Current Focus in ECO Development

• We are all brothers and sisters
in Christ
• Exhibit courtesy to all
• Listen to one another
• Strive for unity and understanding
Rev. Dr. Dana S. Allin, Synod Executive
Highland Park Presbyterian Church
October 2, 2013
What we want to cover:
Brief History of ECO
Distinctive Elements in ECO
Current Focus in ECO
The Desire had been to stay within
–17th Synod
–Non-geographic presbyteries
–Protection for churches and
presbyteries to hold to evangelical
positions for leaders
History of ECO/Fellowship
White Paper February 2011
– Before It even looked like 10-A would pass
– They no longer believed that the answer was
to reform the denomination by outvoting it
– Stronger covenantal relationships within the
PC(USA) and for those who must to move
outside of it.
Authors of White Paper
Jim Singleton – FPC Colorado Springs
John Crosby – Christ, Edina, MN
Vic Pentz – Peachtree, Atlanta
Rich Kannwisher – St. Andrews Newport Beach
David Peterson, Memorial Drive, Houston
David Swanson – FPC Orlando
Mark Toone – Chapel Hill, Gig Harbor, WA
To build flourishing
churches that
make disciples
of Jesus Christ.
“It is he whom we proclaim, warning
everyone and teaching everyone in all
wisdom, so that we may present
everyone mature in Christ.
For this I toil and struggle with all the energy
that he powerfully inspires within me.”
Colossians 1:28-29
Mission: To build flourishing churches
that make disciples of Jesus Christ.
• Our energy should be spent on “presenting
everyone mature in Christ.” (Col 1:28-29).
• We seek to be an ECO-system of churches
that learn from one another and support
one another for God’s purpose in the world.
• We should aggressively develop disciples,
nurture leaders, and birth churches.
Two problems we are addressing
• Theological problems – This is the presenting
issue and the first concern of most
• Institutional problem – A “denomination” needs
to focus on the health of the church and its
leaders, not on bickering and/or organizational
Realities and Projections
Currently: 75 Churches
• June 2014: 200 Churches
• June 2015: 300 Churches
• June 2016: 400 Churches
Elements of ECO
Distinctive #1
High Trust/Low Control
In order to have high trust and low control
there must be:
1. Agreement on core essential theology
2. A desire to think differently about the
function of denominations.
Distinctive #2
We often only validate corporate
worship as “church”.
2.0502 “The Church exists wherever two
or more are gathered in the name of
Jesus. Therefore, it is appropriate to
celebrate sacraments in these smaller
Distinctive #3
Commission of Elders and
Deacons for Greater Service
In ECO elders and deacons, when properly
trained can be authorized to do the
following: (2.0502-0503)
1. They can celebrate sacraments in micro
expressions of church
2. They can be a commissioned lay pastor
of a church or a new church
Distinctive #4
Accountability & Encouragement
Pastors and congregations need
deeper relationships that can foster
support and accountability.
1. Pastor Covenant Groups – 2.0402
2. The Mission Affinity Network for
congregations – 1.0104
Distinctive #5
Congregation owns Property
Holding property in trust burdens
the congregation and the
Distinctive #6
More time and energy in training
• 1% of annual budget is given to support ECO
at local and national level.
• Meetings have limited business and more
time getting the top quality information and
Current Focus
in ECO
#1 Church Planting
Current Focus
in ECO
In order to facilitate a church
planting movement we are
a. Regional Networks
b. Church Planter Assessment
c. On-going training and coaching
#2 Leadership
Current Focus
in ECO
- Coach Training
- Missional Community
- Officer training
- Mentoring
#3 Living into the
Covenant Order
Current Focus
in ECO
Helping pastors and churches
live into covenant groups
and Mission Affinity Work.
a. Shift focus away from
“winning the vote”
b. How do we both organize,
facilitate and share best
practices in ministry
#4 Working on the
Theology Project
Current Focus
in ECO
Greater work needs to be done
in areas of theology.
• What is the nature of our
confessional heritage? Which
confessions do we want to call
• How can we flesh out our
understanding of missional
ecclesiology. (Meaning our
theology of church, leadership,
and function.)
#5 Developing
Support Structure
a. Emerging Presbyteries
b. Call system
c. Policies and procedures
Current Focus
in ECO

similar documents