Last June, council, ministry directors, and pastors gathered for an opening conversation on missional strategy. We were led by our coach, Christin Nevins, and out of those conversations emerged a process that culminated in two ECC strategic initiatives for 2024 and beyond.
These two initiatives spring from two of our three ECC Touchstones, WELCOME and TRANSFORMATION (the third one being PRESENCE). Our belief is that God has led us to these two initiatives, and that, as we grow in each of them, the third touchstone of PRESENCE will bear fruit, as well.
The WELCOME initiative is all about fostering an environment and culture of gracious hospitality at ECC. Watch for a future eletter article and other resources on this initiative in the New Year.
The TRANSFORMATION initiative is about developing a transformational pathway—a way of traveling together so that Christ might be more fully formed in us all, as individuals, households, and as a community of believers.
From the beginning of our conversations about TRANSFORMATION, we have said that we wanted to “provide the resources and relationships” that lead us to Christoformity—having Christ and Christ’s character more fully formed within us. We have been creating and curating resources for a transformational pathway, and now we want to invite those on the journey of Christ-like spiritual formation to more intentionally engage in the different elements that guide us along this path. Put another way, we want to go from “intuitive” to “intentional” in pursuing our own spiritual growth and fullness in Christ.
The more traditional language for such a pathway is a rule of life. To call something a “rule” can sound harsh and legalistic, but that is not what we mean. What we really mean by developing a community rule of life is the incorporation of practices into our lives that guide us in our spiritual growth. Perhaps a better way to think of a rule is as a trellis—like what we find in our gardens and flower beds. A spiritual formation trellis, then, is a set of practices and commitments that provide structure, support, and shape to our spiritual formation.
At ECC, we are calling our rule of life, Practicing the Way.
Starting this Sunday, January 7, we will begin the New Year with a brief preaching series introducing Practicing the Way, and inviting everyone who calls ECC home to journey with us, to practice the way of Jesus with more intentionality, and to become more and more like Christ in the year ahead, and beyond.