WHO CAN PARTICIPATE IN THE INCUBATOR PROGRAM?
Incubator is designed specifically for lead planters of new churches in the San Francisco Bay Area who have either planted a church in the past 24 months or plan to plant in the next 18 months. We focus on the needs and challenges inherent to urban church planting so that you can develop the ministry and leadership skills needed to begin city-serving congregations.
WHAT DOES THE INCUBATOR PROGRAM INVOLVE?
The Incubator consists of training sessions (learning modules), reading assignments and practical projects. We also require that you meet regularly with a qualified urban church planting coach.
WHEN ARE TRAINING SESSIONS HELD?
Sessions are held once a month from 9am - 4pm, lunch included. In addition to orientation, there are 16 sessions over the two-year program, or eight sessions per year.
WHERE IS INCUBATOR HELD?
The location of training sessions varies and are held around the Bay Area at various partnering churches and organizations. For most participants, some sessions will be more convenient and some sessions will be less convenient. We aim for commute time to be less than 90 minutes for all participants.
HOW MANY PARTICIPANTS ARE IN EACH CADRE OF THE INCUBATOR?
There are typically 7-15 participants in each cadre.
HOW MUCH DOES THE PROGRAM COST?
Participation in Incubator costs $1600. Included in this is an annual fee of $100 per participant for access to City to City’s online learning platform. This platform enriches the experience of the program by allowing participants to easily access reading materials, share insights and questions with each other, and receive feedback from instructors.
Some scholarships are available for qualified participants needing assistance.
HOW ARE TRAINING SESSIONS STRUCTURED?
Each training session is preceded by readings, reflection, and field work to prepare you for discussion, application and practice during the session. (There is little emphasis on lecture.) Ideally, each learning module is followed by a meeting with a cadre of peers and/or a coach to discuss the covered material and plot out next steps.
EACH SESSION CONTAINS THREE PRIMARY ELEMENTS:
- Gospel community building. This involves: a) a time for planters to get to know each other and bring the problems they face to the learning community for support and counsel; b) gospel dynamics addressing the practicalities of gospel living, and c) kingdom-centered prayer with and for one another.
- Theologically informed thinking. Research has indicated that a key competency for church planters and pastors is “reflective practice” (some call this ortho-praxis), which is the ability to apply the insights of theology and the social sciences to the everyday concerns of ministry life.
- New skill training. Each session is designed to strengthen the core competencies required for church planting.
WHAT IS EXPECTED OF PARTICIPANTS?
This program will require a high commitment level in order to get the most out of it. In return, you will have trainers and a cohort of peers who will support you in your church planting journey.
Before you proceed with the application process, please review the expectations below to determine whether the program is right for you.
- You plan to plant or are already planting/replanting a new congregation/parish in the greater Bay Area. You will make every effort to bring this church planting project to fruition.
- If you are not already part of a church planting network or denomination, you will explore possibilities for affiliation and evaluate those opportunities in conjunction with your coach (see #6).
- You will take the initiative in regularly updating the Incubator facilitators on the status of your church planting project and all related activities. At any time during the program, if you are unable to continue with this church planting project or if you engage in conduct unbecoming a minister of the gospel (e.g. moral issues), you will inform the facilitators immediately.
- You will complete all of the assigned pre-reading and practical projects before arriving at each session.
- You will attend each of the monthly Incubator sessions in their entirety. A detailed program calendar will be provided after admission into the program, and you will need to plan ahead to avoid conflicts with the dates provided. Each session will run from 9am to 4pm. More than two absences from these sessions will be grounds for dismissal for the program even if you give advance notice that you will be absent.
- You will secure a coach who is able to help you apply the principles that you are learning in the Incubator modules as you plant your church. If needed, CTC will help you find a qualified coach.
- You will encourage your spouse to actively participate in a support network for wives of church planters. If your denomination, sending church or network/s don't provide one, we highly recommend Parakaleo ministries.
WHAT ARE THE REQUIRED READING AND LEARNING ASSIGNMENTS?
Incubator participants should expect to devote a significant amount of time each month to preparation for the next class session. Reading assignments include:
White papers/articles (accessible through CTC’s online learning platform)
Selections from Center Church (Tim Keller)
In addition to reading, participants will be required to complete practical ministry projects for each learning module.
What is the Application Process?
1. Candidates fill out an initial application to tell us more about their background and plans to start a church.
2. CTC schedules a call with the candidate to determine next steps, which may include any or all of the following:
- Recommended reading
- Phone or video conference meeting
- Face-to-face meeting
- Submitting a sermon
- Church planting assessment
- Additional assignments or application question
- Submitting personality profile (DiSC, Enneagram, etc.)
3. Candidate completes any additional steps within agreed upon timeline.
4. CTC communicates the admission decision and next steps to the candidate.
WHAT ARE THE APPLICATION DEADLINES?
For the 2018 Cohort, the final deadline for candidates to return their applications is June 15th, 2018.