A Focused Learning Community for Spiritual Entrepreneurs
The North Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church has consistently led the connection in creating vital new faith communities. As the office of New Faith Communities continues to live into that tradition of excellence, it launched AXIS: A Learning Community for Spiritual Entrepreneurs. The initial three-day immersion, in partnership with The Academy for Leadership Excellence and including participation by General Board of Discipleship’s SEJ Path1 Leader, Rev. William Chaney, included time for learning, spiritual formation, and interaction with experienced church planters. Beacon District Superintendent Gil Wise said that AXIS was, “the most innovative and forward thinking training experiences for spiritual entrepreneurs I’ve ever experienced. This will launch the NC Conference into the future with excellence.”
The New Faith Communities team designed AXIS as a two-year process of focused teaching, personal discernment, and exploration of calling for those considering or already appointed to the start new faith communities. Increasingly the life of the church is expressed in new and exciting ways which requires a different skill set than is provided by the typical seminary education. AXIS synthesizes mission specific training, creative engagement with the most innovative leaders in the mission field, and peer group collaboration in a learning community environment. The AXIS Experience will serve to increase leadership, capacity, inspire creativity, invite community, and influence a cause among participating leaders.
In a distinctly Wesleyan way, AXIS equips the next generation of spiritual entrepreneurs through four core sessions every 6 months, monthly gatherings for group coaching, and individual coaching calls twice a month. “This is a high contact, high expectation experience,” explained Rev. Jeff Severt, Executive Director of New Faith Communities. “We are seeking to prepare leaders for what’s next, not just to manage what is. There’s a world of difference.”
“After the initial learning community we hope to open up this experience to church planters from across the Connection,” added Dr. Marty Cauley, Director of Coaching and Content. “There is a huge demand to train leaders to be effective in our changing world. Our goal for The AXIS Experience is to impact the world through the entire United Methodist Church to help entrepreneurial leaders reach more diverse people and more young people.”
If you know of a potential church planter or spiritual entrepreneur who would like to be considered, please contact the office of New Faith Communities at the NCCUMC office.