation that profoundly impacted me and my understanding of calling.  The context: I had been studying the Bible with a college student for a few weeks.  She did not identify as a Christian but was eager to learn more about Jesus.  We were looking at the story of Jesus’ death on the cross in Luke 23.  As we read through the passage, I watched her body language change.  She sank back in her chair; shoulders turned in and head down.  “What’s wrong?” I asked.  “If Jesus really is God and he died, what good is it for us?  That’s a terrible end to the story.”  A light bulb came on for me.  It was an aha! moment.  I realized that she had never heard the end of the story.  She didn’t know that Jesus was raised from the dead!  She didn’t know the Good News of Easter.  And how could she unless someone told her?

Read more

January 18, 2016 — by Matthew Lee

Vision for 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.

Read more