Category: Equipper Blog

July 31, 2017

What do you DO?

“God can work by what means he will; by a scandalous, domineering, self-seeking preacher; but it is not his ordinary way. Foxes and wolves are not nature’s instruments to generate sheep. I never knew much good done to souls by any pastors, but such as preached and lived in the power of love, working by...

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July 21, 2017

Busyness… or Gluttony?

A paradox has emerged in this new millennium: people have enhanced quality of life, but at the same time they are adding to their stress levels by taking on more than they have resources to handle. It’s as though their eyes were bigger than their stomachs. – David Allen, Getting Things Done It’s more than likely...

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June 21, 2017

How the Learning Pyramid Impacts My Preaching and Teaching

How the Learning Pyramid Impacts My Preaching and Teaching – by J.R. Briggs You’ve probably seen the Learning Pyramid before. Since learning about the pyramid a few years ago, it has been a tremendous tool in my preparation and presentation when preaching a sermon, teaching a class or equipping ministry leaders in a training event....

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June 1, 2017

One Simple Way to Avoid Burnout And Make It For The Long Haul

One of the primary differences between those who make it for the long haul in leading and ministering to others and those who don’t is the level of self-differentiation they are able to achieve. Self-differentiation is the ability to separate one’s intellectual or emotional functioning from that of family or other groups. In other words,...

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March 23, 2017

The 4 Questions to Ask People Who Are Leaving Your Church

It’s never fun when people inform you that they’ve chosen to leave your church. It’s a hard reality to ponder that more people have left our church over the past 8 years than have stayed. Certainly, there are positive reasons people choose not to be a part of the church any more (a job transfer...

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February 24, 2017

Ecclesia Online Learning Hangout w/ Dave Fitch

Join us March 10th as Dr. David Fitch, author of Faithful Presence: Seven Disciplines That Shape the Church for Mission, discusses what it means to live as a faithful presence in today’s world. Incredibly practical and deeply theological, Dr. Fitch is a master provocateur who will challenge you to think carefully about your life and...

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February 9, 2017

Reaching New Hights

        –J.R. Briggs February 5 may have been Super Bowl Sunday, but Sunday afternoon many experienced something much more significant than the Patriots’ dramatic win. New Hights Christian Church, a brand new Spanish-speaking congregation in Hightstown, NJ, held their first baptism service that included their worship service, baptism, recognition of new members...

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February 9, 2017

Sermon Feedback: 5 Ways to Discern When it’s Legit (and When People are Just Being Nice)

            -By J.R. Briggs   As pastors we have all experienced it. We’ve studied, prayed and prepared a sermon all week – and now we’ve just gotten done preaching our heart out. As the service ends and people begin to leave, some look us in the eyes and say, “Nice...

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January 26, 2017

One Simple Key to Sane Church Planting: Let Go of Your Ideals

One of the first things I talk to couples about as we sit down for pre-marital counseling is letting go of their ideals. Not necessarily their ideals about what marriage can be, but their ideal versions of each other. Most, but not all of us, approach dating and potential marriage with a list of things...

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September 29, 2016

From the Field: An update From Albuquerque- Jesse & Joanna Harden

  This time last year my wife and I were attending Ecclesia’s Genesis Church Planters Training in Chicago, Illinois, attempting to soak up every ounce of information presented to us. We were discerning a growing sense of call to plant a church in a community full of people and experiences very different from our own....

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September 29, 2016

Reflection on Ecclesia’s Genesis Church Planters Training- Gary Alloway

I am a straight-A student.  Even though I haven’t been in school for a decade now, that identity remains.  I am one who succeeds, who passes the test, who figures out how to solve the puzzle.  Its one of the things that drew me to church planting.  But the truth about straight-A students is that...

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April 15, 2016

From the National Director: Working My Way Toward Praying For Revival

  A few weeks ago I learned of a major event taking place in Los Angeles that coincided with the 110th anniversary of the Azusa Street Revival. Sponsored by Lou Engle and The Call, Azusa Now came about through a unique series of revelatory dreams, prophetic words, and a great deal of sacrifice from one leader. While...

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January 30, 2016

Welcome New Board Member – Tom Ward Sr.

Tom Ward Sr., Lead Pastor of Eastpoint Church in Newark, DE recently joined the Ecclesia board at our annual meeting in early January. We are really honored to have someone of Tom’s wisdom and experience journeying along with our network at this significant level. Tom has been in vocational ministry for over 40 years and planted Eastpoint...

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December 19, 2012

From Somewhere To Everywhere And Back Again: An Advent – Pentecost Reflection

by: Chris Backert, Ecclesia Network Director Many of my friends within Ecclesia would know that, at best, I am a “low-church” liturgist.  A few years ago, most of the rigidity of the liturgical calendar was more binding than loosing to me – both as a pastor and as a Christian.  While I certainly still lean...

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December 19, 2012

God is Still Redeeming My Life

This post was written by a member of Life on the Vine, an Ecclesia congregation in suburban Chicago. On October 30, 2004, I found out that my mom had died earlier that morning.  At seven years old that put me into a pit of grief; which I’ve struggled with for the past eight years.  I...

