Ecclesial Life

A 16-month cohort-based journey to accelerate the planting of neighborhood & parish style communities of faith.

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The School of Ecclesial Life is for leaders and key people in smaller, newer, or rebuilding parish-style churches. Over 21 months, we will guide your church team to name your deepest values, enrich your communal life through shared practices, and get to know and love your neighborhoods as you never have before. The first half of SEL guides each participating group through a deep exploration of values, practices and mission at the individual and team level. The second half facilitates a broad implementation of the learnings and outcomes into neighborhood life and mission. Over the course of our time together we have three 2.5 day, in-person retreats: one at the beginning, one toward the middle, and one at the end. Between retreats we have regularly scheduled 1-hour online meetings.

School of Ecclesial Life

The School of Ecclesial Life is for leaders of smaller, newer (or retooling), neighborhood & parish-style churches. It’s a 16-month mutually encouraging and learning cohort-based journey that will help you: 1) clarify and articulate your deepest values; 2) enrich your communal life by exploring and adopting shared practices; and 3) thoroughly re-examine your neighborhoods in order to love them better. SEL is currently free of cost to all participants!

The world is changing, and that change is accelerating. “Business as usual” is a slow and certain death. We have a strong hunch that the Church’s new clothes will be fashioned principally on the margins, among the collective of newer, smaller, less risk-averse, neighborhood-centric churches & faith communities with flexible DNA. We know it’s not uncommon for churches of this type to feel unseen and under-supported in their work. This is precisely why we launched SEL. Our hope is that it will serve as an accelerant for the transformation of the Western church as we 1) support / pastor leaders of nascent, alternative faith communities; 2) put them in collaborative, learning communities of like-minded peers; 3) and provide them with the resources needed to thrive and implement their learning.

The first half of SEL guides each participating group through a deep exploration of values, practices and mission at the individual and team level. The second half facilitates a broad implementation of the learnings and outcomes into neighborhood life and mission. Over the course of our time together we have three 2.5 day, in-person retreats: one at the beginning, one toward the middle, and one at the end. Between retreats we have regularly scheduled 1-hour online meetings..

For each cohort, we accept 4-6 entities / plants. David Nixon, the founding director of Sustainable Faith and founding pastor of Vineyard Central, an urban neighborhood church, is currently the lead mentor for the participating groups.