Ekklesia Foundation

Equipping the People of God to live-out their God-given purposes.

Church Operations Consulting

Every congregation could use a set of additional eyes when reviewing congregational operations. The Ekklesia Foundation can provide you with the following:

PLANNING

Strategic Planning

"[A congregation's] programs should flow out of the church's mission. Longtime members ... may suggest retaining all, or at least many, of the programs.... Some of the programs probably began many years earlier as a result of a specific need in the church or community. As times change, community needs also change. Old programs may have lost theirurgency and effectiveness, and they may not contribute to the mission of the [congregation]."1

While difficult advice, Rev. Dirk Elliot's notes about the importance of missional alignment are crucial to today's congregation. Without a clear vision, mission, purpose, and core values, many ministries become self-defeating.

1. Dirk Elliott, Vital Merger (New Castle, DE: Fun and Done, 2013), 86–87.

Restructuring & Revitalization

"Declining ministries are like sinking ships. Some people are quick to abandon them.... People are down emotionally, which drains them of the energy need to be involved in renewal."2

Dr. Aubrey Malphurs is exactly right in his assessment, which is why it is crucial for congregations in decline to bring-in outside experts to guide them through the process of revitalization and, if necessary, restructing.

2. Aubrey Malphurs, Advanced Strategic Planning, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: BakerBooks, 2005), 13.

Vendor Management Auditing

"What does bearing 'fruit' look like? What makes it fruit of the Spirit and not just secular 'good‐ness' such as the Fair Trade Movement? Is Christianity 'implied' in any act of goodness? Or is there something more transformational that happens when we let Christ move and work within people....

Creative entrepreneurship may bolster creativity, collaboration, entrepreneurial spirit. But what happens when Jesus followers and the Church become artisanal, creative, collaborative?"3

These questions asked by Dr. Leonard Sweet inhabit not only the theoretical realm, but very much the practical realm when a congregation makes selections of vendors.

3. Leonard Sweet, Me and We (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2014),127.

GROWTH STRATEGIES

First Impressions Auditing

"Every Sunday is somebody's first Sunday."4

Whether you call it First Impressions, Hospitality, Guest Services, or something else, Pastor Danny Franks captures succinctly the entire philosophy behind this ministry. And, since every Sunday is someone's first, shouldn't we provide the best, most welcoming experience? The difficulty to overcome in achieving this goal is that we're often unaware of how guests perceive our hospitality, because we are used to how everything runs from Sunday to Sunday.

4. Danny Franks, People Are the Mission: How Churches Can Welcome Guests Without Compromising the Gospel (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2018), 72.

Next Steps/Connections Auditing

"You might expect that in an era of mobility and technology, a site like MySpace would be a 'global village,' leading to an explosion in the number of relationships available to any given person. But in factMySpace--and every other space, online or off--turns out to be a globe of villages, collections of small networks of people. Anthropologists specular, in fact, that we are hardwired for small groups--that human beings are simply designed to operate in a village, even if that village exists in the midst of a vast metropolis...."5

While Rev. Andy Crouch's technology references may be dated (although only by a decade), the truth stands that people are communal, seeking to share life with others. Our job, then, is to connect them to fellow believers in order to celebrate joys and share burdens.

5. Andy Crouch, Culture Making (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Books, 2008), 242.

Outreach & Community Engagement Planning

"The single term that best describes the way God wants His gospel given is boldness."6

Merely inviting friends, neighbors, or strangers to church services is no longer effective for reaching the communities in which our congregations live. With boldess--as Rev. Dr. James MacDonald explains--we must go out into the world and effectively communicate the life-saving message of the Gospel.

6. James MacDonald, Vertical Church (Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook, 2012), 238.

STAFF DEVELOPMENT

Leader Coaching

"People do not design ships by accident or caprice. Every sea vessel is made and tested to meet certain criteria. What kind of seas will the vessel cross? How much can it carry? In many ways, God has uniquely created you to sail a certain kind of sea and reach a certain kind of port.... There are as many kinds of boats as there are harbors--such is the nature of ministry."7

Using Rev. Dr. Barry Jones' ship metaphor, if your ministry ship's captain is unsure about how best to navigate the seas, the entire ministry is at risk of getting lost or, worst, of sinking. Even if the captain has the knowledge and experience needed to navigate those seas, the rest of the leadership team may not.

7. Barry Jones, et al., "Fidelity," in Spiritual Formation Curriculum (Dallas: Department of Educational Ministries & Leadership, 2013), 5.

Human Resource Planning & Hiring

"It's sobering but unavoidable. One day it will be over. One day someone else will be doing what you are doing. One day you will be replaced. Whether you have an exit strategy or not, you will ultimately exit. And on that day, everything you've done, everything you've dreamed, and everything you've built will be placed in someone else's hands.

