Thankfulness for our Denomination

Thankfulness for our Denomination
My first 20 years in ministry were heart-breaking when it came to denominations. All of the conversations centered around battles and trying to get back to the glory days, while the statistics were all in decline.  I tended to dread Presbytery meetings and cringed with every national gathering. My hope in joining the Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians (ECO) was that I might stop dreading and cringing – which admittedly is a pretty low bar.
Over the past two years, my experience with ECO has been so much better than expected. It really is an ECOsystem of support that is truly building a movement of Christ-followers and churches at a time in our nation’s history when we definitely need the power of the gospel to bring healing, reconciliation and abundant life. Seven years in, ECO is staying laser focused on the mission: To build flourishing churches that make disciples of Jesus Christ.

I find that regional and national leaders are quick to ask how they can help that mission happen through Crestwood. Then they deliver on practical help. That is a gift from God.
Recently, I read through the 10-year vision statement of ECO.  It inspired me and I hope it inspires you:
“As ECO began, our desire was not simply to create another denomination, but to truly be a movement that recaptures the best of our Presbyterian and Reformed heritage to saturate our broken and hurting world with the transforming power of Jesus Christ. We are committed to reaching a new apex in our next decade of ministry, by envisioning 1,000 planted, revitalized, and flourishing ECO congregations and microexpressions by 2030.  To make this passion a reality, we must aggressively recruit, train, re-train, and deploy 1,000 vocational leaders and in doing so, we see hundreds of thousands of movement-equipped people emerging for daily gospel influence. Like a child who blows a dandelion into the wind, the Spirit scatters us into our communities to plant the gospel. Imagine worldwide, millions of people linked to the surprising goodness of God, loved through tangible acts of kindness, lifted by the compelling good news of Jesus, and lavishly adopted into a new and better kind of family.”

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