Pastor Like You Parent with Lee Eclov

Welcome to this week’s unSeminary podcast. Today I’m speaking with Pastor Lee Eclov. Lee has been in Lincolnshire, Illinois, in the suburbs of Chicago, for almost 22 years. Set in a transient community, Village Church of Lincolnshire is a church of about 200, where Lee pastors.

Lee is the author of the book Feels Like Home: How Rediscovering the Church as Family Changes Everything. He is talking with us today about how leading and loving in our churches should be like that of a parent rather than a CEO.

  • The mission of a church. // The idea to write the book came to Lee during a time of unsettledness in his heart and in the church. He had wrestled with the mission of the church and realized God had wired him to think of the church in terms of its environment. And the environment of a church should be a home, or household. Believers are God’s sons and daughters and together we are a family. So Lee began to ask, then how would you do church?
  • The heart of a church. // Leaders will always naturally think organizationally and strategically. But at the heart of the church is the relationships we have with Jesus and one another. The Bible’s picture is the healthy church home gains a kind of gravitational pull to the gospel; if we are solid inside then attracting people will be more organic rather than require using corporate methods.
  • People as a family. // It’s easy to do church for the individual, but we should focus on the importance of the body of believers as a family. The number one command is to love one another, but if we don’t even know each other’s names within our churches, it’s hard to say we’re loving one another. No matter how many people are in the church, big or small, it is still the home and family of God and we should get to know each other.
  • Church well cared for grows healthy. // The staff needs to run and organize things within the church, but also needs to remember to make time to interact with the people. Part of the tactic at Village Church of Lincolnshire is to prioritize personal touch. This could be as simple as reaching out to people that God puts on your heart by sending an email, text or handwritten note, letting them know they are in your thoughts or prayers. Remember that you are taking care of these people.
  • Focus on the holiness. // It’s good to know numbers, such as recording how many people are being baptized or how small groups are doing in attendance. But there can be danger in thinking that the only measure of a church’s health is if the numbers grow. Focusing only on numbers can distract us from the growth in holiness of the people because that’s often something that can’t be measured.

You can find out more about Lee and his book at www.leeeclov.com. You can learn more about the church at www.evcl.org.

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Rich Birch
Rich Birch is one of the early multi-site church pioneers in North America. He led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 5,000+ people in 18 locations. In addition, he served on the leadership team of Connexus Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. He has also been a part of the lead team at Liquid Church - a 5 location multisite church serving the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. Liquid is known for it’s innovative approach to outreach and community impact. Rich is passionate about helping churches reach more people, more quickly through excellent execution.His latest book Church Growth Flywheel: 5 Practical Systems to Drive Growth at Your Church is an Amazon bestseller and is design to help your church reach more people in your community.