[L]eaders don't volunteer; they are recruited."8

Corporate headhunters exist for the exact reason that Pastor Andy Stanley mentions. It's amazing that it takes small congregation just as long or longer to hire a new pastor after the last pastor has already left, as it does major corporations with billion-dollar budgets. No one wants to cut-corners on discerning God's will for congregational leadership, but there are practices that can ease the process and reduce the overall timeframe for making staffing decisions.

8. Andy Stanley, Seven Practices of Effective Ministry (Sisters, OR: Multnomah Publishers, 2004),158, 164.

Policy Auditing

"Good leaders are also good stewards. Stewardship usually refers to responsibility to God with money and material gain. Good leaders must also develop good stewardship with their time ... [and] their work...."9

If Dr. Thom S. Rainer is right that good leaders are good stewards of their time and work, shouldn't those leaders be given every advantage in making the most of their time and work? Drating congregational policies isn't the expertise of most congregational leaders.

In fact, most leaders are unaware of the requirements for policies relating to COPPA compliance, ECFA accreditation, kidSAFE certification, DMCA compliance, ADA compliance, and GDPR compliance, not to mention the valuable internal policies related to facilities, staff, and volunteers.

9. Thom S. Rainer, The Book of Church Growth (Nashville, TN: Boradman & Holman, 1993), 189.

Church IT Consulting & Services

The Ekklesia Foundation provides IT consulting to congregations. We can perform the following for you:

ADVISING

Needs Assessment

The first step of our advising begins with discerning what your needs are. Any solution should ultimately be based on your congregation's needs. We don't do technology for technology's-sake.

Technology Audit

After we've discerned your needs, then we go about to discover what technology you are currently using. Keep in mind, even the printing press is technology!

Finally, we deliver to you a report including your Needs Assessment, Technology Audit, and Recommended Solutions. You are in the driver's seat, deciding what, if any, of our recommendations to implement.

SERVICES

Website Design & Management

Publishers and advertisers can decide how to present their content and what technology vendors to use, all while maintaining and improving key performance indicators.

Web & Email Hosting

Whether your internal team, a vendor, or the Ekklesia Foundation experts design and manage your website, we can provide your congregation with low-cost hosting solutions on top-of-the-line servers with 99.9% guaranteed uptime.

Social Media Management

Publishers and advertisers can decide how to present their content and what technology vendors to use, all while maintaining and improving key performance indicators.

POIEMA

/poy‧eh‧ma/ (Grk. ποιεμα) noun: "that which is made, work, creation "10
example: People are God’s poiema, (see, Eph. 2:10).

10. William Arndt et al., A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 842.

The Ekklesia Foundation is currently developing a Church Management System (ChMS) to ease the burden of essential administrative, communication, and  congregation management functions.

POIEMA IS BEING RELEASED IN EARLY 2019

Sign-up to be notified about Poiema updates and receive exclusive offers and discounts.

Web Site Management

Poiema's ChurchSite component provides your congregation with a mobile-ready, professionally developed website focused on engaging site visitors, both congregants and guests. Poiema's Steward component can also empower your site to accept online tithes and offerings.

Integrated
Communications

The ChurchConnect component of Poiema facilitates centralized communications for your congregation by integrating email, SMS, and social media distribution lists, as well as managing event scheduling and registration.

Next Steps Management

Whether your congregation calls it Next Steps, Connections, or something else, Poiema's Shepherd component enables you to easily progress congregants and guests through the Ekkelsia Foundation's PathWay:WCGS framework utilizing your existing small groups, classes, and Bible studies.

Centralized HR & Policy Management

Your leadership team needs to track and manage both volunteers and staff. And, every congregation needs to post certain policies to reduce risk. Poiema's Vision and Strategos components help you achieve these essential functions.

Let's talk.

Whether your church leadership team needs advice, auditing, or IT services, the Ekklesia Foundation wants to partner with you to achieve your vision, optimize your processes, and extend your reach.


