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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December 2, 2015 — by Dana Allin

Leadership Velocity

I believe all of our values are incredibly important to the future of the ECO movement.  I do think, however, that there are a few values that are foundational to the success of the rest of them.  Leadership Velocity is one of those foundational values that determines our ability to live out the rest of the values.  Leadership Velocity states, “We believe identifying and developing gospel-centered leaders is critical for the church, and a great leadership culture is risk-taking, innovative, and organic.”  

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November 25, 2015 — by Kristen McWilliams

Coaching: A Framework For Ministry

Throughout the Gospels, Jesus often uses questions to engage those around Him. As someone who truly delights in questions, it is encouraging to see that Jesus values them as well. Intentional questions have a way of gently unearthing that which is settled beneath the surface, creating connections, and developing great purpose. Additionally, when questions are coupled with prayer as a way of understanding God’s plan for our lives, the outcome can be of cosmic proportions. This process has engendered a love of coaching in me. Coaching, in a Christian setting, creates space to ask questions like Jesus did, to pray with another, to demonstrate the love of Jesus, and to glorify Him in the process.

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November 16, 2015 — by John Terech

Coaching And Accountability

Early in 2009, I was introduced to coaching through Dana Allin as he brought CoachNet (then under the direction of Bob Logan) into our presbytery as a way of transforming culture, deepening discipleship, and ultimately helping people reach their goals.  I started training immediately and have continued with my own development as well as developing others.  Dana clearly defined what coaching is in his recent blog on the subject.  

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November 9, 2015 — by Amber Ayers

Creating a Coaching Culture

My first understanding of a coach brought to mind a swim workout on the whiteboard of a pool deck: 200 free, 200 kick, 200 pull, 10 x 100s free on 1:30, 5 x 200s IM on 3:30. This was the athletic language I spoke as a young swimmer and learned to speak fluently as a swim coach in my early twenties. But a decade later in 2013, through a leadership initiative with ECO, I was introduced to coaching in the context of ministry. This form of coaching has helped me make a few language adjustments and see the incredible value of the coaching relationship. And along the way, I found my sweet spot in ministry.

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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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