Cities and Cohorts

written by Mallory Hammond
1 · 03 · 22

I love big cities. This is no knock against small towns or medium size cities, but to me, there is nothing wilder than being in a big city. I moved from suburban Alabama to New York City when I was 23 years old and I didn’t know how much my life would change. There was so much new to experience.

I loved the possibilities: Korean food after midnight?! OK! An Elmo mascot from Times Square on his break on a subway platform, walking by a long line, deciding to get in it, and finding out there was a free Paul McCartney concert happening later that day? FOR SURE. There is so much of everything: energy, possibility, and people!  

But New York City also brought more challenges than I had ever faced. It was really easy to feel alone in a sea of people and tired in a city that never sleeps until I realized NYC’s superpower: COMMUNITY. 

I did not have all of the answers. In fact, I had no idea how to pull together a life in this city, but the community I met helped me make sense of all of it. While alone, l felt I had no resources to create change and momentum, but in the community, I found lifelines, wisdom, access, advice, referrals, and the overwhelming feeling of “whew… it isn’t just me! I’m not alone!”

I think the same thing can be true for folks in ministry who are attempting to navigate the world and church in the season we are in. Church Historian Phyllis Tickle is known for saying, “about every five hundred years the church feels compelled to hold a giant rummage sale”. It seems Covid (along with many other factors) initiated a fast-forward into one of these rummage sales. The world has changed and the church may never be the same, but folks are tired and lonely. As hard as we try, many of us are not finding success in our ministries as we try to “return to the old way”. 

Isolation and exhaustion do not feel like a recipe for innovating the new way. Could the community be the source of innovating this new landscape of the church? At Ministry Incubators we think innovation work is done beautifully in a cohort. We love seeing folks from all over the country join together for 8-10 short weeks to provide support, encouragement and community. 

Ministry Incubators is launching an open registration cohort, called the Innovator’s Cohort in the beginning of 2023 and we would love to invite you to be a part of it. This 10-session cohort will work through a curriculum designed by Ministry Incubators in response to the common struggles faced by people trying to launch a new, faith-inspired idea both in and outside the church. The cohort will work through everything from clarifying your vision to building budgets and recruiting your team, and you’ll get to do it alongside other innovators like you. 

Whether you are launching a program inside an existing ministry, building an organization from scratch, or still wondering how that idea stuck in your head is going to take shape, the Innovator’s Cohort will provide valuable resources, training, and, perhaps most importantly, community. The cohort will consist of a blend of self-paced assignments between meetings and collaborative workshopping with other leaders during weekly cohort gatherings led by Ministry Incubators staff.

Our hope is that innovators walk away feeling not only empowered to launch their idea but connected to the larger work of Kingdom of God by building life-giving relationships with others who feel a calling like theirs. If you’re interested in walking with others in the work you feel God has called you to, register for the cohort or reach out to our team to learn more today!

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Mallory Hammond

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