Next Level Innovations (NLI) is an investment in churches that have a recognized potential for reaching more people in their community and inviting them to become disciples of Jesus. These churches have healthy and coachable leadership (clergy and lay). Since 2016 six churches joined Cohort 1, and in 2017 Centreville UMC joined seven other churches for Cohort 2, having been recommended to participate by our district superintendent, Cathy Abbott.
NLI has multiple components including a foundation of prayer, monthly clergy training, two to three laity training events, an intensive weekend of church study, a detailed report and recommendation for innovations specially developed for the church, and follow up coaching for a year or more. As you can see from the calendar above, we are about to embark on a monthly prayer focus, having spent the summer setting our hearts with the Breakthrough Prayer. There are information sessions planned to help the entire congregation understand exactly what NLI is and impact it can have on our church.
As many of you know, I am now working ¼ time with the district office as Coordinator for Church Development and one of my focuses is to provide staff support to the NLI program. I am privileged to connect with churches in Cohort 1 and work with churches in Cohort 2. Having served in other conferences I can honestly say that this is the most comprehensive and contextual program I have experienced, and based on the responses of the pastors in the cohorts, it is also working. I encourage you to be sure to read the monthly Centrepoint, Sunday Refrigerator page and weekly e-news, participate in the monthly prayer focus and stay abreast of all the events leading up to and after our Innovations Weekend.