Terms of Service

Acceptance of the Terms of Service
Welcome to the Ekklesia Foundation (a.k.a. "we" or "us" or the "Ministry"). We are excited to have you as user and/or member of the community. The following terms and conditions (collectively, these "Terms of Service") apply to your use of ekklesia.foundation (the "Website"), including any content, functionality, and services offered on or via the Website. The Terms of Service also include our Privacy Policy, that you can review here: https://ekklesia.foundation/index.html#privacy-policy. We want to keep our relationship with you as lean and informal as possible, but please read the Terms of Service carefully before you start using the Website, because by using the Website you accept and agree to be bound and abide by these Terms of Service. Should you disagree with some of the provisions herein, you can either leave the Website (although we'll be sad to see you go!), or contact us at support@ekklesia.foundation.
Changes to the Terms of Service and the Website
We reserve the right to update the Website and these Terms of Service from time to time, at our discretion. We will make sure to announce any major change in a prominent way, but since "major" is a very subjective concept. Of course, this document is public on the Website, and you will be able to see the current version at any given time. Your continued use of the Website following the publishing of updated Terms of Service means that you accept and agree to the changes.
Accessing the Website, Security, and Privacy
We can't guarantee that the Website will be up and running 24/7. We also reserve the right to suspend or restrict access to some features to users. In any case, we will not be liable if for any reason all or any part of the Website is unavailable at any time or for any period, nor for any data loss (see also section 7 below). To access certain features of the Website you have to register by entering your email and choosing a password as part of our security procedures. You must treat such information as confidential, not disclosing it to any third party and only using the Website in person. There is a password reset procedure in case you forget your password, but please notify us of any breach of security. We highly recommend to choose a strong password (e.g. "%SZwuKM0$V4#%PyTZxYT4uPM7n4mGF$0") and that you log out from your account at the end of every session. It is a condition of your use of the Website that all the information you provide on the Website is correct, current, and complete. In the future, you may be asked to provide certain registration details or other information. As custom for internet websites, we reserve the right to disable any user account, at any time in our sole discretion for any or no reason, including, if in our opinion you have failed to comply with any provision of these Terms of Service. We use SSL encrypted browsing for all logged-in users, but we cannot guarantee that all use will be secure. We also do not guarantee that the Website or any content provided on the Website is error free. We manage your personal data according to our Privacy Policy.
Intellectual Property Rights and Use Guidelines
The Website and its original content, features, and functionality (including look!), are owned by the Ekklesia Foundation and are protected by United States and international copyright, trademark, patent, trade secret, and other intellectual property or proprietary rights laws. You agree to not copy, modify, create derivative works of, publicly display, publicly perform, republish, any of our copyrighted material, except to the extent permitted by the Website itself. If you have doubts about whether and how to use of material on the Website, please address your concerns to: support@ekklesia.foundation. For purposes of these Terms of Service, the term “Content” includes, without limitation, information, data, text, photographs, videos, audio clips, written posts and comments, software, scripts, graphics, and interactive features generated, provided, or otherwise made accessible on or through the Website. For the purposes of these Terms of Service, “Content” also includes all User Content (as defined below). You are permitted to use the Website for your personal, non-commercial use, or legitimate business purposes, provided that your activities are lawful and in accordance with these Terms of Service. Prohibited uses include violation of laws and regulations, hacking the Website in any manner, or violating the Content Standards set below. No right, title, or interest in or to the Website or any content on the site is transferred to you, and all rights not expressly granted are reserved. Any use of the Website not expressly permitted by these Terms of Service is a breach of these Terms of Service and can lead to account termination and/or access denial. We ecourage your feedback, in the form of reviews, comments, and suggestions, or recommendations for modifications, improvements or changes to the Services or the Site that you may choose in your sole discretion to provide us from time to time (“Feedback”). When you provide Feedback, you grant us, under all right, title, and interest in and to the Feedback, a non-exclusive, royalty-free, worldwide, transferable, sub-licensable, irrevocable, perpetual license to use that Feedback or to incorporate it into the Website or other producs or services. The Website may contain Content specifically provided by us, our partners, or our users and such Content is protected by copyrights, trademarks, service marks, patents, trade secrets, or other proprietary rights and laws. You shall abide by and maintain all copyright notices, information, and restrictions contained in any Content accessed through the Website.
Disclaimer of Warranties, Limitations of Liability and Indemnification
Your use of the Website is at your sole risk. The service is provided "as is" and "as available". We disclaim all warranties of any kind, express or implied, including, without limitation, the warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement. We are not liable for damages, direct or consequential, resulting from your use of the Website, and you agree to defend, indemnify and hold us harmless from any claims, losses, liability costs and expenses (including but not limites to attorney's fees) arising from your violation of any third-party's rights. You acknowledge that you have only a limited, non-exclusive, non-transferable license to use the Website. Because the Website is not error or bug free, you agree that you will use it carefully and avoid using it ways which might result in any loss of your or any third party's property or information.
Geographic Restrictions
We provide this Website for use only by persons located in the United States. We make no claims that the Website or any of its content is accessible, appropriate, or legal outside of the United States. If you access the Website from outside the United States, you do so on your own initiative and are responsible for compliance with local laws.
Governing Law and Jurisdiction
These Terms of Service and any dispute or claim arising out of, or related to them, shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the internal laws of the State of Missouri without giving effect to any choice or conflict of law provision or rule. Any legal suit, action or proceeding arising out of, or related to, these Terms of Service or the Website shall be instituted exclusively in the federal courts of the United States or the courts of the State of Missouri.
Waiver and Severability
Our failure to exercise or enforce any right or provision of the Terms of Service shall not constitute a waiver of such right or provision. The Terms of Service constitutes the entire agreement between you and the Ekklesia Foundation and govern your use of the service, superseding any prior agreements (including, but not limited to, any prior versions of the Terms of Service). If any provision of these Terms of Service is held by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, illegal or unenforceable for any reason, such provision shall be eliminated or limited to the minimum extent such that the remaining provisions of the Terms of Service will continue in full force and effect.
Feedback
We welcome any comment, question, and communication at support@ekklesia.foundation.
Last Updated: November 26, 2018, 10:30 PM (America/Chicago).

