The NewThing Network, a church planting movement launched by the leaders of Community Christian Church in Naperville, IL, has long been known for a focus on reproducing churches and multiplying momentum. This, of course, requires a consistent influx of new leaders who then develop new leaders. NewThing’s residency program helps identify and coach these apprentices, and the organization’s new Leadership Training Center, opening in 2015, will add a classroom component to the process.
“The residency is a nine- to twelve-month program that connects future church planters with leaders who can mentor and teach them,” says Eric Metcalf, the leadership residency director. “We are biased toward decentralization, obviously, so this doesn’t just happen in Chicagoland; NewThing churches around the country participate in this program. But one of the weaknesses of decentralization is it limits your ability to keep the content consistent. A classroom environment is new for us, but it will help us ensure the DNA of NewThing stays strong as we continue to grow.”
The curriculum for the training center will include modules on spiritual formation, pastoring communities, preaching and teaching, leadership, and movement making.
“We’ve been great at the relational, life-on-life apprenticeship,” Metcalf says. “We don’t want to stifle that, and we think this is the right time to add the more formal component.”
Of course, NewThing plans to reproduce the training center in other locations soon.