Preparing God’s church for a strong future requires investing now in those that will lead the coming generations. This is what the Greenhouse church is designed to do. “Our goal with the Greenhouse training is to develop leaders that lead in places we haven’t been before, among people we haven’t met before, doing things we haven’t done before,” explained Tom Flanders, District Superintendent for Alliance New England. “Our investments in leaders today, will have a significant impact tomorrow.”
The district’s first Greenhouse training took place on Wednesday, March 29th at Christ Chapel in Madison, CT. Six churches participated in the training, which is designed to find potential leaders among us, provide a structure for them to grow and develop their skills, and then set them loose to lead in new locations throughout New England and around the world.
“It takes the seeds of leadership, in a leader that God is raising up,
and you put them in the environment of a healthy church,
you give them the tools and resources they need,
and when they get to a certain place,
you transplant them and send them out.”
The Greenhouse program is part of our overall mission to multiply disciples across our region. Instead of only recruiting into our region, we want to identify and cultivate the potential leaders we already have here. We want to invest in them, develop their innate potential, then send them out to shepherd the next generation of disciples which will form the future of the church.
To participate, churches commit to “Greenhousing” personnel for a two year timeframe. During this time, the pastoral and lay leadership of the church mentor these budding leaders, providing opportunities for them to grow and develop their leadership and discipleship skills. Big or small, any congregation that understands the need to begin now with fostering the leaders of the future can participate in the Greenhouse program. Our role from a district standpoint is to support these churches and provide guidance and direction along the way. Nationally, the C&MA has seen success with Greenhouse programs across the country.
Throughout New England, we are considering new church plants in communities like Orange, MA, Brunswick, ME, and Middlebury, VT. Developing leaders takes time and effort. We must begin today, so that when the time is right, we have leaders ready to step in and take the reigns.
The churches that attended this initial training session are now ready to move to the next step, which involves making the commitment to invest in a future leader and opening their doors to them. If your congregation is interested in getting involved and supporting this program, please let us know. We are extremely excited about this opportunity to sprout, replicate, and reproduce leaders from within our midst. Come be a part of the Greenhouse!