Greenhouse: Leader Cultivation

November 22, 2021 | 3 minute read
Frances Kim

Beautiful wildflowers

Envision began with the vision and purpose to identify, equip, and launch a new generation of Alliance leaders. Throughout COVID-19, our team was faced with the reality that a major shift was needed. We were no longer able to facilitate missional engagements or gather for our annual Summit in the same ways.

We began listening to story after story of young leaders who faced unique challenges adjusting to life through the pandemic as they served their churches, their workplaces, their families, and communities. God began to show us that there were new opportunities.

After surveying over 100 young leaders across Canada, a seed of an idea that was planted just beneath the soil months prior began to break through the surface and grow. The Spirit led our team through a season of discernment on how best to support the next generation. It became clear that we needed to connect these young leaders to one another and to experienced leaders who could offer wisdom, support, and guidance to see past the temporal mountains that were obstructing our view.

We committed to lay aside our plans, adapt to our new realities, and embrace new opportunities. We were strengthened in our resolve toward inclusive growth and development of nurturing Christ-centred, Spirit-empowered, Mission-focused leaders unhindered by the pandemic.

The Envision Greenhouse is a response to a compelling, generational need in our post-Christian world. Greenhouse provides diverse young leaders in The Alliance Canada with meaningful mentoring relationships and creative environments to foster growth and collaboration that is aligned with their local contexts.

We believe that, as mentees and mentors, we can benefit in learning from one another’s backgrounds, ministry and career vocations, skills, and spiritual journeys for the sake of community and leadership development as part of the Kingdom of God.

What Is The Envision Greenhouse?

Greenhouse is a 3-month cohort program where emerging leaders can meet, collaborate, and serve together through mentorships facilitated by Envision.

For now, it is a predominantly digital initiative, where mentees are plugged into an intentional growth community while remaining connected to their local context as they continue to study, work, care for their families, and serve their local church.

Greenhouse also offers a creative platform that teaches emerging leaders how to sharpen their skills and test their innovative ideas for church development, global missions, funding strategies, and much more.

What Does It Look Like?

Young leaders enter Greenhouse as mentees and are matched with an experienced Alliance mentor selected from our organization to engage in regular one-on-one mentorship online. For some, this is a time to share about their current wrestling and new ideas. For others, it offers a safe space to explore questions and leadership challenges with those who have gone before them.

In addition, mentees are organized into topic-related subgroups for group mentoring, offering the opportunity to engage in meaningful project work that serves a Kingdom purpose. Topics can range from storytelling, entrepreneurship, outreach and development, leading as women, artists and creatives, and justice and compassion focused initiatives

Finally, all-mentee gatherings are hosted monthly and create learning environments where mentees and mentors share teaching and discussion based on one of Envision Canada’s five values: Biblical foundation, self-awareness, cultural agility, spiritual awakening, and global leadership. These are great avenues for gifted teachers, professors, and practitioners to share their wisdom and lived experience in
a large group format, while also spurring constructive dialogue through authentic questions and answers.

What seemed like a closed door to the continuation of facilitating missional engagements and gathering for Summit gave room for research, pilot testing, and learning through feedback in preparation for something new. We recognize that closed doors don’t stay shut forever. In the meantime, we will not stand still but choose to journey alongside those God has placed in our path to pursue the “long obedience in the same direction” of our discipleship journeys.

Sow righteousness, reap love. It’s time to till the ready earth, it’s time to dig in with God, until he arrives with righteousness ripe for harvest (Hosea 10:12, MSG).

 

This is an article from our Fall 2021 edition of Alliance Connection. Read the full copy here.

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Frances Kim

Frances serves as Director for Envision Canada. She provides leadership and oversight to the office team in Toronto as well as the ongoing development of Envision’s programs and sites.

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