Last month, I had the privilege of traveling with The Outreach Foundation to lea...
It’s not unusual to have folks ask me, “So what’s it like to be Moderator of the ECO Synod?” or, “So, what are your responsibilities as Moderator of the Synod?” These questions cause me to recognize how blessed and honored I am to be entrusted with both the position and title of Synod Moderator, or officially, the President of the ECO Synod. They also cause me to rejoice that I have been given the opportunity to serve alongside an incredible group of gifted leaders. Actively participating in Zoom and in-person meetings, frequent interactions with our Synod leaders, and our Synod Executive Council, always confirm for me our ECO mission. I find these interactions are both a joy and very invigorating as we get to partner together in the work of advancing God’s Kingdom through ECO.
Having previously served on the Synod Executive Council, and now as its Moderator, I get to observe our Synod staff, who demonstrate both a calling and a passion for futuristic visioning, strategy development, providing program resources, and teaching and coaching, which better enable our local churches and worshipping communities to thrive. All of this helps us reframe what it means to become flourishing churches. Each of our executive leaders, Rev. Dr. Dana Allin, Synod Executive, CLP John Terech, Executive Director of Operations, and Rev. Nate Dreesmann, Executive Director of Ecclesiastical Support are exceptional spiritual leaders, gifted to do a wide array of ministry work that is seldom visible in the big picture of what they do for all of us. I witness their sincerity and passion to help pastors and church leaders navigate the difficult challenges of being the church during this pandemic. The Synod staff as well, are busy, often behind the scenes, doing the work of supporting our local presbyteries and churches. In our short time of building the framework of a new denomination, it is obvious to me the work of everyone at the Synod level speaks volumes of their commitment to support our local congregations.
Perhaps you have heard the word flourishing and wondered what the motive is behind this theme. ECO is about building flourishing churches that make disciples of Jesus Christ. But you may be thinking, “But our church is flourishing already!” Think with me about the meaning of flourishing. The gospel message of salvation in and through Jesus Christ, is the only hope for our churches, and our communities. We get to partner with other believers in growing together in our faith, and then taking the message of the gospel into our communities. Becoming flourishing churches means evaluating every aspect of our ministries to determine how effective they are in discipling our covenant partners to become sowers of the seed, in order to bring many in our communities to a knowledge of God’s love and saving power.
As a denomination seeking to honor our Reformed theology, we have so very much to be excited about as we continue our journey of faith together. We are a covenant order. That is, we really want to connect the dots of our various ministries in order to get the most synergy out of our efforts to build God’s Kingdom. Let me encourage you to take some time to browse through our ECO website. In doing so, you will discover a lot of exciting things you may not have been aware of that are available as resources and tools to help your church become a truly flourishing church. May God bless you in you and your congregation!