1. Talk to someone you know and trust as a spiritual mentor. That may be a pastor, a colleague, or a covenant group. Begin to talk with trusted mentors about and articulate what you are hearing, sensing, feeling, and thinking.
2. Begin an intentional season of prayer and discernment. This might be as something like signing up for a group experience designed for personal time of discernment (see coaching cohort opportunities); or creating your own covenant group to walk with you in prayer. It is intentional.
3. Take a step forward. Is your “nudge” to a specific community? Is it connected to a group of people? Or… perhaps it is unknown. Maybe you just feel “stirred” that God may be calling you to lead something God is doing that is new. Take a step forward!
Possibilities: Spend time and energy in that place. If it is a community – spend time there. If it is a group of people – spend time with them. If it is unknown, take steps to explore, experience and just listen.
4. If doors continue to open, consider building a team of collaborators. Who shares the vision God is giving you and is willing to invest time and energy to take faithful steps forward? We have learned that this is an essential step.
5. Contact the Faith and Innovation Team by filling out this form. Let us know how God is stirring you. We will reach out for a conversation.
Traditional Church Plants. These are faith communities that make covenant with one another and the TWK Conference to be in communal relationship with Christ and one another as they grow in the faith and serve as the body of Christ in the world. Grounded in the Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion, these faith communities practice rhythms of discipleship formation, service, and worship. Examples of recent traditional plants: Home Church Nashville and Bluff City in Memphis. A portion of our funds invest in establishing traditional church communities that are anchors throughout the TWK Conference.
Essence Plants. New faith communities that exist in traditional or non-traditional ways and may or may not be able to support themselves. Examples of current Essence plants: Circle of Grace operates in a prison a meets 1/month. Cosecha Community Center is a collaborative partnership that creates environments and fellowship for relationships to develop in the community. A portion of our funds help launch and establish new faith communities in whatever ways God may lead.
Experiments that help people experience the love and grace of Christ. These creative expressions may lead to something else, but they may also simply serve as expressions that help us explore where we see Jesus being present. A portion of our funds help encourage the local church to lead faithful experiments. Example: Trinity Community Commons is an experiment.
The Faith and Innovation Team reviews requests for funding quarterly: January, April, July, October. We look for proposals that offer creative, sustainable solutions that celebrate the abundance of gifts within and among a community. We highly encourage proposals that demonstrate an intentional discernment process and purposeful collaboration.
There are four steps to requesting funds from the Faith and Innovation Team:
First, submit a letter of interest (LOI). Include an introduction to the project, the amount needed or requested, a description of the project, and a timetable. Highlight your discernment process, any collaborations, and funding sources. Email to firstname.lastname@example.org After an LOI has been submitted, an email will be sent to you acknowledging receipt.
Next, within 30 days, we will review your letter and schedule a brief conversation with one of our team members to determine the potential eligibility of the request. At this meeting, the team member will explain the process for applying for funding. This is necessary for each request.
In the third step, you will be invited to complete an online application for partnership. This application includes: a brief history and project purpose, description of project for which funding is requested, overview of project plans and timetables, why the request is needed and the impact it will have on God’s people, goals and objectives and how outcomes will be measured, sources of funding commitments received and pending to date, financial plan for future sustainability, and an itemized budget for the request and the project’s operating budget.
Once the request is received, the Faith and Innovation Team will review the request. Requests for funding are reviewed quarterly. Meetings and site visits may be scheduled with applicant organization by Faith and Innovation as appropriate.
The Faith and Innovation team values the relationships we hold with our partners in ministry. We plan to partner with you long-term. We want to support you with our prayers and resources, serve as thought partners, and engage in reflection, as we seek to share our learnings with others in our connection.
Partners in ministry should expect to complete an annual report and attend an annual reflection session with other partners. Meetings and site visits may be scheduled as appropriate.
Any significant changes or updates on a specific project should be communicated with the Faith and Innovation team within 30 days.
An inability to engage with Faith and Innovation in these ways may impact the partner’s ability to apply for future funding.