Reinventing at Hatchery LA

Here’s a guest post from our friends at Hatchery LA about their exciting new three year program.

As we reimagine theological education together with the Convergence Network, we realize that the crazy thing about our program at Hatchery LA is that the degrees these innovators receive are not the emphasis, but rather fostering our innovators’ passion for social engagement, the way of Jesus, and a viable new plant that works for the common good, are. Moving forward, we want to continue to dream with others about what it will look like to create contemporary expressions of both graduate level education and new church plants that are able to reach people in a postmodern context with the transforming love of Christ.

At HatcheryLA, we are thoroughly invested in one idea when it comes to the future of our churches: innovation.

Our 3-year program, a residential church planting incubator in Redondo Beach, CA, provides people who are passionate about both entrepreneurship and the kingdom life a platform to live, learn, and launch a project of their own dreaming. We are thinking newly about ways to provide graduate level education and training for the sake of creating new types of churches; service-centric churches. Our 9-person cohort learning experience is thus geared towards helping our innovators plant what we’re calling “Common Cause Communities.”

A “Common” journey in the way of Jesus
A “Cause” to rally around on a regular basis
A “Community” of people where relationships are nurtured

We are excited about practicing fresh ways of gathering people on mission together in the way of Jesus for the betterment of our cites and our larger world. These new “Common Cause Communities,” or “C3’s” could look like anything from a tutoring center,  organic garden, senior-citizen’s alzheimer’s treatment center, to a karate dojo or a coffee shop, and will likely boast more of a socially conscious business feel with a communal aspect rather than a classical church model.

We have found that part of the discontentment many feel with existing church models is due to the fact that although our society in 2015 has already shifted in the public sphere in many different ways, we are still attempting to engage them with the same attractional, teaching-based church models that were successful in the 60’s through the late 90’s. With the statistics on both church attendance and Christian self-identification on the clear decline, we believe that the time is ripe for change, and for innovation.

With many churches already dead, dying, or decaying, we see a great opportunity for partnership between those old institutions and new movements. We call this idea, “composting,” and our project here at Hatchery LA (as a plant of the Disciples of Christ Pacific-Southwest Region) is a wonderful representation of what is possible when institutions advocate for and support innovation.

We look forward to walking with our inaugural class this Fall as we, a new institution, partner together with other great existing institutions like the Disciples of Christ, Twin Cities School of Theology, and Cal State Northridge, to dream a new dream with our innovators, and explore the wild terrain of postmodern church planting. At the end of our program, students will graduate with an accredited Masters in Theological Studies, a certificate in entrepreneurship, and more importantly a sustainable job of their own making within a Common Cause Community that will transform their cities!