Churches in transitional neighborhoods reach out to their immediate communities by partnering with Project Transformation to host programming for children and youth. Church development that happens in partnership with Project Transformation is multidimensional and interdisciplinary. Through this partnership, site churches are empowered to better cultivate two key traits of discipleship: radical hospitality and active listening. Site churches are trained each year in beest practices for leveraging the program by one another and Project Transformation. First and foremost, church members and staff are able to display radical hospitality as they greet children and youth, lead chapel services during programming each week, invite parents to worship and plan and attend Family Fun Night events with the young adults. Beyond this, the site church also enters, with more resources, a relationship of active listening in order to better learn and understand the community’s needs and assets.
Project Transformation (PT) – Greater Dallas focuses its work around “three C’s”: 1) how to meet the academic, physical, and spiritual needs of children from low-income communities, 2) how to provide meaningful ways for college students to explore ministry opportunities and develop as young adult leaders for the church and the world, and 3) how to help revitalize churches in urban and low-income communities.
PT has begun to strengthen its efforts to revitalize urban churches through connecting them to their neighborhoods, as well as equipping and supporting their leaders. This renewed focus empowers churches to fulfill the recent calls for UM congregations to partner with local schools, as well as offer pathways toward a new missional and outwardly-focused culture for local churches. It is our hope that this new application process with the addition of support resources for site churches will create an environment in which genuine transformation can occur.
Below is a description of Project Transformation’s new site church selection criteria. It is our hope that these criteria will help us enter into the most transformative partnerships possible.
Note: Each site will have the choice of applying for a “One Year” or “Three Year” partnership. Longer-term relationships offer deeper impacts with PT participants and families, site churches, and other partners. Applicants for three-year partnerships will be given preference in selection, as well as preference in possible grant and other resources.
Three-Year Option – We offer a three-year option for site applicants to emphasize building longer-term relationships with children, youth, and families
Guides to Create PT Connect Team – Team will focus on leveraging PT to build relationships with families and connect to neighborhood.
Possible Family Engagement Activity Grants – We hope to recruit funding for micro grants for church-designed events and ministries to connect with PT-related families and neighbors
Coaching – Free ministry coaching available to site supervisors/pastors and leadership (ministry coaching valued at approximately $50 per hour)
Cultivating Partner Church Relationships – Assembling regular partner church leaders to work as supportive stakeholders in ministry of site churches
Workshops and Consultations – As congregations desire to deepen their outward focus and disciple-making abilities, some workshops and consultations may be available through Project Transformation staff and others (e.g. hospitality ministries, understanding poverty, cross cultural competencies, leadership development)
Helpful Evaluation and Check-In Process – Quarterly Check-ins with Coach to ensure effective communication and relationships
Communication Tools – Photos, Videos, Social Media for developing buy-in and excitement from congregation and community for Project Transformation participation
PT Connect Team Formation – Each applying site church must form a PT Connect Team that will be trained to do one thing: develop relationships between and among congregants and PT participants and families.
Goal Setting and Coaching Check-ins – Each Site Church Supervisor/Pastor will work with the Director of Site Church and Community Development to create goals and a missional scorecard for their congregation to effectively use Project Transformation to connect with their neighbors.
Workshop Attendance – An Introductory Meeting and follow-up Workshops will be created to equip PT Connect Teams as well as connect Site Supervisors/Pastors for quarterly best practice and self-designed learning experiences. PT Connect Teams will be trained in setting-up hospitality and connecting ministry with PT families and other neighbors.