The Lab: A New Training Program for New York City

“The information we're being exposed to is so rich in gospel truth. It’s changing me in so many ways.” 
- James Acevedo, church planter in Staten Island and participant in this year’s pilot of The Lab
 

By Cody Dunn, Leadership Pipeline Coordinator, New York City

Background
The Incubator is City to City’s flagship two-year training program for church planters in New York City and around the world. The program provides in-depth training and practical, relational support to help participants develop the key competencies needed to effectively lead their new churches.
 
Solving the Problem
In New York City we deliver the Incubator as a series of monthly full-day training sessions in our midtown offices. For leaders who minister bivocationally or who live in the outer boroughs of New York, traveling all the way into Manhattan and committing a full work day to this training simply isn’t feasible. Because these leaders are so critically important to a gospel movement that encompasses all of our city, the New York City team has been working with John Thomas, CTC’s Director of Global Training, and a group of NYC planters to repackage the Incubator content and make this powerful training accessible for bivocational pastors and church planters in the outer boroughs. We are calling this new program The Lab.

While The Lab is structured around the main building blocks of City to City's traditional Incubator training, we have made several key adaptations. The Lab meets two weeknights per month to better accommodate the schedules of bivocational leaders, and the training takes place at a partner church in Brooklyn to reduce travel time. We are very excited to have pastors and planters from the outer boroughs who have completed CTC training play a key role in developing and delivering the content. Including these voices will allow the program to speak more naturally to the needs and experiences of these leaders who live and work outside center city.
 
The Launch

This fall we launched a pilot of The Lab with 12 participants. The early response has been overwhelmingly positive. We plan to launch another cadre of The Lab next fall in the Bronx, and we anticipate that this adapted model will prove useful for other networks around the world.
 
We are incredibly excited to bring CTC's training to these practitioners in a carefully contextualized, relevant way. Please pray that God would give us wisdom as we continue to develop this training, and that He would use this program to encourage and equip leaders as they work to expand and strengthen the gospel movement across New York City.