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Ministry incubation, Seed to Harvest

Seed to Harvest develops new ideas

The second cohort of ministry incubators is now being sought. Those with the seed of an idea for new ministry will be given the support and tools they need to launch a new thing.

Young Adult Initiatives Coordinator, Michigan Conference

At the onset of the pandemic, the first cohort of ministry incubators risked doing something new and engaged a process that was not only life-giving but lifesaving.

Entrepreneurs, younger adults, with new ministry ideas often find themselves outside of the church, or, at best, on the margin of the church structure. This can lead to feelings of isolation and disappointment. These persons often find themselves without the resources needed to bring a new ministry idea to fruition. Those with a seed of an idea for missional ministry don’t need a sage on the stage telling them what to do; rather, they need a guide on the side, walking along with them through the process in order to make their idea a reality.

As United Methodists, we have a history of incubating new ministries. In Michigan, ministries like hospitals and Justice for Our Neighbors were first imagined as ways to meet a need in the community. The new ministry ideas were developed, incubated, and launched into their own separate non-profits. All of these ministries now exist because someone had a seed of an idea to address a need and make their community a better place.

As the church, when we neglect entrepreneurs, younger adults, and those with new ministry ideas, we lose opportunities for new ministries that focus on developing our communities in new ways. We lose the opportunity to engage those on the sidelines of the church. As the Michigan Conference, we are poised to live deeper into our United Methodist history of starting new ministry. In March 2020, the MI Conference launched its first cohort of incubators. 

Seed to Harvest ministry incubation is a program of the Michigan Conference, designed to support individuals and teams from local congregations, who have a seed of an idea to address a need in their community. Drawing on biblical relationships like Ruth and Naomi, the Seed to Harvest team members walk alongside incubators toward something new. Incubators have access to the support and tools needed to launch a new thing.

Incubators engage in a twelve-month process that includes discernment conversations, cohort gatherings, coaching, and two multi-day events to take their seed of an idea and bring it to fruition.

Are you an individual or part of a small team at your church who has an idea for making your community a better place?

Are you not sure how to get started or move a ministry idea forward?

Or are you simply interested in hearing more about Seed to Harvest ministry incubation for yourself or your church?

The Seed to Harvest team is looking for individuals and small teams from local congregations who have a new idea for making their community a better place to join the fall 2022 cohort. Contact Lisa Batten, at [email protected]

Last Updated on May 9, 2022

The Michigan Conference