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.  

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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.

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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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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.

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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!

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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?

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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.

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January 7, 2016 — by Candice Barry

Being Incarnational In The Workplace

John 1:14 says "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Now, take a deep breath and go back and read it again. Whether that was the first or the hundredth time you have read that verse, take a second to think about how huge that is. It is the good news. Jesus, who was with the Father, saw value in us and chose to make his dwelling among us. Wow. If we believe that to be true, then it stands to reason that our lives should point others to his glory, grace, and truth. The light that we shine must ultimately point to the source that is Christ. So, what does it look like to take the posture of Jesus in the workplace? I am no expert on the topic, but I am very humbled to be able to share my story.

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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 14, 2015 — by Dan Aument

Incarnating Jesus

This last year, my wife Leslie and I moved to Austin, Texas to plant an incarnational church using the missional community model.  We want to experiment with new ways of doing church and discipleship in order to reach young people.  We’ve had some early progress making friends and sharing our vision, but we are a long way away from knowing if we’ve succeeded.  We’re investing a lot of time and energy and – as I’m sure you can imagine – we really want it to work out.

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