What Is the Transformation Experience and How Can Our Ministry Benefit?

Published on: June 1, 2011

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As we planned and began the Transformation Experience, we at Unity Worldwide Ministries committed to share with you what we are doing and learning in the project. The articles in this issue of Contact about the Transformation Experience are one of the ways we are following through with our commitment to respond to your requests for information about what we are learning in the program that you can begin to use in your own ministry now.

Purpose

Ministries everywhere are looking at what is needed to thrive in a postmodern world. The Transformation Experience is a proactive program to meet the challenges of the postmodern world with vitality and Spirit-guided creativity.

The overall purpose of the Transformation Experience (TE) program is to develop and enhance the leadership capacity of Unity ministers, licensed teachers, board members, and lay persons, as well as the organizational effectiveness of Unity ministries. The intended outcome is to increase member ownership and involvement in Unity ministries and equip credentialed and lay leaders to work together to create vibrant spiritual communities that embody Unity principles and transform lives.

Overview

The Transformation Experience consists of the three-year Thriving Ministries Pilot Program, in which 12 Unity ministries are voluntarily participating, and the Enlightened Leaders program in which over 100 additional Unity ministries and 18 individuals are participating.

In this issue we focus primarily on what we are learning in the Thriving Ministries Pilot Program.

The three-year Pilot Program is a whole-system approach based on the Thriving Ministry model. It is designed so that all the “parts and pieces” integrate into a whole system and everything vibrates with a “holy hum.” The Pilot Program is a field test for shifting to a new paradigm of ministry. Through the pilot we are learning how to scale program elements to different size ministries and how to most effectively facilitate key developmental shifts in four different “quadrants” or aspects of ministry, as illustrated on page 9.

The total income for the Transformation Experience comes from the John Templeton Foundation grant monies plus the increased portion of tithes from the Thriving Ministries Pilot Program and Enlightened Leaders Program participating ministries. We make every effort to ensure that program costs do not exceed this income.

How Can I Benefit From What Is Being Learned?

TE_structureSome of the proven program elements of the TE Pilot Program are available to you right now, if you are feeling called to engage with them.

• Enlightened Leaders Season 1 DVD/CD set which includes all videos and customized materials
• Enrollment in Enlightened Leaders Season 2
• Thriving Ministries dinner and TE-related keynotes and workshops at the Unity People’s Convention
• Four Whys process for creating or renewing vision, mission and core values along with future planning
• Art & Practice of Living with Nothing and No One Against You
• Q Process Facilitator Training and Certification
• Spiritual Intelligence Assessment (SQi) and coaching

What Can I Expect in the Future?

Currently we are praying into and considering possibilities for the next wave of TE. With sufficient funding, we intend to have a number of options available for taking your ministry to its next level of thriving:

• Another cohort of ministries experiencing a multi-year whole-system process based on learning from the current TE Pilot Program  (this is dependent on obtaining renewal of the John Templeton Foundation grant or other major funding source)
• Additional modules of Thriving in Unity
• Guidebooks for major program elements, including:

• Integral board training
• Evolutionary councils—conscious conversations and mapping what is
• Spiritual gifts identification process and system to integrate into service opportunities
• Sacred service culture and system
• Creating and leading successful ministry teams
• Ongoing spiritual development process and roadmap
• Ongoing leadership development process and roadmap
• Welcoming culture and system

• Assessments to discern which elements are the next step for your ministry
• Additional Enlightened Leaders modules and materials
• Opportunities to connect in community with other transforming ministries
• Advice on what is essential for sustained transformation

All options will reflect what has been garnered from the field testing and measurements provided by the generosity of those in the pioneering Pilot Program ministries.

In addition, the ministers in the current Pilot Program are looking forward to mentoring and assisting others in successfully moving through the process, challenges and opportunities of TE. We will also have experienced consultant guides who have been working with the Pilot Program ministries available to support you.

Deborah Frownfelter
Rev Deborah Frownfelter serves as Executive Director of Visionary Research, Development and Training at UWM and supervised the field-testing process as well as co-authored most of the Leadership and Ministry Development Resource Guides.

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