The process begins by asking two questions, “Are we called to the work of engaging with young adults?” and “Are we called to respond creatively, do we hold the capacity and curiosity to innovate, and are we committed to being part of a learning community?” 787 Collective Leadership provides guidance and tools for engaging the questions. 787 leaders and individual congregations determine mutually whether or not to covenant towards full participation in the Collective.
Once members, congregations can expect the following from the 787 Collective:
- The opportunity to learn about the fundamentals of innovation in theory and action
- Guided reflection and coaching around design implementation and evaluation, with particular attention towards an integrated theological praxis
- Grants to support project development and implementation
- A robust community of peer learners and designated time and space for gathering
- Other resources (instruction, coaching, connecting) as needed
Collective Membership Begins with an Expression of Interest
The core members of The 787 Collective were chosen in January 2018. The Collective announced a second wave of grantfunding in July 2019 focused on empowering Young Adult Community Builders to create community around their ideas and passions in mutual relationship with a congregation. You can read more about the structure and expectations for this grant cycle here.
If you are interested in participating in the Collective moving forward in this or any other capacity, please contact us. Depending on the scope of congregational projects and the capacity of the Collective, we may add core members in the future and always welcome participants and conversation partners to our learning journey. We also encourage churches interested in this work to consider using The Discernment Guide and the resources around Narrating Your Congregational Story. Many of our core members discovered that their passion and resources for engaging young adults were available in and with their congregational community aside from any grant funding. We are happy to connect with you about your work or questions you might have at any point, and also have The Discernment Guide available in hard copy.
We’ve maintained an essential belief in the progression needed to approach this work with open hearts and a creative spirit. Both grant cycles focus on the need for an active discernment period supported by a core group of lay leaders and the support of at least one clergy member, and the need for a process of self-reflection that engages the story and DNA of a congregation. These internal reflections are coupled with an active process of experimentation in which the lives and longings of young adults are heard and experienced, and creative ventures are designed and tested in environments that support failure as well as success. These are the soil in which we believe God’s new thing can take root.
The 787 Collective expects that member congregations will maintain a core group committed to the project, participate in 787 Studio and Learning Intensives, attend gatherings of the Collective (estimated at twice a year), and stay engaged with core learning partners throughout the course of the project. Member congregations must also comply with grant reporting requirements, financial and programmatic, for the duration of the grant cycle.
The 787 Collective anticipates a three-year time span to cycle through Phases 2 through 5. This is an average projection, and each congregation will proceed at a pace that is relevant and helpful to their project scope.