ECHELON | an invitation to step into what's next
Check out this video and the info below to learn how you can step into what's next today. Questions? Contact Cory Seibel. He'd love to hear from you!
What Is ECHELON?
This is a 26-week intentional learning journey designed to help followers of Jesus discover, develop, and live out their unique calling within God’s kingdom.
Who is ECHELON for?
Are you hungry to serve God and wondering what He has next for you? Do you find yourself desiring to go deeper in understanding God’s purposes and His calling in your life? Have you been serving God for a while and feel like you’d benefit from a chance to be renewed? If you’re ready to be challenged and to grow, you’re precisely the sort of person we hope to see join us for this process.
How will I benefit from participating in ECHELON?
Here are some of the things you are likely to experience as a result of your participation in this process:
- It will catalyze your growth as a follower of Jesus and as someone who has an impact in the lives of others
- It will enable you to gain a clearer vision of your own faith story and distinctive calling
- It will allow you to journey with a community of people who are focused on following Jesus
- It will help you connect deeply with the culture and vision of Central
What will ECHELON involve?
This is an intensive process requiring a high level of commitment from everyone who participates. The upside of this is that, if you’re willing to make the investment, you will stand to benefit greatly from this process. Here’s what participants in ECHELON can expect:
- 26 weekly sessions will extend between Wednesday, September 27 and mid-May (with breaks for holidays).
- Each weekly session will take place on Wednesday evenings from 7:00-9:30 pm.
- Between each session, you will study scripture, maintain a journal, and engage in key practical learning experiences.
- You will participate in two mandatory off-site weekend retreats with other participants in this process. The first of these retreats will take place in October 2017.
- You also will meet with a mentor on at least a monthly basis.
- The total cost of participation is $250.00. This fee will help to cover the cost of your materials, self-assessment tools, and retreat participation. If you’re selected to participate in this process and you can’t quite fully afford to cover this fee, you may be eligible to receive a scholarship from the church.
What will the weekly sessions be like?
Each class session will incorporate a variety of methods and activities. Here are some of the things you can expect to experience during the weekly gatherings:
- Presentations from experienced and insightful speakers
- Lively group discussions
- Hands-on learning activities
- Group reflection on scripture
- Praying for one another
What topics will be covered in the ECHELON journey?
As a church, we are gaining an increasingly clear picture of what it means to mature as a follower of Jesus. This vision of growing in Christ will deeply inform the ECHELON process. Along the way, we will explore growing in worship, deepening in community, and moving on mission. Our focus will be on developing the character, convictions, and capacity that can enable us to impact the lives of others both inside and outside of our church. For each topic covered in this 26-week process, we will investigate passions and principles that it is important for us to internalize as people who are discovering how to participate in what God is doing. Then, we’ll also explore the sort of postures and practices that can help us to live out our faith in community with others.
Who will be guiding this process?
Pastor Cory Seibel will serve as the primary facilitator of ECHELON.
Over the course of two decades as a pastor and seminary instructor, Cory has invested in the development of hundreds of individuals as they discovered God’s shaping work in their lives. Cory earned his MTh degree at Spurgeon's College in London (UK) and completed a PhD in Practical Theology through the University of Pretoria, South Africa, in 2009. He and Teresa have been married for twenty years and have one daughter, Savannah. Cory is also an affiliate professor at Sioux Falls Seminary.
In addition, students will benefit from outstanding presentations by experienced presenters drawn from across the life of the Central family.
How do I express interest in ECHELON?
If you have any questions about this process, please feel free to email Cory Seibel. Anyone interested in being a part of an ECHELON cohort will need to submit a completed application. Because spaces will be limited, we might not have room to include everyone who applies. Please note that the application deadline for our 2017-2018 cohort will be August 1st, 2017.
What are past ECHELON participants saying?
"Echelon was a valuable opportunity for me to be challenged to take God seriously in an ongoing way. Within the context of careful instruction and safe conversation I felt growth and encouragement in the most core areas of my life and faith. Echelon is a chance for any serious believer to mature." (JB Jansen van Rensburg)
"Echelon is an excellent course to go deeper in one's relationship with God, the church family and the community! Through thought provoking presentations by gifted speakers, discussion/prayer with fellow participants and recommended readings I was equipped and encouraged in the journey as a maturing follower of Jesus! I recommend it!" (Mike Hamilton)
"One aspect of Echelon that I truly appreciate is the practical guides and practices that we have been encouraged to incorporate into our daily walk with Christ. By using these tools I feel I better understand myself and the way God has created me to better know him. It helped me draw the connections between the passions in my life and the ways God has designed me to worship and serve him. I am truly grateful to have had this life-giving experience." (Jessica DeVries)
"One of the highlights for me has been getting to know others from Central... speakers and participants. I've also enjoyed the discussions and interactions on topics that are relevant for anyone wanting to grow in their faith and walk with God." (Maria Hamilton)
"Echelon has been a wonderfully challenging, insightful, and community building journey. I have been challenged to dig deeper in relationship with God - more fully understanding the role I play in understanding and appreciating the character of God. Echelon has been somewhat of a character study - studying God’s character and my own. I have gained more insight into who I am and who I am not; both revelations have been beautifully challenging and empowering. The community gained through Echelon has been subtle and so beautiful. The group has grown together nicely and has collectively created an environment of safety, transparency, honesty, and a desire to grow deeper in faith together - and it occurred in an organic way without it being obviously intentional on the part of any of the Echeloners. Cory as a facilitator has been great. He brings humour, his own life experience, genuineness, and his own passion for faith and growth in God. All of these things come together to make for a truly wonderful contribution to my faith journey!" (Telisa Bucknor)
"Echelon has been instrumental in my spiritual growth this past year. I have enjoyed tracking through a practical curriculum which holistically address key aspects of Christian life. The teaching provided by Cory and the guest speakers have opened my eyes to new, refreshing ways to pursue God, and have inspired me to share God's love with my community. Most of all, I have greatly appreciated the opportunity to build spiritually focused relationships with a multi-generational group of believers." (David Selke)
"Echelon has been a space where I can intentionally, gradually and thoughtfully examine the practical daily realities of faith in Jesus, what it means to live that faith out in community, and how I am specifically called to take that faith out on mission. Over the course of time, I found it more and more impossible to separate the examination I was undertaking through Echelon from my daily life; in reality, we live in a place where faith and life intersect - they are inseparable, even. Echelon has been a stepping stone taking me deeper into faith and community, and a safe space to question and begin to articulate my own part in this story." (Jacqui Chesterton)