As I begin my new role and ministry at ECO, I am excited and hopeful for what Go...
I hope that you all had a great and rejuvenating summer. I was able to have a few weeks of vacation with family that was interspersed with some visits from close family friends. I certainly felt reenergized physically, spiritually, and relationally. I came back excited for what this new year will bring within the ECO movement.
We have some exciting updates coming in the next weeks and months! I can’t give them all away to you right now because everything is not quite finalized and ready to share! But there are a few areas in or related to leadership development initiatives that have seen significant progress in the last several months.
First, I am happy to announce that we have hired Luke Parker as our full-time church planting director. Up until now, he and Nate Stratman have given a part time effort to the area of church planting. They enhanced the system greatly, but because of time constraints, they often had to be more reactive to situations rather than proactively catalyzing church planting. We are extremely thankful that Nate Stratman jumped in a few years ago to serve our church planters. He will continue to be involved in various aspects and projects of church planting while he remains called to continue pastoring his local church, Hope Community in Wilmington, NC.
Luke Parker lives in Phoenix, AZ with his wife and two young boys. He has been an ECO church pastor for a number of years and has the right kind of church planting experience to facilitate our church planting initiatives. He has planted a church, been on staff in both church plants and established churches, and has developed apprenticeship programs that have birthed apprentices who have launched churches. He also has experience working with individual churches and groups of churches who have started new church plants. Luke knows that the landscape of church planting is diverse and requires different models and expressions of churches.
I love Luke’s passion and energy as well as his ability to think systematically. Most importantly, he believes ECO has the potential to be ripe for church planting. He is excited to work with our congregations and presbyteries to help them take their Flourishing Next Step in church planting.
Luke’s current focus is to enhance ECO’s capacity for planting and to put energy into churches and presbyteries who want to engage in planting. If you are considering exploring church planting personally, or your church wants to take a more active role in planting churches, I encourage you to connect with Luke. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
There will be more great things from ECO in the weeks and months ahead. I pray that even in the midst of new concerns with COVID that you are able to have some freshness and excitement about your ministry this fall. Know that we are praying for you and are here to serve and support you and to help you flourish in the unique context where God has called you. We are grateful for you!