ECO polity consists of a flatter structure than many denominations, with an emphasis on nurturing God’s work within the local congregation. There are three layers to the ECO polity structure; session, presbytery, and synod, with the synod being the widest council in ECO.
The Nature of Our Polity
The polity of ECO is intended to foster a new way of being the Church, just as traditional, mainline denominations rose to serve in their day. We aspire to reclaim a sense of covenanted biblical community, where unity is derived from a shared mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ more than structural mandate. Congregations will gather together not to debate process or policy, but to collaborate, share best practices, encourage a Jesus way of life, and spur one another on to love and good deeds. Many aspects of our polity rely on the good work of our Presbyterian heritage, while other parts are new; all these recommendations require ongoing willingness to adapt along the way. As a new denomination, our bias is to encourage a spirit of innovation, of Spirit-filled risk-taking that might lead to new possibilities not yet in sight.
The Distinctive Elements of Our Polity
- Flat, nimble structure to facilitate an atmosphere of high trust and low control
- Affirmations of micro-expressions of church, with smaller worshiping bodies supported
- Commissioning of elders and deacons for greater service
- Fostering accountability and encouragement through the local presbytery and Mission Affinity Groups
- Churches retain full ownership rights to their property
- Less time and money invested in maintaining a denominational structure
- More time invested in training pastors and leaders
Read the ECO Polity & Discipline