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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November 5, 2015 — by Don Feuerbach

Living Room Ministry

I’m not sure if there is anyone in the church world who hasn’t heard the word missional. Maybe like you, I have read a lot of books about missional church. I understood what they were saying. I agreed that in some circumstances the church had lost its focus; that sometimes we are more concerned about attracting people to worship services than anything else.

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November 2, 2015 — by Tim Fearer

Asking The Good Question: Discipleship and Coaching

I recently heard a preacher quote Paul’s injunction to Timothy, “...and what you have heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will be able to teach others as well”  (II Timothy 2:2).  Among other things the preacher was supporting the idea that discipling is all about one person giving something to another person which the latter does not possess.  Right.  People don’t know what they don’t know.  Core aspects of acquiring a Christian faith and identity involve one person receiving something from another – from outside oneself. This is a central dimension of Christianity as a “revealed” religion, and a central dimension of discipling relationships - but there is more to be said. 

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October 29, 2015 — by Katie Fowler

Becoming A Missional Church

We haven’t figured it out yet. This shift from being an established, primarily attractional church to one that lives as a missional church. We are still in process. I think that is actually okay. The danger is actually in thinking we have arrived, that we have somehow checked all the boxes and figured it all out. I was reminded recently that the missional movement is not simply about “doing” something (although action is of course imperative!), but to live as a missional church is primarily about “being.”

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October 26, 2015 — by Mark DeYmaz

Flourishing Multi-ethnic Churches for the Sake of the Gospel

On May 17, 2001, after eighteen years of student ministry experience, my wife, Linda, and I responded in prayer to a very specific call of God on our lives. That day, we committed ourselves and our family to a journey of faith, courage, and sacrifice that would lead to the establishment of a multi-ethnic and economically diverse church in the heart of Central Arkansas—a church for others, for all people - a church we called Mosaic.

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October 22, 2015 — by Don Everts

Missional Centrality in the Local Church

For seven years now I’ve been watching my suburban church fall in love with mission.  We’ve begun to leave behind the out-dated myths that tell us (the local church) to merely write checks and leave it to the real professionals to do missions.  We’re listening more to those who remind us that missions “…is the distinctive mark of being a Christian.” (As the great Scottish preacher, James S. Stewart put it.)

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October 19, 2015 — by Jeff Vanderstelt

There Is A Race: Let The Training Begin

A few years back a friend of mine challenged me to run the Chicago Marathon with him. I’d never run a race before, but my competitive edge led me to take on the challenge, and I got to work. I never trained so hard in my life. Hours of my days were devoted to getting into shape and preparing. I ordered running magazines, researched workout plans, learned about proper diet, was schooled on shoe tech, and even discovered how important it is to think about proper clothing. I became a disciple of marathons because I was going to run one.

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October 13, 2015 — by Rev. Eric O. Jacobsen

A Different Kind Of Church

“We are a church that aspires to exist for the sake of those who are not already part of our fellowship”.  This is the first line of the first set of five plumb lines that we recently adopted to help guide us towards the future to which we are being called.

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