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August 22, 2012

Ecclesia Thinks and Links: Issue 2

Issue #2 Ecclesia Thinks and Links is a monthly publication of The Ecclesia Network that highlights articles, blog posts and publications from members and friends of the Network. A Model for Discernment in the Missional Church Context Part I,  Part II and Part III by Bob Hyatt In this three-part article Bob lays out a model for discernment. In...

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July 23, 2012

Ecclesia Thinks and Links: Issue 1

Welcome to a new publication of the Ecclesia Network: Ecclesia Thinks & Links. What follows is a collection of some recent articles, blog posts and news from people within and outside the network. As I’ve been collecting links over the past few weeks, I was reminded that we have some amazing voices that are part of our community....

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March 15, 2012

Leadership Development: From Program to People

By Chris Backert; Ecclesia Director & Organizational Architect The Changing Nature of Leadership Development in Emerging Networks In many established associations, there have been programs put in place for leadership development among both congregations and clergy. As with several of these other practices, leadership development was carried out through the centralized office of the denomination,...

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February 15, 2012

Church Coaching: From Expert to Co-Laborer

By Chris Backert; Ecclesia Director & Organizational Architect Within established church associations, the trans-local leadership has historically been viewed as experts in their particular areas of ministry. Whether it was music, Christian education, or family ministry, those who ended up in denominational (i.e. network) work were staff that had excelled in their area of ministry...

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February 9, 2012

A Community of Refuge

by JR Rozko, reposted with permission from JR’s Blog Amidst the polarizing, fragmenting, and empire-building forces that seem to be rearing their ugly heads throughout evangelical Protestantism lately, the Ecclesia Network remains for me something of a refuge.  Ecclesia, as both a context and a family, is committed to and united by a modest, yet deliberate and...

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February 8, 2012

The Shaping of a Network: How A Post-Denominational Connectional Church Is Being Formed (Part II)

The Practices of a Network:  Church Planting – From Centralized Function to Collaborative Mission One of the primary reasons for any church network to exist is to facilitate the more rapid development of church multiplication.  Almost all of the new forms of church networks have this as their original goal and many of our historical...

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February 1, 2012

The Shaping of a Network: How A Post-Denominational Connectional Church Is Being Formed (Part 1)

Introducing Our Direction Along the way of developing Ecclesia I’ve had several people ask me in one way or another “Didn’t you spend 5 years doing research on networks before Ecclesia started?”  This is then usually followed by a next obvious question, “When are you going to share what you discovered?” While, it is true...

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October 6, 2011

The Death of Leadership: Christ, Co-Leading, and Missional Living

by Geoff Holsclaw / Read Geoff’s blog / Follow Geoff on Twitter In these postmodern times we are used to hearing of the death of the author, the death of the text, and even the death of the book (unless you have a Kindle).  Well, today, it is the death of leadership, for Christ our...

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October 3, 2011

Why I'm Going Back to the Ecclesia National Gathering / Bill Cummings

Bill Cummings is the director of Lemonade International, a nonprofit organization based in Raleigh, NC. Educating and empowering people in the largest urban slum in Central America – La Limonada in Guatemala City. http://www.lemonadeinternational.org Last year (2010) was my first Ecclesia Network National Gathering. It was different than any other church/ministry/leadership conference I had ever...

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September 28, 2011

Why I'm Going to the National Gathering – Ben Sternke

Ben Sternke is a pastor in Fort Wayne, IN at Christ Church.  Since the inception of our church plant, we have been part of a remarkable group of people and churches called The Ecclesia Network. This year our national gathering will be held March 5-7, 2012 near Washington, D.C. The focus this time is on how our churches can...

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September 19, 2011

Why I'm Going to the Ecclesia National Gathering: JR Rozko

I used to be a conference junkie. Straight out of college and anxious (though I never would have admitted it) to be the next big thing, I though that if I hit enough conferences, rubbed shoulders with big-shot speakers, and played my cards right, I’d be well on my way. What can I say, I...

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September 1, 2011

Ecclesia Podcasts Now Available

Announcing the Ecclesia Leadership Podcast One of the best things about being part of Ecclesia has always been the conversations and the relationships. With that in mind, we are proud to announce a podcast that continues those conversations and introduces you to people within and around the network. Think of the Ecclesia Leadership Podcast as...

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July 11, 2011

How Do You Serve the Poor?

By Gary Alloway Redemption Church is a 2-year old church plant in Bristol, PA, a post-industrial small town just outside Philadelphia. About 2 miles from where we meet for worship, there is a tent encampment where about a dozen homeless folks live. For almost 2 years, we have made weekly visits to the camp and...

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June 29, 2011

Ecclesia Network Bloggers

The heart of Ecclesia is, of course, the people of Ecclesia. Here are some of the Ecclesia Network bloggers. If we missed you or someone you know, leave a comment and a link and we’ll add it to the list. Ben Sternke Bob Hyatt David Fitch Doug Paul Dustin Bagby Gary Alloway Jim Pace J.R....

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June 24, 2011

As Pastors: Can We Be “down” on Christians?

By Adam Gustine Recently, I have seen a slew of blog posts and twitter updates from pastors, both high and low profile, who have said something like, “I’m down on Christians who ____”, or “I can’t stand Christians who ______.” This isn’t the, oftentimes, intense online dialogue between church leaders who hold differing views. Passionate...

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