Networking Christian leaders to nurture innovative ministries
The Holy Spirit is doing a new thing in the San Francisco Bay Area. Unprecedented numbers of Christian men and women, both inside and outside of the church, are “seeing visions and dreaming dreams” of innovative ways to spread the Kingdom of God. They want to launch, reform and revolutionize churches, schools, businesses and non-profits. They are re-imagining how we can preach the gospel, cure addictions, end poverty, reconcile races, and save the lost.
If even a fraction of them succeeded, it would be like heaven on earth!
Tragically, to date very few have fulfilled their visions. As our team has wrestled with this problem over the last few years, we realized that successful implementations require access to four key ingredients:
- Trusted peers, to encourage, critique, refine and partner with the vision until it becomes a viable mission
- Committed teams of insiders, who buy into and flesh out that mission until it is ready to pitch to outsiders
- Resources, such as venues, skills, mentors, and financing
- Targeted communities, where they can both publicly advertise programs and products to interested audiences, and privately dissect success and failure as part of a networked improvement community
After researching and experimenting with a wide range of models, we believe the best way to provide those ingredients at scale is a “social network for innovating leaders“, a kind of LinkedIn for novel ministries. We call it PassionGroups, because we have found the easiest way to engage and inspire busy leaders is to provide a platform where they can talk about their deepest passions with peers who share their dreams and frustrations.
The key to PassionGroups is seamlessly integrating two different modes. The outside view is like Kiva, “a dating side for ideas” where interested parties can rapidly browse a wide range of passions to connect with those that resonate with them. The inside view is a like Basecamp or Slack, a tight-knit community where individuals committed to the mission can refine, plan, and track execution. While aspects of this idea exist elsewhere, our Unique Value Proposition is providing a unified experience spanning both views across multiple communities, to create a learning network where passionate Christians can organically self-organize around whatever excites them most.
Our target customer is a Host that has a passive broadcast Audience they want to convert into an engaged networked Community. While our ultimate goal is to serve the local church, our initial market is Christian conferences. PassionGroups provides a great way for conference organizers to both deepen the experience at the conference and sustain it after people leave. In a pilot project we did at PassionTalks 2017 using the free Fleep messaging tool, we engaged around 10% of the attendees and helped birth projects around racial reconciliation and church-based incubators.
VI. Our Ask
We believe a network like PassionGroups is essential for the Body of Christ to adapt to the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century, and will continue working on it as a passion project for as long as necessary. However, we would dearly love to find a patron who shares this vision to help mentor, challenge, and support us as we bring it to life. In particular, we are seeking $15K to hire professional UX designers and software architects to design a Minimum Viable Product, which we could use to rally volunteers or pursue angel funding. If you are interested in any way, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.