Innovation Coaching

After active participants in the Planter Incubator have pitched their idea and are assessed as a planter innovator, they enter into a year-long coaching cohort called the Innovation Coaching Cohort. Paul Nixon from the EpiCenter Group encourages teams to keep their prototypes simple and inexpensive. They must be very clear on what ideas they are seeking to test. After four to six weeks into a prototype, either we choose to continue it, to tweak it and let it go another month or so, or to bring it to a close so we can document learning. Whether it is a matter of tweaking or starting over, most groups can find the energy and focus for about three tries (4-6 week tests) at a ministry idea before they will either (a) experience a sense that they are onto something, with increasing energy or (b) they will need to take a rest. Coaching with regard to innovation can be one coach: one ministry team or it can be group coaching (one coach: multiple ministry teams, each trying different things). The 12 months of direct coaching includes a variety of new church start competencies, including but not limited to team, covenant, context, mission, vision, and values and impact.


Type of Church

Any size church. This is for ‘planters/innovators’ – clergy or lay - to explore what new ministry God is calling them to try at their current setting or beyond, for the graduates of the Planter Incubator.

Onboarding Process

  • Following the Planter Incubator, the planters/innovators will enter into 24-month coaching to try out their idea of a plant.
  • Ongoing monitoring throughout the year of participation and evolution of the plant.
  • Provide quarterly reporting to NCD and clarity as the project progresses.
  • Decide the viability of the project and next steps for the 2nd year.

Tracking Transformation

  • July – October: pray, discern, develop a team in the mission field
  • November – March: develop, deploy, test, learn from the mission field
  • April - June: Provide results and reporting for the second year

DS Use and Responsibilities

  • Oversee the planters/incubators in the Innovation Coaching with their innovative project in the district
  • Receive reports from innovators and notes from conversations with New Church Development regarding the accountability and viability of the ideas and plants