ECO National Gathering

Monday, January 29th

We’d love to have you join us for a pre-conference on Monday before the gathering starts. Pre-conferences are a great opportunity to connect with others and gain a deeper understanding of each ministry area offered.


How to Speak to Kids and Win Their Heart: Cultivating an Emotional and Spiritual Growth Environment in the Home and Rethinking the Household: A Fresh Biblical Vision for Finding Your Family's Purpose

Joshua Straub, Co-founder and President, Famous at Home 

If you are a Children & Family ministry leader, volunteer, or parent - join us for an engaging afternoon with friends and colleagues as we hear from Dr. Joshua Straub. He will present an interactive, 2-part pre-conference that will encourage your ministry to families as well as your life at home as a parent if you have your own kids!  

Church Planting

Church Planting

ECO Church Planting Team, Facilitated by Luke Parker, Director of Church Planting

This pre-conference is invitation only. If you are a church planter, we look forward to having you join us! You will receive an email with further details and registration information. If you have questions, please email

Creative Arts / Worship

Your Creative Best

Brandon Muchow, Minister of Worship, St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Newport Beach, CA

Calling all worship, tech, and creative artists for a time of soul care, empathy, and discovery. During this pre-conference, we will engage in spiritual practices, followed by a discussion on best practices for some of the most important topics facing worship ministries in ECO churches today. 


Creating A Disciple Making Culture

Dana Allin, ECO Synod Executive and Lisa JohnsonExecutive Director of Leadership Formation

As church leaders, we know that our fundamental purpose is to develop a greater quantity and quality of disciples. Yet, many leaders are realizing that for all the energy they are spending “running the church” there isn’t the discipleship fruit they would hope to see. In this pre-conference, we will explore the foundational principles of a discipleship culture, and suggest several practical tools that any size church can use to implement change. In addition, we will talk about overcoming challenges that will arise as you seek to create a culture of discipleship. You will leave here with concrete action steps to begin transforming the culture of your congregation.


Breaking the Huddle: How Your Community Can Grow its Witness

Rev. Don Everts, Senior Pastor, First & Calvary Presbyterian Church, and Doug Schaupp, National Director of Evangelism, Intervarsity

Would you love to see your church full of disciples who are willing and able to engage in fruitful evangelism? Are you looking for practical ways to equip lay people to evangelize effectively? We will walk you through a thoughtful model of relational evangelism that is based on scriptural principles, decades of ministry, and new research from Barna. These three interactive sessions include content and materials you can easily bring home and use in your home church. We will cover: 1. The Call to Evangelism in the Post-Christendom West, 2. How to Walk with Someone Along their Journey to Faith, and 3. How to Grow Your Own (and Your Community's) Witness.


"Who is My Neighbor?" Thinking Biblically About Immigration

Matthew Soerens, Vice President of Advocacy and Policy, World Relief

While immigration is a complicated political, economic and social issue, it’s also a biblical issue with significant ramifications for the mission of the church in the United States and beyond. In this pre-conference session, World Relief’s Matthew Soerens will explore issues of refugees, asylum and immigration from a distinctly biblical perspective, address common concerns related to immigration and explore models for constructive, non-partisan ways that local churches can respond with both ministry and advocacy.


Cultivating and Nurturing Marriages in Such a Time as This 

Andrea Gurney, PhD, Clinical Psychologist, Professor of Psychology at Westmont College 

 In our fast paced, tech-savvy world, we are missing the mark on what's most important - loving, intimate, Kingdom relationships. During our time together, we will focus on gaining a deeper understanding of how early relationships impact current ones and how cultural and familial messages regarding love and romance influence our perceptions and therefore our lives. Participants will also learn practical, research-backed skills to communicate more effectively. We will also discuss ways the church can help nurture resilience in marriages and come alongside hurting marriages. Pastoral care and caregiver fatigue will also be covered. Anyone may attend - you do not need to be married!

Future Transformation

Metanoia: How God Radically Transforms People, Churches, and Organizations From the Inside Out!

Alan Hirsch, Author, Co-Founder of Movement Leaders Collective, the Forge Missional Training Network, and 5Q Collective. Rich Robinson, Team Leader, Movement Leaders Collective, and Rob Kelly, founder of the For Charlotte Network and cofounder of City Leaders Collective

In this pre-conference we will explore what it means to reflect on ourselves and our systems, and so open ourselves up to God's transformative work in us and through us. We will help you name where you start the journey, but also provide a compass and map for the way ahead to truly pursue the vision God has placed before us and the potential He has placed within us. We will explore the paradigm shift needed for leaders and organizations, and what it means to both architect our culture and structures (platform) and activate our people (practices) to experience reorientation, transformation, and unlock and unleash movement potential. 


Biblical, Christ-centered Conflict

Christina Severinghaus,,  Julia Leeth, Pastor, Grace Presbyterian Church, Houston, TX, Nate DreesmannExecutive Director of Ecclesiastical Support, ECO  

Working through conflict in a biblically Christ-centered way is essential in building a flourishing church. Spend the day developing skills for dealing with conflict, and learn about the new ways ECO is resourcing churches to flourish in everyday conflict.


Gender, Sex, and the Church

ECO's Standing Theology Committee, Facilitated by Greg Wagenfuhr, Theology Coordinator

 Join ECO's Standing Theology Committee as they teach and lead discussion on theological foundations and interaction with the beliefs of the current culture. They will addresses common practical questions that arise in church ministry from pastoral and leadership perspectives.


Worldwide Insights About Generation Z

Jordan Biere, National Director of Youth for Alpha USA

Explore the latest worldwide insights about Generation Z and their reputation as the "open generation." Learn about how the Alpha Youth tool offers a valuable avenue to foster the work of helping youth discover an develop a relationship with Jesus. For both volunteer and paid youth workers!