Curious what a Hatch-a-thon is like? Here is a snippet from Noodlings, a workbook that is used during Hatch-a-thons. If you are interested in learning more, you can find more information about and sign up for the next one coming up March 29-31 here.
“Historically, Christian communities have always been engines of social innovation as they looked for ways to enact Jesus’ vision of an alternative social reality. Missional entrepreneurship was not only important for keeping ministry viable; it was an important form of witness. By being involved in the community economically, politically, and socially, Christians could demonstrate that God cared about every aspect of human existence. How could people imagine God’s love unless they saw it at work?
“Here’s the thing. Innovation (missional and otherwise) tends to come from the edges, not the center, of institutions. That’s why young people, and people at the margins, and churches without a lot of money are often the first missional entrepreneurs. In the West, as churches became centers of power rather than cultural outposts, they found it easier to survive – but they also, often, lost their missional edge.
“We think that the twenty-first century – a time when churches are less comfortable, less financially stable, and have less cultural power – is a fantastic time to be in ministry. Today, churches are open to innovation in ways that, only a decade ago, seemed too scary to contemplate. We think right now is the best chance we’ve had in a century for getting back to being the kind of missional community Christ calls us to be. The early church, with all its upside-down, last-shall-be-first, tentmaker notions of what the Kingdom of God is like certainly wasn’t part of the cultural mainstream. People don’t try new things when they’re satisfied; innovation emerges from discomfort, from not-quite-fitting-in, from a sense that things should be different
“Of course, many Christian communities are already made up of people on the margins. People in these churches often become missional entrepreneurs by necessity, especially where crisis or desperation presses people into action. Being directly confronted with human suffering often creates leaders with courage and vision to try new forms of ministry, new ways of being a church, and new models of sustainability. As missional entrepreneur Maggie Barankitse – founder of the children’s aid organization Maison Shalom in Burundi – puts it, “Love made me an inventor.”
“Communities like Maison Shalom will be our teachers as we learn new ways of bringing Christ’s hope into the world. We think you are igniting a movement that will make churches the first place people turn when they want to make a difference in the world, the obvious community to turn to for enacting love, the best place to get support for sustainable innovation that protects people’s God-given humanity by reflecting the love of Jesus Christ. We think this “entrepreneurial moment” in the church has the potential to become a movement of hope, flat out. Heaven knows we could use some right now.”
Hungry for more? Sign up for our newsletter and stay up to date on our latest blogs and Ministry Incubators news! Or, are you ready to take action? Think about attending a Hatch-a-thon where you can start planning your own venture! Check out the next one happening March 29-31 at Princeton Theological Seminary.