Description and Criteria
Ministry in the twenty-first century requires church leaders to dream beyond the walls of our buildings and confines of traditional programs as we imagine new possibilities to embody the Good News of Jesus Christ in our neighborhoods. A communal and presbytery-wide grant opportunity, Dream Tank for Ministry Possibilities is an opportunity for ministry dreamers and faithful practitioners throughout the Presbytery of Philadelphia to imagine new and creative initiatives that:
- demonstrate an awareness of their congregational and community context;
- empower and collaborate with leaders in their church and neighborhood;
- address real concerns relevant to a congregation’s surrounding community through either the development of a brand new or intentional advancement of an existing ministry;*
- leverage the gifts and assets of local church, community, and culture;
- utilize new tools and platforms for financial sustainability;
- illustrate a plan for the creative storytelling and evaluation of their particular ministry initiative;
- risk the development of intentional mission and ministry not currently in existence or available to wider community;
- reflect the good news of God’s love alongside those who do not already frequent the church;
- present all of the above in five visual slides in five minutes at the Stated Meeting of the Presbytery of Philadelphia on January 21, 2020.
Who Can Apply?
Dream Tank for Ministry Possibilities is open to any congregation or approved ministry within the Presbytery of Philadelphia. Applications must be endorsed by a session or commission of the Presbytery of Philadelphia.
- September 27, 2019: Applications Published
- November 15, 2019: Application Deadline, submitted to [email protected]
- December 11, 2019: Applications Reviewed and Finalists Announced
- January 14, 2020: Trial Run with the Commission on Resources and Communications
- January 21, 2020: Presentations of Finalists at the Stated Meeting; Awards Voted on by Presbytery
Amount Awarded ($5000 Total Awards Funded through Presbytery’s Reserve for New Initiatives)
- Innovation Award: $3000
- Two Runner Ups: $1000 each
Format and Application Process: Application Deadline Is November 15, 2019 (see above)
Dream Tank for Ministry Possibilities borrows its framework from popular entrepreneurial reality shows that invite small start-ups to present unique ideas to a panel of potential investors. In the same way, Dream Tank for Ministry Possibilities invites ministry dreamers and innovators throughout the Presbytery to draft a plan for a new ministry initiative or the intentional advancement of an existing ministry * (per the guidelines above) and present their start-up before a panel of three (2 from Commission or Resources and Communications and 1 former moderator of the Presbytery) and the entire Presbytery at our January 2020 Stated Meeting. The format is as follows:
- Introductory application (attached) submitted to the Commission on Resources and Communications that outlines the new initiative per the guidelines above (submitted to CRC by November 8, 2020);
- Commission on Resources and Communications selects three applicants to present before the January 2020 Stated Meeting;
- The three selected applicants are invited to present five slides in five minutes before the panel and Presbytery; after each presentation, the panel asks questions of intrigue, clarification, concern, and affirmation;
- After all three presentations have been delivered, presenters are asked to leave the sanctuary as the full presbytery votes on the presentations; taking into consideration the insights of the panel, the Presbytery circles their selection for the Faithful and Creative Engagement Award on provided cards;
- All cards are collected, votes tallied, and the Faithful and Creative Engagement Award recipient announced; two runner-ups also awarded start-up amount;
- In the case of a tie, the panel cast votes to break the tie.
- Each presenting initiative is invited to provide an update at a date and format TBD in 2021.
* Is a “New Initiative?” A Working Definition for Ministry Innovators
A new initiative might be a project built on a bare foundation that seeks to utilize the gifts already present in a community to embody the good news of Jesus Christ in a particular time and place as we address concrete needs, build community, empower leaders, etc.
A new initiative might also be the advancement to a pre-existing effort that makes a long-standing initiative more holistic, expansive, and faithful to what it can mean to be the church in a particular time and place. The invitation to dream about new initiatives is an invitation to adapt ministry, guided by the Spirit, to the changing community in our pews and the changing world around us as participants in God’s mission of reconciliation.
Check out a recent conversation with the 2016 Dream Tank Award Recipient, FUSE. Summaries of the previous recipients also available here: https://presbyphl.org/dream-tank-awards-2016/