Vision for Mission is sponsoring the launch of the Greenhouse Project over 2007 and 2008.
Initially the Greenhouse Project was designed by Mark Cornford as a way of engaging Uniting Church young adults in mission, in teams rather than as individuals. Vision for Mission have worked with Mark to open this process up to any Uniting Church mission team who want to become more effective in connecting with their community.
What Is The Greenhouse?
noun; an environment set-up for the cultivation of healthy mission projects in local congregations
We know that mission is the purpose of the church. We know that we need to engage people in the adventure of participating in God’s mission to the world. But how do we take a group of people with passion and ideas and help form them into a healthy missional team – a team which is involved the planting of effective mission projects connected to the local congregation?
This is the purpose of the Greenhouse – to take a mission team through a process that will channel their ideas and passion into an effective project.
The Greenhouse Project is an investment into the lives of people as individuals and as a team to resource them for a passionate missional spirituality lived out in effective mission projects in the local community, connected to the local congregation.
Greenhouse Project Process
1. Commission a group of adults with passion, some ideas.
A covenant is formed between the congregation, team and Greenhouse. The congregation releases the team to focus on a mission project. The team is commissioned in worship.
2. Greenhouse Weekend One
The first weekend establishes principles that will carry the team through the entire process relating to formation of discipleship, church, mission theology and praxis. Teams are encouraged to ask three questions as they engage in mission:
- Who am I?
Discipleship and spirituality
Identity and relationship to God.
- Who are we?
What does it mean to belong and act as the body of Christ? What implications does this have for how we do mission?
- Who are ‘they’?
Mission and evangelism and how they relate to church and discipleship.
All the learning on this weekend (and in all elements of the Greenhouse) is based on the framework of Head, Heart and Hand – thinking, feeling and doing.
3. Action Research
Over the next five months the team engages in creative action research. The team interacts and connects with their local community, forms relationships and starts building an idea of what God is calling them to.
The Greenhouse project provides four mentoring sessions to help focus learning and encourage connection with the local congregation.
4. Greenhouse Weekend Two
The second weekend is spent taking the results of all the action and reflection that has gone before, and working this into the discernment of how God is calling the team to act. Content focuses on tools for vision and value setting, planning and putting plans into action.
5. Launching The Vision
Over the next five months the team establishes their mission project. This too will be an action/reflection process where the learnings from each part of the project will inform the team in their future actions. During this time there will be 4 mentoring sessions helping the team reflect on how they are going and how to deal with any issues arising. During this time there will also be regular reporting to the congregation. There may also be a formal launch during this time.
6. Up and Running
During the next year there will be two six monthly checkups with the team to see how they are going, reflect with them on their learnings and look at other leadership training opportunities if needed. There will also be discussions on how they may share their learnings with others and look at mentoring another missional team on a project.
The last check-up will also include an evaluation and a thinking through of – where to from here?
This will be one of 3 courses of action:
• Go – keeping going and doing as we are
• Change – keep going but modify what we are doing
• Stop – stop what we are doing and do something else
Are You Interested?
Mark plans to lead three to four Greenhouse Project teams through this process each year. The cost per team is $2000 plus any costs in meeting for the weekends. Vision for Mission will subsidize half of these costs. To register for the Greenhouse Project contact Mark Cornford (00403839601) or Duncan Macleod (0439 828 718).