Privacy Policy

At the Ekklesia Foundation ("we", "us", "our", or the "Ministry"), we collect and manage user data according to the following Privacy Policy, with the goal of incorporating the following values: transparency, accessibility, and usability. This document is part of the Ekklesia Foundation's Terms of Service, and by using ekklesia.foundation (the “Website”), you agree to the terms of this Privacy Policy and the Terms of Service. Please read the Terms of Service in their entirety, and refer to those for definitions and contacts.

Data Collected

We collect anonymous data from every visitor of the Website to monitor traffic and fix bugs. For example, we collect information like web requests, the data sent in response to such requests, the Internet Protocol address, the browser type, the browser language, and a timestamp for the request. We ask you to log in and provide certain personal information (such as your name and email address) in order to be able to save your profile. In order to enable these or any other login based features, we use cookies to store session information for your convenience. You can block or delete cookies and still be able to use the Website, although if you do you will then be asked for your username and password every time you log in to the Website. In order to take advantage of certain features of the Website, you may also choose to provide us with other personal information, such as your picture or personal website, but your decision to utilize these features and provide such data is voluntary. You are able to view, change, and remove your data associated with your profile. Should you choose to delete your account, please contact us at support@ekklesia.foundation and we will follow up with such request as soon as possible. Minors and children should not use the Website. By using the Website, you represent that you have the legal capacity to enter into a binding agreement.

Use of the Data

We only use your personal information to provide you with our services or to communicate with you about the services or the Website. We employ industry standard techniques to protect against unauthorized access of data about you that we store, including personal information. We do not share personal information you have provided to us without your consent, unless:
  • doing so is appropriate to carry out your own request;
  • we believe it's needed to enforce our Terms of Service, or that is legally required;
  • we believe it's needed to detect, prevent or address fraud, security or technical issues;
  • otherwise protect our property, legal rights, or that of others.
The Website is operated from the United States. If you are visiting the Website from outside the U.S., you agree to any processing of any personal information you provide us according to this policy. We may contact you, by email or other means. For example, we may send you promotional emails relating to our services or other third parties we feel you would be interested in, or communicate with you about your use of the Website. We may also use technology to alert us via a confirmation email when you open an email from us. You can modify your email notification preferences by clicking the appropriate link included in the footer of email notifications. If you do not want to receive email from us, please opt out of receiving emails at the bottom of any of our emails or by editing your profile preferences.

Sharing of Data

We don't share your personal information with third parties. Only aggregated, anonymized data is periodically transmitted to external services to help us improve the Website and our service. We might use Google Analytics (traffic analysis, search engine optimization), Mailchimp (mailing list management), ClientExec (member support). We may employ and contract with people and other entities that perform certain tasks on our behalf and who are under our control (our “Agents”). We may need to share personal information with our Agents in order to provide services to you. Unless we tell you differently, our Agents do not have any right to use Personal Information or other information we share with them beyond what is necessary to assist us. You hereby consent to our sharing of Personal Information with our Agents. We may choose to buy or sell assets. In these types of transactions, user information is typically one of the transferred business assets. Moreover, if we, or substantially all of our assets, were acquired, or if we go out of business or enter bankruptcy, user information would be one of the assets that is transferred or acquired by a third party. You acknowledge that such transfers may occur, and that any acquirer of us or our assets may continue to use your personal information as set forth in this policy.

Changes to the Privacy Policy

We may amend this Privacy Policy from time to time. Use of information we collect now is subject to the Privacy Policy in effect at the time such information is used. If we make major changes in the way we collect or use information, we will notify you by posting an announcement on the Website or sending you an email. A user is bound by any changes to the Privacy Policy when he or she uses the Services after such changes have been first posted. Should you have any question or concern, please write to support@ekklesia.foundation.
Last Updated: November 26, 2018, 10:30 PM (America/Chicago).

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